Todd is God: Rob Acampora Makes the Case Why Todd Rundgren is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Worthy
The recent fan vote for the 2019 Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame has the top three as Def Leppard (547,647), Stevie Nicks (427,844), and Todd Rundgren (365,370). While some may not see how Rundgren may belong in this high of stature before the big reveal of the new class going to Cleveland, you need to understand why many say #ToddIsGod
Rundgren may not have the resume of hits as other nominees, but in the ’70s he was hitting the charts with classics that include “Hello It’s Me”, “I Saw The Light”, “We Gotta Get You A Woman”, and “Can We Still Be Friends”. The ’80s saw Rundgren do an album with his band Utopia and return to the charts with “Set Me Free”, and the ode to the every 9 to 5er – “Bang The Drum All Day”. By 1990, Todd had his highest charting song on the Rock and Alternative Charts with “The Want Of A Nail”.
Having only a half a dozen Top-30 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 does not compare to a Def Leppard or a Stevie Nicks, but where Todd Rundgren earns his spot in the Hall is in his musical influence on many artists:
This former Philly guy helped two young Philly boys looking for a break. Todd helped mold the sound of a young Darryl Hall and John Oates by producing one of their first albums.
In the world of producing is where Rundgren went on to shine. Hard and demanding some would say, but the results are undeniable:
Todd has produced all kind of artists ranging from Cheap Trick and The Cars, to pop acts like Jill Sobule and Sean Cassidy. Grand Funk Railroad enlisted Rundgren in the early 70’s to produce their releases – the results netted their biggest hits with “We’re An American Band”, “The Locomotion”, and “Walk Like A Man”. Meat Loaf’s classic album Bat Out Of Hell would not be what it is without Todd’s production skills. His magic extended to The Psychedelic Furs (“Love My Way”), XTC (“Dear God” – the band’s defining song), and Patti Smith (“Dancing Barefoot”).
Rundgren’s biggest hit song was possible the 1979 cover of “Love Is The Answer” by England Dan and John Ford Coley. Todd recorded the song in 1977 with not much success – the cover became one of the biggest hits of 1979.
Rundgren’s accomplishments are far reaching in the music industry: ranging from organizing the first interactive TV concert in 1978, designed the first color graphics tablet in 1980, and created the first interactive album (No World Order) in 1994.
Rundgren has always looked forward, trying to create things that always seem to be ahead of the curve. There is lies part of the genius of an artist who because of his far reaching influence in music is more than worthy to be in the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame. Good Luck to you, Todd!