Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Bang the Drum All Day" by Todd Rundgren

Song#:  1442
Date:  05/07/1983
Debut:  78
Peak: 63
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Singer/songwriter/producer Rundgren has had a long and successful career that started with the psychedelic rock band Nazz. They issued three albums beginning in 1968 that were somewhat successful. Rundgren then moved over to the boards and quickly became an in-demand producer. Along the way, he signed with Bearsville Records and began to issue solo albums. His biggest success came in 1972 when his song "Hello, It's Me" reached #5. The song, from his album "Something/Anything?," was an uptempo remake of a 1969 #66 chart entry by Nazz. As a solo artist, it would be Rundgren's peak moment. In 1978, his single "Can We Still Be Friends?" reached #29. It would be his last solo Top 40 entry. With the exception of his group Utopia hitting #23 in 1980 with "Set Me Free," Rundgren remained off the chart for the next five years. His last contractual album for Bearsville, "The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect," contained this song which got him on the Pop chart one last time, if just for a few weeks. It did a little better at Rock where it hit #29.

ReduxReview:  You may think that you don't know this song, but you most likely do. It takes only a few bars for the recognition to set in. In addition to its other uses (see below), it has been a popular anti-work anthem for many years. It's a fun, bouncy, party song that chugs along at a pretty good clip with its syncopated rhythm. It is a song that works much better as a party tune rather than a single on the radio. I think if I had heard this on the radio in heavy rotation, I'd probably end up hating it. However, it can be fun when it sneaks up on you once in a while.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although this song didn't do very well on initial release, over the years it has become one of Rundgren's most recognizable tunes. This is mainly thanks to its use in TV ads, radio programs, and sporting events. If you are a Green Bay Packers fan, this song will have you cheering. For many years, it has been played at Lambeau Field after the Packers have scored a touchdown. The Indianapolis Colts used the song for a period of time as well. It has also been used recently in ads for Carnival Cruise Lines.


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