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TODD RUNDGREN

Crossover Prog • United States


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Todd Rundgren biography
Todd Harry Rundgren - Born June 22, 1948 (Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, USA)

Rundgren played in several bands in New Jersey and Philadelphia during the mid to late 60's including the blues based Woody's Truck Stop, before forming The Nazz, in 1967. Playing both guitar and bass, Rundgren unapologetically drew inspiration from UK bands such as The Move & The Yardbirds, and, in signing to SGC records, they released Nazz Nazz in 1969.

When the band split, Rundgren simultaneously went in to producing and engineering for Bearsville Records, while forming his own band 'Runt'; a vehicle for his own solo career, the eponymous debut for which he released in 1970, which included the Top 40 hit 'We Gotta Get You A Woman'. It was however his reputation for production which ironically gained momentum, engineering The Band & Jesse Winchester, before Badfinger's 'Straight Up' gave him the hit 'Baby Blue'.

This success enabled him to produce his own, critically acclaimed power pop-oriented double album, 'Something/ Anything?' in 1972, upon which he played every instrument. With the door to success opening to him, he spurned it with future releases, such as 1973's eclectic follow-up, A Wizard, A True Star, and 1974's more progressive Todd, which contained several lengthy, experimental instrumentals. Rundgren's music was at its most progressive with his band UTOPIA (a band consisting of three keyboard players), which released Todd Rundgren's Utopia and Initiation in 1974 & 75 respectively, and Another Live, which showcased the bands experimental synthesiser work, with epics mostly over 10 minutes long.

During this period, his music addressed cosmic themes, a reflection of his strong interest in far Eastern religion and philosophy. It is this period of Rundgren's solo work, running parallel with 'Utopia' which will be of most interest to the progressive rock fan, as his music not only displayed psychedelic rock influences, but also the avant-garde Jazz Fusion of artists such as Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa. This was underlined by Rundgren's increasingly lavish, ambitious stage settings, which echoed the space-themed shows of acts like Funkedelic & Parliament.

