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Editors’ Notes

An overlooked classic of teenage energy, pop songcraft, and studio ingenuity, Runt was unlike anything else in the heady musical waters of 1970. Carrying over the Anglo-obsessed garage rock of his former group The Nazz and merging it with the idiosyncratic touch that would soon become his hallmark, Runt was the sole property of its author. For his solo debut Todd Rundgren produced, engineered, and played everything save for bass and drums. Fusing the confessional, feminine songcraft of Laura Nyro, the orchestrated pop of Brian Wilson and the volume-up rock’n’roll of the Who, Runt comes straight from the heart of a 22-year-old boy genius who believed wholeheartedly in the power of recorded rock’n’roll. From breezy AM radio anthems (“We Gotta Get You A Woman”) to pop blitzes custom built for vintage hi-fis (“Devil’s Bite,” “Who’s That Man”) Runt delivers thrills at every corner. Rundgren even found time to slip in a few of the tongue-in-cheek studio experiments (the haunting “There Are No Words; the prog-rock send-up “I’m The Clique”) that would become a trademark later in his career. The boyish maestro funneled all his capabilities into the album’s centerpiece, “Baby Let’s Swing/ The Last Thing You Said / Don’t Tie My Hands”: a masterful pop-rock suite that is once at a love letter to Laura Nyro, a climaxing mini rock opera, and the most perfect rush of vintage radio dial rock’n’roll you are ever likely to hear.

Customer Reviews

What a great album.

Really introspective at times and toungue in cheek most others, Runt, the lovingly scratched up LP did a good job of mimicing the ebb & flow of a year or two of my youth. Or maybe it was me mimicing Runt. Either way, sitting on the floor in my basement with my headphones on and turned way up, looking at Todd's picture on the cover knowing that he did all of this himself helped that hopelessly imbalanced teenager to stop worrying about being strange. I listen to it now and miss the sound of the sctratching.

Since Noone Mentioned....

Since nobody has brought this little fact up, I must. Part of the reason that I love Baby Let's Swing etc. is the Laura Nyro tribute thing happening. In case anyone doesn't realize, the song is about Laura Nyro and you don't have to listen very closely to notice the piano sounds just like Wedding Bell Blues, do ya? Jes another reason this song makes me happy.

Todd Rundgren-Runt

I have been looking for this for a year or more. Like the previous reviewer, I love the song "Baby Let's Swing/The Last Thing you Said. I remember the days where you bought a 45 and actually played the flip side. Thanks, iTunes, for bringing back some memories of days gone by.


Born: June 22, 1948 in Upper Darby, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Runt, Todd Rundgren
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