Saturday, April 9, 2016

40 Year Itch : Burned in My Prime

Todd Rundgren : Love of the Common Man

  On April 9, 1976 Todd Rundgren released the single "Love of the Common Man", a nifty slice of pop perfection that radio stations simply did not play. That's why a local FM rock station in Reno, Nevada donated its promo single --as well as hundreds of others--- to the Washoe County Library. And that's how I got my 12 year old hands on this single ( as well as 10cc's "I'm Mandy Fly Me" and The Band's "Ophelia"). The library didn't want to keep track of the 45's so anyone could go into the Sparks, Nevada branch, grab a few at a time and keep them forever.
   I was a kid who would walk blocks and blocks past empty desert lots and small ranch houses with dead lawns and drop outs working on their broken down dirt bikes just to visit the library.

 What I didn't know at the time was that "Love of the Common Man" came from Faithful, with its Side A of note for note perfect copies of classic rock songs Rundgren loved like "Good Vibrations" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." Interesting once. Maybe twice and then you just have to ask "Why?"
     Side B had the good stuff, especially "Love of the Common Man", a return to the power pop form for those who loved Something/Anything. Rundgren was actually trying to avoid writing love songs at the time so I hear this as a celebration of the good nature of your everyday man, the kind who will catch you should you take a dive from your ivory tower.

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