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TODD RUNDGREN

Crossover Prog • United States


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Todd Rundgren biography
Hailing from Upper Derby in Pennsylvania, Rundgren played in several bands in New Jersey and Philadelphia during the mid to late 60's including the blues based Woody's Truck Stop, before forming The Nazz, in 1967. Playing both guitar and bass, Rundgren unapologetically drew inspiration from UK bands such as The Move & The Yardbirds, and, in signing to SGC records, they released Nazz Nazz in 1969.

When the band split, Rundgren simultaneously went in to producing and engineering for Bearsville Records, while forming his own band 'Runt'; a vehicle for his own solo career, the eponymous debut for which he released in 1970, which included the Top 40 hit 'We Gotta Get You A Woman'. It was however his reputation for production which ironically gained momentum, engineering The Band & Jesse Winchester, before Badfinger's 'Straight Up' gave him the hit 'Baby Blue'.

This success enabled him to produce his own, critically acclaimed power pop-oriented double album, 'Something/ Anything?' in 1972, upon which he played every instrument. With the door to success opening to him, he spurned it with future releases, such as 1973's eclectic follow-up, A Wizard, A True Star, and 1974's more progressive Todd, which contained several lengthy, experimental instrumentals. Rundgren's music was at its most progressive with his band Utopia (a band consisting of three keyboard players), which released Todd Rundgren's Utopia and Initiation in 1974 & 75 respectively, and Another Live, which showcased the bands experimental synthesiser work, with epics mostly over 10 minutes long.

During this period, his music addressed cosmic themes, a reflection of his strong interest in far Eastern religion and philosophy. It is this period of Rundgren's solo work, running parallel with 'Utopia' which will be of most interest to the progressive rock fan, as his music not only displayed psychedelic rock influences, but also the avant-garde Jazz Fusion of artists such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa. This was underlined by Rundgren's increasingly lavish, ambitious stage settings, which echoed the space-themed shows of acts like Funkedelic & Parliament.

