SotD: Todd Rundgren, “Something To Fall Back On”

In which a few strands from relatively recent posts intermingle…

In response to Saturday’s musings on Todd Rundgren, kblumenau pointed me (via Tweet) to two sweet early TR pieces: “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” and “Be Nice To Me.” While I haven’t exactly been on a Rundgren jag since then, it has made me recognize that he’s another of the artists that has popped up in a variety of spots in my musical firmament.

Which leads to the realization that…

My piece last month on albums I purchased early in my time in Champaign-Urbana failed to include Rundgren’s A Cappella (the album of his with which I have greatest familiarity). I don’t know you can say it’s cheating if you run your voice through a synthesizer, but all the sounds on that release come, one way or another, from Todd’s larynx/diaphragm. There are several cuts I enjoy plenty, including “Hodja” and a cover of the Spinners’ “Mighty Love” (the odd “Lockjaw” is worth hearing once, I suppose).

My favorite on that album, though, was the nominal single “Something To Fall Back On.” Super-catchy and fun, I feel certain I heard on the radio when it first came out toward the end of 85, but I have WPGU to thank for putting it back in my head with some frequency a year later.

Trawling around YouTube this morning, I found this artifact from a visit Rundgren made to Notre Dame a couple of years ago. He spent ten days there as an artist-in-residence and gave a concert as part of the deal. Since I’ve also had a cappella groups that got their start on college campuses in mind lately, it seems reasonable to share this performance of “Something To Fall Back On,” where Todd receives backup help from about a dozen ND students. As a commenter on the video notes, it’s cool that the new generation is gaining exposure to Rundgren’s oeuvre.

One thought on “SotD: Todd Rundgren, “Something To Fall Back On””

  1. Even though Rundgren claims not to like it much, I highly recommend 1982’s The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect. You know the ubiquitous hit, Bang The Drum All Day. There’s also a bad cover of the Small Faces’ Tin Soldier and a Gilbert & Sullivan parody entitled Emperor of the Highway. Those three are the worse songs on the CD. The other 6 tracks are fantastic, forgotten pop tracks. I’d have to say that my favorite is probably Drive because I find myself singing that song to myself more than any others.


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