Rundgren's 1976 album Faithful, saw him return to the rock/pop genre which has brought him some success in the early '70s, with a side of original songs, and a side of 60's covers, such as Good Vibrations. This continued with 19...
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Very Best ofVery Best of
Rhino 1997
$9.04
$5.95 (used)
The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection (13CD)The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection (13CD)
Box set
Bearsville 2016
$51.95
$58.52 (used)
White KnightWhite Knight
Cleopatra 2017
$9.98
$6.72 (used)
Something / Anything?Something / Anything?
Bearsville 2008
$15.31
$5.99 (used)
An Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the Ridgefield [Blu-ray]An Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the Ridgefield [Blu-ray]
Purple Pyramid 2016
$9.99
$12.88 (used)
Evening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the RidgefieldEvening With Todd Rundgren: Live at the Ridgefield
Purple Pyramid 2016
$10.99
$9.99 (used)
Box O'ToddBox O'Todd
Box set
Purple Pyramid 2016
$20.99
$46.98 (used)
A Wizard, A True Star [SACD]A Wizard, A True Star [SACD]
Hybrid SACD - DSD
Analog Spark 2018
$20.38
$24.41 (used)
The Definitive Rock CollectionThe Definitive Rock Collection
Bearsville 2006
$15.34
$15.33 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Todd Rundgren Live at the Old Waldorf San Francisco August 1978 2xLP gold vinyl USD $37.98 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren's Utopia . Another Live . 1975 Bearsville LP USD $14.21 Buy It Now
Bootleg Series, Vol. 1: Live at the Forum, London '94 by Todd Rundgren (CD, Sep- USD $10.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - A Cappella LP Mint- 1-25128 Warner Bros. 1985 USA Vinyl Record USD $15.00 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren CD3 Hello It Me We Gotta Get you a Women & 2 others 3" CD USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren A Cappella Inner Sleeve WB Records LP NM USD $5.99 Buy It Now
Great Speckled Bird self-titled LP VG+/EX 1969 Ian & Sylvia Todd Rundgren USD $10.20 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Todd Sterling RL Ludwig POSTER Bearsville Records 2 LP Set EX USD $17.99 Buy It Now
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NAZZ 3 - Nazz III White Vinyl LP Feat: Todd Rundgren Psychedelic Garage Rock USD $23.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Hermit Of Mink Hollow Vinyl LP USD $2.00 [0 bids]
USD $5.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Healing w/ 45 PROMO Hype Sticker Bearsville Records LP EX USD $16.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren 45 Can We Still Be Friends BEARSVILLE PROMO USD $8.50 Buy It Now
70s ROCK LP - TODD RUNDGREN'S UTOPIA - BEARSVILLE 6954 - "UTOPIA" USD $8.00 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN LP FAITHFUL 1976 BEARSVILLE BR 6963 USD $17.00 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN / LIVE IN N.Y.C. '78 JAPAN CD OOP USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Something To Fall Back On, 12", Single, Promo, (Vinyl) USD $16.78 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN UTOPIA Swing To The Right LP SEALED CUTOUT NOTCH USD $6.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren TR-I No World Order 1993 Alchemdia cd2982 USD $1.95 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren Back to The Bars Sterling Master Bearsville Records 2 LP Set NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now
RADIO SHOW:4/13/87 SEE! BILL HALEY, YES, CCR, BTO, DC5, TODD RUNDGREN,HAPPENINGS USD $21.99 Buy It Now
OOP FRESH HARVEST NEW MUSIC FROM GUARDIAN RECORDS TODD RUNDGREN Cochrane Baez USD $6.99 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN 1983 time heals LTD ED 4-TRACK 7" PICTURE DISC EP NEW/MINTY FRESH USD $14.95 Buy It Now
2 Todd Rundgren 45 Vinyl Rhino Records USD $11.00 [0 bids]
TODD RUNDGREN Good Vibrations b/w When I Pray (Original 1976 U.S. 7inch) USD $2.62 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren? - Faithful ORIG. US LP BR 6963 V9 USD $9.99 Buy It Now
Todd Rundgren - Very Best of [New CD] USD $14.68 Buy It Now
2 Todd Rundgren Cassette Tapes, Todd/ 2nd Wind USD $8.98 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN "An Elpee's Worth Of Productions" (CD 1992) Like New USD $10.21 Buy It Now
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TODD RUNDGREN Hermit Of Mink Hollow BEARSVILLE Essential LP 1978 Prog Pop Clasic USD $3.50 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN - 2ND WIND (REMASTERED) CD NEW+ USD $51.11 Buy It Now
TODD RUNDGREN/UTOPIA - LIVE AT THE OLD WALDORF: SAN FRANCISCO, AUGUST 1978 USED USD $17.24 Buy It Now
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TODD RUNDGREN/UTOPIA LIVE AT THE OLD WALDORF: SAN FRANCISCO, AUGUST 1978 [LIMITE USD $32.87 Buy It Now 53m 31s
Todd Rundgren Something / Anything? 2 CD Rhino USD $14.25 Buy It Now 53m 46s
Led Zeppelin Knebworth 1979 Official Programme Southside Johnny Todd Rundgren USD $39.02 Buy It Now 1h 3m
TODD RUNDGREN Can We Still Be Friends / Determination 45 USD $7.12 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Todd Rundgren Utopia Adventures in Utopia LP BRK-6991 VG/VG USD $4.99 Buy It Now 2h 41m
UTOPIA (Todd Rundgren)-Oblivion Vinyl LP-Brand New-Still Sealed USD $9.98 Buy It Now 2h 43m
TODD RUNDGREN NO WORLD ORDER CD JAPAN VERY RARE OOP USD $12.99 Buy It Now 3h 4m
Vintage Todd Rundgren Vinyl Record Albums VG+ USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 24m
TODD RUNDGREN - INITIATION NEW CD USD $12.97 Buy It Now 3h 51m
FELIX CAVALIERE young rascalsproduced TODD RUNDGREN USD $13.00 Buy It Now 3h 54m
TODD RUNDGREN 2LP: Something/Anything?, Gatefold Bearsville Records 1972 USD $5.50 [0 bids]
USD $8.50 Buy It Now
4h 3m
Todd Rundgren-No world order-Original advert mounted USD $13.00 Buy It Now 4h 32m
TODD RUNDGREN / UTOPIA 'Adventures In Utopia' 1980 South African vinyl LP USD $24.71 Buy It Now 4h 48m
TODD RUNDGREN Runt JAPAN CD with OBI VICP60256 USD $7.98 Buy It Now 5h 15m
Todd Rundgren Utopia Lp 1974 Original mint USD $3.89 [1 bids]
5h 25m
TODD RUNDGREN A WIZARD A TRUE STAR -JAPAN MINI - LP CD AMAZING RARE UTOPIA USD $24.88 Buy It Now 5h 38m
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Todd Rundgren Initiation 1975 - 8 Track Tape New Unsold Store Stock! USD $24.99 Buy It Now 6h 30m
TODD RUNDGREN-FAITHFUL1976 BEARSVILLE REC. LP BR 6963 EXC. VG+ GOOD VIBRATIONS USD $4.99 Buy It Now 6h 37m
Anthology (1968-1985) by Todd Rundgren (CD, May-1989, 2 Discs, Rhino (Label)) USD $10.00 Buy It Now 6h 55m
MINT & Sealed !! Todd Rundgren/Self Titled/1999 CD Album USD $10.39 Buy It Now 6h 57m
TODD RUNDGREN THE EVER POPULAR TORTURED ARTIST EFFECT PROMO LP USD $3.99 [0 bids]
6h 58m
Todd Rundgren / Todd, first press vintage 1974 2xLP, Bearsville 2 BR 6952, VG+ USD $8.50 [0 bids]
USD $12.50 Buy It Now
7h 2m
Utopia ?- Trivia Vinyl Record LP PB6053 1986 US Todd Rundgren USD $13.00 Buy It Now 7h 9m
XTC Skylarking JAPAN PROMO LP TODD RUNDGREN VIRGIN 28VB-1126 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 7h 39m
UTOPIA Oblivion LP 1983 NEW SEALED Canada Todd Rundgren Art Rock PL-5026 USD $14.95 Buy It Now 7h 55m
TODD RUNDGREN Complete Bearsville 4XLP BOXSET RHINO RSD 2019 NEW SEALED USD $56.55 [4 bids]
8h
TODD RUNDGREN~ BE NICE TO ME~ RARE PROMO~ NEAR MINT~ BEARSVILLE ~ POP 45 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 8m
TODD RUNDGREN: Acapella LP (cover crease, seam wear) Rock & Pop USD $20.00 Buy It Now 8h 13m
TODD RUNDGREN & UTOPIA - Looking At Us LIVE - 1977 ALLIED LP with POSTCARD - USD $40.49 Buy It Now 8h 31m
TODD RUNDGREN ?- 7" Vinyl, Record, LP "HEALING" 1981 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 9h 6m
Todd Rundgren - Utopia,Nimbus Thitherward Finally On The Beach In London 1976,LP USD $40.49 Buy It Now 9h 13m
Nazz Nazz by Nazz 1986 Rhino Cassette Tape Todd Rundgren/Utopia SEALED/NEW USD $12.99 Buy It Now 9h 44m
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Roger Powell - Air Pocket (Todd Rundgren's Utopia) ss USD $14.99 Buy It Now 9h 52m
Hello People - Bricks (ABCD-882) Vinyl 1975 Todd Rundgren - ABC 1st Press USD $5.00 [0 bids]
9h 54m
YES/JIMMY PAGE/TODD RUNDGREN/GARY MOORE etc - GUITAR TECHNIQUES 168 CD USD $3.90 Buy It Now 10h 4m
MARK MOOGY KLINGMAN Todd Rundgren Rick Derringer Capitol LP USD $39.97 Buy It Now 10h 11m
Utopia Bootleg Series Vol 2 CD KSAN 95FM Live 1979 Todd Rundgren Sanctuary 2002 USD $22.50 Buy It Now 10h 42m
UTOPIA - (Todd Rundgren's Utopia) - One Wold - Classic original 1982 Canada 7" USD $20.80 Buy It Now 10h 45m
E1-31 TODD RUNDGREN A Wizard A True Star .... 1973 ...... BR 2133 USD $45.95 Buy It Now 10h 53m
RADIO SHOW: 8/23/89 SINGING PRODUCERS! TODD RUNDGREN, JAMES TAYLOR, BADFINGER USD $21.99 Buy It Now 11h 14m
BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND live 2 LP VG+ 7E-2001 Elektra Stereo 1970 Todd Rundgren USD $35.00 Buy It Now 11h 36m
Todd Rundgren Real Man U.S. 7" Single 1975 Bearsville EX/EX USD $4.75 [0 bids]
USD $10.00 Buy It Now
11h 49m
RARE 1991 TODD RUNDGREN "2ND WIND" ROCK SEALED CASSETTE! CANADIAN RELEASE! USD $7.48 Buy It Now 11h 49m
TODD RUNDGREN Back To The Bars RADIO SAMPLER LP Promo USD $25.00 [0 bids]
11h 51m
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THE BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND "LIVE" 1970 ~ PRODUCED BY TODD RUNDGREN DOUBLE LP USD $24.00 Buy It Now 13h 14m
Todd Rundgren - "We Gotta Get You A Woman" 7" (1973) EX / K 15509 / LOG5 USD $5.19 Buy It Now 13h 15m
TOM ROBINSON BAND TRB TWO Todd Rundgren 1979 Harvest ST 11930 Sterling LP EXC USD $24.00 Buy It Now 13h 17m
TODD RUNDGREN/SOMETHING-BEARSVILLE RECORDS 2BX-2066 USD $5.95 [0 bids]
13h 17m
Lot of 7 LPs Sade Promise Saga Leo Sayer Sanford Townsend Todd Rundgren+2 USD $35.99 [0 bids]
13h 32m
Utopia - Todd Rundgren, Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton, John Wilcox -1977 Bearsville USD $3.99 [0 bids]
13h 36m
TODD RUNDGREN Runt JAPAN CD VDP-28014 1988 USD $36.92 Buy It Now 13h 51m
NEW SEALED TODD RUNDGREN TODD CD + FREE SHIPPING USD $15.00 Buy It Now 14h 20m
GUESS I'M DUMB cd "Beach Boys Songs Of" TODD RUNDGREN+Petula Clark+KINKS+Saints+ USD $17.49 Buy It Now 14h 40m
TODD RUNDGREN Something / Anything? JAPAN Mini LP 2 CD Utopia K2HD HQ 1972 3rd USD $75.00 Buy It Now 15h
TODD RUNDGREN ~JAPAN~ EVER POPULAR TORTURED ARTIST EFFECT ~OBI~ MINI-LP CD~MINT USD $40.95 Buy It Now 15h 51m
Todd Rundgren- Hermit of Mink Hollow Bearsville 1978 BRK 6981 VG++ USD $1.99 [0 bids]
16h 3m
Todd Rundgren ?Something / Anything? Vinyl Record 2 x LP Bearsville 2BX 2066 USD $4.99 [0 bids]
16h 6m
Todd rundgren runtvinyl lp in vg+ condition USD $3.99 [0 bids]
16h 18m
Utopia (Todd Rundgren) - Self Titled CD USD $11.15 Buy It Now 16h 24m
3 UTOPIA Cassettes - POV Trivia Oblivion Todd Rundgren USD $0.99 [1 bids]
16h 27m
TODD RUNDGREN 1978 Hermit of Mink Hollow RECORD Can we still be Friends NM / NM USD $9.90 Buy It Now 16h 28m
NAZZ fungo bat acetates 2-LP RED VINYL todd rundgren RECORD STORE DAY RSD 2018 USD $21.49 [2 bids]
16h 46m
PROMO BUZZY LINHART "BUZZY" LP TODD RUNDGREN 1972 KAMA SUTRA w/ POSTER EX-NM TOP USD $17.00 [0 bids]
USD $26.00 Buy It Now
16h 50m

