Todd Rundgren's Utopia Live At Hammersmith Odeon '75

Todd Rundgren's Utopia Live At Hammersmith Odeon '75
There was a time when Todd Rundgren was regarded as a true Renaissance Man. Not only did he keep busy with his music, he was producing the likes of Meat Loaf and XTC. He was arguably at his creative peak in the mid-'70s, when he was making a series of ambitious concept albums under the guise of Utopia, as amply demonstrated here. Live At Hammersmith Odeon '75 was the band's first UK concert and was recorded for broadcast on the BBC. Bootleg recordings have been in circulation for more than 30 years, but this is its first official release. It finds Rundgren at the crossroads between his more radio-friendly days and his prog rock phase, although it does a pretty good job covering both. Or rather it would but unfortunately it isn't the entire show, though and most of the songs dropped fall into the former category, like Rundgren's biggest hit, "I Saw The Light." Nevertheless, this is still a rather fun concert. The majority of the tracks are kept to a palatable length, in part because it wasn't possible to replicate all of Rundgren's studio trickery live, and having a young Luther Vandross singing backing vocals didn't hurt either. The band launch themselves into every song with aplomb and fans will definitely appreciate the chance to upgrade their cassette copies. (Shout! Factory)