Exposé Online banner

Todd Rundgren — A Wizard, a True Star
(RCA Victor VICP-60807, 1973/1999, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01

A Wizard, a True Star Cover artFor those of you — the uninitiated — Todd Rundgren holds a unique place in the annals of progressive rock. In the early seventies, the man had left the power pop innovators The Nazz and strove to make new inroads in what was an open territory for composing artists of the day. Rundgren was also curious composer of electronic music (much like Roger McGuinn of the Byrds) who also had a driving purpose to further mesh technology within a popular music. A Wizard, a True Star is thus Todd's shining beacon of creativity, humor and experimentalism. The nineteen tracks hold as a rock (progressive or otherwise) icon against many more popular and trendy artists in the past three decades. Despite weird sound and recording techniques, the album is a clever mish-mash of R&B medleys (including "Ooh Baby Baby"), rock and roll anthems ("Just One Victory"), and pop sensibility ("I Don't Want to Tie You Down") depending on Todd's muse of the moment. The epic is side one's twelve segment "International Feel," which encapsulates among other elements, electronic noodling ("Dog Fight Giggle," "Flamingo") and comedic putdowns ("Just Another Onionhead"). The piece predates Todd's 1974 heavy prog masterwork, "The Ikon" (from Todd Rundgren's Utopia) by one year, but contains more warmth than the aforementioned classic. That's the prime reason that this album occupies number twenty-one on my top twenty-five of all time. This re-release is one in a series of seven twenty-bit remasters from the Bearsville catalogue available from Japan. The mere miniaturization of the original multi-color sleeve and liner notes is a major accomplishment in of itself. Highly recommended for collectors and connoisseurs.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 19, 1999 releases, 1973 recordings

Related artist(s): Todd Rundgren

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Premiata Forneria Marconi - Impressioni Vent'Anni Dopo & Bobo Club 2000 – Being that PFM's Per un Amico ranks among my favorite albums of all time, I had been anticipating hearing a live show around that era — circa 1972 — for quite some time. Both of these CDs released...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues