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Wizard - 1979 Wizard



ARTIST: Wizard
ALBUM: Wizard
LABEL: Future Track
SERIAL: FT001
YEAR: 1979

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dave Walsh - all guitars & background vocals * Bruffie Brigham - lead vocals, bass & keyboards * Brian Walsh - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 The Power Of Rock' n' Roll * 03 So Glad To See You * 04 Renaissance * 05 To Walk The Night * 06 You Make Me So Happy * 07 Castle Of Night


Background
I recently found this album after many years of searching it out. Wizard were a Rush inspired three-piece from Los Angeles. Now, depending on your musical taste, these guys will either be acquired or not. If you thought Geddy Lee's vocal pirouette's were special, then check the vocal histronics of one Bruffie Brigham, a bass player too, so the Rush thing is exemplified yet again (I wonder if he plays a Rickernbacker??). They leave the Ayn Rand sci-fi lyrics alone, and walk along the demons, dungeons and dragons pathway so lovingly applied by Ronnie James Dio, though I am sure the Wizard version of such topics will raise a few eyebrows, moving more toward the side of comical than anything else. For me personally, I love this album. In much the same way as a band like Cirith Ungol were unduly handed the prize of 'worst HM band in history', the Wizardeers were vilified in much the same way. However, I have since discovered that there are a whole heap of Wizard fans out there.. so I am not alone in the world on this subject.. phew!


The Songs
Their brand of hard rock though under-produced (some would say poorly produced) adds to the charm of the album. The songs though are kinda cool, and the feeling you get is if the album had a huge budget to play with, then the whole thing might've sounded a zillion times better. The strength is in the quality of the songs. The triumvirate of 'The Power Of Rock N Roll', 'So Glad To See You' and the wonderful 'Renaissance' could all do loop time on my portable mp3 player. The interspersing of quiet passages and rock out moments on 'To Walk The Night' gives us the contrast the band were obviously searching for. The guitar fury on the last track 'Castle Of Night' would give Frank Marino a run for his money. Yee-hah!


In Summary
The band give us seven tracks, which equates to 40 minutes of music, on average we're looking at 6 minutes per track. If you see this lying around, then pick it up. The album is as rare 'as', and you would be doing well to find yourself a copy. Rush fans definitely check this out.


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Comments
#1 | Nick C on November 17 2006 05:49:42
Rare...just my luck, I bought this at HMV in Manchester as an import years and years ago (obviously). Got onto the bus to go home and found that I had two copies that had been sealed together in the shrinkwrap.
Didn't like it much though and palmed both copies off at some second hand shop in the old corn exchange! Sad
#2 | reyno-roxx on June 25 2008 14:47:57
Interesting the Cirith Ungol comparison...I hated the first CU album (though the album cover was fantastic) but grew to like them from 'King Of The Dead' onwards. I recently picked up 'Frost And Fire' on CD and really enjoyed it. Strange how decades makes sense of music we thought was shit at the time....as for Wizard, I had this album too and wasn't impressed with it. It went in the great mid 90s vinyl purge.....
#3 | gdazegod on February 04 2011 22:37:11
Bruffie moved on to L.A hair metal band MASQUE, who were reissued by David Moor's label Sun City Records. Review of that CD is in our 2008 articles.
#4 | Nick C on November 27 2011 05:15:56
I just checked eBay and it looks like it's been 're-issued' in digipak - probably not legit - it originates from Germany by the look of it. Type Wizard Prog and you'll find it amongst international sellers.
They have it over at Record Heaven...the Mandala label??
#5 | super80boy on January 01 2015 18:22:29
I also just recently acquired a vinyl copy of Wizard after looking for it for years. Yes, I would agree, this album is exceedingly rare. It has a low production quality that impacts the fidelity, but it gives it that underground private press character that I enjoy so much with these obscure gems. I don't hear much of the keyboards, which is a shame since this would have given it more of that Rush sound that seems to be attached to it in the various reviews I've read. Overall, it's a cool slice of DIY power trio private hard rock with prog touches.
 
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