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TODD RUNDGREN

Crossover Prog • United States


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Todd Rundgren biography
Todd Harry Rundgren - Born June 22, 1948 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, U.S.

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 ...
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Buy TODD RUNDGREN Music


Very Best ofVery Best of
Rhino 1997
$7.79
$2.78 (used)
The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection (13CD)The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection (13CD)
Box set
Bearsville 2016
$39.22
$130.16 (used)
White KnightWhite Knight
Cleopatra 2017
$8.60
$8.50 (used)
All Sides Of The Roxy: May 1978All Sides Of The Roxy: May 1978
Box set
Esoteric 2018
$17.42
$17.41 (used)
Anthology 1968-85Anthology 1968-85
Compilation
Rhino 1990
$49.97
$3.18 (used)
Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the RidgefieldEvening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the Ridgefield
Purple Pyramid 2016
$9.98
$9.97 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
The Pursuit Of Happiness ?"Love Junk" CD Todd Rundgren "She's So Young" Rock USD $4.00 Buy It Now
Faithful [LP] by Todd Rundgren USD $3.38 [0 bids]
USD $6.20 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN Change Myself RARE EDIT PROMO Radio DJ CD Single 1991 procd4551 USD $11.99 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN Lot 3 promo CD singles Change Myself Public Servant Can't Stop Run USD $9.95 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN - A WIZARD, A TRUE STAR [PA] NEW CD USD $13.05 Buy It Now
*NEW* CD Album Todd Rundgren - Faithful (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $6.38 Buy It Now
*NEW* CD Album Todd Rundgren - Runt (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $6.38 Buy It Now
*NEW* CD Album Todd Rundgren - Runt: The Ballad Of (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $6.38 Buy It Now
*NEW* CD Album Todd Rundgren - Ever Popular Tortured (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $10.21 Buy It Now
*NEW* CD Album Todd Rundgren - HERMIT OF MINK HOLLOW (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $11.49 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Runt/ Hermit Of Mink Hollow 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) UK USD $24.59 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren ORIG OZ 2LP Back to the bars '78 NM Hard Rock Power Pop   USD $18.17 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Todd Rundgrens Johnson Live [CD] USD $16.06 Buy It Now
JIM STEINMAN bad for good US ORIGINAL LP + INNER Meatloaf Todd Rundgren NM USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Global [CD] USD $14.26 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Global [CD] USD $20.57 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Nearly Human Cassette BRAND NEW USD $4.90 Buy It Now
Utopia - Swing To The Right LP Todd Rundgren BRK 3666 Rare VG+ Condition USD $3.14 Buy It Now
Bonnie Tyler & Todd Rundgren - Loving You's A Dirty Job / same both sides PROMO USD $2.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Rare Hand Signed Vinyl Record Initiation Utopia Classic Rock + COA USD $99.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren No World Order - Lite USA CD album (CDLP) R271744 RHINO 1994 USD $13.41 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren The Very Best Of Todd Rundgren USA CD album (CDLP) R272811 RHINO USD $19.79 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren CD album (CDLP) Todd Rundgren & His Friends USA CLP1212-2 USD $17.23 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Reconstructed CD album (CDLP) USA CLP0935-2 CLEOPATRA USD $15.97 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Arena CD album (CDLP) UK COOKCD480 COOKING VINYL 2008 USD $19.79 Buy It Now
Redux '92: Live In Japan Utopia Todd Rundgren CD album (CDLP) German USD $22.35 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Official Bootleg: Live In N.Y.C '78 Japanese CD album (CDLP) USD $55.56 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Hello It's Me And My Friends CD album (CDLP) UK 250097 PINNACLE USD $18.51 Buy It Now
Utopia Official Bootleg: Live In Tokyo '79 Todd Rundgren JPN CD album (CDLP) USD $55.56 Buy It Now
No World Order Todd Rundgren CD album (CDLP) USA R271266 RHINO 1993 USD $15.96 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren 2 CD album (Double CD) Anthology: 1968-1985 USA R271491 RHINO USD $55.58 Buy It Now
The Individualist Todd Rundgren CD album (CDLP) Japanese PCCY-00720 USD $42.79 Buy It Now
2nd Wind Todd Rundgren German CD album (CDLP) 7599-26478-2 WARNER BROS 1991 USD $22.35 Buy It Now
The Individualist Todd Rundgren USA CD album (CDLP) DEE-6000 ION 1995 USD $18.53 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren CD album (CDLP) With A Twist UK 8598662 GUARDIAN/EMI 1997 USD $18.53 Buy It Now
A Wizard A True Star Todd Rundgren UK vinyl LP album record K45513 BEARSVILLE USD $44.65 Buy It Now
