Todd Rundgren: “Good Vibrations” (1976)

A faithful cover of The Beach Boys classic that showcases Rundgren’s production skill.

Kronomyth 7.1: Oom baa baa o’rundgren.

The first half of Todd Rundgren’s Faithful was an interesting experiment, with Todd reproducing some of the most sonically adventurous songs from the Sixties, including The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations. (Rundgren had actually caught the attention of Brian Wilson after the latter heard Something/Anything?) That said, I’ve always the second half of Faithful more, as the first half felt like an advertisement for Rundgren’s production services.

The B sides — When I Pray or Love of Common Man depending on the origin of issue — were always the better songs to me. Half a great album and half a head-scratching production showcase, that Faithful. Despite the fact that “Good Vibrations” charted in the US, I don’t recall hearing it on the radio. Then again, it’s so close to the original that I might not have noticed the difference.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Good Vibrations (Brian Wilson/Mike Love) (3:44)
B1. When I Pray (Todd Rundgren) (2:58)

Original 7-inch single version (Europe)
A1. Good Vibrations (Brian Wilson/Mike Love)
B1. Love of the Common Man (Todd Rundgren)

Collectables back-to-back hits 7-inch single
A1. Bang the Drum All Day (Todd Rundgren)
B1. Good Vibrations (Brian Wilson/Mike Love)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in May 1976 in the US (Bearsville, BSS 0309), Australia (Bearsville, BSS-0309) and Portugal (Bearsville/Warner Bros., N-S-63-108) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #34 on the US charts (charted on June 5, 1976 for 8 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1976 in the US (Bearsville, BSS 0309) feat. A stereo and mono.

  1. Re-packaged with “Bang the Drum All Day” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Bearsville Collectables, COL 0330).

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