Happy Birthday Todd!
All Todd Rundgren fans know that June 22 is his birthday, and this year, Todd is celebrating by being busier, and more musically relevant than ever!
Todd’s new CD “White Knight” has gotten a ton of press – and already has two music videos released!
The great Philly soul song “Chance For Us” – his duet with longtime friend Daryl Hall – was released first – you can click here to see it:
Just this week, Cleopatra Records released the second music video – Todd’s duet with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan – the caustic political song “Tin Foil Hat”:
You can see that music video here:
For folks who only know from from this top ten hits like “Hello, It’s Me”, “Can We Still Be Friends”, “A Dream Goes ON Forever” and “Bang The Drum All Day”, here is a look at some of the other classic music he has made in his long career….
He has taken some interesting paths in his musical career, but fans stay with him because there is true genius in his work.
Here are eight great songs from Todd’s catalogue – a great way to taste some of Todd’s greatness!
Todd’s Live Performance Of “Lost Horizon”!
I saw Todd in Beverly Hills in early 2016, and he performed this beautiful mediation on life and love –
“I have an ideal I think is real
But I just can’t find it
I believe that one day
I’ll melt away into that lost horizon…”
Here is that performance from 2016:
This song is from his album “A Cappella” – when Todd did the entire album without instrument…every sound came from him! Here is a look at the entire album:
Next up – Todd’s haunting ballad about love:
“The Verb To Love” From “Faithful!”
“Faithful” is one side of classic songs Todd “covered” faithfully, and the second side is simply one of his greatest collections of songs ever, including this 7-minute ballad.
Here is a great live version of the song, performed with Utopia, from 1977:
Read all about the album that produced this incredible song by clicking on my “Faithful” story here:
“The Want Of A Nail!” From “Nearly Human”
“Nearly Human” is Todd at his most commercially accessible, with classic songs like “Parallel Lines” and “Fidelity” – and of course the roof-raising “I Love My Life!” at the end…but the album announced its lofty intentions from he very beginning, with “The Want Of A Nail.”
Here is the original music video, showing the song being performed in real time in the studio with a group of musicians and singers:
You can see more videos from that album here:
“Can We Still Be Friends” From “Hermit Of Mink Hollow”
This album from the late 70’s had an “easy ” side and a “hard” side, but it is a collection of songs that are beautifully written, with haunting melodies, perhaps no more than on this big hit single.
Here is the “Can We Still Be Friends” music video with the dancing ballerina, and Todd on piano:
You can see more about this album here:
“Hello, It’s Me!” From “Something / Anything?”
His biggest hit ever, and still performed flawlessly live on tour. It’s his remake of the original song he wrote in Nazz, and I love his live “Back To The Bars” version with Stevie Nicks and Hall & Oates doing backup vocals.
Here is his live performance from Beverly Hills in 2016:
For many, “Something / Anything?” is their introduction to Todd – so much great music in this double album, which was listed on Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Albums Of All Time” – Here is my look at this four-sided masterpiece:
“Compassion” from “Healing”
His most spiritual album for me, with one side of the album a three part song called “Healing” which is one of the most beautiful and uplifting pieces of music he’s ever created.
The song “Compassion” was the single from the album. Here is a great, vintage live version:
You can see more about the album here:
“Just One Victory” From “A Wizard A True Star”
His misunderstood-at-the-time classic, culminating in what has become his anthem: my son is now a huge fan of the “AWATS” album, as he is listening to my original copy, and he fell in love with “Just One Victory”.
Here is a great live performance from last year, showing how great Todd’s voice and on-stage enthusiasm still is:
Here is a story I posted about how influential “AWATS” has become:
“Sons Of 1984” From “Todd”
Finally, the album that started it all for me…this was the first Todd album I ever heard, and I was hooked, from the opening “How About A Little Fanfare / I Think You Know” through “The Last Ride”, “Izzat Love”, “Heavy Metal Kids” and all the rest…
He recorded it live at Wollman Rink in New York in 1974…
“Back when I was young, my hope was strong
But the time blew it all to hell
If I thought I knew what was good for you
I would have gone and done it for myself
Worlds of tomorrow
Life without sorrow
Take it because it’s yours
Sons of 1984”
This 2011 live performance shows how Todd involves the entire audience in this anthem…
This album also includes “A Dream Goes On Forever”, “The Last Ride” and “Don’t You Ever Learn?” See more music videos here:
And finally, I found this online – Todd biting into a guitar birthday cake – appropriate!
Happy birthday, Todd – so many more great songs and albums, both solo and with Utopia…but here are eight examples of why he has so many fans for life!