Todd Rundgren “Healing!” Hypnotic Masterpiece! One Of The First MTV Music Videos!

Todd Rundgren Healing album

“Listen, listen
Listen to the voice,
The voice is an illusion
Listen to the voice,
Don’t let the words confuse you
’cause you need something to concentrate on,
Concentrate on me
You need something to meditate on,
Meditate on me”

Time To Meditate Some “Healing!”

In 1981, Todd Rundgren released one of his most spiritual albums ever – the haunting masterpiece “Healing”.

old grey whistle test todd rundgren

After a decade of pop hits and rock experimentation, Todd was in a contemplative mood. Here is how Todd described the album:

“I did the record as an experiment. If the record could be therapeutic if you actually consciously try to make it so. And uh, while it was therapeutic for me creating a texture of sound that was amenable to that idea, after the album came out, some people told me they thought the record actually had therapeutic value. Now I’m wondering whether it was the quality of the music, or because there is some audio suggestion in there, when you call a record, “Healing”.”

Todd Rundgren

“Healing”‘s “Therapeutic Value!”

As Todd said in the quote above, many people have found lots of therapeutic value in the album, especially the 3-part song “Healing” that takes up the entire second side of the album…

Todd Rundgren Healing album

Here are the opening lines of “Healing Pt. 2”:

“Where you are going
You cannot take your body
You are on a journey,
The baggage is too heavy

You can leave your legs behind you,
You will learn to fly
You can leave your arms behind you,
You will touch the sky”

Here’s a terrific live version of “Healing Pt. 1 and 2”:

Todd Rundgren Live Healing

That was “Healing” Live At The Mayo Center For The Performing Arts, Morristown, N.J. September 14, 2010 – thanks to “HarryRunt dans” for sharing this on youtube…

The album also includes the great single “Compassion”, one of Todd’s most beautiful ballads – here is a great live performance from 1990:

Todd Rundgren Live Compassion

“You want more, and still more, until you get more than you ever bargained for…”

“Compassion” is a beautiful song with compelling lyrics, and the album is full of great hooks and uplifting songs.

Here is how the album is described by Rhino Records, who re-released it:

“From a commercial standpoint, the singles from Healing didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but “Time Heals” was a top-20 hit on the Mainstream Rock chart, and “Compassion,” while not quite as successful, was a #48 MR hit. By coincidence, #48 is also what the album hit on the Billboard Top 200, so Rundgren clearly still had a fanbase.”

Healing Todd Rundgren

The back cover image of the album (artwork by Prairie Prince) shows the caduceus overlaid by a treble clef and a Qabalistic Tree of Life overlaid by a bass clef, reflecting Rundgren’s linking of his spirituality and music.

Time Heals Todd Rundgren

“Time Heals” MTV’s First Day On Air!

I own the original vinyl release of “Healing”, which included a bonus 7″ 33rpm single featuring the tracks “Time Heals” and “Tiny Demons” which were later included on the albums’ CD release.

Todd’s love of technology was clear at the time, as he made a music video for “Time Heals!”

Here is that original music video:

Todd Rundgren MTV music video

“Time Heals” was the eighth music video EVER to air on MTV during its launch on August 1, 1981. The first video of course was “Video Killed The Radio Star”, plus videos from Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart and The Who…but Todd was #8!

Todd Rundgren Healing CD live

Todd Performs “Healing” Live!

Just as he did with “AWATS” and “Todd”, Rundgren performed the entire album live for a CD/DVD release!

Live Healing album Todd Rundgren

In addition to the album in its entirety, Todd added a live version of “Sons of 1984”, which is a great uplifting way to end the concert.

Buy the live DVD performance to see Todd at his best!

Todd Rundgren Live Healing

As fans know, Todd is currently on the road doing “An Evening With Todd Rundgren.”

An Evening With Todd Rundgren

He’s performing all of his biggest hits, and the band never sounded better! You can read my review of his show in Beverly Hills, with some performance footage, by clicking on my story here:

“Healing” was Todd’s first album of the 80’s, and I also took a look at the album that he released at the end of the decade:


You can read all about this masterpiece by clicking on my story here:

Let me know what you think of Todd’s “Healing!”

Todd Rundgren Healing album

Categories: 70's Music, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Music, New York, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, Todd Rundgren, Uncategorized

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9 replies

  1. Wonderful Article John..So relevant and Timely. Thanks

  2. I saw this tour on Jan 23rd in Biloxi and loved it!!
    Was on 3rd row center and have been a huge fan since ’72.
    I loved your review of the current tour and your take on Healing.
    My favorite song from that body of work is Healer. It seems to evoke such primal passions and also presents unique, current, and evolutionary ways of saying “Many are called.., Few are chosen”. Thanks


  1. “Todd”! Another Four-Sided “Plastic Waffle”! Todd Rundgren’s Eclectic Gem! – johnrieber
  2. Todd Is “Tortured!” Todd Rundgren’s Hilarious “Bang On The Drum” Hit! Record Label Swan Song! The Terrific “Ever Popular” Goodbye to Bearsville! – johnrieber
  3. Happy Birthday Todd Rundgren! Seven Todd Songs Of Celebration! – johnrieber
  4. Laura Nyro’s “Eli And The Thirteenth Confession!” Todd Rundgren’s Love Letter To Laura’s Masterpiece! – johnrieber
  5. Todd Rundgren: Inventor Of MTV? A “Hollywood Square”? – johnrieber

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