A Wizard, a True Star

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A Wizard, a True Star
Rundgren wizard.png
Studio album by Todd Rundgren
Released March 2, 1973 (1973-03-02)
Recorded 1972–1973
Studio Secret Sound Studio, New York City
Genre Progressive pop[1]
Length 55:56
Label Bearsville
Producer Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren chronology
Something/Anything?
(1972)
A Wizard, a True Star
(1973)
Todd
(1974)
Singles from A Wizard, a True Star
  1. "Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel"
    Released: April 1973

A Wizard, a True Star is the fourth album by American musician Todd Rundgren, released on March 2, 1973. Its music was a significant departure from his previous album Something/Anything? (1972), which consisted largely of straightforward ballads.[2] 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."[3] Upon release, the album reached number 86 on the Billboard 200.[4] It has since been recognized for its influence on later generations of bedroom musicians.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[5]
CreemB+[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[7]
MusicHound Rock5/5[8]
Pitchfork8.8/10[3]
Record Collector4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[10]

In Rolling Stone, James Isaacs wrote, "I doubt that even the staunchest Rundgren cultists will want to subject themselves to most of the japery on side one, which would be better suited for a cartoon soundtrack. On the other hand, side two's restraint, its brimming good humor and its ambience of innocence is irresistible, and helps save A Wizard, A True Star from total disaster."[11] Writing in Creem, Robert Christgau deemed Rundgren "a minor songwriter with major woman problems who's good with the board and has a sense of humor".[6] Patti Smith was more enthusiastic in her review for the magazine: "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."[12]

In MusicHound Rock (1996), Christopher Scapelliti called the record "a fascinating sonic collage that skews his pop-star image 180 degrees".[8] Ben Sisario, on the other hand, wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that it was "an endurance test of stylistic diversity, with just three fully realized songs ('Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel,' 'International Feel,' and 'Just One Victory') stranded in the midst of so much half-baked sonic decoration."[10] The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Todd Rundgren except where noted.

Side one – "The International Feel (in 8)"
No.TitleLength
1."International Feel"2:50
2."Never Never Land" (Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jule Styne)1:34
3."Tic Tic Tic It Wears Off"1:14
4."You Need Your Head"1:02
5."Rock and Roll Pussy"1:08
6."Dogfight Giggle"1:05
7."You Don't Have to Camp Around"1:03
8."Flamingo"2:34
9."Zen Archer"5:35
10."Just Another Onionhead; Da Da Dali"2:23
11."When the Shit Hits the Fan; Sunset Blvd."4:02
12."Le Feel Internacionale"1:51
Total length:28:21
Side two – "A True Star"
No.TitleLength
1."Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel"4:16
2."Does Anybody Love You?"1:31
3."Medley"
  1. "I'm So Proud" (Curtis Mayfield)
  2. "Ooh Baby Baby" (Smokey Robinson, Warren "Pete" Moore)
  3. "La La Means I Love You" (William Hart, Thom Bell)
  4. "Cool Jerk" (Donald Storball)"
10:34
4."Hungry for Love"2:18
5."I Don't Want to Tie You Down"1:56
6."Is It My Name?"4:01
7."Just One Victory"4:59
Total length:29:25

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
US Billboard 200 86[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Luhrssen, David; Larson, Michael, eds. (2017). Encyclopedia of Classic Rock. ABC-CLIO. p. 313. ISBN 978-1-4408-3514-8. 
  2. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011). "A Wizard, A True Star - Todd Rundgren | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Sodomsky, Sam (20 January 2018). "Todd Rundgren: A Wizard, a True Star". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "allmusic (Todd Rundgren > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Todd Rundgren". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0-89919-025-1. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (August 1973). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Todd Rundgren". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  8. ^ a b Scapelliti, Christopher (1996). "Todd Rundgren". In Graff, Gary. MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0787610372. 
  9. ^ "Todd Rundgren - Wizard, A True Star CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (2004). "Todd Rundgren". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 707. ISBN 0743201698. 
  11. ^ Isaacs, James (May 10, 1973). "Review". Rolling Stone. 
  12. ^ "Todd's Electric Exploitation: Rock and Roll for the Skull," Creem, April 1973, p.56-57.
  13. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.