TODD RUNDGREN – ” A Wizard, A True Star ” Classic Albums

Posted: June 17, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Todd Rundgren was among one of the first artists I discovered through my best friend who adored the Nazz. Todd was weird, smart and very talented, In his press he came off like a wunderkind he wrote the songs and played all of the instruments himself and he was always pictured with hot models. Todd Rundgren’s albums were among the first records I bought. Both Something/Anything and Todd were long double albums that sold for the same price as a single LP, Something/Anything the fourth album by the American musician was released on March 2nd, 1973. Its music was a significant departure from his previous album Something/Anything? (1972), which consisted largely of straightforward ballads. He attributed the idiosyncratic sound of A Wizard, a True Star to his experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and said that he “became more aware … [o]f what music and sound were like in my internal environment, and how different that was from the music I had been making up to that point in time.

The album that I bought on the day of release was A Wizard, A True Star. I can remember reading a scathingly negative review of that album when it came out. Recently I noticed that Analog Spark had released audiophile SACDs of Wizard and the earlier Something/Anything.

Several of Todd Rundgren’s classic 70s albums were known to sound a bit tinny due to the narrower vinyl grooves resulting from trying to cram so much music on each side. It was something you were even warned about via a “Technical Note” included on the inner sleeve of 1975’s Initiation:

“Due to the amount of music on this disc (over one hour), two points must be emphasized. Firstly, if your needle is worn or damaged, it will ruin the disc immediately. Secondly, if the sound does seem not loud enough on your system, try re-recording the music onto tape. By the way, thanks for buying the album.”

The new Analog Spark SACD of Something/Anything (mastered like Wizard by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes) It does in fact sound much better than I recall the original LP sounding A Wizard, A True Star?  floated effortlessly into my list of favorite albums as I listened to it again.  I blasted at an ear-splitting volume on my stereo. Seriously, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard not just recently, but ever—and started me off on a whole new experience of Todd Rundgren listening. If you are “looking for something new to listen to,” like I was, look no further.

But just don’t take my word for it, here’s what none other than the great Patti Smith wrote of A Wizard, A True Star :

“Side one is double dose. It takes the bull by the brain. Another point to be examined. He’s always been eclectic. Why didn’t he care? The evidence is here. Something very magical is happening. The man is magi chef. His influences are homogenizing. Like a coat of many colors. May be someone else’s paintbox but the coat is all his.”

“Each album he vomits like a diary. Each page closer to the stars. Process is the point. A kaleidoscoping view. Blasphemy even the gods smile on. Rock and roll for the skull. A very noble concept. Past present and tomorrow in one glance. Understanding through musical sensation. Todd Rundgren is preparing us for a generation of frenzied children who will dream in animation. “

I read that despite having absolutely no idea of what she intended to convey with all of those words, even if I do wholeheartedly agree with her. Had I read Patti’s review back then, I’d have no doubt rushed out and grabbed this album.

Just listen to A Wizard, A True Star for yourself and turn it up LOUD please:

thanks to dangerousminds

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