Defend the Indefensible--Utopia

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Is it really that unthinkable? Are people convinced some of us have to suffer inordinately while others prosper more than they need to? Might we progress MORE without having to worry rather than stagnate as so many real-politik pundits would insist?

Sound off.

Lysander Spooner, Sunday, 3 October 2004 00:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Just kidding. I meant the band. "Singring and the Glass Guitar" really blows. How is the guy responsible for Something/Anything also behind this suckfest?

Lysander Spooner, Sunday, 3 October 2004 00:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I like that one album cover that has a picture of a record burning session and they're burning that very album (whatever its title might be).

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Sunday, 3 October 2004 02:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

So I'm finally hearing some of this stuff just so I can say I've heard it...uh.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 June 2007 03:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Never heard them but it will take work to convince me that Todd Rundgren putting out prog records could not be awesome.

Sundar, Thursday, 21 June 2007 03:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They ARE awesome! Get yrself a copy of "Ra", Sundar, it's the best - great tunes & vocal harmonies, totally OTT arrangements & solos.

Pashmina, Thursday, 21 June 2007 10:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

^ Roger Powell's synthesiser solo on the second clip is like 3 minutes of WTF?!?!?!

Pashmina, Thursday, 21 June 2007 10:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I like "Todd Rundgren's Utopia" a lot more than "Ra" tho I have no problem with the latter. A friend of mine who listens to a lot of prog says that first Utopia Lp might be the best prog album. Otherwise, "Deface the Music" is a silly masterpiece, a wonderful Beatles tribute/parody, I don't think they need much defending.

President Evil, Thursday, 21 June 2007 10:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

In the early days, MTV used to play Feet Don't Fail Me Now quite a lot, so I have a particular affection for that song. (Click through if you've never seen Rundgren dressed as a yellow-and-black insect and feel you should. Roger Powell on lead vocals here, I believe.)

Ditto "Cry Baby," which I think was off their final album, and is pretty disposable Rundgren arena rock, but still evokes a little nostalgia.

"Deface the Music" is pretty great, even if there had never been a Rutles.

Phil D., Thursday, 21 June 2007 13:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

disposable Rundgren arena rock

See, this is my problem with it -- and it leads me to conclude that my issue is not with Utopia per se but with Rundgren (who I've generally found an extremely overrated figure as a songwriter, less so as a producer). Though the comparison is hardly exact I was thinking this morning of how much more I enjoyed, say, Bill Nelson's Red Noise in comparison.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 June 2007 13:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

In comparison in comparison. Comparing.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 21 June 2007 13:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I've never heard the prog-era Utopia, but I've heard everything from Oops! Wrong Planet onward. Most of it doesn't date very well. I loved the self-titled LP+EP as a youth, but the horrid '80s production is hard to take now. Adventures in Utopia is a decent stab at Boston-styled arena-rock bombast - but again, that's hardly a recommendation. It's no surprise that Kasim Sulton went on to play with Meat Loaf.

Deface The Music is the only one I could heartily recommend today, but I still wouldn't place it before the Nazz or Something/Anything. (I've heard a rumor that Rundgren made Deface The Music as a response to John Lennon's snubbing, and their subsequent beef in the UK press.)

mike a, Thursday, 21 June 2007 14:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Bill Nelson sucks. Pash to thread

President Evil, Thursday, 21 June 2007 14:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i just bought modern music by be bop deluxe and was pretty disappointed by it. never heard 'em before.

i really really dislike todd rundgren for some reason. i've barely ever heard his music. something about him bothers me. he seems like the zappa of 70s soft rock or something.

M@tt He1ges0n, Thursday, 21 June 2007 16:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Deface The Music" alone secures Utopia defensibility.

Geir Hongro, Thursday, 21 June 2007 22:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

oblivion/pov/2nd st hit a strong nerve for me from hearing it in the car all the time as a wee tot. so many of these songs still sound amazing, but there are few i can safely recommend to just anybody.

lots of good tunes but severely bad lyrics.

that roger powell album "air pocket" is kinda sweet in a 'rape this album for samples'/'re-edit the fuck out of this track' kind of way

"freedom fighters" from the very first utopia album might be the best utopia song, though.

i really want to play "too much water" at a party but i'm sure it sounds totally wack to everyone except me.

babedad, Friday, 22 June 2007 05:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

"Love Is the Answer" from Oops Wrong Planet is the blue eyed soul number for the apocalypse.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 31 March 2011 02:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Okay, so I'm enjoying the first Utopia album a great deal more than I thought I would from reading about it.

...and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, axe and SAW! (Turrican), Monday, 16 June 2014 01:12 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

I picked up Something/Anything a few months back and really got into it. So today when I spotted the first Utopia album in the dollar bin, I thought "why not?"

Turns out there were a lot of reasons.

I think that people who say they hate prog, this is what they're hearing in their heads when they say it.

enochroot, Tuesday, 12 June 2018 01:21 (eleven months ago) Permalink

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