By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio
Fans of 1970s Todd Rundgren will want to gather in front of their Internet radio receptacles this Wednesday night (June 6) at 9 pm ET for an all-new edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. Longtime producer and songwriter Phil Thornalley has made nothing less than the Todd Rundgren album that Todd Rundgren never made in the 1970s, and it is nothing less than one of the best albums of the year. Read on to find out why.
Astral Drive | Astral Drive (Lojinx, 2018)
The self-titled Astral Drive finds Phil Thornalley doing most of the heavy lifting for a joyous tour de force composed of original songs that echo the catchy sounds that the Hermit of Mink Hollow made all those many years ago. Thornalley, a legendary producer and songwriter whose lengthy list of credits includes co-writing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” producing the Cure’s album Pornography when he was 21 years old, and working as an engineer at London’s RAK Studios for producers Mickie Most, Steve Lillywhite and Alex Sadkin, fell in love with Todd Rundgren’s music when he heard Todd’s song “Useless Begging.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Astral Drive finds Thornalley celebrating the sound of Rundgren’s ’70s work with 11 original compositions. Catchy songs like the album’s first single, the infectious “Summer of ’76,” might as well come with a singalong module; they don’t invite listener participation so much as pretty much require it. And mark my words–you will want to sing along, whether you know the words or not.
During this supersized, 74 minute edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, which begins with Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” you will hear and listen to Thornalley talk about three of Astral Drive’s standout songs: the aforementioned “Summer of ’76,” which you can now hear playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio; the warm ballad “Wishing I Could Change the World,” which honors the classic Todd-meets-Philly-Soul bond; and the glorious, melody-infused upbeat number “Love is Real.” You’ll hear Thornalley talk about how he wrote these songs, and take a tour through his illustrious career. Towards the beginning of this typically in-depth In Conversation back-and-forth, he charts the path that “Torn” took prior to being recorded by Imbruglia.
On this very special edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, we celebrate the wonder and joy delivered by Phil Thornalley by way of the lovingly-rendered songs on Astral Drive. Prepare for one of those very special experiences that only great melodic pop music can provide.
Don’t miss producer-songwriter Phil Thornalley talking with me this Wednesday night at 9 pm ET on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. I believe this is a shining highlight of this year’s crop of shows–one you won’t want to miss.
While you’re scribbling down a reminder to listen to this week’s all-new edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, why not add a note to dig the scene on Thursday night at 8 pm ET, when the 55th Pop Tunes Deejay Show airs, with lots of new and new-to-you songs from Astral Drive, Wilkerson, Blaine Campbell, Peter Holsapple, Lannie Flowers, Arthur Alexander, the Davenports, Dave Sheinin, Ian Thompson, Tom Guerra, Lisa Mychols, Starbelly, Zuider Zee, and classics from Andrew Gold, Paul McCartney, and the Spongetones. You won’t to miss this hour-long spin, punctuated by spirited and snappy deejay patter from yours truly. And who wouldn’t want to enjoy a spot of spirited and snappy deejay patter?
There’s this week’s nighttime listening sorted, then. Don’t miss a minute!
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