October 03, 2011
Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Soft Rock, Power Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Proto-Punk, Hard Rock, Album Rock

Album Review

Of all of Edsel’s 2011 Todd Rundgren reissues, their double-disc set of Runt and The Ballad of Todd Rundgren has the most enticing bonus material. Ballad is expanded by four live tracks -- “Broke Down and Busted” live from Carnegie Hall in 1972, then “Believe in Me,” “Be Nice to Me,” and “Hold Me Tight” from a live broadcast in June 1971 -- but the real news is the first reissue of a scrapped alternate version of Runt that briefly appeared in 1970. This version contains significantly different, not necessarily better, mixes of “Believe in Me,” “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” “Devil’s Bite,” and “Birthday Carol,” a version of “Broke Down and Busted” with “There Are No Words” used as an introduction, a full-length version of “Baby Let’s Swing,” an early version of “Hope I’m Around” that’s considerably more forceful than what wound up on Ballad, and, finally, the abandoned “Say No More.” While nothing here eclipses what was on the finished Runt -- all the finished mixes are better than the ones here -- it’s nevertheless necessary for Todd fanatics, particularly for the slightly awkward “Hope I’m Around,” the extended “Baby Let’s Swing,” and “Say No More,” even if it's easy to see why the latter was cut from Runt.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Broke Down and Busted
  2. Believe in Me
  3. We Gotta Get You a Woman
  4. Who's That Man?
  5. Once Burned
  6. Devil's Bite
  7. I'm in the Clique
  8. There Are No Words
  9. Baby Let's Swing/The Last Thing You Said/Don't Tie My Hands
  10. Birthday Carol
  11. Broke Down and Busted (Intro: There Are No Words) [Alternate Version] [
  12. Believe in Me [Alternate Mix] [Mix][Version]
  13. We Gotta Get You a Woman [Alternate Mix] [Mix][Version]
  14. Hope I'm Around [Early Version] [Version]
  15. Devil's Bite [Alternate Mix with Extended Guitar Solo] [Mix][Version]
  16. Baby Let's Swing [Version]
  17. Say No More [Version]
  18. Birthday Carol [Mix][Version]
  19. Long Flowing Robe
  20. The Ballad (Denny & Jean)
  21. Bleeding
  22. Wailing Wall
  23. The Range War
  24. Chain Letter
  25. A Long Time, a Long Way to Go
  26. Boat on the Charles
  27. Be Nice to Me
  28. Hope I'm Around
  29. Parole
  30. Remember Me
  31. Broke Down and Busted [Live at Carnegie Hall, June 8, 1972] [Live][*]
  32. Believe in Me [*]
  33. Be Nice to Me [*]
  34. Hold Me Tight [Live Broadcast on WMMR-FM, June 30, 1971] [Live][*]