Rundgren's 1976 album Faithful, saw him return to the rock/pop genre which has brought him some success in the early '70s, with a side of original songs, and a side of 60's covers, such as Good Vibrations. This continued with 1978's Hermit Of Mink Hollow, which produced the hit single, 'Can We Still Be friends' which wa...
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White KnightWhite Knight
Cleopatra 2017
Audio CD$8.00
$7.88 (used)
Very Best ofVery Best of
Rhino 1997
Audio CD$7.26
$3.37 (used)
Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the RidgefieldEvening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the Ridgefield
Purple Pyramid 2016
Audio CD$8.49
$12.56 (used)
For Lack Of Honest WorkFor Lack Of Honest Work
Import
Edsel 2017
Audio CD$10.62
$12.37 (used)
Something / Anything?Something / Anything?
Rhino 2008
Audio CD$16.30
$11.24 (used)
An Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the RidgefieldAn Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the Ridgefield
Purple Pyramid 2016
Blu-ray$7.70
$6.20 (used)
Initiation - Todd RundgrenInitiation - Todd Rundgren
Import
Edsel 2017
Audio CD$7.23
$8.85 (used)
GlobalGlobal
Esoteric Antenna 2015
Audio CD$10.74
$9.99 (used)
The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection (13CD)The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection (13CD)
Box set · Import
Bearsville 2016
Audio CD$35.68
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Todd Rundgren "Healing" LP in SHRINK USD $4.95 [0 bids]
Todd Rundgren "The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect" LP in SHRINK USD $4.95 [0 bids]
TODD RUNDGREN Hermit Of Mink Hollow LP Bearsville BRK 6981 US 1978 VG++ USD $2.00 [0 bids]
LP LOT Hawkwind PINK FLOYD Crack The Sky YES Focus RUSH Todd Rundgren JEFF BECK USD $31.00 [6 bids]
''Hello It's Me'' by Todd Rundgren, 45 RPM (c) 1972 (Bx04-058) USD $1.99 [0 bids]
Todd Rundgren double record album Back to the Bars USD $9.95 Buy It Now
1978 Bearsville Records BRK 6981 Todd Rundgren "Hermit of Milk Hollow" Used USD $8.00 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN A WIZARD A TRUE STAR RARE ORIGINAL LP VG UNIQUELY SHAPED COVER USD $4.99 [0 bids]
TODD RUNDGREN THE EVER POPULAR TORTURED ARTIST EFFECT LP ON BEARSVILLE RECORDS USD $6.01 Buy It Now 37m
TODD RUNDGREN & Hello People, RARE "Collector's LP" **VINYL UNPLAYED!!** 1972 USD $12.95 Buy It Now 3h 30m
TODD RUNDGREN Back To The Bars 2CD Set. Brand New & Sealed. RARE USD $23.73 Buy It Now 3h 46m
TODD RUNDGREN- UTOPIA : Deface The Music -Poster Size NEWSPAPER ADVERT- 1980 USD $3.85 Buy It Now 4h 13m
Todd Rundgren, Hermit Of Mink Hollow, LP. 1978 Original VG+ Condition USD $5.80 Buy It Now 4h 20m
TODD RUNDGREN - Something - Anything - CD ** Brand New ** USD $32.95 Buy It Now 4h 50m
TODD RUNDGREN - No World Order - CD ** Like New - Mint ** USD $12.76 Buy It Now 5h 31m
'FLEET FOXES PRESENT' 2017 UK 'Uncut' Compilation Promo CD - Todd Rundgren, Neu USD $4.75 [0 bids]
5h 35m
Todd Rundgren - Singles JAPAN 2CD 1988 VDP-9029~30 JPY4800 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 6h 21m
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Todd Rundgren - No World Order (2011) 2CD BOX SET REMASTERED USD $5.07 Buy It Now 6h 50m
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect Todd Rundgren 2013 Audiophile Vinyl LP USD $8.00 Buy It Now 7h 43m
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Todd Rundgren Initiation 1975 Warner Sterling 1st Press EXC Ultrasonic CLEAN USD $14.40 Buy It Now 7h 47m
Todd Rundgren ?- Nearly Human (CD, Warner, 1999) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 8h 8m
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Back to the Bars Todd Rundgren Vinyl Record USD $23.04 Buy It Now 8h 42m
Todd Rundgren's Utopia Utopia Vinyl Record USD $24.32 Buy It Now 8h 42m
RINGO STARR (Beatles) Live from Montreux 1993 CD Dave Edmunds, Todd Rundgren USD $3.99 [1 bids]
9h 9m
Todd Rundgren Single "Marlene" "i Saw The Light" USD $10.00 Buy It Now 9h 54m
Todd Rundgren "The Ballad of Todd Rundgren" LP USD $4.95 [0 bids]
10h 29m
UTOPIA CD. OOPS WRONG PLANET..TODD RUNDGREN USD $6.37 Buy It Now 10h 33m
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10h 56m
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10h 59m
TODD RUNDGREN BACK TO THE BARS DOUBLE LIVE VINYL LP ALBUM NM- USD $9.99 Buy It Now 11h 7m
Utopia - Oblivion LP 1983 Todd Rundgren USD $9.63 Buy It Now 11h 12m
Utopia - Adventures In Utopia LP 1980 Todd Rundgren USD $9.63 Buy It Now 11h 20m
UTOPIA Swing To The Right [Vinyl LP] Bearsville Todd Rundgren USD $4.00 Buy It Now 11h 25m
Todd Rundgren - Something / Anything [New CD] USD $18.46 Buy It Now 11h 38m
TODD RUNDGREN Back To the Bars 1978 Bearsville GF DBL LP 2BRX 6986 EXC w/sleeves USD $8.50 Buy It Now 11h 41m
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TODD RUNDGREN "A DREAM GOES ON FOREVER / HEAVY METAL KIDS" 45 USD $3.75 Buy It Now 13h 20m
TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA and SWING TO THE RIGHT. USD $6.00 [0 bids]
13h 58m
TODD RUNDGREN "BACK TO THE BARS" ULTRA-RARE ORIGINAL WLP PROMO 2LPS W/OBI! USD $99.99 Buy It Now 13h 58m
TODD RUNDGREN -INITIATION rock LP USD $8.98 Buy It Now 14h 45m
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USD $38.88 Buy It Now
15h 5m
TODD RUNDGREN Hermit of Mink Hollow +inner sleeve BEARSVILLE 1978 UK press USD $11.54 Buy It Now 15h 11m
TODD RUNDGREN Healing '81 Bearsville w bonus 7" single + hype sticker SEALED USD $20.00 Buy It Now 15h 26m
TODD RUNDGREN - BACK TO THE BARS (1978) - 2 RECORD SET - 2B RX 6986 LP VG+/EX- USD $12.99 Buy It Now 15h 38m
Jim Steinman Bad for Good vinyl lp 1981 used Todd Rundgren Max Weinberg R Corben USD $9.99 [0 bids]
15h 41m
UTOPIA Oblivion cassette tape NEW Todd Rundgren 1984 Roger Powell USD $19.99 Buy It Now 15h 44m
THE RUBINOOS Party of Two Todd Rundgren Kasim Sultan Utopia EP LP USD $7.97 Buy It Now 16h 22m
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Todd Rundgren Hermit Of Mink Hollow Vinyl LP Record Album USD $12.99 Buy It Now 17h 15m
Todd Rundgren Initiation Vinyl LP Record Album USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17h 15m
Todd Rundgren's Utopia -Self Titled -Free UK Post USD $17.45 Buy It Now 17h 26m
Todd Rundgren - Faithful (Sealed CD) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 17h 28m
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Todd Rundgren's Utopia - Live At Hammersmith 1975 (2012 UK Sealed CD) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 17h 29m
THE RUBINOOS "Party of Two" Todd Rundgren Utopia "If I Had You Back" - MINT LP USD $7.95 Buy It Now 17h 44m
Todd Rundgren - Something / Anything [2 CD Set] HTF - 25 TR - VG USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17h 58m
Nazz Open My Eyes b/w Hello It's Me strong VG/VG 60s psych rock Todd Rundgren USD $7.99 Buy It Now 18h
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TODD RUNDGREN ''BACK TO THE BARS" GATEFOLD DOUBLE LP 1978 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 18h 57m
70s ROCK LIVE DOUBLE LP - TODD RUNDGREN - BEARSVILLE 6986 - "BACK TO THR BARS" USD $8.00 Buy It Now 19h
TODD RUNDGREN: Runt LP BEARSVILLE RECORDS A10105 US 1971 VG++   USD $13.59 Buy It Now 19h 14m
THE BEST OF TODD RUNDGREN VICP-60254 JAPAN CD OBI C-2918 USD $2.99 [0 bids]
19h 30m
TODD RUNDGREN - TODD [DIGIPAK] (NEW CD) USD $10.82 Buy It Now 19h 30m
TODD RUNDGREN: Runt LP BEARSVILLE RECORDS A10105 US 1971 NM USD $11.99 Buy It Now 19h 36m
TODD RUNDGREN Initiation RARE 8 Track Tape With Slipcase USD $42.88 Buy It Now 19h 49m
TODD RUNDGREN A Wizard A True Star LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG GF Lyric Sleeve BR 2133 USD $17.99 Buy It Now 19h 58m
TODD RUNDGREN Todd Dbl LP Vinyl VG++ Cover VG+ 1974 2BR 6952 USD $17.99 Buy It Now 19h 58m
TODD RUNDGREN UTOPIA Another Live LP Vinyl VG insert 1975 BR 6961 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 58m
TODD RUNDGREN Initiation LP Vinyl VG+ Cover VG+ Lyrics Sleeve 1975 BR 6957 USD $10.99 Buy It Now 19h 58m
TODD RUNDGREN Japan 1985 NM LP+Obi A CAPPELLA USD $79.99 Buy It Now 20h 16m
Todd Rundgren record album Initiation USD $9.50 Buy It Now 20h 20m
Todd Rundgren "Faithful" GATEFOLD LP W/ ORIGINAL INNER SLEEVE USD $6.88 Buy It Now 20h 43m
UTOPIA (TODD RUNDGREN) s/t same EPC 25207 A1/B1 1st pressing uk 1982 LP PS EX/EX USD $11.54 Buy It Now 20h 52m
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Todd Rundgren's Utopia / Another Live -8 Track- Warner BEA M8 6961 Vintage Rock USD $14.95 Buy It Now 20h 59m
VINYL LP Todd Rundgren - Back To The Bars / 2LP / Bearsville USD $12.99 Buy It Now 21h 4m
VINYL LP Todd Rundgren - Healing Bearsville BHS 3522 Europadisk USD $12.99 Buy It Now 21h 4m
TODD RUNDGREN / Back to the Bars / 1978 ROXY LIVE 2 LPS / GATE FOLD / M-/NM USD $7.99 Buy It Now 21h 36m
Todd Rundgren - Time Heals/Tiny Demons - 1981 US 7" single USD $4.99 [0 bids]
21h 37m
2 Lot TODD RUNDGREN Progressive Rock Music Record Albums Wizard Star Initiation USD $18.00 Buy It Now 21h 43m
TODD RUNDGREN&EMIL NIKOLAISEN&LINDSTROM-RUNDDANS-JAPAN CD E25 USD $20.50 Buy It Now 21h 53m
Vintage Todd Rundgren's Utopia Another Live Vinyl Record LP BR 6961 USD $5.99 Buy It Now 22h 7m
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TODD RUNDGREN - THE EVER POPULAR TORTURED ARTIST EFFECT - BEARSVILLE LP RECORDS USD $8.97 Buy It Now 23h 54m
Utopia - Oblivion - Passport Records PB 6029 - 1983 Todd Rundgren LP USD $9.97 Buy It Now 1 day
Utopia - POV - Passport 6044 - Todd Rundgren -Original 1985 LP with inner sleeve USD $11.97 Buy It Now 1 day
TODD RUNDGREN - STATE CD NO MARKS OR SCRATCHES USD $6.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Todd Rundgren Faithful 1976 8-Track Tape USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day

