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Cooking Vinyl release Todd Rundgren's Arena (Sept 29)

posted Sep 17, 2008, 7:54 AM by Vu Nguyen
From Noble


Tickets on sale for
London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Norwich
on Friday 11th July

Thursday 6th November – Manchester Academy 2
Friday 7th November – Edinburgh The Picture House
Saturday 22nd November – Norwich Waterfront
Sunday 23rd November – London Kentish Town Forum

Multi-faceted and celebrated recording artist/producer Todd Rundgren is set to release his first full-length record of original studio material in 4 years, entitled Arena in the UK on September 29th and in America on September 30th. Cooking Vinyl will release the album in the UK and Europe, while Hi-Fi Recordings will release the album in North America.   

Todd Rundgren, the man who gave us classic albums like Something/Anything?, A Wizard, A True Star, Todd, Faithful, Hermit of Mink Hollow and 2004’s critically acclaimed Liars, will play four rare UK concerts that will follow the September 29th UK release of his long awaited new studio album

Todd Rundgren: Live in concert on the Arena Tour 2008.  Photo credit: © 2008 Jean Lannen

is a definite return to riff-oriented guitar rock," says Rundgren. "It's supposed to make you reflexively pump your fist and wave a lighter in the air.”  The Arena Tour band will consist of Jesse Gress (guitar), Rachel Haden (bass), Kasim Sulton (guitar, keyboards vocals), Prairie Prince (drums), and Todd Rundgren (guitar and vocals).

“The concerts will be a straight-ahead, guitar-rock extravaganza," assures Rundgren. “We can't afford the flamethrowers yet, but we'll make up for it with aggression."
Rundgren is universally hailed as the most innovative rock star on the planet.  He was the first pioneering recording and performing artist responsible for interactive audio and video.  In 1981, his video for the song Time Heals was the second video ever aired on MTV in America. 

Todd Rundgren: Live in concert on the Arena Tour 2008.  Photo credit: © 2008 Jean Lannen

By 1992, Todd focused his creative energies on the ground-breaking No World Order, rock’s first interactive music album on the CD-i format.  The album enabled music enthusiasts to create their own mixes of the album, something unheard of in the early nineties. Appropriately, when Rundgren filmed the world’s first interactive concert tour for video release in 1994, London’s Forum was the venue of choice, making this November’s show a homecoming of sorts.

Two years later, Rundgren proved that he was two steps ahead of the music technology game by releasing what was to be rock’s very first full-length Enhanced CD, The Individualist, which featured the combined song and interactive video game Cast The First Stone.

In 1998 he was the first artist to launch an online music service entitled PatroNet, years before Apple launched iTunes. PatroNet enabled its online subscribers to directly download new, previously unreleased songs, cutting out the major record labels.  Sounds familiar?
It was Rundgren who predicted the future, and now, with , his rockiest guitar album in decades, he’s back to rock the house.  Always the innovator, Rundgren continues to enhance his reputation as the ultimate Wizard, A True Star.

click for hi res
Todd Rundgren – Photo credit: © 2008 Lynn Goldsmith


6th November

Manchester Academy 2
Doors: 7.30pm GMT
Tickets: £18.50
Venue Box Office & CC: 0161 832 1111
Online Booking (Ticketline) -
Venue Website:
Venue Street Address:
Manchester University Students Union
Oxford Road
M13 9PR


7th November

Edinburgh The Picture House
Doors: 7.00pm GMT
Tickets: £18.50
Venue Box Office & CC: 0844 847 1740
Online Booking (Ticketmaster):
Venue Website:
Venue Street Address:


22nd November

Norwich The Waterfront
Doors: 7.00pm GMT
Tickets: £18.50
Venue Box Office & CC: 08700 600 100
Online Booking (Ticketweb):
Venue Website:
Venue Street Address:
The Waterfront
139 – 141 King Street,


