This New Yorker interview with Todd Rundgren reminded me that I had a copy of RA from his Utopia days, so I had a listen —— and I was stunned.
I had completely forgotten about it. My first reaction was that I had heard this before, but maybe I hadn’t listened to it too many times. But no, I put the headphones on, I went for a long walk in the woods, and the emotional reactions were very familiar. I must have blocked them out.
The harmonies and the lyrics are unique: unconventional but familiar —— the instrumental styles are idiosyncratic but tight and flowing. It all comes together in a way that is oddly whimsical, and deeply fascinating. As I listened it I graduallly felt transported to a very particular time and place. And when the last solo in Singring and the Glass Guitar had finished overwhelming my senses, I was exhausted, and it left me with ear worms for days.
Listen if you dare.
RA - Utopia (Bearsville Records Inc. 1977)
I learned about Luis Gasca from this Burning Ambulance blog post and I immediately checked to see if I could find it on YouTube, and it’s fantastic.
Read the whole thing. What an amazing album.
Luis Gasca - For Those Who Chant (Blue Thumb, 1972)