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Very Best of

4.5 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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The Very Best Of Todd Rundgren
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Audio CD, July 29, 1997
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Product Description

Todd is God. This 16-track CD-his first single-disc "best-of"-features his solo hits Hello, It's Me; I Saw the Light; We Gotta Get You a Woman; Can We Still Be Friends , plus three Utopia tracks, his 1989 duet with Bobby Womack and more!

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A good, inexpensive single-disc compilation of Rundgren singles may not be what the world's been waiting for, but it's a fine thing nonetheless. Largely avoiding the big pretensions of many of his post-Something/Anything? albums, this record distills 15 years of releases into a hits-just-keep-on-coming set which makes sense of the sensibility that produced the bemusedly soulful "Hello It's Me," the straightforwardly sweet "Dream Goes On Forever," and the outright goofy "Bang the Drum All Day." --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 29, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000003420
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,805 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I owned and loved all of Todd Rundgren's albums until he formed Utopia and stepped off into outer space. I still stand by the two Runt albums, "Something/Anything," "A Wizard a True Star" and (especially) "Todd" as some of the most brilliant, creative pop-rock ever produced. If you like Todd Rundgren, before you buy this best-of, buy all of those. You also might want to get a couple of other winners from a little later in his career, "Faithful" and "Hermit of Mink Hollow." But after all those, you might want to get this, because it's the best way to get great tracks like "Real Man," "Love is the Answer," "Something to Fall Back On," and "Want of a Nail," without having to expose yourself to the maddeningly tedious side of Rundgren's music, his explorations into generic transcendentalism, accompanied by endless screaming guitar and synthesizer solos, with zero evidence of the humor and soul he shows at his best. None of that music is represented here, luckily. You can enjoy "Real Man" without ever having to listen to "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire," and that's the best favor anyone could do for this gifted, but sometimes self-indulgent, artist.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a good starter CD for anyone who is learning about Todd's music, but it barely scratches the surface about who Todd is (and thats hard to explain because he kept trying to re-invent himself on every LP during his prime in the 1970's)

Rhino has a few other 1-CD budget comps of Todd's stuff but they are very cheap and skimpy - get this one instead to see if you like him or not. (I think you will!) My only gripe is the liner notes which someone should have re-edited. Todd is very critical and sometimes very negative about his early music (which I adored).

All his well known "hits" are here, but I would have loved to also have had "Sometimes I Dont Know What To Feel", "Time Heals" and the underrated "Parallel Lines" from his last great CD, "Nearly Human".
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Format: Audio CD
There is no doubt in my mind that Todd Rundgren, whose career has spanned from late 60s British Invasion/Beatlesque pop, through both the glittery and the singer-songwriter 70s, and then through the 80s new wave and beyond (and now, giving new life to a long defunct band, i.e., the Cars), is a great talent. And one of his sharpest talents has to do with his ability to craft a pure pop tune, that is, to tell a story or to express a basic human sentiment in music, and to do so in a hook filled way. Is it any wonder that so many of his songs are considered classics? Rundgren's been widely covered, by artists as wide ranging as Jules Shear, Robert Palmer, The Isley Brothers (check out their smooth, soulful take on "Hello it's me"), Mitch Easter, Billy Bragg, Joe Walsh, as well as the Manhattan Transfer, Johnny Mathis and Mandy Moore. His song The Want of a Nail is a highlight of the recent indie musical "Camp." I also once heard the band Yo La Tengo do a stellar version of I Saw the Light, accompanied by cello, and it was great.

This, then, offers a fine overview of a multi talented songrwriter-arranger-performer. It contains a number of well known classic American melodic rock tunes, songs which will ring in your ears for hours, or even days, afterward. It sets a standard for what good music might be, in sharp contrast to the plethora of commercial garbage currently on the charts.

As others have suggested in their reviews, there is much more that could have been included. But this is probably meant to be a starting point for checking out Todd Rundgren (not to mention his band Utopia). In that, this CD accomplished its task.
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Format: Audio CD
THIS IS A GREAT CROSS SECTION OF HIS WORK AND WORTH THE PURCHASE PRICE OF ADMISSION! This will give you a good idea of his genius and creativity.
Let's face it...Todd Rundgren is one of the most unsung hero/genius musicians of the last 40 years. He was uneven in his releases and often spent time producing/promoting and working with other bands/artists while his music went on the back burner.
While I think this is probably the closest you'll come to a good cross section of his music/career, the obvious omission of "Time Heals" and/or some of the other cuts from the album "Healing" leave me thinking that the title of this album is an obvious error and should not be taken seriously.
"Time Heals" was probably the single best piece of music he did during his career. And "Healing" was probably his single best album, far surpassing the classic "Something/Anything" which I grew up with and loved.
I have loved, revered and adored this man from the first time I ever heard any thing of his or anything of anyone elses that he had his finger in. His unfearing exploration of different styles and subject matter in his career shows the genius and versatility he possesses.
If it were up to me... I'd just buy "Something/Anything" and "Healing". You could really call them "The Best Of Todd Rundgren" but, even then you'd 'Always Be Missing Something' like "Bang On The Drum All Day". I am sorely dissappointed in the omission of "Time Heals". Sometimes I think they should actually poll fans to find out what "they" would include in some of these so called "Greatest Hits" or "Best Of" collections as it seems to me that they always leave one, two or three things out that really HAVE to be there for a collection to be labled as such.
I would recommend this as a STARTING POINT to give you some insight into an amazing artist/musician/songwriter/producer/musical genius if you're not all that familiar with his work since it does contain most of his classic offerings!
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