When I’ve read favorite artists of mine such as Ben Folds name Rundgren as an influence, I’ve thought “Jesus… the gun nut who basically threatened to kill Barack Obama a few months ago? He must have really gone downhill.”
But no, Rundgren isn’t a psycho fascist. He’s a singer-songwriter-producer who released his most popular material in the early 70s but has had a prolific career that’s still humming along.
I’ve barely dipped my toe into Rundgren’s discography, but a cursory listen to his most acclaimed album, Something/Anything?, left me impressed. He definitely sounds like the 70s, in ways both good and bad. And I can hear how he’s influenced Ben Folds in his melodies as well as his use of background vocals.
I feel like I owe Rundgren a little more time, particularly after I confused him for an ass-clown like Ted Nugent.
Today’s track is one of Rundgren’s most famous. The opening track of Something/Anything?, ‘I Saw the Light’ was written in the style of Carole King.
I was feeling something wasn’t right
There was not another soul in sight
Only you, only you
So we walked along,
Though I knew there was something wrong
And the feeling hit me oh so strong about you
Then you gazed up at me and the answer was plain to see
‘Cause I saw the light in your eyes
Though we had our fling
I just never would suspect a thing
‘Til that little bell began to ring in my head
In my head
But I tried to run,
Though I knew it wouldn’t help me none
‘Cause I couldn’t ever love no one, or so I said
But my feelings for you
Were just something I never knew
‘Til I saw the light in your eyes
But I love you best
It’s not something that I say in jest (ha ha)
‘Cause you’re different, girl, from all the rest
In my eyes
And I ran out before but I won’t do it anymore
Can’t you see the light in my eyes