Todd Rundgren – Runt

ARTIST: Todd Rundgren 220px-Rundgren_Runt_Cover
TITLE: Runt
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #185
SINGLES: We Gotta Get You a Woman (#20)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nothing that radio played
LINEUP: Todd Rundgren, Tony Sales, Hunt Sales; Rick Danko and Levon Helm were on a track
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Rundgren’s first ‘solo’ work after leaving the Nazz establishes him as a quirky songwriter who dabbles in many genres and styles and also is a production whiz kid.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: On first release, this was credited to the band Runt, which was Rundgren and the Sales brothers. However, it really is the start of Todd Rundgren’s solo career in all practicality. Rundgren did everything but bass and drums. And yes, those are the same Sales brothers that were part of Tin Machine with Bowie.

While not as elaborate as some of his later works, this album is a great progression from the Nazz as Rundgren was able to experiment and dabble in many styles. Some of the cuts don’t work because they are too outre, but there was vision and craft in all of it.

His songwriting was still developing, but he had a sense of melody in place, and his production, as you would expect, is flawless. Not a great album by any means, but there are lots of good stuff and the single is classic and should have charted higher.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: When they re-pressed the album, Ampex (the original record company) grabbed the wrong tapes and pressed up a 12-track album with alternate mixes and two additional songs. Whoopsy! Instead of recalling them, they just let them sell through – those are collector’s items now.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, not streaming, but the whoopsy above is part of a deluxe set..

GRADE: B+: A few experiments don’t work, but anyone who likes even one Rundgren song should give this a spin.

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