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Todd Rundgren's 1973 psychedelic masterpiece comes to life
on 23 May 2009
Brian Wilson started the trend several years ago when he performed the album "Smile" for the very first time. Recently, Van Morrison performed the entirety of "Astral Weeks" to rave reviews, as did Lou Reed with the "Berlin" album last year and the year before that.
It was only a matter of time until the enigmatic pop raconteur, Todd Rundgren, re-visited his 1973 psychedelic masterpiece "A Wizard, A True Star" (he'll perform the British Premiere of this seminal album at the London HMV Hammersmith Apollo on 6th February 2010).
A Wizard, A True Star defied the law of gravity when it was originally released on an unsuspecting public 36 years ago. The vinyl edition of the album clocked in an hour's worth of running time, and back in those days, albums, on average, lasted 30-35 minutes.
Forget about the running time shenanigans, think about the music. It was insane but melodic, pretty but subversive, poptastic but bombastic, sexy but banal, exciting and futuristic, progressive and intuitive.
Rundgren encapsulated everything glam rock and prog rock, pop and soul couldn't fathom - a reason to live, and a reason to believe.
From the technicolor blast of "Zen Archer" to "You Need Your Head", "You Don't Have to Camp Around", "Just One Victory", "Dogfight Giggle", "Does Anybody Love You?", "Just Another Onionhead", "Never, Never Land" to the essential "International Feel" - this was the album that made David Bowie do a re-think, and also made every half decent rock star throw the rulebook out the window.
From Daft Punk to Hot Chip, all the really cutting edge bands look to Wizard as the peak of sonic perfection. If there's one psychedlic prog rock pop album you need to add to your collection, this is it.