23rd November

London Kentish Town Forum
Start time: 7.30pm GMT
Tickets: £23.50
Venue Box Office & CC: 0844 847 2405
Online Booking (Ticketmaster) -
Venue Website:
Venue Street Address:
Kentish Town Forum,
9-17 Highgate Road,

The Official Todd Rundgren "Arena" Press Release


Click here for hi res

First studio album in 4 years, Arena, out September 30th
Sneak peak of album track ‘Mad’ on MySpace

UK Release: Monday 29th September
US Release: Tuesday 30th September

Multi-faceted and celebrated recording artist/producer Todd Rundgren is set to release his first full-length record of original studio material in 4 years, entitled Arena in the UK on September 29th and in America on September 30th  
(via newly launched music venture Hi Fi Recordings). 

Rundgren has been on the road in support of the release on a 20 + U.S. city tour this summer which kicked off with a week-long celebration in Hawaii, culminating with the first-ever live performance of Arena in its entirety on Todd’s birthday, June 22nd.  Rundgren will also hit the road in support of Arena this fall in Europe and the UK where the album will be released simultaneously to the U.S.  A sneak peak of an exclusive album track ‘Mad’ will be available on starting on July 15th (

Arena, recorded in Todd’s current home state of Hawaii,is yet another notable addition to Rundgren’s remarkable career as a performer, songwriter, and producer. The album showcases his unique songwriting style and sonically captures the essence and energy of “arena” rock with bombastic, guitar-driven tunes like “Mountaintop,” “Strike” and “Mad,” while the anthemic song “Mercenary,” transports you to a stadium with its epic chorus, “How Do You Like Me Now?,”  resounding to every seat in the house.
“I found myself just going out and doing this sort of guerilla guitar quartet thing around the country and around Canada,” said Rundgren, “So when it came time to make a record, I thought maybe I’ll just continue in that vein and write something that is appropriate to the guitar, since the fans seem to be enjoying it so much.
“So when I decided to write a new album, I knew beforehand it was going to be this kind of old-school guitar-rock record.”
Known as a man of musical innovation, Rundgren’s latest release draws from his vast and impressive career experiences as a performer, songwriter and producer – including notable achievements on the cutting edge of music and technology such as: the first live nationally broadcast stereo radio concert (by microwave), which linked 40 cities around the country in 1978; the very first two commercially released music videos, one of which was nominated for the first-ever Grammy awarded for “Best Short Form Video” in 1983; and the launch of PatroNet, the world’s first direct artist subscription service all of course;  and of course there are the timeless hit songs, including 'Hello It's Me', 'I Saw The Light', 'Can We Still be Friends', and 'Bang The Drum.’

With ground-breaking accomplishments under his belt, Rundgren’s career boasts additional credits to the aforementioned roles he is most well known for, including video pioneer, computer software developer, conceptualist and, most recently, interactive artist (re-designated TR-i).  Given this incredible history and his constant creative state-of-mind, there are undoubtedly many more imaginative horizons for Todd Rundgren to discover.

Be sure to catch Todd’s tour when it stops in the following cities (more to be announced soon):

July 17
House of Blues  San Diego CA
July 19 Antones Austin, TX
July 20 House of  Blues Dallas, TX
July 21 Warehouse Live Houston, TX
July 23 Pageant St. Louis, MO
July 24 VooDoo @ Harrah's   Kansas City, MO
July 26 Nolas  Rochester NY
July 28 Bearsville Theater Bearsville, NY
Aug 1 The Tralf Buffalo, NY
Aug 2 Borgata Music Box Atlantic City, NJ
Nov 6  Manchester Academy 2 Manchester, England
Nov 7 Edinburgh Picture House Edinburgh, Scotland
Nov 22 Norwich Waterfront Norwich, England
Nov 23 London Forum London, England

About Hi Fi Recordings:
Based in New York City, Hi Fi Recordings was founded in 1995 by entrepreneur and respected music industry insider John Hecker.  Originally a joint a venture with major labels Elektra, Arista and Virgin Records, Hi Fi Recordings’ history boasts the releases of successful hit albums from the likes of Avril Lavigne, Isyss, Marvelous 3 and Spacehog, among many others.  Now acting as the recorded music label arm of Music Publishing Corporation of America (MPCA), an independent publisher founded in May 2006, Hi Fi Recordings is dedicated to working with marquee recording artists while also achieving synergies with its vast collection of publishing copyrights.