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist E... Todd Rundgren vinyl LP record GER USD $19.10 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Mated 7" vinyl single record UK YUM107 FOOD FOR THOUGHT 1985 USD $12.70 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - The Individualist [CD] USD $14.33 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN Faithful '76 Solo BEARSVILLE Prog Rock LP USD $5.00 Buy It Now
UTOPIA (TODD RUNDGREN) oops wrong planet (1st uk press) LP EX/EX K 55517 prog USD $22.33 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA + ANOTHER LIVE CD Lot Castle 1999 UK Imports - US Seller USD $38.99 Buy It Now
Utopia RA CD 1999 Castle UK Remaster OOP Todd Rundgren Kasim Sulton Great Shape USD $27.99 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN A Cappella P-13186 JAPAN LP w/OBI 016az24n USD $14.49 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN No World Order PCCY-00405 JAPAN CD w/OBI l862 USD $8.38 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Runt Rhino USA USD $8.93 [0 bids]
Todd Rundgren MFSL / 2 CD set Something/ Anything USD $35.00 [0 bids]
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% TODD RUNDGREN "A WIZARD/A TRUE STAR" VINYL LP GATEFOLD 1973 % USD $9.65 [3 bids]
TODD RUNDGREN/TODD RUNDGREN & UTOPIA - UTOPIA: LIVE AT THE FOX 1973 [SLIPCASE] U USD $11.00 Buy It Now
UTOPIA (TODD RUNDGREN) oops wrong planet (1st uk press) LP EX/EX K 55517 prog USD $22.00 Buy It Now
THE NAZZ Nazz Nazz TODD RUNDGREN German original HEAVY ACID PSYCH PROG CBS LP USD $24.27 [0 bids]
TODD RUNDGREN 1978LP Hermit of Mink Hollow Vintage Vinyl Can we still be Friends USD $5.00 Buy It Now
RUNDGREN,TODD-EVENING WITH TODD RUNDGREN-LIVE AT THE R (UK IMPORT) VINYL LP NEW USD $20.41 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren ?- Hello It's Me / Cold Morning Light 7" USA 1972 USD $2.54 [0 bids]
Todd Rundgren-Initiation/Faithful (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $10.29 Buy It Now 10s
Todd Rundgren-Hermit of Mink Hollow (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.45 Buy It Now 14s
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Todd Rundgren-2nd Wind (UK IMPORT) CD / Remastered Album NEW USD $17.90 Buy It Now 25s
TODD RUNDGREN RUNT LP AUDIOPHILE 180 GM MINT USD $29.37 Buy It Now 21m 48s
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Todd Rundgren Presents the Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect, ,Very Good, vin USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Todd Rundgren Something/Anything? Japan 1st 2CDs 1988 VDP-9023/4 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2h
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TODD RUNDGREN - LOVE OF THE COMMON MAN 7" VINYL USD $5.10 Buy It Now 3h 34m
TODD RUNDGREN Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect LP NM US VINYL STERLING 1ST PR USD $9.98 Buy It Now 3h 41m
TODD RUNDGREN. GLOBAL COMPACT DISC AND DVD. BOXSET USD $15.33 Buy It Now 3h 59m
Todd Rundgren Runt LP USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 6m
TODD RUNDGREN - BACK TO THE BARS - 1978 DOUBLE Vinyl LP RECORD - Hall and Oates USD $4.89 [0 bids]
USD $6.49 Buy It Now
4h 22m
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TODD RUNDGREN HELLO IT'S ME excellent+ 1972 UK VINYL 45 SINGLE USD $5.11 [0 bids]
4h 59m
TODD RUNDGREN I SAW THE LIGHT excellent+ 1972 UK VINYL 45 SINGLE USD $6.39 [0 bids]
5h
Todd Rundgren ?- Parallel Lines Promo CD Warner Bros. 1989 ?- PRO-CD-3632 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5h 2m
HERMIT 0F MINK H0LL0W, Todd Rundgren,Very Good, vinyl with cover art- VG/VG-age USD $12.99 Buy It Now 5h 7m
Adventures In Utopia - Todd Rundgren - Bearsville Records ILPS-9602 Ex Condition USD $10.72 Buy It Now 5h 11m
Nazz / Todd Rundgren - 45 RPM USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5h 23m
Todd Rundgren RUNT 1971 LP A - 10105 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 5h 49m
Jesse Winchester - Third Down, 110 to Go (Bearsville 2102) ('72) (Todd Rundgren USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5h 57m
TODD RUNDGREN LP ADVENTURES IN UTOPIA 1980 MINT STERLING PRESS USD $12.99 Buy It Now 6h 2m
TODD RUNDGREN Something / Anything 180g 2LP gatefold New Sealed Vinyl 2 LP USD $31.49 Buy It Now 6h 3m
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UTOPIA OBLIVION TODD RUNDGREN TEST PRESSING USD $39.99 [1 bids]
7h 14m
Todd Rundgren - All Sides Of The Roxy - May 1978 [CD] USD $24.57 Buy It Now 7h 17m
NAZZ M- III 3rd album Rhino RNLP 111 Todd Rundgren Mint minus 3 USD $24.95 Buy It Now 7h 30m
TODD RUNDGREN Healing USD $11.49 Buy It Now 7h 42m
2nd Wind by Todd Rundgren (Cassette, Jan-1991, Warner Bros.) USD $4.29 Buy It Now 7h 53m
Todd Rundgren - Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live [New CD] NTSC Format, UK - Import USD $10.40 Buy It Now 8h 2m
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TODD RUNDGREN "HELLO IT'S ME" POWER POP R&B POP ROCK RARE MEXICAN 7" EP 45RPM USD $16.00 [0 bids]
8h 45m
THE TUBES "Prime Time". 7" single, 1979, red vinyl, prod. by Todd Rundgren, mint USD $5.00 Buy It Now 8h 56m
TODD RUNDGREN FAITHFUL WARNER P-10185W Japan OBI VINYL LP USD $4.24 [3 bids]
9h 20m
TODD RUNDGREN INITIATION AND FAITHFUL 2 CD SET U.K IMPORT USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9h 33m

