Monday, August 31, 2020

Shaun Cassidy and Todd Rundgren team up for 1980's most unusual album

Shaun Cassidy : Rebel Rebel

On September 1, 1980 Shaun Cassidy released Wasp, one of the most unusual albums of 1980, because it was produced by Todd Rundgren whose band Utopia performed on the songs. Six of the tracks are covers including the single, David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel". 

Cassidy told Trouser Press Rundgren selected most of the songs.

I'd been listening to rock n roll ever since I can remember; "Da Do Ron Ron" (his US#1 hit) was the first single I ever bought...I had enjoyed the album Todd did for Grand Funk, but I really wasn't familiar with what he had been doing with Utopia. Todd gave me a list of records to familiarize myself with --some of them great, some of them terrible, but all material he thought I should know.

I enjoy Elvis Costello more than I used to. The B-52's are real dumb...I like that

Overall my attitude toward music has changed. I used to haver to like the songs or the way the performer would sing. Now, I'm more interested in commitment. I like Tom Petty's work a lot. Bruce Springsteen, too, though he seems to be in a bit of a rut.

David Cassidy's younger brother's own career was in a bit of a rut . His previous album failed to chart. So Shaun followed Rundgren's suggestions, recording covers of The Who's "So Sad About Us" The Four Tops' "Shake Me Wake Me (When It's Over)", The Animals' "It's My Life", and Talking Heads' "The Book I Read". The latter is especially egregious.

Rundgren also offered up some of his own originals including the title track. Hard to imagine what a young fan might have thought of this album. Wasp failed to chart , bringing he 21 year old singer's musical career pretty much to an end.

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