Todd Rundgren’s Hidden Gems! Espresso! Umbrellas! Todd’s Secret Songs!

Time To Shed Some Light On “Hidden Todd”!

To celebrate Todd’s fantastic new “White Knight” release, I wanted to look at some of Todd’s greatest “hidden” music. There are nights when you just need to put on some classic Todd Rundgren albums…and a “hidden gem” pops up every time!

Todd_Rundgren's greatest songs

I want to share my list of Todd’s hidden gems – great songs that aren’t as well known as his hit songs – and therefore don’t get played as much – and since there are SO many of them, it’s easy to put together my own CD of:

“Todd’s Hidden Gems – Album Track Greatest Hits!”

Todd Rundgren fans

First and foremost – THANK YOU to Todd – and all of his fans, who have both posted music videos online, as well as videos of Todd in concert – these classic performances will live on for fans to enjoy forever!

Todd Rundgren's best songs

I have posted links to every song I feature. The clips are all from youtube, and I try to thank the folks who posted them there for us, but if you click on the link, make sure to leave a comment and let everyone know how much their Todd passion is appreciated!

Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall musical performance

Let’s get started with these “hidden gems”, lesser-known Todd music that is still among his very best – just like this outfit!


Where Does The Time Go?

You could ask that question looking back at the entire body of Todd’s work: so many classics, but there were also some great music that was almost never released!

Let’s start with this little-heard Todd classic that was never included on a regular Todd was finally included on the “One Long Year” album, which was a compilation of songs originally released on Todd’s website…here is a great live version:

“Where Does The Time Go” – from Hermits of Mink Halloween at RundgrenRadio’s PaRRty in IKRON

Todd Rundgren music

“Where Does The Time Go?” is a great, upbeat pop song that fits perfectly among his best hits…and here is a song that WAS released – but had the misfortune of being on Todd’s biggest selling album ever – “Something / Anything” – so it never became the hit single it deserved to be…

The Night The Carousel Burned Down

It’s a gorgeous song that is forgotten because it’s on an album full of amazing Todd standards like “Hello, It’s Me”, “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference”, “I Saw The Light”…well, the entire two album set!

Here now is a video shared on YouTube by qwerty2009ful:

Todd Rundgren in 1973


Next up is one of my favorite Todd songs: from “Arena” – a bombastic beginning that flows into one of his most hauntingly beautiful choruses…this youtube clip begins with a short interview with Todd, where he explains the blending of the two different sounds on the song…

Todd Rundgren greatest hits

I really wish Todd would do an acoustic version of this song – it would be one of his most beautiful ballads ever…I have another example of this to share later – since Todd is always playing with his songs, but first, here’s another rarity for you:

Umbrella Man

Here’s another hidden gem – never officially released, although now you can find it on various outtakes and rarities packages like I did…this is another beautiful ballad…


I’ve leaned a bit toward ballads so far, but these are the songs that just continue to resonate for me, and they are largely forgotten…

“Parallel Lines!”

I admit that “Parallel Lines” got some airplay at the time, but to me it’s another beautiful hit single that wasn’t – this is of course from Todd’s “Nearly Human” album…

Here’s an amazing live version of the song when Todd appeared on the October 29, 1989 episode of the short-lived music television show “Night Music.” It’s performed with just a piano accompaniment for the first half….


“Nearly Human” is a masterpiece, and I listen to it on an ongoing basis – here is a look at it track-by-track:

I love the story that Todd tells about his “Up Against It!” project before he performs on that music video, by the way. Now, here’s a song that was played a bit when it was first released as well, but has, for me, gained even more stature over time as one of Todd’s best ballads:

Don’t Hurt Yourself

“The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect” was Todd Rundgren’s tenth studio album, released in 1982. The album was well-received by critics AND fans, and Todd had an unexpected hit with the song “Bang the Drum All Day”.

The album was also his last official release on Bearsville Records. This clip is basically an audio file with a shot of the album cover…a brilliant album!


Todd performs this live with the Metropole Orchestra as the added on bonus disc with “STATE” import – a gorgeous live version, and the entire live Metropole performance is great!

