Review for Utopia deface the music tour- Todd Archive series vol. 6

Review by René Bosman (Switch to

This double live cd was announced as being part of the Japanese "Meet the Utopia tour", but the sleeve information correctly states the concert was recorded in the USA in the Halloween BellCapitol Theater New Jersey on October 31 1980.

The tracklist is a nice one, for it contains nearly all the songs of the magnificent Beatlesque "Deface the music" album, tunes Utopia played only once, during their late 1980 tour. As can be heard at the end of cd 2 Utopia made fun of their Beatles-parody, with Roger Powell as a radio-interviewer leading the other Utopians on the origins of their Beatle boots, Todd hanging out the silly boy not knowing who the Beatles are and Roger pointing out The Beatles were a group of the early sixties having some succes then nobody ever heard of 'em again. Unfortunately the same story more or less applied for Utopia in the early eighties, although instead of the Beatles they really reunited for once later on.

Anyway, the set can be divided into 6 blocks, three containing Deface-songs, the first one starting off with I just want to touch you, followed by Where does the world go to hide, Silly boy and Feel too good. Crystal ball and All smiles make up the second part. In the last section Alone, Always late (complete with siren, breaking glass and alarm-clock running off just too late), Take it home, That's not right and a freak out version of Everybody else is wrong come by. The in-betweens are a mixture of Adventures in Utopia, Oops! wrong planet and Something/Anything tunes. Remarkable here is One world, announced by Todd as a song that didn't make the Deface album because "it just wasn't in our style you know" (in 1982 it appeared on the Swing to the right album).

All songs are played solid, most of them even stand like a rock and the reaction of the audience gives one the impression this concert really was an outstanding one. Alas, as is more often the case with radio concerts, excitement gets tempered by the lack of clearness of the sound. On the other hand there's enough balance in the mixing of instruments and voices to make this production well enough to play it more than twice.

René Bosman, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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