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Todd Rundgren: For Lack of Honest Work

Album Notes

Billed as the first official collection of live bootleg recordings, the triple-disc For Lack of Honest Work is a live anthology stretching back to live-in-the-studio recordings of "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Broke Down and Busted" in Philadelphia from 1971 and running all the way to 2006, when Todd belts out "I Hate My Frickin' ISP" in Toronto. In between these extremes are many other extremes -- Todd indulging in the early days of Utopia, cuts from his A Cappella tour, a doo wop arrangement of "Real Man," a synthesized piss-take of "Bang on the Drum," a solo electric "Hammer in Your Heart," slickly accomplished on-stage jamming -- all loosely arranged so the first disc contains the poppiest material, the second the proggiest, the third his mature phase. It's not quite a straight-on realist portrait but a hazy abstract impression of Todd's multifaceted abilities, with the overall range being somewhat more impressive than individual moments. As these are labeled as bootlegs, the sound is indeed a little rough at times, but those who choose to listen to a triple-disc 43-track collection of archival concert recordings won't be daunted by patchy sound, they'll merely mine for individual gems.and they'll find some, too, no matter if their tastes are geared toward Something/Anything? or RA. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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