A Classic “Hello It’s Me” Cover!
I found two of the most beautiful – and different – cover versions of Todd Rundgren’s classic “Hello It’s Me” by accident – because I was wearing my “Evening With…” shirt!
I was in a Chicago Whole Foods, wearing my Todd concert long sleeve proudly. A twenty-something African-American man who was working the meat counter complimented me on my attire, and said:
“You know Erykah Badu? She covered a couple of his songs.”
“He’s a terrific songwriter,” I replied.
“Yeah” he told me, “and that “Zen Archer” album –
“A Wizard A True Star?”
“Yeah, that was wild!”
It was so random and unexpected, but it led me to two of the most beautiful cover versions of “Hello It’s Me!” that I had never heard – and can you believe he referenced “AWATS” too!
Once again, you meet fans from so many different walks of life – I have also posted about the influence that “A Wizard A True Star” has had on so many musical Artists:
Articles like this one in England’s MOJO magazine tell stores of Artists who used Todd’s brilliant album as inspiration…you can read all about it here:
The young fan’s comment about Erykah Badu led me to this amazing “cover” version of Todd’s classic “Hello It’s Me”:
Andre 3000 joined Erykah Badu for “Hello” off her mixtape “But You Caint Use My Phone.” The collaboration came about thanks in part to their son, Seven.
First, let’s listen to this great song, which kicks into Todd’s classic song at 2:27 into the song:
Here’s wikipedia’s description of how this collaboration came about:
“Our son Seven and I were trying to figure out songs that could help her — songs that were related to the subject of the mixtape: phones,” the OutKast MC told Billboard. “We came across [The Isley Brothers’ 1974 cover of Todd Rundgren’s] ‘Hello, It’s Me.’ Ron Isley repeats the phrase ‘hello, hello’ as if he was answering the phone. I told Erykah, ‘You should make this into a new song and get somebody to rap on it.’ She was like, ‘Well, you should rap on it!’ I’m happy it happened. It was a great reunion, because I don’t think people have heard a song from us in ages.”
As mentioned in the quote, the “extended ‘Hello, Hello, Hello’ sequence leads to a gorgeous soulful cover version by The Isley Brothers.
I’ve always loved the Isley Brothers, but didn’t know this song, which kicks into Todd’s “cover” about forty seconds in…and I love the “hello, hello” intro that Erykah used later…
Here is their beautiful cover version:
I think this is a terrifically soulful version of Todd’s song, which was of course originally recorded with NAZZ, then included in a great “live” version on his brilliant album “Something/Anything?”
Rolling Stone has called this one of the five hundred greatest albums of all time…see some of the great music videos from that album here:
And this whole story began with this shirt:
I attended Todd’s concert in Beverly Hills in early 2016, and he performed “Hello It’s Me” and a ton of other great hits – here is “Hello It’s Me:
You can see more videos from my review of the show here:
Bravo to Erykah Badu, Andre 3000 and The Isley Brothers for their great interpretation of Todd’s song!