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TODD RUNDGREN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TODD RUNDGREN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 44 ratings
Runt
1970
2.35 | 49 ratings
Runt. The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren
1971
3.42 | 77 ratings
Something / Anything ?
1972
3.97 | 104 ratings
A Wizard, A True Star
1973
3.99 | 80 ratings
Todd
1974
3.83 | 76 ratings
Initiation
1975
3.03 | 46 ratings
Faithful
1976
3.10 | 43 ratings
Hermit Of Mink Hollow
1978
3.00 | 37 ratings
Healing
1981
2.06 | 35 ratings
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
1982
2.51 | 28 ratings
A Cappella
1985
3.10 | 27 ratings
Nearly Human
1989
2.54 | 23 ratings
2nd Wind
1991
1.69 | 23 ratings
No World Order
1993
2.61 | 13 ratings
No World Order - Lite
1994
2.19 | 14 ratings
The Individualist
1995
2.86 | 9 ratings
With A Twist ...
1997
2.50 | 3 ratings
Up Against It !
1998
2.16 | 12 ratings
One Long Year
2000
3.26 | 23 ratings
Liars
2004
2.90 | 20 ratings
Arena
2008
3.80 | 5 ratings
Todd Rundgren's Johnson
2011
3.00 | 4 ratings
(re)Production
2011
2.31 | 15 ratings
State
2013
2.60 | 5 ratings
Global
2015
3.05 | 4 ratings
Todd Rundgren, Emil Nikolaisen & Hans-Peter Lindstrom: Runddans
2015
3.70 | 11 ratings
White Knight
2017

