By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio
Fans of 1970s Todd Rundgren will thoroughly enjoy my in-depth interview with Astral Drive’s Phil Tornalley, which aired June 6 on 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. Astral Drive, the album, being released on July 6 by Lojinx, is nothing less than one of the best albums of the year.
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.
Within Astral Drive’s catchy, Rundgren-esque grooves, Thornalley celebrates the sound of Rundgren’s ’70s work with 11 original compositions. Standout songs like the album’s first single, the infectious, ultra-catchy and so-much-fun-to-listen-to “Summer of ’76” (watch the official lyric video below) might as well come with a singalong module; the songs 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 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, which began with Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” Thornalley talked about, and we played, 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, Thornalley charted the path that “Torn” took prior to being recorded by Imbruglia.
Help celebrate the wonder and joy delivered by Phil Thornalley by way of the lovingly-rendered songs on Astral Drive by listening to this very special episode of In Conversation. Prepare for one of those very special experiences that only great melodic pop music can provide.
Listen to my interview with Astral Drive’s Phil Thornalley from the June 6 edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)
Listen to a wide selection of previously-aired Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews by clicking here.
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