Classic Hits & Oldies

Todd Rundgren on creating his “eclectic” new collaborative album ‘Space Force’

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Cleopatra Records

Todd Rundgren‘s long-delayed studio album Space Force, which features collaborations with a wide variety of artists, finally got its release Friday, October 14.

The 12-track collection includes contributions from Cheap Trick‘s Rick Nielsen, Steve Vai, Thomas Dolby, Crowded House‘s Neil Finn, ex-King Crimson singer/guitarist Adrian Belew, Weezer‘s Rivers Cuomo, Sparks and The Roots.

Space Force is a follow-up to Rundgren’s similarly collaborative 2017 album, White Knight, and he tells ABC Audio that new record differs from its predecessor in that most of the new song ideas originated from the artists he worked with rather than himself.

“[With] Space Force … I was putting much more of the responsibility for the material on my collaborators,” he explains. “I wanted them to germinate … the process, to seed it by giving me something of theirs that they had worked on but perhaps never finished.”

Not surprisingly, the album features songs influenced by various musical genres, including hard rock, prog rock, R&B, ska, rap and electronica.

“[It’s] almost like an anthology of different artists who might have been popular at a certain time. Although the artists that are on my record have varying degrees of popularity in different eras,” Rundgren explains. “So the flavor of the record is eclectic.”

Since much of Space Force was put together during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rundgren generally created the tunes remotely with his collaborators.

Todd says the “typical process” of working on a track for the album would be “me getting someone to send me something — often they would send me more than one thing, so I would have an option — and then me … applying my sensibilities to it to bring it into the realm of … an actual song that can be released.

Here’s Space Force‘s full track list:

“Puzzle” — with Adrian Belew
“Down with the Ship” — with Rivers Cuomo
“Artist in Residence” — with Neil Finn
“Godiva Girl” — with The Roots
“Your Fandango” — with Sparks
“Someday” — with Davey Lane
“I’m Not Your Dog” — with Thomas Dolby
“Espionage” — with Narcy
“STFU” — with Rick Nielsen
“Head in the Ocean” — with Alfie
“I’m Leaving” — with The Lemon Twigs
“Eco Warrior Goddess” — with Steve Vai

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