Click here for hi res
Todd Rundgren pictured with bassist Rachel Haden – Photo credit: © 2008 Lynn Goldsmith

 Todd Rundgren – Biography

A Wizard, A True Star. The title of Todd Rundgren's 1973 solo album aptly sums up the contributions of this multi-faceted artist to state-of-the-art music. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer, recording artist, computer software developer, conceptualist, and, most recently, interactive artist (re-designated TR-i), Rundgren has made a lasting impact on both the form and content of popular music.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rundgren began playing guitar as a teenager, going on to found and front The Nazz, the quintessential `60's cult group. In 1969, he left the band to pursue a solo career, recording his debut offering, the legendary Runt. But it was 1972's seminal Something/Anything?, on which he played all the instruments, sang all the vocal parts, and acted as his own producer, that catapulted Todd into the superstar limelight, prompting the press to unanimously dub him 'Rock's New Wunderkind'.

It was followed by such landmark LPs as The Hermit of Mink Hollow A Wizard, A True Star, and the hit singles as I Saw The Light, Hello It's Me, Can We Still Be Friends, and Bang The Drum.

In 1974, Todd formed Utopia, an entirely new approach to the concept of interactive musicianship, and embarked on an extensive round of touring and recording. Standout Utopia offerings included Oops! Wrong Planet, Adventures in Utopia, and Oblivion. Along the way, Utopia combined technical virtuosity and creative passion to create music that, for millions, defined the term "progressive rock."

Rundgren's myriad production projects include albums by Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, Meatloaf, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad, and Hall and Oates. Rounding out his reputation as rock's Renaissance Man, Rundgren composed all the music and lyrics for Joe Papp's 1989 Off-Broadway production of Joe Orton's Up Against It  (the screenplay commissioned by The Beatles for what was meant to have been their third motion picture). He also has composed the music for a number of television series, including Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Crime Story.

His first studio CD of all new music in more than 10 years, Liars, was released in 2004.

In 1998 Todd debuted his new PatroNet technology which for the first time allows fans of a musical artist to subscribe directly to the artist’s musical output via the Internet. This caps a long history of groundbreaking early multimedia "firsts", including:

• 1978: The first interactive television concert, broadcast live over the Warner/QUBE system in Columbus, Ohio (the home audience chose each song in real time during the concert by voting via QUBE’s 2-way operating system).

• 1978: The first live nationally broadcast stereo radio concert (by microwave), linking 40 cities around the country.

• 1979: The opening of Utopia Video Studios, a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facility. The first project produced by Todd there is Gustav Holst’s The Planets, commissioned by RCA SelectaVision as the first demonstration software for their new videodisc format.

• 1980: Creation of the first color graphics tablet, which was licensed to Apple and released as The Utopia Graphics Tablet.

• 1981: Time Heals, the first music video to utilize state-of-the-art compositing of live action and computer graphics (produced and directed by Todd), becomes the second video to be played on MTV (after Video Killed the Radio Star).
• 1982: The first live national cablecast of a rock concert (on the USA Network), simulcast in stereo to over 120 radio stations.

• 1982: The first two commercially released music videos, one of which was nominated for the first-ever Grammy awarded for “Best Short Form Video” in 1983.

• 1992: The release of “No World Order”, the world’s first interactive record album on CD-i. Also the first commercially available music downloads via CompuServe.

• 1994: The release of “The Individualist”, the world’s first full-length Enhanced CD.

• 1995: The world’s first interactive concert tour.

