Todd Rundgren's Utopia (album)

Todd Rundgren's Utopia (album)

Todd Rundgren's Utopia
Utopia
Released October 1974
Recorded The Secret Sound and The Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia April 25th, 1974.
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 58:55
Label Bearsville
Producer Todd Rundgren
Utopia chronology

Todd Rundgren's Utopia
(1974)
Another Live
(1975)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone (Not rated)[2]
Piero Scaruffi (7/10)[3]

Todd Rundgren's Utopia is the debut album by the band Utopia. Rundgren (who was primarily a pop musician at the time) had decided to delve into progressive rock. Putting together several musicians, including three keyboardists, the album covers a variety of styles including funk, jazz, classical and even avant garde music.

The first track, Utopia Theme, was recorded live at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia on April 25, 1974, Not November 8, 1973 as has been previously believed. The November date was mistakenly placed on the Retrorock radio show that was broadcast in 1982 that includes "Utopia Theme" from the Todd Rundgren's Utopia LP as well a portion of that concert.

The set list is also proof that the November 1973 date is incorrect. The songs "The Last Ride", "Everybody's Going To Heaven/King Kong Raggae" "Sons Of 1984(Except for the recording of in August 1973)" and "Open My Eyes" were not in the set lists for the 1973 tour. These tunes were new for the 1974 tour.

Critical reaction was mixed, with some critics labeling the album as pretentious fluff, but it sold extremely well, peaking at #34 on the Billboard charts, a placing which no Utopia album save Adventures in Utopia would ever surpass.[4]

Like a few of Rundgren's solo albums (notably A Wizard, a True Star and Initiation), Utopia pushed the limits as to how much music a vinyl record could hold. At nearly an hour, the sound needed to be compressed in order to fit it onto vinyl, rendering it of a poorer quality than usual. The CD version avoids this issue.

Track listing

CD Version

No. TitleMusic Length
1. "Utopia Theme (live)"  Mason, Rundgren 14:31
2. "Freak Parade"  Klingman, Rundgren, Siegler 10:14
3. "Freedom Fighters"  Rundgren 4:04
4. "The Ikon"  Klingman, Rundgren, Schuckett, Siegler 30:26
Total length:
59:15

Vinyl Version

Side One

No. TitleMusic Length
1. "Utopia Theme (live)"  Mason, Rundgren 14:18
2. "Freak Parade"  Klingman, Rundgren, Siegler 10:14
3. "Freedom Fighters"  Rundgren 4:01

Side Two

No. Title Length
1. "The Ikon"   30:22

Personnel

Production
  • Todd Rundgren - producer and engineer
  • David Le Sage - assistant engineer
  • Maruo Miyauchi - design and illustration at Push Pin Studios

Charts

Album - Billboard

Year Chart Position
1974 Pop Albums 34

References