Skip to content

Anthology (1974-1985) – Utopia

Utopia Anthology 1974-1985 Todd Rundgren

Anthology (1974-1985)

(1989), 6.5/10
Rundgren formed Utopia as his live backing band, and to allow him to pursue more of a progressive rock direction. The original lineup even included three keyboard players, although in the face of punk, they scaled down into a slimmer and more pop-oriented outfit (Rundgren: “there just wasn’t that much of a market for players’ band…. we didn’t want to become baroque.”) The group became more of a democracy that you’d expect with something involving Rundgren, but this Anthology puts the spotlight on Rundgren’s compositions.

Most of Anthology tends towards the guilty pleasure category, even compared to Rundgren’s solo work; this is strictly pop geek territory, it’s often hollow and constantly dorky. Anthology is drawn from ten Utopia studio albums, which is amazing given how much solo work and production for other artists Rundgren released over the same period. Opener ‘Crybaby’, with its stacked, histrionic vocals, and the gentle sappy ‘Mated’  are both top grade Rundgren songs. ‘Love Is The Answer’ is strangely memorable with its over the top gospel bridge, while the goofy ‘Trapped’ also benefits from the group’s strong vocals, as all members in Utopia’s pop edition were competent singers. There are only a few representatives from the band’s progressive rock side, and they’re fine if somewhat monotonous: the gentle ‘The Wheel’ and the bombastic ‘Overture: Mountaintop and Sunrise/Communion With The Sun.’ The songs from 1980’s Beatles’ pastiche Deface The Music and 1980’s Adventures In Utopia are mostly irritating.

I’m not sure if I want to explore Utopia further, but there’s enough here to make it worthwhile for Rundgren fans.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Simone: By The River

Hey! I'm writing about travel, books, nature, music, art, food, gardening, things that inspire me, with a little bit of creative writing thrown in for good luck (if I'm feeling brave enough). Australian (Geelong, Victoria). Instagram: sima78 & trackrecordsrecords

Brendon's Beats

Album Reviews & Music Discussion

The Rockin' Chair

A place for music and books

Debbie's Song

If you can listen to it, read it, watch it, wear it, love it...I'm interested in it

Zach's Music Reviews

The Occasional Music Review

Going for a Song

An autobiography in lays and ditties

The Peter Principles

The minutiae of music and more.

Hi-Fi Adventures

Album Reviews

%d bloggers like this: