I Saw the Light (Todd Rundgren song)

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"I Saw the Light"
Single by Todd Rundgren
from the album Something/Anything?
B-side "Marlene"
Released February 26, 1972 (1972-02-26)
Format 7-inch single
Recorded Late 1971
Genre Power pop[1]
Length 2:59
Label Bearsville
Songwriter(s) Todd Rundgren
Producer(s) Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren singles chronology
"A Long Time, A Long Way to Go"
"I Saw the Light"
"Couldn't I Just Tell You"
"A Long Time, A Long Way to Go"
"I Saw the Light"
"Couldn't I Just Tell You"

"I Saw the Light" is the opening track from Todd Rundgren's 1972 Something/Anything? double album.

In the liner notes to Something/Anything?, Rundgren states that he intended the song to be the hit of the album, and copied the Motown tradition of putting hit songs at the beginning of albums. The song peaked at #15 in Canada,[2] #16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100,[3] and at #12 on the Easy Listening chart.[4] Billboard ranked it as the No. 88 song for 1972. On the U.S. Cash Box Top 100, it reached number 11.[5]

Overseas, it went to #36 on the UK Singles Chart in 1973.[6] However, in the US at least, Something/Anything? actually contained a bigger hit than "I Saw the Light", as the album's third single "Hello It's Me" climbed to #5.[7]


Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • The New Seekers released a version on the 1972 Circles (Polydor) album.
  • Japanese musician Yukihiro Takahashi covered the song on his 1985 solo album Once a Fool.
  • Dutch rock 'n' roll singer Herman Brood covered this song on his 1984 album The Brood (album), naming the song "Eyes".
  • The UK mod revival band Mood Six covered the song in 1987 on their EP "I Saw the Light". A video for the song made the rounds on MTV's "120 Minutes".
  • The UK band Workshy covered the song on their debut album, 1989's The Golden Mile.
  • The song was covered on Terry Hall's (The Specials) album Laugh and was released as a single in August 1997.
  • Lori Carson covered the song on her 1997 album Everything I Touch Runs Wild.
  • A cover version of "I Saw the Light" was released in 1998 by country music singer Hal Ketchum from his album I Saw the Light. It reached #36 on the US country charts, and #50 on the Canadian country charts.[11]
  • The Japanese Group ja:Reggae Disco Rockers made a cover of the song, later used by Dimitri From Paris in his compilations (in a slightly remixed version).
  • Scottish alternative rock band Teenage Fan Club recorded their own version of this song, which is available on "Scotland On Sunday" EP released in 2005.
  • A live version by the Rundgren-fronted The New Cars appears on their 2006 album It's Alive.
  • Also covered by Bubba Hernandez on his 2008 release Dancing En Fuego.
  • In 2010 Miniature Tigers recorded a cover for their Truffles Mixtape.
  • Japanese musician Hiroshi Takano covered the song on his 2011 solo album Kameleon Pop.
  • In 2012 Yo La Tengo recorded a version for a fundraising CD titled Super Hits of the Seventies for radio station WFMU. It was also released on deluxe versions of their Fade (2013) album.
  • In 2013 the German singer Tabea covered the song on her album Memories.
  • Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph, David Johansen and Bill Murray sing this song in the American 2015 musical comedy film A Very Murray Christmas.


  1. ^ Peter Buckley (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 803. ISBN 978-1-85828-457-6. 
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  3. ^ "I Saw the Light - Todd Rundgren". Billboard. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 212. 
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-22. 
  6. ^ "Todd Rundgren - I Saw the Light". Chart Stats. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Hello It's Me - Todd Rundgren". Billboard. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  11. ^ "RPM Country 100". Volume 67, No. 8. RPM. May 18, 1998. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 

External links[edit]