He may have missed the cut on this year’s Rock Hall inductions, but thirty years ago this week In the Studio put forth Todd Rundgren‘s nomination loud and clear by spotlighting him and his Spring 1972 double solo masterpiece Something/ Anything? in this interview as our episode #48.It was once said of Todd Rundgren, the stupendously gifted songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, that his only limitation was finding other musicians good enough to play with him ( the same thing just as easily could have been said of Prince except that, unlike Todd, Prince could dance in 4 inch stacked heels!). Even before the February 1972 release of Rundgren’s third solo album Something/Anything , Todd was being hailed by some rock critics as a wunderkind, that rare combination of left-brain creative and right-brain analytical talents, able to write charming pop lyrics, blessed with an innate ability to play practically any musical instrument, while adept at understanding and utilizing the technical intricacies of the modern recording studio. Something/Anything would have been a monumental achievement under any circumstances, yet Rundgren admits in this classic rock interview to neither reading nor writing music !
Todd Rundgren’s third solo album Something/Anything is an impressively diverse collection of styles, incorporating a dazzling array of pop music influences in a cascade of twenty-four songs, all written by Todd including tasty power pop (“Hello It’s Me”,”I Saw the Light”,”Couldn’t I Just Tell You” ), sweet soul ballads (“It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference”), and flat-out guitar god showcases (“Black Mariah” ). And 75% of them are played and sung all by Todd Rundgren who, at the time of Something/Anything‘s release in 1972, was a ripe old 23 years of age.
With every development in the technical evolution of music recording, what Todd Rundgren did and the way that he did it entirely on his own, some of it not even in a professional recording studio’s facilities or assisted by technical staff, only serves to continue to elevate this collection. Todd joins me In The Studio for this #29 charting album which Rolling Stone magazine counts as #173 on its list of the Top 500 Albums of All Time. – Redbeard