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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 | 42 ratings
Runt
1970
2.33 | 45 ratings
Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren
1971
3.28 | 72 ratings
Something/Anything?
1972
3.97 | 97 ratings
A Wizard, a True Star
1973
3.99 | 77 ratings
Todd
1974
3.84 | 73 ratings
Initiation
1975
2.90 | 43 ratings
Faithful
1976
3.10 | 41 ratings
Hermit of Mink Hollow
1978
3.01 | 36 ratings
Healing
1981
2.06 | 34 ratings
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
1983
2.51 | 28 ratings
A Cappella
1985
3.10 | 27 ratings
Nearly Human
1989
2.54 | 23 ratings
2nd Wind
1991
1.70 | 22 ratings
No World Order
1993
2.61 | 13 ratings
No World Order, Lite
1994
2.19 | 14 ratings
The Individualist
1995
2.86 | 9 ratings
With a Twist
1997
2.50 | 3 ratings
Up Against It
1998
2.16 | 12 ratings
One Long Year
2000
3.28 | 22 ratings
Liars
2004
2.89 | 18 ratings
Arena
2008
3.80 | 5 ratings
Todd Rundgren's Johnson
2011
3.00 | 4 ratings
(re)Production
2011
2.31 | 15 ratings
State
2013
2.60 | 5 ratings
Global
2015
3.05 | 4 ratings
Runddans (with Emil Nikolaisen & Hans-Peter Lindstrom)
2015
3.70 | 11 ratings
White Knight
2017

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

3.67 | 19 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
4.67 | 3 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
 No World Order, Lite by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.61 | 13 ratings

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No World Order, Lite
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Todd has never been afraid of experimenting in different genres, as he shows here.

No World Order was a gimmicky release designed to let te listener simulate certain aspects of engineering an album. Certainly this was an interesting idea, but the resulting tracks had an incomplete sound to them.

A year later, Todd released No World Order Lite, incorporating this material in a more traditional and more listenable format. Todd has significantly updated his sound. incorporating elements of rap and hip hop along with a ponderous array of studio manipulated sound. Rap. hip hop, excessively manipulated sound.... that pretty much sums up the low points of this album, and those low points are pervasive.

On the other hand, the actual songs (the ones that are really songs) show some glimmers of interest here and there. Yes, this album is forgettable, but parts of it are quite pleasant and nearly all of it is listenable. Two stars for this confusing mish mash that occasionally melds into coherence.

 Something/Anything? by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.28 | 72 ratings

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Something/Anything?
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

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
3.70 | 11 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
3.01 | 36 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
2.06 | 34 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
3.10 | 41 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
2.90 | 43 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
3.84 | 73 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
3.99 | 77 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
3.97 | 97 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.

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