Editors’ Notes Todd Rundgren, visionary pop outsider and self-proclaimed “Runt,” was a distinctive and prolific producer and songwriter, who developed a skewed power-pop aesthetic that embraced the psychedelic textures of late sixties rock, the willfully difficult song structures of the progressive era, and the lush, symphonic sound of producers like Phil Spector and Joe Meek. He attracted a fair sized cult following with his carefully constructed solo albums, his inventive productions for groups as diverse as Badfinger, Cheap Trick, and XTC, and the bombastic faux-prog of his group Utopia. The plainly titled Very Best of Todd Rundgren does an admirable job of framing an accurate portrait of this notoriously elusive artist. Though many of Rundgren’s LPs were conceived as song suites (Runt and A Wizard, A True Star in particular), the compilers do an excellent job of extracting Rundgren’s poppiest moments from these dense, often bewildering albums. Though this makes for a simplified view of Rundgren’s work, songs like the soulful “A Dream Goes on Forever” which blends the drum machine experiments of Sly Stone with the fey, tin pan alley pop of Elton John, and the gentle revelation of “I Saw The Light” are phenomenal even when heard out of context.

SONG
We Gotta Get You a Woman
1
3:10
 
Be Nice to Me
2
3:25
 
I Saw the Light
3
3:02
 
Hello It's Me
4
4:24
 
Couldn't I Just Tell You
5
3:22
 
Just One Victory
6
5:00
 
A Dream Goes On Forever
7
2:25
 
Real Man
8
4:30
 
Love of the Common Man
9
3:39
 
Love Is the Answer
10
4:18
 
Love In Action
11
3:30
 
Can We Still Be Friends?
12
3:38
 
The Very Last Time
13
3:53
 
Bang the Drum All Day
14
3:38
 
Something to Fall Back On
15
4:17
 
The Want of a Nail
16
5:14