|"Hello It's Me"|
Cover of the 4099 UK single
|Single by Nazz|
|from the album Nazz|
|"Open My Eyes"|
|Nazz singles chronology|
|"Hello It's Me"|
Cover of the 1974 France single
|Single by Todd Rundgren|
|from the album Something/Anything?|
|"Cold Morning Light"|
|Todd Rundgren singles chronology|
"Hello It's Me" is a song written by American musician Todd Rundgren. It was the first original song he ever wrote, and was first recorded by his group Nazz as the B-side of "Open My Eyes" (1968). He recorded another version of "Hello It's Me" for his 1972 solo album Something/Anything?. In September 1973, his solo version was issued as a single, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Although released in October 1968 as the B-side of the group's debut single "Open My Eyes" it was picked up in preference to the A-side by Boston radio station WMEX, where it rose to No. 1, and was subsequently picked up by other stations. It entered the Billboard chart in February 1969, peaking at number 71, and re-entered the charts the following January, this time peaking at number 66.
Rundgren's songs in this early phase of his career were heavily influenced by the work of Laura Nyro, but in a 2005 interview he revealed that the basic structure of the song was adapted from the introduction of a Jimmy Smith recording:
...the main influence for Hello It's Me was an eight bar intro that Jimmy Smith played on a recording of When Johnny Comes Marching Home. He had this whole sort of block chord thing that he did to set up the intro of the song. I tried to capture those changes, and those changes became what are the changes underneath Hello It's Me. I then had to come up with melody and words, but the changes are actually almost lifted literally from something that was, from Jimmy Smith's standpoint, a throwaway.-- Todd Rundgren, puremusic.com 
Rundgren recorded a more midtempo version of "Hello It's Me" for his 1972 solo album Something/Anything?. Although a remake of the original, this new version became widely popular and has since become a staple of the classic rock genre. An edit of this version was released as a single in September 1973 and became Rundgren's only top ten pop hit, reaching No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It also reached No. 17 on the Adult Contemporary chart.