Gem of the Week: “It Takes Two To Tango (This Is For The Girls)”-Todd Rundgren


Song: “It Takes Two To Tango (This Is For The Girls)”

Artist: Todd Rundgren

Album: Something/Anything? (1972)

Todd Rundgren’s 1972 dual-record, magnum opus LP Something/Anything?, in all of its seeming productional bravado, Rolling Stone chart-topping acclaim, and enveloping retro mystique, actually had a simple recipe. The masterwork’s ingredients? Todd, Todd, and more Todd…–on vocals, instrumentals, and pen.

100% self-produced, the iconic pop compilation is special for so many reasons; besides its handful of radio hits (“Hello It’s Me”, “I Saw The Light”, etc.) and share of unusually pretty, hazy-eyed ballads (“Marlene”, “Sweeter Memories”), the album glistens with signature Rundgren avant-garde: his droll-but-totally-intended allegory (“Song of the Viking”), blatantly weird interludes (“I went to the mirror”), and goofy spoken-word over whirrs, fuzz, and other nerdy audiophile pairings (“Intro”).

Between his mixing-board wizardry and keen ear for melodic sweetness, Rundgren could draw a rainbow of song and lyrics from his psychedelic soul; it all flowed from this sort of creative nucleus. His effect was nothing short of a ‘T(oddity)’, yet every final product sounded cool enough for radio and weird enough for the kooky art-rocker ready to dabble in pop.

“It Takes Two To Tango (This Is For The Girls)” stays one of Something/Anything?‘s side-A trophy tracks, glittering with electro-harpsichord and background tambourine à la Partridge Family. It’s also some of the best ’70s bubbly-ness that the 24-year-old Rundgren could muster. All that and a gentle nod [shoulder brush-off] to the girls who just didn’t gel with him…(“This is for the girls who just couldn’t see, that my only sin was being me/ And this one’s for the girls and they know who they are, it’s so long ago and I don’t know…”). The chirpy track is blithe and unconcerned; Todd’s atypical–but perhaps exemplary–approach to the relationship fade-out.

Hear it below:

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