Song of the Day: Todd Rundgren, “I Saw the Light” (1972)

“I Saw the Light” is arguably Todd Rundgren’s best-known hit. Indeed, he was so sure it would be a hit that he had it as the opening track of his Something/Anything? double album, borrowing a trick from the Motown records.

Rundgren produced, sang and played all the instruments on this cut. He also wrote the song in 15 minutes, which was a first for him and the experience led him to change his approach to songwriting.

“I Saw the Light” is a song about love, seen from the point of view of a young man’s first frightening encounter with it. This is particularly clear in such lines as “I tried to run thought I knew it wouldn’t help me none.” The slide guitars and guitar solo reveal a George Harrison influence. It is also interesting to point out that despite its popularity, this Rundgren song has virtually no hook or chorus.

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