Something/Anything? by Todd Rundgren (1972)
Favorite Tracks: "I Saw the Light" and "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Wolfman Jack" and "Cold Morning Light" and "It Takes Two to Tango (This Is For the Girls)" and "Song of the Viking" and "Black Maria" and "One More Day (No Word)" and "Torch Song" and "Little Red Lights" and "Hello, It's Me"
Thoughts: (Before Listening:) Straight talk: I've always sort of dismissed Todd Rundgren as a soft rock pop idol from the 70s. I didn't really think anyone took his music very seriously. Now, that's not to say I won't enjoy his stuff considering my other well-known love affairs with less-than-punk or widely respected musical artists. So imagine my surprise when the characters on That 70s Show wanted to go to a Todd Rundgren concert! They usually had such excellent music taste. So maybe Todd Rundgren was ok after all. I'm glad he's on the list so I can decide for myself.
"I didn't think you'd be interested in Todd Rundgren. I mean, like you said, he's no Frampton."
(After Listening:) Many of the first few songs were soft rock love ballads (which I have a weakness for--particularly from the 70s), but some songs actually rocked out nicely, like "Wolfman Jack."
Amusingly, Todd opens the second side of the album with a track called "Intro", wherein he proceeds to walk the listener through various kinds of 'studio sounds.' His narration (I'm assuming it's him) reminds me of the voice of Jesus. This Jesus in particular:
"John, you drank too much wine the other night. Not way too much, just enough to make me angry."
Now, I am super impressed that Todd could create a 25 track album this good when he was only 24. I'm less impressed that he was 24 and thought it was ok to write a love song to a (real or imaginary) 17 year old with "Marlene." Eww.
But despite being in another universe than Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," Todd's "Song of the Viking" is quite fun. I really liked "Black Maria" but in fairness it should really be called "Black Mariah," considering that's how he pronounces the name. "One More Day (No Word)" reminded me of a less-Jimmy-Buffett-esque Jimmy Buffett song. I was shocked to discover I don't actually recognize the biggest hit, "Hello, It's Me." I'm sure I've heard it before, but for whatever reason it never took hold in my conscious or subconscious. I'd lay the blame on someone, but it's not that great of a song, so it's fine.
What's less fine is the final track on the album: "Slut." It has the charming lyric, "She may be a slut but she looks good to me." Charming. Also there's lyrics regarding someone 'putting up a fight' but 'losing tonight.' I reaaaaaally hope that this supposed 'slut' is not the person he's referring to. Yuck. Made the album end on a very sour note for me.
Is This Better Than Desire?: Nope, but I did like it. Most of it.