Todd Rundgren

Free Soul Runt

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How many Todd Rundgren compilations have been issued over the year -- 25 zillion? While there are a few common ones (especially Rhino's Very Best Of from 1997), there are also several obscure comps, such as the 1998 Japanese import Free Soul Runt. Although it may take some effort to track down, what differentiates this 23-track set from the rest of the pack is that it focuses primarily on oft-overlooked '70s-era Rundgren gems, rather than the usual favorites. Admittedly though, several expected classics are indeed included -- "We Gotta Get You a Woman," "Hello It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends?," etc. But few Rundgren comps have spotlighted such just-as-deserving tracks as "Cold Morning Light," "All the Children Sing," and "Cliché," among others. If you're a new fan looking to sample the very best bits of Rundgren's long and winding discography, Free Soul Runt may not be a wise first purchase (such favorites as "Couldn't I Just Tell You," "Just One Victory," and "Bang the Drum All Day" are missing, while none of his exceptional Utopia material is included). But if you already own the aforementioned Very Best Of and want to dig a bit deeper, Free Soul Runt is a fine follow-up.

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