The album distinctly shows the three sides of Rundgren’s genius. There are guitar rave-ups (Rundgren has always been underrated as a guitar player) like the opening “Broke Down and Busted,” “Who’s That Man,” and “Devil’s Bite.” Then there are the ineffably sad, beautiful ballads for which Rundgren has become a favorite of many. These include “Believe In Me,” and “Once Burned.” Finally there are the flat out pop masterworks like “We Gotta Get You A Woman,” which reached #20 on the U.S. charts, and the medley “Baby Let’s Swing/The Last Thing You Said/Don’t Tie My Hands.” The opening song of the medley is a wonderful tribute to songwriter Laura Nyro. What makes it particular special is that Rundgren places it musically within the jaunty shuffle that was a hallmark of Nyro’s work. A mis-pressed vinyl release from later in 1970 offered a full-length version of “Baby Let’s Swing,” and the beautiful ballad “Hope I’m Around,” which eventually ended up on Rundgren’s next album, The Ballad of Todd Rundgren. There were only 5,000 copies of these mis-presses, but we can be thankful for the bountiful Internet.
Todd Rundgren recorded three albums with the Philadelphia band Nazz before leaving in 1969. The indelible original version of “Hello It’s Me,” which appeared on the first Nazz album, was a Top 50 hit in Canada. After leaving Nazz, he formed Runt. Whether Runt is a true solo album or a band effort remains a bit of a mystery. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren was even more of a solo effort, and by 1972, Rundgren was playing everything on three of the four sides of his masterpiece Something/Anything.