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UTOPIA

Utopia

Krautrock


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Utopia Utopia album cover
3.04 | 34 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. What You Gonna Do (6:37)
2. The Wolf-Man Jack Show (5:05)
3. Alice (3:06)
4. Las Vegas (4:25)
5. Deutsch Nepal (3:08)
6. Utopia No. 1 (4:00)
7. Nasi Goreng (5:33)
8. Jazz-Kiste (5:30)

Total Time: 37:24

Bonus tracks on CD release 1994:
9. Surrounded By The Stars [Wolf City] (3:27)
10. Let's Feel Alive [Surrounded By The Stars] (7:45)
11. Deutsch Nepal/Rolf Zacher Voc. [Landing In A Ditch] (5:37)

titles in brackets are the correct names - track 9/10 originally taken from the Amon Düül II album 'Wolf City', track 11 from 'Live in London'

Bonus tracks on CD release 2000:
12. Goldrush (2:56)
13. Star-Eyed (4:29)
14. Dr. Stein (3:45)

from the 18 KARAT GOLD release 'All-Bumm' (1973)

Line-up / Musicians

- Lothar Meid / bass, vocals
- Olaf Kübler / saxophon
- Kristian Schultze / keyboards
- Jimmy Jackson / organ
- Joe Nay / guitar

guest musicians:
- Chris Karrer / guitar
- John Weinzierl / guitar
- Renate Knaup-Krötenschwanz / vocals

18 KARAT GOLD line-up
- Lothar Meid / bass
- Jörg Evers / rhythm guitar
- Klaus Ebert / lead guitar
- Keith Forsey / drums

Releases information

LP United Artists UAG 29438 (1973 UK)
LP Teldec 6.24852 AP (1973 Germany)
CD Spalax 14878 (1994 France)´
CD Gammarock Records (2000 Germany)

"Utopia" is a studio project by Olaf Kübler and Lothar Meid. Because it featured several regular members of AMON DÜÜL II (including Chris Karrer and John Weinzierl), it has usually been regarded as part of the DÜÜL discography, and, indeed, the CD reissue credits the album to AMON DÜÜL II.

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


3.04
(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
15%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (42%)
42%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

UTOPIA Utopia reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars So, the myth says that during the "Wolf City" sessions (or after that) the band split into two sections due to quarrels, leaving Olaf Kübler and Lothar Meid alone to record a separate project under the name "UTOPIA". But in the meantime, they all made peace again so the remaining members of AMON DUUL II tribe participated in the making of this album. Original LP bears the title "Utopia" only, while the re-issued CD format added the name of AMON DUUL II, probably for commercial reasons because this one and only album of UTOPIA project would be otherwise doomed for oblivion.

It is sort of by-product of the "transition phase" of AMON DUUL II towards more guitar-oriented conventional rock structures of "Vive la Trance", but it still retains (not only in the cover art) certain "Gothic" and dark elements of "Wolf City"- notable is the reprise of the Teutonic satire "Deutsch Nepal" from that album (with slightly different and weaker German vocal). "What You Gonna Do" is a nice folksy-rock attempt sung by Renate, while "Alice" with "romantic" piano and drunken male vocal sounds like taken from some bluesy Tom Waits record. "Las Vegas" is a quite catchy with repetitive acoustic guitars and sax-driven hypnotic instrumental jam, while the title track is a perfect example of Kraut-rock; processed voices, Mellotrons, electronic effects, jazzy guitar jams, strong and diverse percussion, groovy bass and overall psycho/space feeling. The final track, as its title suggests, is a pure and quite excellent jazz-rock loaded with electric piano, mighty percussion and a solo part that can be a processed guitar, or sax or trumpet, or synth... I wouldn't know since I am no tech expert. It is perhaps an influence from their cousin-band EMBRYO.

This fine album is strongly recommended to prog-listeners and I hope this review of mine will not remain as the only one for a long time.

Review by oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars

Utopia band was born from Amon dull II's scission during "Wolf city" recording. An odd and unequal album where little gems are blended with atrocious pieces.

Here i review the "Garden of delights" release which features several bonus tracks.

Let's begin with the good pieces:

"Las vegas" is a quite short psychedelic space tune featuring a shiny saxo playing a repetitive melody, with an aerial and lively accompaniment (flute) which can reminds of Gong, at least in the mind. "Nasi Goreng" is not bad, with many keyboards, overall very jazzy and with a little symphonic touch making it sound more English than classic Amon Dull II.

The "Utopia" piece is very good, in the "Las vegas" vein with a cosmic sound due to synthe, reminiscent of the good old Amon dull II.

