Until this week, I’d never known of any music fan to say an unkind word about Todd Rundgren’s “Something/Anything?,” a two-record triumph of deeply soulful power-pop that even now remains the singer’s most successful work.
Then Rundgren called and did his best to set the record straight, shrugging off “I Saw the Light,” a slice of unassuming pop perfection, as a song that took him all of “20 minutes flat” to write because by then, he understood the formula.
Those songs are merely the result of well-honed craftsmanship — not art — to Rundgren’s ears. The art came later, starting with the album after “Something/Anything?,” a very different sort of masterpiece called “A Wizard, A True Star.”
Rundgren understands that other people like those early records more than he does, though, which is why he’s agreed to play his more accessible material on a tour being billed as “An Evening with Todd Rundgren Spanning Five Decades of Hits.” He’s even taking it back to his days as the leader of Nazz, who did the original version of his biggest solo hit, “Hello It’s Me.”