Todd Rundgren
A Wizard, A True Star


5.0
classic

Review

by http://i.imgur.com/uJrMNm8.jpg?1 USER (57 Reviews)
February 20th, 2015 | 25 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Justifiability is in the hands of the beholder."

Before he banged the drum all day long and was the hermit of mink hollow, Todd Harry Rundgren was not only a wizard, but a true star as well. After the success of his album ’Something/Anything?’, Rundgren put his focus towards a more progressive and eclectic sound – which resulted in the bona fide masterwork, ’A Wizard, A True Star’, released at a time when progressive rock was rising in popularity with the mainstream market. If ’Something’ showcased Rundgren’s knack for making accessible pop tunes such as ”I Saw the Light” and ”Black Maria”, ’Wizard’ put Rundgren’s ability as a composer and producer at the forefront. Clocking in at 56 minutes, Rundgren put a 26 minute-long seamless medley on the first side, and on the second side, a collection of normal tracks augmented with a 10 minute-long oldies medley, a tribute to Rundgren’s influences. With the abnormal running time for a single LP, the original sound quality lacked in treble and heavily impaired the original recording. Thanks to the advent of new technology, the original recording was restored not too long ago, making recent editions of the album the version to get.

Side one of ’Wizard’is the progressive rock showcase of the album, the cream of the crop, the exhibit on display for all to see – it’s the shining moment of Rundgren’s career. Bookended by ”International Feel” and ” Le Feel Internacionale”, this 26 minute epic is more akin to a show on Broadway, even including a cover of ”Never Never Land” from ’Peter Pan’ that whisks the listener away to Rundgren’s fantasy land and going in depth into the restless soul of the artist, looking at the endless imagination he holds. Side Two pays homage to the artists of Rundgren’s past, such as Curtis Mayfield, Thom Bell, and many other soul musicians, forming a ten-minute long medley that is absolutely different from the rest of the album, yet perfectly fitting for its theme. Surrounding this medley of pop standards is the hit song ”Just One Victory”, showcasing Rundgren’s aptitude for crafting pop songs; other tunes such as ”Is It My Name?” and ”Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel” focus on Rundgren’s abilities as a showman and as a musician.

If ’Something/Anything?’ showed a budding pop artist soon to be at the peak of his powers, ’A Wizard, A True Star’ highlights the growth and changes that an artist can go through in just a year’s time. Quickly transitioning from an album that consisted of straightforward pop tunes influenced by Carole King, experimental recordings, and even a studio tour... to an album consisting of a carefully crafted side-long progressive rock medley that put the artist’s overall skill at full display; and a soul tribute on the flip side, Rundgren had constructed a progressive rock masterpiece. If anything, Rundgren created an once-in-a-lifetime listening experience that took the listener on a tour throughout his imagination, and showed the ideas he wished to bring to fruition. Todd Rundgen truly has proven he is not only a wizard, but a true star as well.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
February 19th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

about time I did this



'A Wizard, A True Star': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYWicGTNMuo

Digging: Suicide - Suicide

Frippertronics
February 19th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Also some essential reading - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ragogna/still-a-wizard-a-true-sta_b_1325709.html

Friday13th
February 20th 2015


3544 Comments


Never heard of him. Sounds good. I've seen that 1st Utopia album before. How does it compare to this?

Frippertronics
February 20th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

The Utopia debut is pretty good



if you find this, Something/Anything or the debut of Utopia for cheap or in a bargain bin, get them.

Essential stuff.

Let
February 20th 2015


1268 Comments


Finally reviewed it yourself :D, good read man

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2015


4311 Comments


never listened to this guy's music but having had to listen to a lecture of his i can ascertain he's very condescending and smug

Digging: Tyler the Creator - Cherry Bomb

Frippertronics
February 20th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

and how did that come to be, Arc?

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2015


7520 Comments


Nice to see a Todd Rundgren review, pos.

Haven't heard this one yet but since you say it's that good, I'll give it a spin.

Digging: Dorthia Cottrell - Dorthia Cottrell

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2015


4311 Comments


he did a lecture on pop music history for Stanford or Princeton or some crap and we were given it to study. he basically shoots down anyone who asks a question and balks whenever anyone mentions Zeppelin or something he's not keen on.

Frippertronics
February 20th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

sounds like good fun



whatever, artistry ≠ personality



from what I've read and heard about him, he sounds like a decent guy.

Mythodea
February 20th 2015


2069 Comments


Seems interesting. Do you think I should include him on a prog list?

smith1
February 20th 2015


94 Comments


dude rules

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2015


16387 Comments


havent heard, is it like 'Todd Rungren's Utopia' album i love that one

Digging: Different Strings - The Sounds of Silence, Pt. II: The Counterfeits

Cygnatti
February 20th 2015


24124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

holy shit, bout time this got a rev!

Digging: Mo*Te - Life in a Peaceful New World

dosia
February 20th 2015


73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The only Todd I've heard. Is it my naaaame?

Friday13th
February 20th 2015


3544 Comments


@Fripp good 'cause I just snatched up the Utopia debut for $5 :D

Frippertronics
February 20th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

oh shit son you are in for a good time

Frippertronics
February 20th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

@mena well I did 5 this so of course it is

MrSirLordGentleman
February 20th 2015


5513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

da hell's dis

Frippertronics
February 20th 2015


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

your next 5



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