Todd Rundgren: “Hello It’s Me” (1972)

[Kronomyth 4.2]
The Ballad of Weenie Todd.

This is a story of three hellos, beginning with the debut of The Nazz, which featured a slowed-down and slightly tortured version of this song. Several years later, Todd Rundgren polished it up for his magnum opus, Something/Anything?, now presenting it as part of the great pop tapestry. It was one of the most memorable moments on a memorable album, Todd starting off with a little banter and two false starts before launching into one of the most perfect pop songs you’ll ever hear. The song was edited down to three-and-a-half minutes, possibly doctored (the bass and vocals sound a little different) and released to an American public that didn’t give it so much as a “How do you do?” in return. One of the great pop mysteries, that. So Bearsville shelved the single and re-issued it the following year after the release of Todd’s next album, A Wizard, A True Star. This time, the single caught listeners’ attention and went up to #5 on the Billboard charts, giving Rundgren his first Top 10 hit. The B side, “Cold Morning Light,” is identical to the elpee version and continues the theme of lost love. It’s one of the few recordings that feature Todd playing the flute, the first instrument he tried playing as a child, and would warrant its own paragraph if I weren’t so lazy.

Original 7-inch single version
A1. Hello It’s Me (Todd Rundgren) (3:27)
B1. Cold Morning Light (Todd Rundgren) (3:34)

German 7-inch single version
A1. Hello It’s Me (Todd Rundgren) (3:27)
B1. Is It My Name? (Todd Rundgren) (3:50)

Mexican 7-inch EP version
A1. Hola, Soy Yo (Todd Rundgren) (3:27)
A1. La Fria Luz De Mañana (Todd Rundgren) (3:24)
B1. Yo Vi La Luz (Todd Rundgren) (2:59)
B2. Marlene (Todd Rundgren) (3:54)

Back-to-back 7-inch single version (1988)
A1. Hello It’s me (Todd Rundgren) (3:27)
B1. Can We Still Be Friends (Todd Rundgren) (3:11)

The Plastic
Released on 7-inch single in November 1972 in the US and Canada (Bearsville, BSV 0009) and in 1973 in Australia (Bearsville, BSV-0009). Also released on 7-inch single b/w “Is It My Name?” in 1973 in Germany (Bearsville, BEA 15 512) with picture sleeve. Also re-packaged with “I Saw The Light” b/w “Marlene” on 7-inch EP in 1973 in Mexico (Warner Bros, GX 07-820) with picture sleeve.

  1. Re-issued on 7-inch single in September 1973 in the US (Bearsville, BSV 0009); reached #5 on the US charts (charted on October 6, 1973 for 20 weeks).
  2. Released on 7-inch single on January 18, 1974 in the UK (Bearsville, K 15513).
  3. Re-released with “A Dream Goes On Forever” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Bearsville, GBR 001).
  4. Re-released with “Can We Still Be Friends” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Bearsville/Rhino, R7 4514).

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