Song Of The Day 7/22/2016: Todd Rundgren – “Couldn’t I Just Tell You”

The Hidden '70s, Part 1 – Yes, Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything? is still my favorite album of all time. The only serious challenger to that title that's emerged since I decided on it has been The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs, but it's starting to feel like a record that'l never be broken. The two albums have some similarities. Both of them sprawl. Both of them take a pan-genre approach (at least in construction). Both of them have considerable nerd credibility, although the nerds in question are a generation apart. And both were written in gay piano bars! Except one of them wasn't terribly gay, and it wasn't a "bar" so much as it was "Todd Rundgren's house." But they both had pianos. I have that on good authority.

"Couldn't I Just Tell You" (#93, 1972) was one of three singles to be released from Something/Anything? The other two, "I Saw the Light" and his re-recorded version of "Hello It's Me," were actual hits. "Couldn't I Just Tell You," despite being one of my favorite guitar songs by the pound, is often Exhibit A when I pontificate about how "power pop," despite all acknowledgement that it should have been popular, frustratingly never was. If people got all tingly from rudimentary power-chord fests like Free's "All Right Now," then I don't understand how the guitars in the verses wouldn't flambé the hell outta 'em. The chorus is perfect. And that final guitar breakdown before the final chorus... I can't tell if it's acoustic or electric. It's a guessing game. There are no answers. What was wrong with us? I ask you. What could have been going on at that time that was so important that we had to listen to something else?

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