Todd Rundgren “A Wizard, A True Star”

A Wizard, A True Star

The suits at Warner Bros must’ve been scratching their heads with this one. Following the success of “Something/Anything,” Todd Rundgren was well on his way to becoming a superstar but he had something else in mind. The title of this album shows his wariness of his new found success. If “Something/Anything” was delicious bubble gum then “A Wizard A True Star” is delicious bubble gum with glass in it and Rundgren makes you like the taste of your own blood.

This album is the first of several of his more Zappa-esque experimental albums and an example of Todd refusing to stay in one genre (don’t worry, in 9 years he’ll write “Bang On the Drum All Day” which will remain on the radio until “Tubthumping” replaces it). “A Wizard A True Star”, is a bit of a slap in the face to his record label and a little self indulgent at times but the bottom line is that it works. It’s refreshing to look back at a time when musicians would turn their back on success and do whatever they wanted to musically before this behavior became cliche and annoying. (Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah! I ‘m looking in your direction). wink

This album deserves a few listens so be patient with it, there’s actually a lot of sincerity behind it and even a tribute to Motown! Your homework for the week is to listen to “A Wizard, A True Star” at least once a day in it’s entirety. Who knows? You might find a hit or two….make a game out of it, whoever finds the most hits wins!!!

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Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, A True Star

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  • ned

    I remember when I was probably 15 or so, I owned the ill-fated Magnavox CDI “video game” system, which was a strange attempt by the folks at Phillips/Magnavox to compete in the game console market by making a system that played sort of lame games (not thier fault) and also had more “interactive” properties not found in traditional game systems. It had an encyclopedia, which, at the time, was kind of cool. I also had a very nifty “how to shoot manual 35mm” photography instructional disc, and it was, of course, interactive. Still, not that cool. At least to 15 year old me.

    But I ended up with a disc called TRI, Todd Rundgren Interactive, which was sort of like a primal version of fruity loops, with the emphasis on fruity. You could sample pieces of his stuff, compose beats, arrange rudimentary brass sections, and if I remember, choose images and such to look at when playing your really bad 80s Rundgren-inspired “tracks”.

    What does this have to do with “A Wizard A True Star”? Nothing at all. It was just my first experience with Todd Rundgren, and it was admittedly not the greatest introduction.

    Since then, my mom sold the CDi at a yard sale, and I’ve gotten marginally cooler, and have listened to and *almost* appreciated a few Todd Rundgren records, but not this one.

    So now I’m off to pirate it, or hope that someone *cough* just sends me a zipped file of it.

    And if you have an extra CDi and TRi disc, let me know, because I bet its fucking awesome now.

    Oh, and p.s. CYHSY! had a good record. Sorry it wasn’t made in the 70s so you can make love to it, but its still good. If most current “cool” music just sounds like lame Talking Heads ripoff tracks, at least those guys are the best at it?


  • brendan

    Nice album Serge! I love Something/Anything so I will have to check this one out.

    ned – please consider purchasing this album, it\’s under ten bucks! and Todd deserves your dough. great story too!

  • Like! Thank you!
    Forgive that beside You was little ed!

  • Todd Rundgren will be performing A Wizard, A True Star live in it’s entirety for the the first time ever on 9/6/09 in Akron Ohio!

  • Anonymous

    >a disc called TRI, Todd Rundgren Interactive, which was sort
    >of like a primal version of fruity loops, with the emphasis on fruity.
    >You could sample pieces of his stuff, compose beats, arrange
    >rudimentary brass sections, and if I remember, choose images

    I don’t know of anything that fits ned’s description, but Todd-as-TRi released a CDi
    called “No World Order” that is nothing short of brilliant and decades
    ahead of its time. Fans hate it because he raps and flirts with industrial-style
    music, but the interactive program lets you select various mood factors – dark vs. light,
    sparse vs. cluttered, vocal vs. instrumental, fast vs. slow – and play a different record
    each time through. The music is mostly excellent, and the interactive implementation
    is very effective. If this is what you discarded, ned, you missed a great, lost moment in
    pop music history.

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