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Utopia Utopia album cover
2.95 | 35 ratings | 7 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Libertine (2:47)
2. Bad Little Actress (2:50)
3. Feet Don't Fail Me Now (3:06)
4. Neck On Up (2:53)
5. Say Yeah (3:04)
6. Call It What You Will (3:48)
7. I'm Looking at You but I'm Talking to Myself (3:38)
8. Hammer in My Heart (4:10)
9. Burn Three Times (3:15)
10. There Goes My Inspiration (3:24)
11. Princess of the Universe (3:29)
12. Infrared and Ultraviolet (2:17)
13. Forgotten but Not Gone (2:31)
14. Private Heaven (3:12)
15. Chapter and Verse (3:30)

Total Time 47:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Todd Rundgren / guitar, producer
- Roger Powell / keyboards
- Kasim Sulton / bass
- John Wilcox / drums

Releases information

2xLP Network Records ‎- 60183 (1982, US)

CD Rhino Records ‎- R2 70713 (1989, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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UTOPIA Utopia ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (14%)

UTOPIA Utopia reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "There goes my inspiration" (He said it!)

This album should not be confused with the band's first album, which goes under the name of "Todd Rundgren's Utopia". By the time of this 1982 release, it was becoming all but impossible to distinguish between Todd Rungren's solo material and that of Utopia. The classic line up of Rundgren/Powell/Sulton/Wicox had been in place for over five years and while as usual the song writing credits are democratically listed as being by "Utopia", Rundgren is clearly once again the principal protagonist.

That said, all four band members get the opportunity here to take on lead vocals, while providing harmonies on other tracks. The album has variously been described as new wave, two tone, and power pop. Certainly there are elements of all these styles, but the overriding impression is that this is little more than a follow on from the Beatles parody "Deface the music" release in 1980. Tracks such as "Feet don't fail me now" and "Say yeah" for example sound like outtakes from that album. With the tracks all lasting around three minutes (or less!), the emphasis is very much on pop. This being their first (and only) album for the young Network label the band, and Todd in particular, was keen to give them something which would be commercially appealing.

Among the better tracks are "Libertine", a Kasim Sulton lead slice of power pop, and "There goes my inspiration", a typical Rundgren ballad. "Hammer in my heart" accentuates the new wave feel, with a thumping beat and a decent guitar break. "I'm looking at you?" is pretty much a straight clone of "Love is the answer", but works nevertheless.

In all, an enjoyable if basic album of short pop songs. The band are without doubt masters of the art of composition and performance, it's just a shame they do not chose to challenge themselves to exploit their talents more fully.

This was the band only album for the Network label. Following well publicised difficulties with Bearsville, not least of which was the fact that the band were increasingly unable to shift any meaningful quantities of their albums. It has to be said, this was not helped by an almost complete absence of marketing. Rundgren, who had a long association with Bearsville, finally managed to extricate himself only to find that Network went bust a year later.

Incidentally, when originally released, this was a double album, the fourth side being exactly the same as the third. The five tracks which appeared on sides three and four were dropped when the album became a single LP disc, but restored to the CD version.

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars Utopia could be considered as a band version of Todd Rundgren - they certainly saw eye- to-eye with this, self-titled release from 1982. Sadly, not really anything to do with prog. Having said that, it is a neat album of catchy and clever pop tunes, highly melodic, sometimes quirky, with each member contributing 100% to the songs, either in vocal performance or on their respective instruments, of which the overall mix is well balanced, with some excellent synth playing from Roger Powell, and Kasim Sulton's solid Bass work. Some songs border on the cheezy side, but definate winners are : Libertine, Feet Don't Fail Me Now, I'm Looking at You...., There Goes My Inspiration and Princess of the Universe. I have some video clips of songs from this album and it's nice to see that the guys never really took themselves that seriously, just having some fun - but it's a little disappointing that their talents weren't focused towards more progressive ventures, as they had done before with 'Ra' or with Steve Hillage on his album 'L'.
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
1 stars Originally released as a three sided album, this one caused me to lose faith in Utopia, and sell the LP shortly after buying it (I now have the CD as part of a complete Todd Rundgren collection I won from Rhino).

At this point, Utopia had completely abandoned their original progressive roots, and focus completely on short, unchallenging pop ditties. This once majestic band put out an album of radio friendly songs that escape from your memory withing minutes of listening to them. Sure, the guys could still play, but there is nothing of interest to a prog fan here.

As for the LP, the best side was side 4 (the blank one).

Latest members reviews

1 stars Yikes! Another fine band lost in the clutches of the abyssmal 80's. Pneumatic drums, polyester guitars, casio keys and chipmunk voices - this release has it all. A few tunes, "Hammer In My Heart" and "Princess of the Universe" were somewhat redeemed on "Utopia Redux" some ten years later, but her ... (read more)

Report this review (#317738) | Posted by muddymouth | Saturday, November 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have this album on vinyl which I purchased in 1982 when it was released. It is still in it's original plastic wrap. My copy came with a bonus disc which to me features some of the band's finest work. "Princess Of The Universe", is a hard pounding, straight-forward rocker. The closing num ... (read more)

Report this review (#88553) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This was the first tour I saw of Utopia. It was in Denver Colorado, we drove from Austin TX. It was an eye opener to say the least. It seems like every time I see Todd live, he reads my mind like an open book and tell me its all right. No singer has ever brought me to tears; untill I heard Ru ... (read more)

Report this review (#72344) | Posted by | Sunday, March 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I love this album. It really has something for everyone. Multiple cuts sung by everyone in the band. Fast tunes, slow tunes, even a country tune. Pensive tunes, funny tunes. The lyrics are, as you would expect from Utopia, snappy and sometimes profound if not deeply political. Some are very ... (read more)

Report this review (#67942) | Posted by | Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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