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TODD RUNDGREN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TODD RUNDGREN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 39 ratings
Runt
1970
2.32 | 43 ratings
Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren
1971
3.28 | 69 ratings
Something/Anything?
1972
3.98 | 91 ratings
A Wizard, a True Star
1973
3.90 | 71 ratings
Todd
1974
3.77 | 65 ratings
Initiation
1975
2.88 | 40 ratings
Faithful
1976
3.11 | 37 ratings
Hermit of Mink Hollow
1978
2.98 | 30 ratings
Healing
1981
2.02 | 31 ratings
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
1983
2.51 | 26 ratings
A Cappella
1985
3.07 | 26 ratings
Nearly Human
1989
2.54 | 23 ratings
2nd Wind
1991
1.64 | 21 ratings
No World Order
1993
2.94 | 12 ratings
No World Order, Lite
1994
2.19 | 14 ratings
The Individualist
1995
2.71 | 9 ratings
With a Twist
1997
2.33 | 3 ratings
Up Against It
1998
2.16 | 12 ratings
One Long Year
2000
3.25 | 21 ratings
Liars
2004
2.85 | 18 ratings
Arena
2008
2.75 | 4 ratings
Todd Rundgren's Johnson
2011
1.67 | 3 ratings
(re)Production
2011
2.30 | 13 ratings
State
2013
2.60 | 5 ratings
Global
2015
3.00 | 3 ratings
Runddans (with Emil Nikolaisen & Hans-Peter Lindstrom)
2015
3.77 | 4 ratings
White Knight
2017

