Catching Up With Todd

Todd - Early '80s

I spoke to Todd for a bit today as we approach the release of our reissue of With Love…From Me To You, and we’ve got some exciting little surprises to share with you over the course of the next few weeks. Contests and media aplenty will be forthcoming. As I wrote last week, keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for an official pre-sale announcement. Until then, sit back and relax and enjoy the Todd ephemera.

Like some fun new details about the recording process that resulted in With Love…From Me To You! By the way, did you know that the title-track was the very last song written before the album was completed. I asked Todd about it, and he had this to say:

Usually when I write a farewell on a note or letter I’ll say ‘All My Best,’ and I used to think if I could go back and change the album title to that I would. I never knew if I was going to record more music after those ten songs, so I thought it would be fitting to call it All My Best, because those ten songs might literally be all the best songs I would ever have the chance to write or record. “With Love…From Me To You”…remember when we were talking about how sometimes an artist throws a song on an album at the last minute and that one becomes the big hit? That literally was the last song on my album. I needed ten songs. I had nine. I was down in the basement, where the piano was, and I threw together — and I’ve never been good at writing up-tempo kinds of stuff — this up-tempo thing in…I don’t know…fifteen minutes? And I thought, “Ok, here’s the last song.” And that’s the title song. “With Love…From Me To You.” Now, looking back in retrospect, it’s cool. When you’re caught up in it you don’t stop to think about it until thirty-five years later. Then you realize, “Oh yeah, that was pretty cool!”

And on the topic of “Christ’s Love Song,” Todd had this to say:

I wrote it for an Easter sunrise service that was planned out to be a duet. It was written during East of 1978, and it was basically something from my imagination — it definitely involves my religious upbringing and everything but…it also showcases some of my open-mindedness and creativity when I was that age. I thought, “We all know that Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, but what if he hadn’t been alone? What if Mary Magdaline came? What if she followed him to the garden? What if she asked him why he was so down on himself after everything he’d done, and all that he had to live and hope for? What would happen if Mary had forced a dialogue?” That’s Christ’s Love Song. I wish it was more interesting, but i never wrote any of my love songs with anybody in mind. It was all…you know…if this is a love song this is what you say, and if Barry Manilow were sitting next to me this is what he’d write, and if Karen Carpenter were sitting next to me this is what she’d sing, and if Lionel Richie were here this is the chord structure he would use. Billy Joel…Elton John…blah blah blah. It wasn’t until later — which I think is why I’m a little bit partial to my later music — that a lot of my songs became more mature, more commercial, and also more personal. Like “Emily.” That was written for a real girl named Emily, a real flesh-and-blood girl who probably saved my sanity throughout my senior year of high school.

More tidbits from my conversation with Todd, including some details about his time living in Los Angeles and the debunking of that fabled John Hughes-ian prom story, will be posted shortly. Until then, enjoy “Emily” [MP3], which is also available for streaming on Todd’s Sound-Cloud page.

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