Todd Rundgren's Utopiaby Todd Rundgren & Utopia
After five solo albums released between 1970 and 1974, Todd Rundgren organized the band Utopia, although he also maintained a solo career. At this point, the group, a sextet featuring Kevin Ellman on percussion, Moogy Klingman and Ralph Schukett on keyboards, M. Frog Labat on synthesizers, and John Siegler on bass and cello, had little independent existence, as indicated by its billing, but later it would be a more equal unit. On this debut album, TR's U plays extended compositions -- three of the four tracks run over 10 minutes each, with "The Ikon" clocking in over half an hour -- in a hard rock/heavy metal/progressive rock mode with little of Rundgren's usual melodic appeal.
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Performance CreditsTodd Rundgren & Utopia Primary Artist
Todd Rundgren Guitar,Vocals
M. Frog Labat Synthesizer
Roger Powell Trumpet,Keyboards
Kevin Elliman Percussion
Mark "Moogy" Klingman Keyboards
Ralph Schuckett Bass,Keyboards
John Siegler Bass,Cello
Kevin Ellman Percussion
Technical CreditsTodd Rundgren Producer,Engineer
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This record was my very first stop in the Rundgren universe. Even I (a lifelong fan) will admit that it has dated badly. HOWEVER, the chief point of interest here is the 30-minute opus ''The Ikon''-- a dense, but richly rewarding piece of jazz-rock fusion (sort of). Todd's guitar work is, as always, top notch. This record is a must for hard core fans.
If I had one album--by any artist--to take to a desert island, it would probably be this one.
It has been 20 some odd years since I heard this incredible piece of music, and needless to say, it was everything that I remembered it being. From the opening track, played live, to show you the power of the band, its many changes of intensity, until it gets to the dreamy part where Todd sings about Utopia, his guitar solo, and then the pure joyus feeling you get when the sequencer hits for the 3rd time, and that glorious noise full guitar rythmn kicks in and makes you grin, it brought back all of the the joy I felt the very first time I heard it on its release . Then we head into freak parade which is a pure joy to listen to, the freedom fighters, and finally....the Ikon, Todd at his best...I can only tell those who are thinking about it...BUY THE DAMN THING ALREADY...you will thank me