“Initiation”! Todd Rundgren Gives “Fair Warning” And Becomes A “Real Man”! “Rock The Vote” For Todd!

“I know that you’ve been wondering
If I’m the same man inside
Never tried to fool you
’cause I’ve got nothing to hide”

Todd Rundgren Initiation

Todd Gives “Fair Warning!”

One of Todd Rundgren’s most spiritual – and brilliant – albums of all was released in 1975 – an album that explored themes that would define his vision of life…time to celebrate that majesty of “Initiation!”

First, the reason I am sharing this again is to encourage everyone to “rock the vote” for Todd and get him into the “Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame!

Here is the link to vote:


I also posted 5 reasons he deserves this, which you can see here:


One more reason is this brilliantly constructed album:


“Initiation” was Todd’s sixth solo album, released in the summer of 1975. There are so many reasons to love this cerebral, spiritual and inspiring collection of music. As critics noted at the time, Rundgren fully embraced the synthesized prog sound he had begun exploring in more depth with Utopia.

Initiation was a concept album broken into two parts – each over 30 minutes long.

Todd Rundgren REal Man

Todd Becomes A “Real Man!”

The only “single” from the album leads off the album, and is a statement about Todd’s growing maturity as an Artist…and a shot across the bow to his fans…things are about to change…

Live Todd Rundgren

Here are the lyrics to the single “Real Man”:

“There it is – way down inside me
It’s a real man
You got to grow up sometime
Be a real man
Suffer them slings and arrows
Be a real man
Now be a real man
Don’t sell yourself for nothing
Be a real man
Don’t take no crap from no one
Be a real man
Get your trip together
Be a real man”

Here is a great video for “Real Man” – it’s from the 1975 TV show “Midnight Special”, and Todd speaks to the audience first to explain why there’s no band on stage – this is great!

Todd Rundgren live on Midnight Special

The first side was made up of Rundgren’s songs from various rock genres, similar to previous Rundgren albums such as Todd: and since Todd had launched Utopia, all of the members of appeared on this album as well…

“Born To Synthesize” is an experimental song, followed by “The Death Of Rock And Roll”, followed by a bit of Todd humor, on the song “Eastern Intrigue”.

Here’s a great fan video from Youtube:

“There’s jokes there,” Rundgren admits, “but I don’t have that kind of Bill Maher hostility toward religion.”

In fact, at this point Todd looks at the impact religion had on his life – which led to the brilliant title track:

Initiation Todd Rundgren album

Here are some of the lyrics to “Initiation”:

“Too late to be afraid of the choice that I have made
But there’s one thing I know
Where my spirit says to go,
You know that’s where I must go
When the golden ray
Of the dawn signifies a new day

Here is a live version of “Initiation” from 1977, performed by Todd and Utopia!

The last song on side one is a brilliant song that speaks directly to fans…and includes the members of the Edgar Winter Group:

Edgar Winter They Only Come Out At Night

The Edgar Winter Group were riding high at the time with the smash hit instrumental “Frankenstein” – interesting they performed on the last song on side one, considering that the second side is a 30+ minute instrumental!

Todd Rundgren Fair Warning lyrics

Todd Gives Us “Fair Warning!”

Here are some of the lyrics to this brilliant song:

“I know that you’ve been wondering
If I’m the same man inside
Never tried to fool you
’cause I’ve got nothing to hide
I gave you fair warning
I could never be tied down
’til I’ve seen paradise
with my very own eyes…”

Here is another amazing music video, which begins with Todd explaining his philosophy about music, then it goes into the music video for “Fair Warning” – WOW!

Make sure to watch all the way to the end!

Thanks so much to “HarryRunt danu” who posted this on youtube.

The song ends with these lyrics – and note all of the references to earlier songs:

“I gave you all fair warning
Now it’s goodbye
And every once in a while why don’t you think of me
’cause it’s a long, long time and a long way to go
Can’t you see the light shining in my eyes
’cause it’s just one victory
’cause your dream goes on forever
Don’t you know that I’ve been trying
To get my trip together
Be a real man
I got to be a real man”


Side one ends where it began, with a short reprise of “Real Man” – similar to how he bookended “AWATS”….then, Todd goes into unexplored territory…as he explains in the great book “A Wizard A True Star: Todd Rundgren In The Studio” –

Todd Rundgren music producer book

“Ever since ‘A Wizard, A True Star’ I had gotten into this habitual problem of recording more than could fit on a record.”

Yes, “Initiation” was one of the longest albums ever released – more than 67 minutes of music! The second side is the synthesized instrumental work “A Treatise on Cosmic Fire”, named after a 1930 book of the same name by theosophist Alice Bailey. Rundgren performs all of the instrumental parts, co-written and performed as well by Utopia band member Roger Powell.

Here’s a video of part one, which is covered with some amazing landscape imagery:

A Treatise on Cosmic Fire

The album is one of the longest single LPs of all time, almost 68 minutes long! Due to the length of the LP, Rundgren sped up the master tape to eliminate 2-3 minutes per side as well as EQ’ing and limiting the recording’s dynamic range to fit the entire album onto one piece of vinyl!

todd rundgren best albums

The album’s original inner sleeve included a “Technical Note” stating “Due to the amount of music on this disc (over one hour), two points must be emphasized. Firstly, if your needle is worn or damaged, it will ruin the disc immediately. Secondly, if the sound does seem not loud enough on your system, try re-recording the music onto tape”!

Todd Rundgren Initiation album

“Initiation” was certainly a musical departure for Todd – an album side full of spiritual songs, with a second “cosmic” side…of course, fans loved it, as it showed Todd heading into new musical territory…and he keeps making music today!

Todd Is Our “White Knight!”

Todd is currently out in support of his latest album, and here is the music video for “Chance For Us” with Daryl Hall!


Bravo Todd!

Todd Rundgren Initiation

Categories: 70's Music, Art, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Todd Rundgren, TV Show, Uncategorized

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1 reply


  1. Todd Rundgren’s Hidden Gems! Espresso! Umbrellas! Todd’s Secret Songs! – johnrieber

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