Wednesday Night Music Byte
Allmusic informs us, 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. As an aside, actress Liv Tyler was raised by Rundgren and for many years she believed that he was her father before discovering that her real father was actually Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame. That however, is a story for a different day.
The following video clip is of Rundgren performing his 1975 hit, Real Man with a great group of back-up performers. Pay close attention to his bandmates dressed in Beatles style outfits.