TODD RUNDGREN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 17 ratings
Back to the Bars
1978

TODD RUNDGREN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TODD RUNDGREN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.20 | 6 ratings
Anthology (1968 - 1985)
1989
3.08 | 5 ratings
The Very Best of Todd Rundgren
1997
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Todd Rundgren - Go Ahead. Ignore Me
1999
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Definitive Rock Collection
2006

TODD RUNDGREN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TODD RUNDGREN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Something/Anything? by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.28 | 69 ratings

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Something/Anything?
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Progfan97402

3 stars I really couldn't see the fuss on this album. It's the same feeling I have for the Beatles' White Album. It would have served much better as a single LP as there's too much messing about for a consistent release. "I Saw the Light" and the remake of the old Nazz song from 1968, "Hello, It's Me" were the big hits on this album, the latter having a faster pace than the '68 original. The best stuff is when he takes creative twists to the songs, like "The Night The Carosel Burned Down", the instrumental "Breathless" and "Song of the Viking". "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" is a piano-oriented ballad, but I simply don't care for it, although it sounded like it could become an AM hit at the time. "Hello, It's Me" was originally recorded by Todd's old band, The Nazz, and of course it's the remade version that everyone's familiar with, and I have always enjoyed this song, even when heard on the radio. I hadn't heard this album in years, but I remembered that, for every brilliant song was a song that I could do without. I obviously didn't expect something full-on prog like Utopia's debut, that would be ridiculous. To me, I found A Wizard, a True Star an improvement (although I could do without the medley of soul ballads, as most others can agree on). Certainly Something/Anything is quite diverse but it's really hit or miss, so three stars, it is.
 White Knight by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.77 | 4 ratings

