Sunday, June 07, 2015

Song of the Week: "All the Children Sing"

I know of literally no other person who likes this song, but I've had it in my head for a few days and I haven't featured Todd in this space since 2011, so here it is. This is the first track that leads off Todd Rundgren's 1978 album Hermit of Mink Hollow, an underrated album which his label sort of sabotaged by re-sequencing the tracks to put all of the poppier stuff on side one. No one's written much about this album, but considering that it came after some of his more progressive stuff (and some really cosmic stuff with his band Utopia), it is interesting to suddenly see him strip his sound down to much more pop-oriented stuff. Todd was always just ahead of the trends in music, and I feel like this album was sort of his answer to punk rock. Bebe Buell tells the story in her autobiography of how Todd laughed off the Sex Pistols when he first heard it, dismissing it by saying it was just doing Chuck Berry again. Still, after years of glam and prog and big, bloated productions dominating the record industry, Todd could at least see that stripping down a bit was the immediate future. After this, he went on a smaller, more intimate tour that resulted in his best live album. Back to the Bars. And his biggest hit off of this album was the pop ballad "Can We Still Be Friends?"

This song I mainly love for the spacey lyrics and the production, like the lead-off of a rock opera that never existed. There's a bit where he kind of lists a bunch of stereotypes that I dismiss as rather nonsensical, but I just really dig this song. The speed kind of grabs my attention.


Roger Owen Green said...

Sorry to ruin your streak, but I DO like the song. I have lots of different TR - Nazz, Utopia (that Beatlesque album's a hoot!), various phases of solo stuff. But nothing destroys me like "Can We Still Be Friends?"

Roger Owen Green said...

Can we still be friends Todd Rundgren and Daryl Hall

SamuraiFrog said...

Finally, someone who likes Todd! My wife decidedly does NOT like him except for the first half or so of A Wizard, a True Star and "Can We Still Be Friends?" For me, it's a pretty straight shot from Nazz until the final Utopia album. (I like so many artists from the late sixties, early seventies until the early eighties...)

Thanks for the video. Very nice. Daryl Hall is another artist I like that my wife really, really doesn't. Man.

Roger Owen Green said...

Now I'm listening to A Cappella, which I have on vinyl, which I haven't played in years. I love this album.