Nearly Human is a 1989 album by rock musician Todd Rundgren, released by Warner Bros. Records. It was his first release in four years, although he had been active as a producer in the intervening years. Many of the album's songs deal with loss, self-doubt, jealousy, and spiritual recovery. It was also the first collaboration between Rundgren and Michele Gray, a singer and ex-model who helped organize the sessions. Gray sang background vocals, both on the record and on subsequent tours, and the pair later married.
The song "Parallel Lines" was originally written for Rundgren's musical theater Off Broadwsy producton of Joe Orton's Up Against It. The original version is rather slow and can be found on Rundgren's Japan-only album Up Against It! (Todd Rundgren album). The song is re-recorded here with an uptempo and lusher arrangement.
Unlike a large portion of Rundgren's solo albums on which he played all the instruments and sang all lead and backing vocals, Nearly Human was performed live in the studio with numerous musicians, including the members of Rundgren's defunct band Utopia, which had broken up three years earlier—Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton, and John "Willie" Wilcox all play on the track "Can't Stop Running." Scott Mathews and former Tubes members Vince Welnick (keyboards) and Prairie Prince (drums) also perform on Nearly Human; the track "Feel It" was originally performed by the San Francisco band on their 1985 album Love Bomb, produced by Rundgren. Brent Bourgeois and Larry Tagg of Bourgeois Tagg, whom Rundgren had produced, also played on the album along with all three other three members of the band, making Nearly Human effectively a Rundgren-Utopia-Bourgeois Tagg-Tubes collaboration plus extra vocalists and keyboard players.