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White Knight
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by cartwing

4 stars the last good or just acceptable Album I heard from Todd was the - to my opinion underrated album "Second wind". I was a fan before I found my way to the world of prog, but I wouldnt describe any of his albums as progressive rock ´with two exceptions. "Initiation" and the first "Utopia" album. So this new album is as far away from anything similar to prog as you can imagiine. BUT it is in fact the first album I could listen to from the beginning to the end without pushing the red button. After "Todd Rundgren and friends" this is another album on which he works together with big names such as Daryl Hall or Donald Fagen. Some good tracks on this one even when you compare it with the last few albums. different Music styles are mixed together here but thats just what makes it special. I guess it deserves 4 stars just for the fact that it is real music again...
 Healing by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.98 | 30 ratings

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Healing
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by CassandraLeo

4 stars It's a bit beyond me why this album has been so overlooked in Rundgren's catalogue. The album is certainly a product of its time, which means that anyone who doesn't like the sound of '80s synthesizers won't find much to enjoy here. It's also true that, because the songs are a bit more low-key than Rundgren's usual fare, they aren't as immediately catchy as many parts of his catalogue are. However, it's unique in Rundgren's catalogue and, as far as I can ascertain, the whole canon of recorded music.

Rundgren eases you into the album with straightforward synth-pop songs, and the last two songs on the CD version are also straightforward synth-pop (they are included as a separate 7" single on the vinyl, which I will discuss later). However, the midsection of the album - "Shine" and the title track - is an effective fusion of synth-pop and progressive rock, and I haven't heard anything else like them. Perhaps someone like Mike Oldfield was attempting similar material at the time, but there's an atmosphere here that's somewhat different from that of Oldfield's work.

I think part of the reason this album often gets overlooked is because it demands too much patience from listeners who are expecting simple pop songs, but it also contrasts with the flashy showmanship of Rundgren's mid- seventies material. "Healing" runs for twenty minutes, and while it's far from a straightforward verse-chorus-bridge pop song (the song is divided into three tracks because they are discrete parts of the work, not merely for ease of CD navigation), it also doesn't rely on displays of instrumental virtuosity like the best of Utopia's material and Rundgren's mid-'70s solo work did. But that's not the point - the point is to take the listener on an elaborate, emotional musical journey that simply wouldn't have been possible in the form of a three-minute pop song.

The title track is clearly going to get the most attention here, though "Shine" may actually hew closer to what is generally expected of prog - it has a more complex arrangement and is closer to, well, rock music. Along with the title track, it is a highlight of the album. The remaining songs are very good pop compositions, though. For me, the standouts among these are "Flesh", which details Rundgren's thoughts on human institutions such as the law, "Compassion", about exactly what its title specifies, and the final two tracks, "Time Heals" and "Tiny Demons".

Rundgren placed these last two songs on a separate 7" single with the vinyl edition of the album, despite the fact that the single combined with the album's B-side (total length 26:40) is actually shorter than the album's A-side (27:08). While this could have been done for reasons of audio fidelity, Rundgren has never been one to shy away from lengthy album sides (the A-side and B-side of Initiation, infamously, run for 32:08 and 35:20 respectively, making it one of the longest single LPs ever released), so it was more likely done to emphasise that they are intended to be considered separately from the title track. They do feel somewhat different in tone from the rest of the album, but I almost always play them after the B-side regardless. "Time Heals" is probably the catchiest song on the entire album, and "Tiny Demons" is a beautiful, subdued ballad that was used on Miami Vice, a TV series often noted for making superb music choices.

Overall, not everyone will love this album, and it demands a lot of patience from the listener before it begins to deliver its gifts. However, it's one of my favourite works Rundgren has released, and I find it comforting in a way that few other musical works can manage. I'm going to give it four stars for my review here because not everything here can be properly considered to be progressive rock, but if I were rating purely on the basis of music quality, I'd award it five stars without hesitation.

 The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.02 | 31 ratings

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The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Bang on a Drum while you listen to this.

