Todd Rundgren
A Wizard, A True Star


5.0
classic

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
February 20th, 2015 | 89 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

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

I Want to Change the World – Part Four

Nothing like he had done before, A Wizard, A True Star was Todd Rundgren's breakthrough into more progressive realms after the pop triumph Something/Anything" and the subsequent unwanted stardom hits such as "I Saw the Light" and the Nazz cut "Hello It's Me" had brought the Philadelphian musician. Certainly a departure from anything he had done before then and perhaps a reaction against this looming stardom he had no intentions of indulging himself in, Rundgren threw himself head-first into his work as he had during the sessions for S/A" and emerged months later with several minute Ritalin-fueled vignettes sandwiched between a handful of lengthier tracks that ended up forming a side-long psychedelic suite entitled “The International Feel (in 8).”

The suite, personally, is by far Rundgren’s finest achievement with a perfect balance of off-the-wall excursions into studio experimentation (“Dogfight Giggle”), showtunes (“Never Never Land”) and bizarre rants, most notably the John Lennon put-down “Rock and Roll Pussy,” which actively disparaged the musician for what Rundgren saw as a phony attempt at garnering favor by taking up a new persona as a “musical activist.” On the other hand, the more developed cuts such as “Zen Archer” and “When the Shit Hits the Fan/Sunset Blvd.” saw Rundgren’s pop sensibilities take hold as opposed to the manic rock of the suite’s shorter segments.

Wizard’s second half, in comparison, is much more eclectic thanks in part to the inclusion of a ten-minute oldies medley, featuring 60s soul classics such as The Impressions’ “I’m So Proud” and The Delfonics’ “La-La (Means I Love You)” as well as Rundgren’s own soul pastiche “Hungry For Love.” Bookending the medley are the minute-long pop bites of “Does Anybody Love You"” and “I Don’t Want to Tie You Down,” although the real standouts of Wizard’s back-end are “Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Feel,” a track that channels quite a bit of the Motown classics; “Is It My Name",” a heavy and in-your-face rocker that finds Rundgren in a confrontational mood, and the anthemic “Just One Victory,” which is perhaps Rundgren’s signature song.

As a whole, A Wizard, A True Star is a masterfully executed slab of pop genius that’s cleverly disguised as an impregnable progressive rock album, although it’s quite easily more challenging than any pop album that was around in 1973 and more intricate than any progressive record of its era.



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2015


18541 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: Avey Tare - Cows On Hourglass Pond

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2015


18541 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


6670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

Digging: Darkwater - Human

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


18541 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


1608 Comments


Finally reviewed it yourself :D, good read man

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


18541 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

and how did that come to be, Arc?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


11554 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: Airged L'amh - One Eyed God

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


18541 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


4271 Comments


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

smith1
February 20th 2015


114 Comments


dude rules

menawati
February 20th 2015


16587 Comments


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

Cygnatti
February 20th 2015


32759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

holy shit, bout time this got a rev!

dosia
February 20th 2015


75 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

Friday13th
February 20th 2015


6670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


18541 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

oh shit son you are in for a good time

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


18541 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

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

MrSirLordGentleman
February 20th 2015


12360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

da hell's dis

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2015


18541 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

your next 5

MrSirLordGentleman
February 20th 2015


12360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

5 minutes of listening to it







insta download

NorthernSkylark
February 20th 2015


9130 Comments


liked something/anything so i'll check but dat cover is baaad

Digging: Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack



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