Hello It's Me
|"Hello It's Me"|
|Genre||Pop rock, soft rock, blue-eyed soul, jazz fusion|
|"Hello It's Me"|
|Single by Nazz|
|from the album Nazz|
|Genre||Garage rock, psychedelic rock|
"Hello It's Me" is a Billboard #5 hit song composed by Todd Rundgren that has been recorded numerous times, and would become Rundgren's best-known song.
Hello, It's Me was the first original song by Todd Rundgren. It was first recorded in 1968 by Rundgren's band Nazz and was included on their self-titled debut album. Although released as the B-side of the group's debut single Open My Eyes it was picked up in preference to the A-side by Boston radio station WMEX, where it rose to #1, and was subsequently picked up by other stations, although it didn't fare well nationally, peaking at #66 on the U.S. charts.
Rundgren's songs in this early phase of his career were heavily influenced by the work of Laura Nyro, but in a 2005 interview he revealed that the basic structure of the song was adapted from the introduction of Jimmy Smith recording:
...the main influence for Hello It's Me was an eight bar intro that Jimmy Smith played on a recording of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. He had this whole sort of block chord thing that he did to set up the intro of the song. I tried to capture those changes, and those changes became what are the changes underneath Hello It's Me." I then had to come up with melody and words, but the changes are actually almost lifted literally from something that was, from Jimmy Smith's standpoint, a throwaway.—Todd Rundgren, puremusic.com 
Rundgren recorded an uptempo version of Hello It's Me on his 1972 solo album Something/Anything?. Although a remake of the original, this new version became widely popular and has since become a staple of the classic rock genre. An edit of this version was released as a single in 1973 and became Rundgren's only major pop hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Personnel on Todd Rundgren solo (studio) version
- Todd Rundgren- Lead vocals, Piano
- Mark "Moogy" Klingman- Organ
- John Siomos- Drums
- Stu Woods- Bass
- Robbie Kogale- Guitar
- Randy Brecker- Trumpet
- Michael Brecker- Tenor sax
- Barry Rogers- Trombone
Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker and Barry Rogers made up the horn section of the jazz rock band of the same time period Dreams (band)
- Hope Ruff- Backing vocals
- Richard Corey- Backing vocals
- Vicki Robinson- Backing vocals
- Dennis Cooley- Backing vocals
- Cecilia Norfleet- Backing vocals
In the media
- In the ending to the pilot of the Fox sitcom That '70s Show, Eric and the gang joyfully sing this in the car while on their way to a Todd Rundgren concert. The clip was used as the ending to the show's series finale as well. Subsequently, in the pilot, Jackie Burkhart says that she has the 45rpm of the song and the song played over the ending scene in which Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti were lying on the Vista Cruiser.
- Paul Giamatti's character in the 2000 film Duets performs this song in a karaoke bar.
- Rundgren performed this song on the show The Midnight Special in 1973.
- The single was used in a 2009 Tums advert.
- The song is used in the movie The Virgin Suicides.
- Rundgren's version is used in the 2011 movie Paul.
- A cover version of "Hello It's Me" was recorded by The Isley Brothers for their 1974 album Live It Up.
- A version influenced by the Isley Brothers' cover was recorded by Groove Theory for their 1995 self-titled album.
- Mary J. Blige recorded a version produced by Mark Ronson that appears on the Japanese and iTunes editions of her 2007 album Growing Pains.
- Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs included their take of the song on their album Under the Covers, Vol. 2.
- Lani Hall, Herb Alpert's wife, recorded this on her album titled, "Hello It's Me" in 1975.
- Gerald Levert recorded a cover with Lil' Mo, which was used in the soundtrack for the movie The Mod Squad.
- John Legend recorded the song for a Gap-sponsored disc called "Favorite Songs."
- The Grip Weeds recorded the song on the album Strange Change Machine in 2010.
- San Diego based Indie Duo T.V Girl samples the intro of this song on their track 'If You Want It'
- Todd Rundgren recorded a new "latin" version in 1997 on his album "with a twist..."