TODD RUNDGREN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 20 ratings
Back to the Bars
1978

TODD RUNDGREN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TODD RUNDGREN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.27 | 7 ratings
Anthology (1968 - 1985)
1989
3.16 | 6 ratings
The Very Best of Todd Rundgren
1997
4.75 | 4 ratings
The Best Of Todd Rundgren - Go Ahead. Ignore Me
1999
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Definitive Rock Collection
2006

TODD RUNDGREN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TODD RUNDGREN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Wizard, A True Star by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.97 | 104 ratings

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A Wizard, A True Star
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Something/Anything was a big commercial and critical success, he was branded as the male answer to Carole King, which I guess he didn't want that comparison, so he purposely made his followup, A Wizard, A True Star to be very different. Much more quirky, twisted, and experimental, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Frank Zappa was a big influence on him at this point. "International Feel" sounds pretty normal, but a great piece. It sorta reminds me of Spirit's "Mr. Skin" if dominated by clavinet, but then after that it's clear that he really took the VCS-3 synthesizer to much greater use (he used it in a more low-key manner on Something/Anything), here he uses it frequently for strange electronic effects. He was purposely trying to record an album that won't give a hit single, and I'm not too surprised if this irritated the rock critics at the time. I have to admit I never cared for the medley of soul and Motown songs, it just doesn't fit too well with the more artsy and experimental pop surrounding the album. Regardless, listening to this, it's little surprise that he would actually explore prog rock for real with Utopia the following year. The more mainstream crowd would be more comfortable with Something/Anything, but for the more adventurous, if you forget about that soul/Motown medley, this is really some great stuff and worth having.
 No World Order - Lite by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.61 | 13 ratings

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No World Order - Lite
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Todd has never been afraid of experimenting in different genres, as he shows here.

