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Todd Rundgrens Utopia / Another Live Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 6, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Two digitally remastered full length albums Utopia (1974) and ANOTHER LIFE (1975) packaged together at a discounted price. Includes lyrics and liner notes pulled from the book on Todd Rundgren a WIZARD, a TRUE STAR: TODD RUNDGREN IN THE STUDIO.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Utopia
  2. Freak Parade
  3. Freedom Fighters
  4. The Ikon

Disc: 2

  1. Another Life
  2. The Wheel
  3. The Seven Rays
  4. Intro/Mister Triscuits
  5. Somethin's Coming
  6. Heavy Metal Kids
  7. Do Ya
  8. Just One Victory


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Edsel Records UK
  • ASIN: B006IMLG52
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,143 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I grew up in the 70's mostly listening to AM pop in the early part of the decade and more FM rock in the later part of the decade. Somehow, I was never aware of these albums that Rundgren had put out. I only knew of his early 70's hits (Hello It's Me, Gotta Get You A Woman) and some of his Utopia stuff which did make the radio (Love in Action, The Very Last Time, Set Me Free). Well this twofer is not really similar to those pop rock sounding songs. Todd Rundgren's Utopia, to me, is comparable to some of the longer instrumental numbers by Frank Zappa or perhaps some of the musical interludes of ELP. Few words, mostly instrumental. Another Live is not quite as enjoyable as TR's Utopia but still nice to have as part of the twofer package. On the whole, it's great to stumble across this stuff some 37 years later.
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By 1974, Todd Rundgren decided to try on the idea of a full-fledged band for the second time (if one can really count Runt as a "true" working band). This time out, he ventured down the prog rock path so many other groups at the time were milking for various artistic and monetary fortunes. Todd had formed an earlier, briefer version of Utopia that didn't produce any recorded work. After some reshuffling of band members, and expanding the group to a whopping six-piece combo, Utopia arrived on the scene with its debut LP, Todd Rundgren's Utopia (with Todd explaining his name initially prefacing the band's as a commercial move to insure some units being sold).

Personally, I've never been a huge fan of this version of Utopia. Some fans find their first LP to be a classic through and through, whereas I have not ever been able to get into either "Utopia Theme" or "Freak Parade" off the first half. Like a lot of prog rock, sometimes the ideas overwhelm the actual tunes, and that's the problem with these two tracks. You can certainly get cerebral without being dull (see: Rush). That leaves the short "Freedom Fighters" which features Todd's trademark pop licks, but is far from being one of his classics.

On the other hand, the entire second side of the album is taken up by the 30-minute "The Ikon," which hits on all cylinders and is something I've never tired of hearing. Todd assembled the track from various bits he and the band were working on and created a final product with which they could perform live. In the liner notes included with this edition, Rundgren claims that at the time the track was often being extended to 90 minutes on the stage due to everyone's soloing. But the version here is stellar, showcasing some of Todd's best recorded guitar work in his entire catalog.
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Format: Audio CD
Todd had become completely fascinated with keyboards by the time his fifth solo album Todd was released in February 1974 and his backing band Utopia would now feature three keyboard players. Utopia's first album, recorded as a band project, was released October 1974, shows Todd continuing obsession and is different than anything that the band would try again opting for shorter songs on subsequent albums. The line up for this album is Todd along with Moogy Klingman, Ralph Schuckett and M. Frog Labat all on keyboards, John Siegler on bass and Kevin Ellman on drums. The album starts with Utopia Theme which is actually recorded live on November 8, 1973 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA. Freak Parade is a cool tune with some really nice changes in it while Freedom Fighters is a fun short song. The Ikon takes up all of side two goes to many far out places.

Another Live was recorded on the tour promoting Todd's Initiation album in August '75, features Utopia with two new members Roger Powell and John "Willie" Wilcox as well as featuring back up singers from David Bowie's Young Americans band. Unlike most live albums, most of the songs on here hadn't been released on other records and there are no overdubs. The first half is made up of all new originals and starts off with a great song called Another Life by Todd and Ralph. I was always bummed that Utopia never played this song more as it's one of their best. The Wheel is a strong tune with Todd playing an acoustic guitar and this version has an almost carnaval feel to it. The Seven Rays is another very strong song written by Todd and John and has a cool instrumental section in which the keyboards are used to good effect.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I absolutely love these albums. So much that 3 decades later, I can still hear new parts buried in the mix. So why can't we have a live, full length, concert album of this, (6 man), configuration of Utopia. I've bought every Rundgren release out there, including some from Japan. I've heard of a 3 CD bootleg of a Madison Square Garden concert. Every time I inquire, I'm firmly steered toward "Disco Jets", or other obscure releases. I ALREADY HAVE THEM!!! These albums are so great, they deserve to be immortalized with a live, full length concert CD. Even better, a DVD from way back then. I doubt one exists. If you are an aficianado of progresive/classical, synth/guitar, all out, 4 on the floor rock music, these are for you. The "Utopia" recording will reward you with more complexity every time it's played back. Now, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, SOMEHOW!!!! PUT OUT A FULL LENTGH LIVE CONCERT RECORDING!!! I BEG YOU!!!! billbigrig@yahoo.com
I'M JONESING HERE!!!
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