Todd Rundgren Bio and Pictures

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Todd Rundgren Bio and Todd Rundgren Pictures

Todd Rundgren Bio:

Todd Rundgren's best-known songs -- the Carole King pastiche "I Saw the Light," the ballads "Hello, It's Me" and "Can We Still Be Friends," and the goofy novelty "Bang on the Drum All Day" -- suggest that he is a talented pop craftsman, but nothing more than that. On one level, that perception is true since he is undoubtedly a gifted pop songwriter, but at his core Rundgren is a rock & roll maverick. Once he had a taste of success with his 1972 masterwork Something/Anything?, Rundgren chose to abandon stardom and, with it, conventional pop music. He began a course through uncharted musical territory, becoming a pioneer not only in electronic music and prog rock, but in music video, computer software, and Internet music delivery as well. As his career wound into its third decade, Rundgren concentrated on behind-the-scenes innovations, but during the '70s and '80s he maintained a relentless work schedule. He released up to two albums a year either as a solo artist or with his band Utopia, while producing acclaimed, successful records for artists as diverse as Badfinger, Meat Loaf, Grand Funk Railroad, the New York Dolls, and XTC. Given such an extensive catalog, it's not surprising that there's a vast variety of styles within Rundgren's music -- which is either rewarding or frustrating, depending on the album. Also, more often than not, the singles from each record do not offer an accurate indication of what the remainder of the album sounds like. Such an approach severely curtailed his mass appeal, but it helped him cultivate a ferociously dedicated cult audience.

Todd Rundgren Bio

Todd Rundgren Bio

 

Todd Rundgren Biography

Todd Rundgren Biography

Todd Rundgren Pictures

Todd Rundgren Pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Rundgren Pic's

Todd Rundgren Pic's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Rundgren Goodies

During the '70s, his records were underground favorites, and his albums continued to chart until 1991, nearly 20 years after his commercial peak. In those 20 years, Rundgren may have existed largely on the fringes of pop music, but he produced a body of work that ranks as one of the most intriguing in rock & roll. A native of Upper Darby, PA -- a suburb of Philadelphia -- Rundgren learned how to play guitar as a child, teaching himself after his initial round of lessons ceased. As a teenager, he absorbed pop music from Motown to Liverpool and formed Money, his first band, when he was 16. Following his high school graduation, he moved to the resort town of Wildwood, NJ, where he regularly sat in with a number of bands. Eventually, he became a member of the blues group Woody's Truck Stop, which soon became based in Philadelphia. Rundgren stayed with the band for several months, but when the group began to move toward hippie psychedelia, he and Carson Van Osten bailed to form the Nazz in 1967. Taking their name from an obscure Yardbirds' song and inspired by a variety of British Invasion groups, from the omnipresent Beatles to the cult favorites the Move, the Nazz were arguably the first anglophiles in rock history. There had been many groups that drew inspiration from the Beatles and the Stones, but none had been so self-consciously reverent as the Nazz. Playing lead guitar and bass, respectively, Rundgren and Van Osten were joined by drummer Thom Mooney (formerly of the Munchkins) and lead vocalist/keyboardist Stewkey (born Robert Antoni). By September 1967, the group received some financial support from local record store Bartoff and Warfield, who also put them in touch with John Kurland, a record promoter who was looking for a guitar pop band. Kurland took a shine to the Nazz and signed on as their manager. Kurland and his associate, Michael Friedman, had the Nazz sign with SGC Records -- an off-shoot of Atlantic Records and Columbia-Screen Gems -- in the summer of 1968. Their debut album, Nazz, appeared in October, supported by the single "Hello It's Me." Although the song would later become a major hit for Rundgren as a solo artist, the dirgey original version barely scraped the national charts. Despite the lack of success, the record -- particularly the Nazz's self-production of "Open My Eyes" and "Hello It's Me" -- attracted some good notices. Taking these as a cue, the group began work on an ambitious, self-produced double-album, named Fungo Bat. By the time it was released in April 1969, it was trimmed to a single album, Nazz Nazz. In the process of editing, much of Rundgren's newer, Laura Nyro-influenced material -- which he had sung himself -- was left on the shelves. Neither the management nor his bandmates gave Rundgren much encouragement to sing, nor was his new introspective direction warmly received by his colleagues. Faced with a no-win situation, Rundgren left the group not long after their summer 1969 tour. Stewkey took control of the Nazz, erased Rundgren's vocals from the album sitting in the vaults, and replaced them with his own. The result was released as Nazz 3 in 1970, but it stiffed. Rundgren, meanwhile, became an in-house producer and engineer for former Bob Dylan manager Albert Grossman's fledgling studio and label, Bearsville Records. Around the same time, Rundgren formed a band called Runt. In reality, Runt was little more than a front for his burgeoning solo career. He played all of the instruments except drums and bass, which were usually handled by brothers Hunt and Tony Sales. Runt -- either Runt's first album or Rundgren's first solo album, depending on your point of view -- was released on Ampex Records in the fall of 1970. The album slowly earned an audience, with the single "We Gotta Get You a Woman" climbing into the Top 20 in early 1971. His modest success was enough to convince Grossman to sign Rundgren to a long-term contract with Bearsville. Apart from a re-release of Runt, the first Rundgren album to appear on Bearsville was Runt's final record, The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, a record that was reminiscent of such melodic singer/songwriter peers as King and Nyro, yet it had a subtly bizarre sensibility and quirky sense of humor that gave it a distinctive character. As he pursued his solo career, Rundgren quickly earned a reputation as a talented producer/engineer. His first production was for American Dream, but he quickly graduated to the big leagues thanks to his association with Grossman. In 1970, he engineered the Band's Stage Fright and Jesse Winchester's acclaimed eponymous debut. These two productions set the stage for Rundgren to take the production seat that George Harrison left vacant; the result was Badfinger's Straight Up, which gave him a huge hit with "Baby Blue." It wasn't long until Rundgren had a huge hit of his own. He abandoned the Runt concept before beginning his third album, deciding to record the entire record himself. The result was Something/Anything?, a double-album set that cemented Rundgren's reputation as a near-genius producer and gifted songwriter. Apart from the fourth side, which was constructed as a tongue-in-cheek operetta about a bar band, he played every instrument, sang every part, and produced the entire album. Hailed in the rock press as some sort of masterpiece upon its early 1972 release, it also won Rundgren a wide audience. The King tribute "I Saw the Light" reached number 16, and while its follow-up (the terrific power pop classic "Couldn't I Just Tell You") stiffed, the third single, a superior re-recording of the Nazz's semi-hit "Hello, It's Me," climbed all the way to number five. In all, Something/Anything? reached number 29 and went gold, spending nearly a full year on the charts. Stardom was handed to him with.
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