Runt (album)

Runt (album)

Studio album by Todd Rundgren
Released June, 1970
Genre Art rock, power pop, psychedelic pop
Length 40:20
Label Ampex
Producer Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren chronology
Runt. The Ballad of Todd Rundgren
Singles from Runt
  1. "We Gotta Get You a Woman"
    Released: October 1970
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
allmusic [1]
Robert Christgau (B)[2]
Rolling Stone (Not Rated)[3]

Runt is the self-titled debut of the band Runt, first released in 1970 on the Ampex Records label. Many regard the album as Todd Rundgren's debut solo album, as all later reissues (including the 1990 CD reissue by Rhino) credit the album to Todd Rundgren rather than to Runt. At the initial time of release, however, Runt was identified as a trio consisting of Rundgren (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Hunt Sales (drums), and Tony Sales (bass). The entire album was written and produced by Rundgren.

Initially dividing critics upon its release, the record runs the gamut from blues-styled guitar workouts ("Birthday Carol", "Broke Down and Busted") to power pop ("Devil's Bite", "Don't Tie My Hands") to Laura Nyro-styled piano pop ("We Gotta Get You a Woman", "Baby Let's Swing", "The Last Thing You Said") to rock 'n' roll ("Who's That Man") to piano ballads ("Believe in Me", "Once Burned", the middle section of "Birthday Carol"), as well as including more experimental numbers (the sarcastic, prog-rock tinged "I'm in the Clique", "There Are No Words").


  • "We Gotta Get You A Woman" 1
  • Alternative pressings 2
  • Track listing 3
    • Standard track listing 3.1
    • 12-track mispressed vinyl release, November 1970 3.2
    • Expanded Reissue 3.3
  • Personnel 4
  • Charts 5
  • References 6

"We Gotta Get You A Woman"

Ostensibly written for long-time friend and eventual President of Bearsville Records, Paul Fishkin, "We Gotta Get You A Woman" was the unexpected hit which put Todd and "Runt" on the musical map. The song captures lover's lament of the fictional character ""Leroy"" in a whimsical but poignant way. Todd and Paul would personally go to radio stations touting the story of their friendship and lack of female companionship. Eventually, enough DJs responded by giving the song a play that it spawned the movement toward reaching Billboard's Top 20 in 1971. There was a bit of controversy from Women's Liberation groups over the line "Talkin' 'bout feelings for that special one/They may be stupid but they sure are fun." Detractors inferred "stupid" was a derogatory remark about women, however, Todd insists to this day his intention was to regard the "feelings" about women to be the target of the pronoun. Whatever the case, the fervor led to some stations refusing to play the tune for fear of reprisals.

Alternative pressings

Upon its release in June 1970 the album was issued with 10 tracks. After "We Gotta Get You a Woman" became a hit single, Ampex decided to press more copies of the LP in November 1970 to keep up with demand. A rejected 12-track master of the LP was accidentally sent to the pressing plant resulting in approximately 5,000 mis-presses. Instead of throwing out the LPs, Ampex decided to sell them anyway, unmarked, as a sort of surprise to the purchaser. This album as well as Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren were issued in 1971 on the Bearsville label, being distributed by Ampex at the time. In mid-1971 Bearsville was purchased by Warner Bros. distribution, and plans were made to re-release each album as Runt with catalog number BV 2046 and Ballad as BV 2047. These were never pressed. Later in 1973 Warner Bros wanted Bearsville to re-release both albums as a "twin pack" entitled Todd Rundgren's Rack Job (Catalog number 2BV 2156). The album got as far as test presses and album art but was shelved, as Rundgren wanted to release an album of new material instead.

Track listing

Standard track listing

All songs by Todd Rundgren.

Side one
  1. "Broke Down and Busted" - 4:32
  2. "Believe in Me" - 2:04
  3. "We Got to Get You a Woman" [styled "We Gotta Get You a Woman" as a single and on Bearsville pressings] - 2:52
  4. "Who's That Man" - 2:59
  5. "Once Burned" - 2:09
  6. "Devil's Bite" - 3:53
Side two
  1. "I'm in the Clique" - 4:57
  2. "There Are No Words" - 2:12
  3. "Baby Let's Swing"/"The Last Thing You Said"/"Don't Tie My Hands" - 5:28
  4. "Birthday Carol" - 9:14

12-track mispressed vinyl release, November 1970

Side one
  1. "Broke Down and Busted" - 4:59 (same as standard version but with short intro from "There Are No Words")
  2. "Believe in Me" - 2:01 (alternate mix)
  3. "We Gotta Get You a Woman" - 3:07 (alternate mix)
  4. "Once Burned" - 2:09 (same as standard version)
  5. "Who's That Man?" - 2:59 (same as standard version)
  6. "Hope I'm Around" - 4:28 (not on standard version, but an alternate version was included on his second album)
  7. "Devil's Bite" - 3:58 (alternate mix with extended guitar solo)
Side two
  1. "I'm in the Clique" - 4:57 (same as standard version)
  2. "There Are No Words" - 2:12 (same as standard version)
  3. "Baby Let's Swing" - 3:25 (full length song, not part of a medley)
  4. "Say No More" - 3:08 (not on standard version)
  5. "Birthday Carol" - 9:11 (partially the same as standard version, but with some brief alterations)

There were also 2 early issues on cassette with alternate track listings. The first issue was the 1970 Ampex release which reverses Sides One and Two of the LP, in order to sequence the longer side first. The second issue was the 1971 Bearsville Ampex release which has a radically different track listing as well as edited versions of "Devils Bite", "Broke Down and Busted", "I'm in the Clique", "There are No Words", "Birthday Carol" and has the medley split in two.

Expanded Reissue

In 2011 reissue label Edsel released an expanded twofer of Runt and Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren that included the eight long-out-of-print alternate versions of songs from the 12-track misprint as bonus tracks.[4] In 2014, Edsel issued Runt + The Alternative Runt, a double CD set that contained the original Runt on the first disc, the November 1970 misprint on the second disc, and "Broke Down and Busted (live at Carnegie Hall, June 8, 1972)" as a bonus track.


(taken from the standard release LP jacket)


Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard Pop Albums[5] 185
2012 Japan Oricon Album Chart[6] 269
Year Single Chart Position
1970 "We Gotta Get You a Woman" Canada RPM Singles Chart 20
1970 "We Gotta Get You a Woman" Billboard Hot 100[7] 20


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011). "Runt - Todd Rundgren | AllMusic". Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 1593". Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Ward, Ed (2011). "Todd Rundgren: Runt : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Runt + The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren...Plus". Demon Music Group. 
  5. ^ - Todd Rundgren > Charts & Awards > Billboard AlbumsTodd at AllMusic
  6. ^ "Japan: Album positions". Retrieved 12-05-2013. 
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( Todd Rundgren > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-17.