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

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Satoru Wono - Sonata for Sine Wave and White Noise – Click. Shhhhhsshh. Bleep. The first minute of “Overture” sounds something like a couple of malfunctioning cell phones making random sounds. Then the beeps and hiss begin to take shape and find...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues