Discography » Todd Rundgren – Second Wind

Todd Rundgren
Second Wind
1991
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Todd had the ingenious concept of recording an album live in concert, but with a twist. The stage at the San Francisco Center For Performing Arts was set up like a recording studio, with baffles and isolated guitar amps, chairs for the musicians with headphones; the environment and process of recording in a studio duplicated on the stage. His band of eleven players were there not as performers, but as recording musicians, essentially ignoring the audience and focusing entirely on the music. Recording these “session plays” over five evenings, Todd announced and reiterated “This is not a concert people, this is a recording session”, and the attendees experienced the process of studio recording, complete with false starts and if needed, multiple takes. He instructed the audience to remain silent and only applause when given the OK. The band was given sheets of paper to write down “confessions” for Todd to listen for while compiling the best takes for completion – “I made a mistake in the solo in ‘Second Wind’, third take” for example. I suppose this was primarily for organization assistance but also helped in reducing stage banter, and keep the music flowing. This collection of songs showcase Todd’s brilliance as an arranger (making more of an impact on me in present day now that I work in orchestral environments). The only caveat is the sound of the recording, captured on early digital and is a bit thin. That said, the material is outstanding and some of his greatest work.

 

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