Saturday, January 19, 2013

10 great Todd Rundgren songs

I confess I was never a Rundgren fan until the mid-to-late 80's. Tall and gangly, he never really seemed cool; his fashion sense was often questionable (and sometimes still is...sorry Todd..)

I never really liked songs the songs I knew by him like "Can We Still Be Friends" and "Hello it's Me". I thought they were wimpy. ..Sounded like a guy begging. As a guy, you want to try to avoid being a beggar. The women might think it's pathetic.
 Of course this was all before I had really experienced and romantic angst and
In '85 I did really like "Something to Fall Back on" and in the late 80's a dude I worked with turned me on to a bunch of good Rundgren stuff as well as Utopia stuff. I finally "got it". I also learned of all the great production work he had done.
I would never claim to be a Rundgren expert like some of his dedicated fans are but here are some of his tunes I really dig.

"Faithful" was an odd concept. The first part was note-for note covers of Dylan, Beatles, Yardbirds, songs. The second half contained a few great originals

                                  "Love of the Common Man"


I don't think Utopia's "Swing to the Right" is a great album, but it did have a couple good songs.
My favorite is this one

                                       "Lysistrata" (live on Letterman)


from Utopia's 1982 excellent self-titled album

                 "There Goes my Inspiration"

"Nearly Human" was a great comeback for Todd. It featured members of Bourgeois Tagg (he had produced their last album)

                                         "Parallel Lines" (live 1989)


1985's "A Cappella" was very experimental in the sense that Todd sampled his voice to create all of the instrument sounds and played the samples back on synthesizers.

             still, "Something to Fall Back On" is pure pop.


                        from the same album "Johnee Jingo"

            Personally, I am sick of Rundgren's other big hit "Bang on the Drum All Day" but the album it is from is pretty good. Musically,  this one is not unlike some of the stuff the Cars were doing at the time.




                                 His 1981 "Healing" album has some great lyrics and digs deep.This one is a little more sarcastic and wry but still kinda sad underneath..

                                             "Golden Goose" (live)

                                                 also from "Healing"


I know he has other great ones, but i wanted to limit myself to 10!

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