Todd Rundgren’s “One Long Year” On The Web!
Todd fans know that this Musical Artist has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it makes sense that he would also have led the way in the 90’s on a new way to share his music – on what then was called the “worldwide web”!
“One Long Year” was Todd’s seventeenth album, released in 2000. Here is how this album came to be: the songs were initially released to subscribers of Rundgren’s web-based “Patronet” pay site.
I subscribed to this service, where Todd would share all sorts of music – and musical experiments – with his fans having access to it on the “worldwide web”.
Here is how wikipedia sums up this album:
“During the last quarter of the ’90s, Todd Rundgren spent much of his time on the Internet, distributing music and previews of his in-progress autobiography through his net service, Patronet. Hence, the appearance of One Long Year, a disc that collects highlights from the Patronet service, plus a couple odds and ends.”
The ten songs on “One Long Year” are a mix of straightforward Todd tunes, with some experimental bits and re-imagining of classic songs. Todd himself had a POV on the project at the time:
And with that, here is a look at Todd’s “One Long Year”, beginning with one of his catchiest rockers, written as a protest to the online media he was working in!
“I Hate My Frickin’ I.S.P.”
Remember all of those free CD-Roms that you got stuffed into every magazine in the late 90’s? All promising fast and easy internet service, with them as the “Internet Service Provider”?
Well, So Does Todd!
The first song takes aim that those frustrating services that promised easy access to the “worldwide web”, but delivered an experience must more frustrating:
“It rained CD-Roms that gave me twenty hours free
I let my service provider make a junky out of me
And then he cut me off from my online community
And I hate it, I hate, I hate it
And I hate my frickin’ ISP!”
To promote the release of “One Long Year”, Todd appeared on TV shows playing this song. Here is the terrific live performance from Craig Kilborn on May 2, 2000 – with Kasim Sultan on guitar!
After the song, there is a bit of the conversation between them as well:
Next up is another strong Todd song. Todd played this on his latest tour, a great mid-tempo rocker that speaks of his flirtation with love…or is it religion? Both?
“Saw you once and you looked so sweet
Saw you twice and I felt complete
Three times thought I’d get some peace
Dozen times and there’s no release
And I was already gone
Like buffalo grass
You crawled across my heart
Oh like buffalo grass
Wrapped yourself around my heart”
Here is a great live performance, thanks to YouTuber “Seekmage”:
Todd performed this in Beverly Hills last year on his tour – here is a look at that concert with some clips from the show:
“Jerk” is next, sounding very very much like an outtake from “STATE” or “GLOBAL” – Todd’s electronica phrase.
Next, Todd does a short spoken word segment about moving to Hawaii and how it led to this song:
“Bang on the Ukulele Daily” (live)
Todd’s goofy novelty hit is performed live with a unique instrument – he clearly is having fun with what must be his most unexpected hit song!
This version adds a Hawaiian lullaby as well – just a fun bit of playfulness from him in the studio.
Todd performs the song on tour still, and you can see his most recent set on the great new release “An Evening With Todd Rundgren Live At The Ridgefield” – here’s a look at this terrific DVD/CD combo:
Next up is one of Todd’s best “lost” songs:
“Where Does the Time Go?”
This feels like mid-80’s Todd, around the “Tortured Artist” period. It’s a terrific upbeat love song that should have been a bit hit – but he never released it.
Here is a terrific music video posted by a fan, using Todd’s audio and some incredible dance footage from a music video called “Crazy Cool Dance Moves” – and it works!
“Where Does The Time Go?” is one of Todd’s many hidden gems…here is a list of my favorites:
“Love of the Common Man” is next, an old classic given his “with a twist” treatment…
Here is a live version of the song from Cleveland 1978 – and this is the version that shows up on the “Back To The Bars” double live album:
“Mary and the Holy Ghost” is up next, another “GLOBAL” track in style and production.
“Yer Fast (And I Like It)” comes next, and is Todd rocking out again.
Here’s a live version from 2000, a great power pop performance with a blistering guitar solo from Todd:
Thanks as always to the great “HarryRunt danu” who posted this on YouTube…there are lots more where that came from, so check it out!
“Hit Me Like a Train” is a funky tune, and then the album ends with another ode to the worldwide web.
“The Surf Talks” begins with the nostalgic sounds of a dial-up call on AOL that connected you to the internet…remember those days?
The song itself is an upbeat mid tempo pop song, with Todd’s wall of sound coming into play – a really catchy tune…
“The surf talks
And it knows what to say
The surf talks
I must learn to obey
The gun cocks, the clock stops, the earth rocks, the surf talks
The surf talks
Puts it’s tongue on my skin
The surf talks”
This era in Todd’s music career combined his love of technology and his early adapting to the possibilities of the internet….
It’s not surprising when you consider that Todd worked with Apple early on int he development of the iPad – check that story out here:
Todd was also an early proponent of music videos:
You have the right to ask yourself: did Todd invent MTV? There is a lot of evidence to suggest he did, see my story here:
Let me know what you think of Todd’s “One Long Year!”