I know this cover isn’t the one for “Hermit of Mink Hollow,” it’s for an earlier album from 1972, “Something/Anything?.” The reason, I’m putting this album on the post as well is because the “Something/Anything?” album is one of those that got left out in the last chapter “Great Rock Albums of the 70s.” Therefore, I thought I would say a few words about it here.
“Something/Anything?” is considered by many Todd Rundgren fans as one of his very best and I’m not one who’s going to debate that. While it’s pop oriented, including hit singles “Hello It’s Me” and “I Saw the Light,” there are some great rocking moments on it. Songs such as “Black Maria,” “Little Red Lights” and “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” are some very powerful rocking hits. Todd Rundgren also shows a sense of humour similar to Warren Zevon in songs like “Piss Aaron” and “You Left Me Sore.” At the end, he takes both the hard rock sound and humourous lyrics to make the song “Slut” which leaves you in no doubt of his versatility. With all that said, let’s look at the 1978 offering “Hermit of Mink Hollow.”
The first thing I noticed when I first heard this album was that Rundgren follows the blue print from the “Something/Anything?” album. But he takes it one step further by playing all the instruments and furnishing all vocals himself. While past albums have large portions of them featuring Todd Rundgren alone, this is the first album to totally feature no other musicians. “Hermit of Mink Hollow” was totally created, arranged and produced by him.
The tracks on the album prove that working solo was a good idea for Todd Rundgren. True, it is also a pop oriented album, the single “Can We Still Be Friends” bears witness to it, there are some good rock moments and tracks which show his humourous side as well. “Out of Control” and “Determination” show that Rundgren can rock with the best of them and even after all these years, I still burst out laughing when I hear “Onomataopoeia.” Tracks “Bread” and “Bag Lady” show his aversion to social inequality, while the former song has a good rock edge as well, once again proving his versatility.
1. All The Children Sing
2. Can We Still Be Friends
3. Hurting For You
4. Too Far Gone
8. Bag Lady
9. You Cried Wolf
10. Lucky Guy
11. Out of Control
12. Fade Away
There are not many artists out there who can play all the instruments, supply all the vocals and arrange production all themselves on an album and there is, in my humble opinion, no one who can do it better than Todd Rundgren. The two albums mentioned here are proof of that.
Next post: Bob Dylan- Street Legal
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