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Archive for February 10th, 2012

So Esoteric: Todd Rundgren’s Lost “Disco Jets” and a Jim Capaldi Duo Coming Soon

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Longtime Todd Rundgren fans are familiar with the renaissance man’s numerous genre excursions, from pop to rock and everywhere in between: psychedelia, soul, electronica, even metal.  But comparatively fewer fans have heard Rundgren’s one and only full-blown excursion into disco.  Shortly after completing 1976’s Faithful LP, the iconoclastic producer took the members of Utopia into the studio to create the album known as Disco Jets.  Yet the album crafted by Willie Wilcox (drums), Roger Powell (keyboards/vocals), John Siegler (bass/vocals) and Rundgren has never seen release under its original name, although the tracks were included on the Japan-only Todd Rundgren: Demos and Lost Albums compilation.  Esoteric Recordings, a division of the Cherry Red Group, is changing all that with the March 26 release of Disco Jets, continuing its series of latter-day Rundgren and Utopia reissues.  But that’s not all coming from the enterprising label.  Traffic legend Jim Capaldi is celebrated with a pair of his earliest albums, 1972’s Oh How We Danced and 1974’s Whale Meat Again, both due on the same March 26 date.

Roger Powell recalled in 2010 to author Paul Myers that Utopia spent one weekend “cranking out” Disco Jets, basically for the hell of it: “It was a disco spoof, but it was a hoot to record and I remember laughing so hard I cried.”  John Siegler (who departed Utopia shortly after recording the lost album, citing fatigue) opined, “It was not one of our stellar moments.”  Myers, however, believes that the all-instrumental album is hardly worthy of dismissal and is “musically as interesting as anything Utopia ever did.”  It’s not hard to believe; it wouldn’t be the first time (nor the last) that Rundgren would spin musical gold from something intended to be tongue-in-cheek.

Hit the jump for more on Disco Jets, plus two albums from Jim Capaldi! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 10, 2012 at 09:52