Todd Rundgren's Utopia (album)

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Todd Rundgren's Utopia
Todd rundgrens utopia.jpg
Studio album by Utopia
Released October 1974
Recorded The Secret Sound and The Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia April 25th, 1974.
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 59:15
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]

Todd Rundgren's Utopia is the debut album by the band Todd Rundgren's 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.

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.[3]

Like a few of Rundgren's solo albums (notably A Wizard, a True Star and Initiation), the album's sheer length pushed the limits of vinyl. At nearly an hour, the sound needed to be compressed in order to fit it onto one vinyl record, resulting in a lesser audio quality than a shorter album. The CD version avoids this issue. The title track of the album was simply called "Utopia" on the first edition vinyl, cassette and 8-track editions of the album. On the first reissue of the album (1980) the title of "Utopia" was changed to "Utopia Theme" and publishing credits were changed from Earmark Music to both Earmark Music and Screen Gems - Columbia Music. This may have happened as in 1976 Tony Sales sued Rundgren for appropriation of the song, suing for royalties of $100,000 or more.

Track listing[edit]

CD Version[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music 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[edit]

Side One[edit]

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

Side Two[edit]

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

Personnel[edit]

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

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard

Year Chart Position
1974 Pop Albums 34

References[edit]

  1. ^ "allmusic ((( Todd Rundgren's Utopia > Review )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Todd Rundgren: Todd Rundgren's Utopia : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  3. ^ Utopia chart placings, AllMusicGuide.