• 1998: Launches PatroNet, the world’s first direct artist subscription service


The American Dream  The American Dream" 1969
Great Speckled Bird     "Great Speckled Bird" 1969
The Band    "Stage Fright"  1970
The Butterfield Blues Band   "Live"   1970
The Butterfield Blues Band    "Sometimes I Feel Like Smiling" 1971
Jericho  "Jericho"  1971
Half Nelson  "Half Nelson"   1971
James Cotton Blues Band    "Taking Care of Business"  1971
Jesse Winchester   "Third Down, 110 To Go" 1972
Mark Moogy Klingman         "Moogy"   1972
Badfinger "Straight Up" 1972
Grand Funk “We’re An American Band” 1973
Fanny   "Mother's Pride"  1973
Grand Funk  "Shinin' On" 1974
Felix Cavaliere Felix Cavaliere" 1974
Daryl Hall & John Oates  "War Babies" 1974
Hello People "The Handsome Devils" 1974
Hello People "Brick" 1975
Steve Hillage "L" 1976
Meat Loaf  "Bat Out Of Hell" 1977
Mark "Moogy" Klingman  "Moogy II" 1978
Tom Robinson Band  "TRB2" 1979
Rick Derringer  "Guitars and Women"  1979
The Tubes "Remote Control" 1979
Patti Smith Group  "Wave"  1979
Shaun Cassidy "Wasp" 1980
New England  "Walking Wild" 1981
Jim Steinman "Bad For Good"  1981
Psychedelic Furs  "Forever Now"  1982
The Rubinoos    "Party of Two"  1983
Cheap Trick "Next Position Please" 1983
Jules Shear  "Watch Dog"  1983
Will Powers "Dancing For Mental Health" 1983
The Lords of the New Church  "Live For Today"  1983
Zerra  "Zerra I" 1984
The Tubes  "Love Bomb" 1985
What Is This   "What Is This" 1985
XTC "Skylarking" 1986
Hunter  "Dreams Of Ordinary Men"  1987
Bourgeois Tagg “Yoyo" 1987
The Pursuit of Happiness "Love Junk" 1988
La Ppisch "Karakuri House" 1989
Jill Sobule   "Things Here Are Different"  1990

Essential Web Links:

Pre-Order 'Arena' from the Cooking Vinyl Records

Todd Rundgren – Official MySpace Page

Todd Rundgren – Official Site

TR Connection – The No.1 TR Fansite

Hot Toddies – Loads of TR Goodies!

Rundgren Radio

Deaconlight’s Todd Page

Weavil’s Todd List

News & Reviews and Interviews: – Andy Snipper gives the thumbs up to ‘Arena’

Here Comes The Flood – Arena album review

Retroblog – Win a signed copy of Arena

Wildy’s World – ‘Arena’ album review

Here Comes The Flood – Todd Rundgren “The Arena Tour Dates”  

Rundgren Radio - Interview with Peter Noble

RetroBlog – Track By Track review of “Arena” album

RetroBlog interviews Todd's new bass guitarist, Rachel Haden

The Playlist – Howard Stern to produce
Rock N Roll High School Remake

Get Ready To Rock – Dave Randall’s verdict on “Arena”

The Times Herald-Record - Bearsville concert surprises,
enchants fans

The Guardian - That's one potent hot toddy

Houston Chronicle - A musical hermit who permeated pop culture

St. Louis Today - Todd Rundgren is ready to rock

On A Clear Day You Can See Nebraska - Rundgren Strikes Gold With 'Arena'

The National Midday Sun - RUSH Fans Will Love 'Arena'

The Beatles' What Goes On - Todd Rundgren To Pay Tribute To Sgt. Pepper In Concert

Vail - Todd Rundgren: The Ultimate Rock Cult Hero

Seattle Times - Still Crazy About Todd Rundgren After All These Years

Ventura County Star - Rundgren's Fist-Pumping Rock

Times Herald Record, New York - Woodstocker Rundgren Returns To His Bearsville Roots

Youngstown Vindicator, Ohio - Rundgren Gives Arena Rock A Try

Red Orbit - Grand Funk Railroad Reminisces About Their Time with Todd Rundgren