Todd Rundgren

Bang the Drum All Day

Song Review by

Todd Rundgren created one of his most beloved songs of the 1980's with this novelty tune, which combined new wave affectations with a sloppy but cheerful garage rock approach. The slyly witty lyrics portray a musically-gifted rebel who keeps the frustrations of the world at bay with his drum-playing skills: "I don’t want to work/I want to bang on the drum all day/I don’t want to play/I just want to bang on the drum all day." The music is just as exuberant as the lyrics, matching verses that swing in a rowdy fashion to a gleeful sing-along chorus. Todd Rundgren’s recording of "Bang The Drum All Day" cleverly fuses new wave and garage rock elements: synthesizer lines dominate the song in a new wave style but they sound like the farfisa organ that dressed up garage rock classic like "96 Tears" and raucous backing vocals, hard hitting drumwork and a Who-styled bass solo only enhance this feel. Rundgren roars in a classic rock and roll style over this fun-time rock sound, topping it off in an engaging style. The end result only had limited success as a single, failing to break the top 40, but "Bang The Drum All Day" gained a second life when radio stations around the country adopted into the lineup of songs they played during the post-work rush hour on Friday afternoons. It remains a favorite on these shows and this notoriety has made it one of Rundgren’s best-known latter day efforts.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect 1983 Rhino 3:35
Anthology (1968-1985) 1989 Rhino 3:35
Bang on the Drum All Day 1992 Castle Music Ltd.
80's Greatest Rock Hits, Vol. 4: Party On 1992
Various Artists
Priority Records
The Best of Todd Rundgren [Rhino] 1994 Rhino
Jock Rock, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:30
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Rhino
Dumb and Dumber: Get Down, Get Dumb 1996
Various Artists
Kid Rhino / Rhino
I Saw the Light & Other Hits 1997 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:36
Sports Rock [Rhino Flashback] 1997
Various Artists
Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:38
The Very Best of Todd Rundgren 1997 Rhino 3:38
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 3:32
Basketball's Greatest Hoop Hits 1998
Various Artists
Rhino
Chicago Bulls Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Alphabet City 0:00
Chicago Bulls Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Alphabet City 3:25
Green Bay Packers Greatest Hits 1992-1996 1998
Various Artists
Alphabet City 3:17
New York Rangers Greatest Hits 1998
Various Artists
Alphabet City 3:28
New York Yankees Greatest Hits 1998
Various Artists
Alphabet City 3:17
Hard Rock Cafe: Party Rock Classics 1998
Various Artists
Hard Rock Records (Rhino) / Rhino 3:37
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams [Box] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:32
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Atlantic
Made in America, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:38
Sports Illustrated for Kids: Game Time 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 49:06
Anthology & 10 Year Anniversary 2000 Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra
WPLJ Presents: Scott & Todd Blast Off 2000 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:36
Made in America [Delta #3] 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:38
Todd Rundgren: Reconstructed 2000 Cleopatra 4:12
Go Ahead Ignore Me: The Best of Todd Rundgren 2000 Castle Music Ltd. 3:35
Florida Gators: Sounds That Rock the Swamp 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 3:17
Green Bay Packers: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 3:17
Indiana Pacers: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 3:31
Minnesota Timberwolves: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City Sports Records / Alphabet City 3:30
New York Yankees: The New Era, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City 3:17
Todd Rundgren vs. Utopia 2002 Castle Music Ltd. 3:35
The Essentials 2002 Rhino 3:36
Hits of the 80's [St. Clair] 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:32
Hits of the 60's 70's & 80's [St. Clair] 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:32
Re-Mixes 2003 Brilliant 3:35
Todd Rundgren 2003 BCI-Eclipse Distribution / St. Clair 3:32
Best of 80s Pop: Party Songs 2003
Various Artists
Rhino 3:36
Greatest Classics: With a Twist 2003 Cleopatra 4:12
More Explosive Dance Sports 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 4:09
Explosive Pop Dance 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 4:09
Radio Hit Collection 2004
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 3:29
The Definitive Rock Collection 2006 Bearsville Records 3:36
The Greatest 80's Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 3:37
Top Hits of the 80s: Biggest Hits 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 3:37
Flashback with Todd Rundgren 2011 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:36
Hermit of Mink Hollow/Healing/The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect 2012 Edsel 3:37
The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection 2016 Rhino
300 Hits: The '80s
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 3:31