Here is a track-by-track look at the “Tortured” album:

Some of Todd’s longer songs were never meant to be hit singles, but still have amazing melodies…”The Verb To Love” is a great example of that, and so is this song:

Todd Rundgren fan store

God Said

Todd has always been interested in spirituality, of course, and I just love the conversation he carries on in this song. Here is a terrific montage from Todd’s performance with that same Metropole Orchestra…

Todd Rundgren classic rock

And now, what I consider to be the biggest hit single that Todd NEVER HAD:

Espresso ( All Jacked Up)

This song rocks! Catchy, upbeat, with a killer hook – how did this not hit #1? This version was recorded on August 10, 2013 at Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY – posted by Larry Ruiz. It begins with a fun bit of Todd talking, and notice Kasim behind him trying to get more sound from his guitar…

Todd Rundgren

I love that song…speaking of songs to love, here’s another gorgeous ballad, originally performed acapella by Todd:

Pretending To Care

This song really showcases Todd’s voice – here is “Pretending To Care” live, recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo London, 2005. Todd’s voice sounds great on this song. Posted by “rundgrenfan”.

Todd Rundgren fan club

Now, here is possibly my favorite Todd chorus of all – a gorgeous “wall of sound” from “Hermit Of Mink Hollow”:

Fade Away

“Fade Away” is the beautiful finale to his masterpiece “Hermit Of Mink Hollow.” The song is mid-tempo on the album, but here is Todd’s gorgeous, slowed down performance with the Metropole Orchestra in Amsterdam….the song starts as a ballad…

Todd Rundgren with ETHEL. Courtesy photo

With that, here is my album of:

“Todd’s Hidden Gems!”

Where Does The Time Go?
The Night The Carousel Burned Down
Umbrella Man
Parallel Lines
Don’t Hurt Yourself
God Said
Espresso (All Jacked Up)
Pretending To Care
Fade Away

All of these songs are, to me, among the best of his work!

And here’s an album worth listening to in its entirety:

Todd Rundgren Initiation

See my track-by-track look at “Initiation” here:

Kudos once again to Todd! Let me know what you think!

Todd Rundgren in 1973

Categories: Awards, Books / Media, documentary films, Music, New York, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Uncategorized

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12 replies

  1. Great list. Mine would include “Woman’s World”, “Mountaintop”, and “Wailing Wall”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What about Frogs?


  3. I agree that “Where Does The Time Go?” is an INCREDIBLE song that should’ve been a hit. It’s a crime. In fact, you and I have very similar tastes and my imaginary album would hew very close to yours. However, there is one small matter we need to discuss — “Umbrella Man”. There are TWO different versions of this song! Even though Todd wrote it, he had Kasim sing it on the version that appeared as the b-side to the Utopia single, “Set Me Free”. Todd took the lead vocal on another version (likely the same or similar backing track) and that’s the one that eventually showed up on the “Demos and Lost Albums” Japanese compilation. But the one most people know is Kaz’s lead vocal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A big thank you from The Hermits of Mink Halloween for including us on your page. 🙂


  5. great post. my tr tastes seem to very much mimic yours. having seen him 30ish times, i have often pondered what my dream set list would be, if i could only choose songs i h a v e n ‘ t ever heard in person. so here are 25 must-hears. 1. The Night The Carousel Burnt Down 2. I’m Looking At You But I’m Talking To Myself 3. Warm (from New Cars It’s Alive) 4. Slut 5. There Goes Your Baybay 6. Put Your Arms Around Me (runddans) 7. Crybaby 8. Weakness 9. Something From Nothing 10. Only Human 11. Where Does The Time Go 12. If I Didn’t Try 13. Fair Warning 14. Chapter and Verse. 15. Fade Away 16. My Angel (w/Kasim) 17. Last of New Wave Riders (w/Kasim 18. Say Yeah 19. Influenza 20. Sweeter Memories 21. Wailing Wall 22. All The Children Sing 23. Influenza 24. Don’t Hurt Yourself 25. Infrared & Ultraviolet (w/Kasim)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The best Todd Rundgren list / playlist of songs I’ve seen is at



  1. “Lego” Todd Rundgren! His Caffeinated Hit “Espresso” Gets “All Jacked Up!” | johnrieber
  2. Todd Rundgren Is “The Individualist!” Todd’s “No World Order!” “TR-i” – Todd Gets Interactive! | johnrieber
  3. Todd Rundgren’s “One Long Year!” Todd’s Experimental Music From The Dial-Up Era Of The “Worldwide Web”! – johnrieber

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