Utopia: Disco Jets (unreleased)




Roger Powell, Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, John "Willie" Wilcox


Todd Rundgren

Scott Sheppard writes:

Courtesy of Frank Bubnick, I have been listening to Utopia's Disco Jets album. If this album were seamlessly sewn together and remixed in a nondisco fashion, it could be entitled: Ikon II: The Synthesizer Strikes Back.

"Disco Jets" is a combination of "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire" and "Rock Love." It has all those swirling synthesizers along with Todd's signature guitar work. I had serious deja vu listening to this song. It was sort of like picking out the samples on No World Order.

"Cosmic Cowboy" has guitar work that so closely resembles "The Ikon." The song is a CB-type litany between two space travelers.

"Time Warp" is a funky Herbie Hancock kind of thing.

"V.H.F." is a combination of Donna Summer's "Last Dance" with guitar from "Second Nature." It is punctuated with chirping bird synthesizer riffs like those in "Zen Archer." The whole song reminds me of anything done by Hiroshi Takano, e.g. "When Telepathy Becomes Popular."

I have no idea why they did the "Star Trek" theme. It sounds like the original with "Real Man" synthesizer accents thrown in. The song (probably on accident) speeds up near the middle.

According to Frank, "Pet Rock" resembles "Fahrenheit 451."

"Space War" features the (you guessed it) dualing synthesizer versus guitar riffs a la "Caravan."

"Rising Sign" sounds like another Hiroshi Takano song. It's sort of like a more guitar oriented and sped up "Flamingo."

Other than "The Wheel," I think "Black Hole" is the only Utopia song to feature bongos.

"Spirit of '76" is a string of instrumental songs that go in and come out -- just like "Broke Down and Busted"/"Mystified"/"Broke Down and Busted." All of the songs are patriotic classics.

The album was eventually released as part of the Japanese "Demos and Lost Albums" collection

  1. Disco Jets
  2. Cosmic Convoy
  3. Time Warp
  4. V.H.F.
  5. Star Trek
  6. Pet Rock
  7. Space War
  8. Rising Sign
  9. Black Hole
  10. Spirit of '76

Disco Jets

  Here we go, disco jets
  Here we come, disco jets

Cosmic Convoy

  Space Cowboy:
    Breaker, breaker, breaker, this is the Space Cowboy out here,
    and I am four light years away from the planet Saturn.
    Anybody out there got your ears on?
    Why don't you tell me about it?

  Jupiter Moon:
    Hello [...] Space Cowboy. This is Jupiter Moon talking at you
    from mulitoid space. Got some folks over here on your back door.
    No one over here at your front door. Looks like we got us a
    cosmic convoy.

  Space Cowboy:
    Ah, tell me something now, we got that Jupiter probe out there

  Jupiter Moon:
    Yeah, [...] right behind you, following you.

  Space Cowboy:
    Well tell me something, got any word on Mr. Spock out there?
    Is he looking around for us?

  Jupiter Moon:
    Ah, word I get is you better slow down a little bit. I know
    he's pushing 19 G's right now, and I think that's a little
    above the limit.

  Space Cowboy:
    Yeah, I know, I know, I'm rigged up, but I thought I could
    make up a little time here. I lost so much time coming around
    the sun.

  Jupiter Moon:
    Yeah I know, scooby doo for me too, sun spots [...]
    OK, Space Cowboy [...]

  Space Cowboy:
    [...] and I'm putting the hammer down. It's been fun running
    with you. We'll see you next century.

  Jupiter Moon:

Time Warp




Star Trek


Pet Rock

  Aw, aw
  Pet rock [...]
  Pet rock [...]

Space War


Rising Sign

Rising sign, rising sign ...

Black Hole

  Aw yeah!
  Slipping in a black hole
  Ah ha ha
  Hee hee hee

Spirit of '76

  instrumental consisting of: Star Bangled Banner,
                              Yankee Doodle
                              Grand Old Flag

Other References

Lyrics v. 2.4.2
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