Happy Birthday to Todd Rundgren, who turns 70 today. Rundgren’s prolific, wide-ranging career has included success as a solo artist, with bands like Nazz and Utopia, and as a producer of several landmark albums.
Rundgren first gained notoriety as lead guitarist and songwriter of the psychedelic group Nazz. Todd launched his solo career in 1970 with the album Runt, which yielded the #20 hit “We Gotta Get You a Woman.” Rundgren quickly established a reputation as a studio wizard who played most of the instruments and produced his records.
In 1972, Rundgren released his classic third album, Something/Anything?, which reached #29 on the Billboard 200. It featured his two highest-charting singles — “Hello, It’s Me” and “I Saw the Light,” which peaked at #5 and #16, respectively, on the Hot 100.
In 1973, Rundgren formed Utopia, which began as a progressive-rock act but soon moved in a more pop-rock direction. The band stayed together until 1986, coexisting with Todd’s solo career during that period. In 1983, Todd released what’s become one of his most popular tunes, the party anthem “Bang the Drum All Day.”
Beginning in the early ’70s, Rundgren also became a sought-after producer whose resume includes Grand Funk Railroad‘s chart-topping We’re an American Band, The New York Dolls‘ self-titled debut, Meat Loaf‘s classic Bat out of Hell, Patti Smith‘s Wave and XTC‘s Skylarking.
Rundgren also enjoyed several stints as a member of Ringo Starr‘s All Starr Band, with the latest lasting from 2012 to 2017.
Rundgren’s latest album, White Knight, was released last year. It featured collaborations with Daryl Hall, Steely Dan‘s Donald Fagen, Joe Walsh, Nine Inch Nails‘ Trent Reznor and others. This year, Todd re-formed Utopia for a spring U.S. tour, which he’ll follow with a solo trek kicking off in July.
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Source: Oldies News