Made solely to complete a record contract he had with Bearsville (which later went bankrupt), this album sees Todd toss off the throwaway pop tunes as quickly as he could. It is mostly uninspired. Perhaps it was when he was feeling the pressure himself that he came up with the anthem-like chant here, "Bang the Drum All Day". Very likely a joke song for him, it is the one track on this album really worth hearing. The song "Drive" is OK too, although not a sufficient draw to make this album worth purchasing. On the whole the songs are not too too bad, but they are not sufficiently interesting or memorable. Mostly just blah. I give this album 3.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to low 2 PA stars. But that one hit makes me want to go play the drums all day...

 Hermit of Mink Hollow by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.11 | 37 ratings

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Hermit of Mink Hollow
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars The Best post-Wizard Solo Studio Album.

Here, Rundgren continues with the kind of short, thoughtful, and well-crafted songs that he put on side 2 of Faithful, but writes generally stronger material. Indeed, this album contains some of Rundgren's better lyrics. It is intelligent and accessible, but not overly-poppy. This is often considered his best solo album by mainstream critics, but of course, they are less likely to be able to sit through Wizard. I agree that this is one of his best solo albums, more consistent than either Faithful, Something/Anything, or (especially) Todd, and better than most of his solo work that would come afterwards. But it is also clear that his energy for creating innovative new forms of music - so evident on Wizard and TR's Utopia - had waned. This is not in the same league at all as Wizard. But I like it better than Something/Anything. Thankfully, all the songs are decent, and one can listen to this album all the way through without having to hit skip. The songs on Side 2 are particularly good ("Bread", "Bag Lady", "Lucky Guy") and on this album Rundgren lyrics contain social commentary and a more mature adult outlook. So, recommended. I give this album 7.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 3 PA stars.

 Faithful by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.88 | 40 ratings

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Faithful
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Side 2 OK, but a pointless 'concept' Side 1.

The title of this album refers to the fact that Rundgren chose to record cover versions of some of his favourite rock songs, and to be as faithful to the originals as possible. This he does no side 1, with cover versions of the Beach Boys ("Good Vibrations"), the Beatles ("Rain", "Strawberry Fields"), Bob Dylan ("Most Likely Go Your Way...") and Hendrix ("If 6 Was 9") among others. While Rundgren shows he can do an amazing job of copying some of the vintage sounds, what is the point? Why would we want to listen to these versions? Don't get me wrong - I support artists making cover versions of classic songs - but I am most interested in hearing where they take the song that is different from the originals, turning into something new and different. That is the art in covering and interpreting other's music. I don't know why he thought we would want to listen to him being faithful to the originals.

However, side 2 is different, with 6 original Rundgren songs. One of these, "Love of the Common Man" is a Rundgren classic, and up there with the best Rundgren songs. "Black and White" and "The Verb to Love" are also decent, although pretty poppy and not that progressive. The last piece, "Boogies", has some good guitar playing, but sounds like filler. (But isn't all of side 1 filler?). I am not sure why Rundgren didn't just record a full album of originals. As it turns out, there are only a few original songs making one want to get this album. The general quality is not low, per se, but most of it is simply pointless. I give this album 4.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 2 PA stars. Really, only for fans (and even then, mostly for the excellent "Love of the Common Man").

 Initiation by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.77 | 65 ratings

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Initiation
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Some Gems, but what happened to that epic?

This album is quite different on each side. On side 1 you have individual songs, some of which are excellent Rundgren radio-friendly songs ("Real Man") and some which are excellent Utopia-like progressive rock pieces ("Initiation" and "Fair Warning"). Even "Born to Synthesize", his synth experiment on this album, is decent and listenable. The second side seems to me to be a case of Rundgren losing steam. It is a 36-minute long song, but not one like The Ikon (from TR's Utopia) with a full band and guitar solos, etc, but instead just Todd on synthesizers and no vocals. It seems to me from listening to this, that Rundgren had intended to write another 30-minute progressive rock epic, like The Ikon, and this track is his sketching out of the piece in the studio. But somewhere along the way, he lost energy and/or interest in turning this into a progressive rock epic, and so just released the sketch he did largely with just the synths, and without writing the vocals. As such, it feels unfinished. There are some decent parts - it really could have been a great composition! But it is also clear it was intended to have vocals - there are sections where the chord changes are begging for a vocal overlay, which never came. After this album, Rundgren went back to writing only short songs. I think it was during this album that he found he just didn't have the energy needed to create another epic - it is the point at which you can see the huge potential Rundgren displayed in writing 'Todd Rundgren's Utopia' (the first Utopia album) and the great 'A Wizard A True Star' dissipate. From this point on, Rundgren would become a craftman of quality rock/pop. This album still has hints of Rundgren's innovative and progressive potential, but it is a potential that remained largely unrealized (except for the three great songs on side one). I give this 5.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to low 3 PA stars.