No World Order was a gimmicky release designed to let te listener simulate certain aspects of engineering an album. Certainly this was an interesting idea, but the resulting tracks had an incomplete sound to them.

A year later, Todd released No World Order Lite, incorporating this material in a more traditional and more listenable format. Todd has significantly updated his sound. incorporating elements of rap and hip hop along with a ponderous array of studio manipulated sound. Rap. hip hop, excessively manipulated sound.... that pretty much sums up the low points of this album, and those low points are pervasive.

On the other hand, the actual songs (the ones that are really songs) show some glimmers of interest here and there. Yes, this album is forgettable, but parts of it are quite pleasant and nearly all of it is listenable. Two stars for this confusing mish mash that occasionally melds into coherence.

 Something / Anything ? by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.42 | 77 ratings

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Something / Anything ?
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I really couldn't see the fuss on this album. It's the same feeling I have for the Beatles' White Album. It would have served much better as a single LP as there's too much messing about for a consistent release. "I Saw the Light" and the remake of the old Nazz song from 1968, "Hello, It's Me" were the big hits on this album, the latter having a faster pace than the '68 original. The best stuff is when he takes creative twists to the songs, like "The Night The Carosel Burned Down", the instrumental "Breathless" and "Song of the Viking". "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" is a piano-oriented ballad, but I simply don't care for it, although it sounded like it could become an AM hit at the time. "Hello, It's Me" was originally recorded by Todd's old band, The Nazz, and of course it's the remade version that everyone's familiar with, and I have always enjoyed this song, even when heard on the radio. I hadn't heard this album in years, but I remembered that, for every brilliant song was a song that I could do without. I obviously didn't expect something full-on prog like Utopia's debut, that would be ridiculous. To me, I found A Wizard, a True Star an improvement (although I could do without the medley of soul ballads, as most others can agree on). Certainly Something/Anything is quite diverse but it's really hit or miss, so three stars, it is.
 White Knight by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.70 | 11 ratings

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White Knight
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by cartwing

4 stars the last good or just acceptable Album I heard from Todd was the - to my opinion underrated album "Second wind". I was a fan before I found my way to the world of prog, but I wouldnt describe any of his albums as progressive rock ´with two exceptions. "Initiation" and the first "Utopia" album. So this new album is as far away from anything similar to prog as you can imagiine. BUT it is in fact the first album I could listen to from the beginning to the end without pushing the red button. After "Todd Rundgren and friends" this is another album on which he works together with big names such as Daryl Hall or Donald Fagen. Some good tracks on this one even when you compare it with the last few albums. different Music styles are mixed together here but thats just what makes it special. I guess it deserves 4 stars just for the fact that it is real music again...
 Healing by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.00 | 37 ratings

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Healing
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by CassandraLeo

4 stars It's a bit beyond me why this album has been so overlooked in Rundgren's catalogue. The album is certainly a product of its time, which means that anyone who doesn't like the sound of '80s synthesizers won't find much to enjoy here. It's also true that, because the songs are a bit more low-key than Rundgren's usual fare, they aren't as immediately catchy as many parts of his catalogue are. However, it's unique in Rundgren's catalogue and, as far as I can ascertain, the whole canon of recorded music.

Rundgren eases you into the album with straightforward synth-pop songs, and the last two songs on the CD version are also straightforward synth-pop (they are included as a separate 7" single on the vinyl, which I will discuss later). However, the midsection of the album - "Shine" and the title track - is an effective fusion of synth-pop and progressive rock, and I haven't heard anything else like them. Perhaps someone like Mike Oldfield was attempting similar material at the time, but there's an atmosphere here that's somewhat different from that of Oldfield's work.

I think part of the reason this album often gets overlooked is because it demands too much patience from listeners who are expecting simple pop songs, but it also contrasts with the flashy showmanship of Rundgren's mid- seventies material. "Healing" runs for twenty minutes, and while it's far from a straightforward verse-chorus-bridge pop song (the song is divided into three tracks because they are discrete parts of the work, not merely for ease of CD navigation), it also doesn't rely on displays of instrumental virtuosity like the best of Utopia's material and Rundgren's mid-'70s solo work did. But that's not the point - the point is to take the listener on an elaborate, emotional musical journey that simply wouldn't have been possible in the form of a three-minute pop song.

