550. ethnicolor

“In which Jean-Michel Jarre offers up an epic smorgasbord of what were then very “now” techno-possibilities. I personally had little time for his earlier stuff (cosmic lite, to put it bluntly, though millions seemed to disagree with me). But with hip names like Laurie Anderson and Adrian Belew on board for Zoolook, it was hard to ignore, and a darned good thing, because the whole album really goes places, lead off track Ethnicolor in particular. Samples before we called them that, great crescendos and unearthly howls. The future definitely sounded cool, and ambitious.” (Philip Random)

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593. showroom dummies

“In which some showroom dummies animate, hit the town, have some fun messing with the humans. It’s the strange urgency of it that I love, almost punk rock, yet restrained.  Which is contradictory, I know. Like considering Kraftwerk‘s cyber explorations soul music, which they are. Which reminds me of something I read a long, long time ago.  What do you call a contradiction that works?  A paradox. God I love paradox.” (Philip Random)

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746. healing

The genius of Todd Rundgren is that he can do anything – pop, soul, rock, prog, abstract avant whatever. The worst thing about Todd Rundgren is that’s exactly what he does a little too often — anything and everything all at the same time, and it all just ends up getting in the way of itself. But not so the title track of Healing (which ends up filling all of side two). It’s 1981 and drum machines and synths and sequencers are the cool new toys of the moment, and, genius that he is, Todd knows exactly how to play with them, to genuine therapeutic effect.