 Todd by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.90 | 71 ratings

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Todd
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars A Failed Experiment. Should also have been a single album.

While Wizard saw Rundgren takes risks that paid off hugely, Todd largely falls flat. It is full of short synth instrumentals and experiments that only sometimes work, and which disrupt the flow of the real music so much that it is very difficult to listen to this album all the way through. There are some gems here, but they are a minority, and are scattered in such a way that one needs to hit skip all the time. "A Dream Goes on Forever" is classic Rundgren, and was the single from this album, very nice (if poppy) song. "Heavy Metal Kids" and "Sons of 1984" are important Rundgren songs that were played live by his band (both solo bands and later Utopia), although I don't think either is that musical. However, there is one amazing 10/10 song here: "The Last Ride". This is a fantastic rock tune, not really progressive but it has a great, classic, guitar solo, among Rundgren's top five songs. Other than this, the picking are rather slim. I give this album 3.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to lower 2 PA stars. Other than "The Last Ride", only for fans.

 A Wizard, a True Star by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.98 | 91 ratings

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A Wizard, a True Star
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars His Best Solo Album, although not as good as the first Utopia album.

It is amazing to think this was made right after 'Something/Anything'. While the latter is light and poppy (and yet also too long!), 'Wizard' is innovative, provocative, soulful, counter-cultural. Made around the same time as the first Utopia album, this album also features Moogy Klingman on keys. The two albums are complementary, yet totally different. While TR's Utopia is a symphony of highly complex, virtuoso but beautiful music all flowing together perfectly, Wizard involves a collage of short and often whimsical fragments thrown together in order to disrupt and provoke, often with humour. Utopia is by far the higher achievement, and a far more musical album. But Wizard also deserves special recognition, as only on some of Zappa's earlier albums (eg "We're Only In It...") does this kind of collage work so well. The first side starts and ends with "International Feel", which clearly shows its lineage to the music on Utopia, with very short snippets filling the space between them, some great, some that don't work so well as music, but all of which maintain the collage momentum. The second side contains longer and more soulful pieces, some of which seaugue or collage, others which stand on their own. The hit from this album, "Sometimes I don't know what to Feel" is a great Rundgren soul tune. But the real standout here is "Just One Victory", probably Rundgren's best solo song, and often played live by Utopia later on. In between, Rundgren has a few humourous but good-quality tunes, such as "Hungry for Love" and "Is It My Name?", and a four-part medley of some of his favourite soul pieces (one of which - "Cool Jerk" - Rundgren put into 7/8 time instead of 4/4). While the musicality is up and down on this album, it is Rundgren's most inventive, and contains some of his best solo songs. I give it 8.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is on the higher end of 4 PA stars.

 Something/Anything? by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.28 | 69 ratings

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Something/Anything?
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Should have been a single album.

While I normally support putting out more, rather than less, music, if just because what the record companies think is worth selling is often inferior to the experimental or marginal tunes many artists come up with, I take the opposite argument with many Rundgren double-albums. This album epitomizes the issue (and 'Todd' is even worse!). Released as a double album, it contains a lot of filler that after a few listens becomes unlistenable. However, there IS some good music on this album (and others), if you are willing to wade through it. Indeed, I find there is about one single-album's worth of good tunes on this. His single "Saw the Light" is, well, light but good, as are the fluffier poppier tunes of "It wouldn't have made any difference" and his remake of "Hello its me". Other notables include "Wolfman Jack", "Sweeter Memories", "Black Maria", "The Night the Carousel burnt down", and the closers "You Left me Sore" and "Slut". Even with just these tunes - making up a single album - the quality is just 'good'. It is mostly light pop - high quality at times - but nothing to write home about. I give this album 5.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is at the low end of 3 PA stars. Much better albums would be forthcoming after this one.

Thanks to Fandango for the artist addition.

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