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Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren

Runt. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren is the second album by American singer-songwriter/musician Todd Rundgren, released in 1971. The album is perhaps Rundgren's most concise and straightforward, featuring mostly piano-led pop songs and ballads.

As with his first album, this album was initially credited to "Runt". However, while it could be argued that "Runt" was a trio for that first album (consisting of Rundgren, Tony Sales and Hunt Sales), here things are not so clear cut. Rundgren himself wrote, produced and sang every tune on The Ballad of Todd Rundgren, as well as handling all guitars, keyboards, and various other instruments (including one of the first uses of the talk box effect, later popularized by Peter Frampton). Tony Sales plays bass throughout Ballad, but his brother Hunt Sales (who played drums on 'Runt') plays drums only on the last cut and conga on track number 8. All other drum tracks are played by N.D. Smart, who later became a member of the Hello People and was Mountain's first drummer. The album cover was designed by Ron Mael from the band Sparks.

In mid 1971 Bearsville was purchased by Warner Bros. distribution and plans were made to re-release both Runt and Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren as a "twin pack" entitled Todd Rundgren's Rack Job in 1973. The album got as far as test presses and album art but was shelved as Todd wanted to release an album of new material instead of previously released material.

Track listing

All songs written by Todd Rundgren.

Side one

  1. "Long Flowing Robe" – 3:30
  2. "The Ballad (Denny & Jean)" – 3:30
  3. "Bleeding" – 4:05
  4. "The Wailing Wall" – 3:05
  5. "The Range War" – 2:38
  6. "Chain Letter" – 5:02

Side two

  1. "A Long Time, A Long Way to Go" – 2:12
  2. "Boat on the Charles" – 4:28
  3. "Be Nice to Me" – 3:27
  4. "Hope I'm Around" – 4:55
  5. "Parole" – 4:22
  6. "Remember Me" – 0:51

Charts

Singles - Billboard
Year Single Chart Position
1971 "Be Nice to Me" Pop Singles 71
1971 "A Long Time, A Long Way to Go" Pop Singles 92

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