Concert Vault

Utopia

Royal Oak Music Theatre (Royal Oak, MI)

Apr 3, 1981

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  1. 1 One World 03:14
  2. 2 The Road To Utopia 03:46
  3. 3 Back On The Street 04:03
  4. 4 Caravan 07:29
  5. 5 Time Heals 04:13
  6. 6 The Wheel 07:10
  7. 7 The Very Last Time 03:55
  8. 8 Lysistrata Intro 01:05
  9. 9 Lysistrata 02:41
  10. 10 Compassion 04:56
  11. 11 Last Of The New Wave Riders 04:24
  12. 12 Love Is The Answer 04:15
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Liner Notes

Todd Rundgren - guitar, vocals; Kasim Sulton - bass, vocals; Roger Powell - keyboards, synthesizers, trumpet, vocals; Willie Wilcox - drums, vocals

Todd Rundgren's arena/prog-rock band, Utopia, had been going for seven years when this show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. By now, the group had solidified into the four-piece lineup it would retain for the remainder of its career. They had recently released Deface the Music, a striking Beatles pastiche/parody, only six months before, but none of those songs appear here. However, two songs surface from Rundgren's newest solo release, Healing, which surfaced two months before: "Time Heals" and "Compassion." The first exhibited Rundgren's continued pop songwriting prowess, and the latter is a ballad that easily stands as one of the set's highlights.

The rest of the set draws upon the Utopia back catalogue, primarily consisting of songs from 1980's Adventures in Utopia and 1977's Oops! Wrong Planet, both of which had an arena-sized sound to them, especially in songs like "The Very Last Time" and "The Road to Utopia." There are also two songs from Swing to the Right, which wouldn't come out for another 11 months. One of those songs is "Lysistrata," and Rundgren provides a spoken introduction to the song in which he explains the Aristophanes-penned ancient Greek comedy that inspired it. "Love Is the Answer" closes the show (as it did most every Utopia gig), giving the show a life-affirming cadence despite its more dramatic moments.

England Dan and John Ford Coley later had a hit with their cover of "Love Is the Answer," but Utopia would break up in 1986, later reuniting briefly to tour in 1992 and putting out a live album, Redux '92: Live in Japan, that same year. Rundgren's solo career continues to the present day; he recently released 2008's Arena, and also spent time between 2005-2007 playing alongside in the reunited Cars (known as the New Cars, sans Ric Ocasek).

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Todd Rundgren - guitar, vocals; Kasim Sulton - bass, vocals; Roger Powell - keyboards, synthesizers, trumpet, vocals; Willie Wilcox - drums, vocals

Todd Rundgren's arena/prog-rock band, Utopia, had been going for seven years when this show was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. By now, the group had solidified into the four-piece lineup it would retain for the remainder of its career. They had recently released Deface the Music, a striking Beatles pastiche/parody, only six months before, but none of those songs appear here. However, two songs surface from Rundgren's newest solo release, Healing, which surfaced two months before: "Time Heals" and "Compassion." The first exhibited Rundgren's continued pop songwriting prowess, and the latter is a ballad that easily stands as one of the set's highlights.

The rest of the set draws upon the Utopia back catalogue, primarily consisting of songs from 1980's Adventures in Utopia and 1977's Oops! Wrong Planet, both of which had an arena-sized sound to them, especially in songs like "The Very Last Time" and "The Road to Utopia." There are also two songs from Swing to the Right, which wouldn't come out for another 11 months. One of those songs is "Lysistrata," and Rundgren provides a spoken introduction to the song in which he explains the Aristophanes-penned ancient Greek comedy that inspired it. "Love Is the Answer" closes the show (as it did most every Utopia gig), giving the show a life-affirming cadence despite its more dramatic moments.

England Dan and John Ford Coley later had a hit with their cover of "Love Is the Answer," but Utopia would break up in 1986, later reuniting briefly to tour in 1992 and putting out a live album, Redux '92: Live in Japan, that same year. Rundgren's solo career continues to the present day; he recently released 2008's Arena, and also spent time between 2005-2007 playing alongside in the reunited Cars (known as the New Cars, sans Ric Ocasek).