The title track is clearly going to get the most attention here, though "Shine" may actually hew closer to what is generally expected of prog - it has a more complex arrangement and is closer to, well, rock music. Along with the title track, it is a highlight of the album. The remaining songs are very good pop compositions, though. For me, the standouts among these are "Flesh", which details Rundgren's thoughts on human institutions such as the law, "Compassion", about exactly what its title specifies, and the final two tracks, "Time Heals" and "Tiny Demons".

Rundgren placed these last two songs on a separate 7" single with the vinyl edition of the album, despite the fact that the single combined with the album's B-side (total length 26:40) is actually shorter than the album's A-side (27:08). While this could have been done for reasons of audio fidelity, Rundgren has never been one to shy away from lengthy album sides (the A-side and B-side of Initiation, infamously, run for 32:08 and 35:20 respectively, making it one of the longest single LPs ever released), so it was more likely done to emphasise that they are intended to be considered separately from the title track. They do feel somewhat different in tone from the rest of the album, but I almost always play them after the B-side regardless. "Time Heals" is probably the catchiest song on the entire album, and "Tiny Demons" is a beautiful, subdued ballad that was used on Miami Vice, a TV series often noted for making superb music choices.

Overall, not everyone will love this album, and it demands a lot of patience from the listener before it begins to deliver its gifts. However, it's one of my favourite works Rundgren has released, and I find it comforting in a way that few other musical works can manage. I'm going to give it four stars for my review here because not everything here can be properly considered to be progressive rock, but if I were rating purely on the basis of music quality, I'd award it five stars without hesitation.

 The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.06 | 35 ratings

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The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Bang on a Drum while you listen to this.

Made solely to complete a record contract he had with Bearsville (which later went bankrupt), this album sees Todd toss off the throwaway pop tunes as quickly as he could. It is mostly uninspired. Perhaps it was when he was feeling the pressure himself that he came up with the anthem-like chant here, "Bang the Drum All Day". Very likely a joke song for him, it is the one track on this album really worth hearing. The song "Drive" is OK too, although not a sufficient draw to make this album worth purchasing. On the whole the songs are not too too bad, but they are not sufficiently interesting or memorable. Mostly just blah. I give this album 3.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to low 2 PA stars. But that one hit makes me want to go play the drums all day...

 Hermit Of Mink Hollow by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.10 | 43 ratings

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Hermit Of Mink Hollow
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars The Best post-Wizard Solo Studio Album.

Here, Rundgren continues with the kind of short, thoughtful, and well-crafted songs that he put on side 2 of Faithful, but writes generally stronger material. Indeed, this album contains some of Rundgren's better lyrics. It is intelligent and accessible, but not overly-poppy. This is often considered his best solo album by mainstream critics, but of course, they are less likely to be able to sit through Wizard. I agree that this is one of his best solo albums, more consistent than either Faithful, Something/Anything, or (especially) Todd, and better than most of his solo work that would come afterwards. But it is also clear that his energy for creating innovative new forms of music - so evident on Wizard and TR's Utopia - had waned. This is not in the same league at all as Wizard. But I like it better than Something/Anything. Thankfully, all the songs are decent, and one can listen to this album all the way through without having to hit skip. The songs on Side 2 are particularly good ("Bread", "Bag Lady", "Lucky Guy") and on this album Rundgren lyrics contain social commentary and a more mature adult outlook. So, recommended. I give this album 7.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 3 PA stars.

 Faithful by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.03 | 46 ratings

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Faithful
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Side 2 OK, but a pointless 'concept' Side 1.

The title of this album refers to the fact that Rundgren chose to record cover versions of some of his favourite rock songs, and to be as faithful to the originals as possible. This he does no side 1, with cover versions of the Beach Boys ("Good Vibrations"), the Beatles ("Rain", "Strawberry Fields"), Bob Dylan ("Most Likely Go Your Way...") and Hendrix ("If 6 Was 9") among others. While Rundgren shows he can do an amazing job of copying some of the vintage sounds, what is the point? Why would we want to listen to these versions? Don't get me wrong - I support artists making cover versions of classic songs - but I am most interested in hearing where they take the song that is different from the originals, turning into something new and different. That is the art in covering and interpreting other's music. I don't know why he thought we would want to listen to him being faithful to the originals.

However, side 2 is different, with 6 original Rundgren songs. One of these, "Love of the Common Man" is a Rundgren classic, and up there with the best Rundgren songs. "Black and White" and "The Verb to Love" are also decent, although pretty poppy and not that progressive. The last piece, "Boogies", has some good guitar playing, but sounds like filler. (But isn't all of side 1 filler?). I am not sure why Rundgren didn't just record a full album of originals. As it turns out, there are only a few original songs making one want to get this album. The general quality is not low, per se, but most of it is simply pointless. I give this album 4.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 2 PA stars. Really, only for fans (and even then, mostly for the excellent "Love of the Common Man").

 Initiation by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.83 | 76 ratings

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Initiation
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Some Gems, but what happened to that epic?

This album is quite different on each side. On side 1 you have individual songs, some of which are excellent Rundgren radio-friendly songs ("Real Man") and some which are excellent Utopia-like progressive rock pieces ("Initiation" and "Fair Warning"). Even "Born to Synthesize", his synth experiment on this album, is decent and listenable. The second side seems to me to be a case of Rundgren losing steam. It is a 36-minute long song, but not one like The Ikon (from TR's Utopia) with a full band and guitar solos, etc, but instead just Todd on synthesizers and no vocals. It seems to me from listening to this, that Rundgren had intended to write another 30-minute progressive rock epic, like The Ikon, and this track is his sketching out of the piece in the studio. But somewhere along the way, he lost energy and/or interest in turning this into a progressive rock epic, and so just released the sketch he did largely with just the synths, and without writing the vocals. As such, it feels unfinished. There are some decent parts - it really could have been a great composition! But it is also clear it was intended to have vocals - there are sections where the chord changes are begging for a vocal overlay, which never came. After this album, Rundgren went back to writing only short songs. I think it was during this album that he found he just didn't have the energy needed to create another epic - it is the point at which you can see the huge potential Rundgren displayed in writing 'Todd Rundgren's Utopia' (the first Utopia album) and the great 'A Wizard A True Star' dissipate. From this point on, Rundgren would become a craftman of quality rock/pop. This album still has hints of Rundgren's innovative and progressive potential, but it is a potential that remained largely unrealized (except for the three great songs on side one). I give this 5.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to low 3 PA stars.

 Todd by RUNDGREN, TODD album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.99 | 80 ratings

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Todd
Todd Rundgren Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars A Failed Experiment. Should also have been a single album.

While Wizard saw Rundgren takes risks that paid off hugely, Todd largely falls flat. It is full of short synth instrumentals and experiments that only sometimes work, and which disrupt the flow of the real music so much that it is very difficult to listen to this album all the way through. There are some gems here, but they are a minority, and are scattered in such a way that one needs to hit skip all the time. "A Dream Goes on Forever" is classic Rundgren, and was the single from this album, very nice (if poppy) song. "Heavy Metal Kids" and "Sons of 1984" are important Rundgren songs that were played live by his band (both solo bands and later Utopia), although I don't think either is that musical. However, there is one amazing 10/10 song here: "The Last Ride". This is a fantastic rock tune, not really progressive but it has a great, classic, guitar solo, among Rundgren's top five songs. Other than this, the picking are rather slim. I give this album 3.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to lower 2 PA stars. Other than "The Last Ride", only for fans.

Thanks to Fandango for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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