Review for Live in Tokyo '79

Review by René Bosman (Switch to

Live in Tokyo '79 is a Utopia performance brought out by the Japanese Nippon Crown label in their Todd Rundgren Archive Series as volume 2.

Listening to the double cd it becomes clear that the line-up consisting of Kasim, Roger, Willie & Todd was in good shape. The list of 22 songs (up to 120 minutes) is played with nearly no instrumental mistakes and the vocals and harmonies are marked pure and brilliant. Due to the tempo of the tracks (never very fast) the band sounds cool and relaxed.

Impressive illustrations of Utopia's musical discipline during this concert are SHOT IN THE DARK and LAST OF THE NEW WAVE RIDERS. Two songs that were new at that time and hadn't appeared on any album yet, being performed yet as if they were solid Utopian evergreens, played a 1000 times before.

Other tracks worth mentioning are ABANDON CITY with Roger on trumpet (why didn't he do that more often?), THE WHEEL (hear the very polite Japanese audience clapping hands in a very polite manner), LOVE ALONE-Kaz's song (you have to like this one, but anyway it's a take) and HIROSHIMA (...).

Reasons you should buy Live in Tokyo '79 are that the sound recording is done fairly well, because of the excellent band performance and because there's no other official Utopia live-album from that time. Reasons you should not are the price of the 2cd and the record-cover, whichs shows a pattern of broken asphalt with moss spots. Or something like that. Mmmh.

René Bosman, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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