"Jazz-Kiste" is excellent also, a trippy psychedelic jazzrock tune with distorted wha wah keyboards, reminiscent of Embryo/Rocksession. There's only few electric guitar throughout the album but really excellent!

What's left varies from average -"What You Gonna Do" is quite gentle and binary, "Deutsh Nepal" is close to Wolf city's cover- to actrocious : "Surrounded By The Stars", alternative cover than the "Wolf city" one is a long and horrible track with extremely binary drums, an awful primary hard rock.

The three bonus are short but interesting.

To sum up, a heteroclite album where you'll find the best and the worst.

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This album has been recorded under the name Utopia but for me it's just an other crappy effort by the disconcerted Amon Duul UK (Whatever if it is said to be recorded during sessions of "Wolf City"). If you are into the seminal psychedelic epics of Amon Duul II I advise you to forget Utopia. It's a mediocre collection of happy, light rocking songs, including a lot of naïve, commercial melodic lines. A few songs as "The wolfman Jack Show" incarnates a heavy stoned rock, but the result sounds conventional. This album contains no new ideas and sounds indulgent. "What you gonna do" and the pseudo-romantic "Alice" are the worst things I've heard from the last Amon Duul, totally inconsistent and dramatic in the choice of mainstream melodies and piano arrangements. "Las Vegas" is a cheesy, jazzy exotic composition. To avoid!
Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Here's another Amon Duul II album - oh, wait a minute - it could be a Lothar Meid solo effort - or, UTOPIA !! I remember seeing LP's of this lumped in with others by Todd Rundgren's band of the same name - same prices as those common records, too. The songs on this album sound very close to ADII, and the quality is as good. I don't understand why this release isn't favoured here at PA, it features many of the traits which made the 'Mothership' so exciting. The first track 'What You Gonna Do' is a straight-ahead rocker, with Renate Knaup singing, always nice to hear her distinctive voice. 'Wolf-Man Jack Show' is a weird song, with Jimmy Jackson at the mysterious 'Choir Organ' (giving off a stranger sound than Mellotron choirs), which he actually utilised on many tracks to good effect. The Bass riff here is almost snatched straight from THE BEATLES' 'Come Together', played German style. 'Alice' is a sweet love song. The tune itself is care-free and up-lifting, and has Lothar playing Mellotron flutes. I can't help but be reminded of Kevin Ayers on this one. 'Las Vegas' is a hippy-sounding jam with congas, jazzy sax playing and a nose-flute !!

'Deutsch Nepal' is a re-make of the song of the same name from 'Wolf City'. It's heavy sound and strange 'vocal' from guest Rolf Zacher makes it an excellent example of Krautrock. 'Utopiat No.1' is another hippy jam (strikingly similar to 'Las Vegas') but features those searing organs from Jimmy Jackson and Falk Rogner too, Olaf Kubler toying around with a Moog Synth, and bizarre echoed vocals from Meid. Man, I love this stuff. 'Nasi Goreng' is a Hammond-heavy instrumental with strong melodies, and light oriental moments (of course, with a title like that). The album finishes up with 'Jazz-Kiste', probably the master-piece composition of the album - starring PASSPORT's Christian Schulze on electric-piano and EMBRYO's Edgar Hoffman playing amazing 'wah-wah' soprano sax almost throughout. Overall, this 'Utopia' is not a revolutionary extravaganza, but I find its contents worthwhile and satisfying.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars Often listed as an Amon Düül II album, this project got more ties with the fusion band Passport then with Amon Düül II. Of course, the ADII nucleus of Karrer, Weinzierl and Knaup are all making guest appearances, but from the regular Utopia line-up only Lothar Meid (original Passport member) has some ADII credibility.

ADII had turned into more commercial directions since Lothar Meid joined for Wolf City and it's a direction that is also evident here. All songs would fit nicely on either Wolf City or the ensuing Vive La Trance, and most of them are rather art-rockish and flat in terms of quality. Generally the material sits somewhere inbetween Hawkwind's Amazing Stories and Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. It's only where the band takes a jazzier direction that the album has a few enjoyable moments, such as the Gong-alike Utopia No1 and Nucleus-alike Jazz Kiste.

A faceless album that is only worth seeking out if you are a huge fan of ADII's Vive La Trance and Hijack albums. Compared to the real AD II masterpieces, this easily flowing art-rock is quite a step down.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Utopia is an excellent side project by some Amon Düül II members. The reissue credits the album to Amon Düül II though it was originally released by the title "Utopia" only. The first track is "What You Gonna Do?". It's a nice track sung by Renate, starting like a conventional rock song that turn ... (read more)

Report this review (#63833) | Posted by Ray Lomas | Monday, January 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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