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Vinyl  >>  Vinyl  >>  Rock/Pop

Utopia

Different P.O.V.

Utopia Different P.O.V.
 
 




THESE THREE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED DEMOS for Utopia’s POV album do indeed provide a different point of view into the final days of the band. First, a little background. 1984 was a time of upheaval for Todd Rundgren; on a personal level, he had begun a new and serious relationship with Tubes singer Michele Gray and was now splitting his time equally between residences in Lake Hill, New York, and Sausalito, California. On the professional front, he was precariously juggling his three careers between his production work for other artists, his own solo recording, and his duties as a member of Utopia, his partnership with bassist Kasim Sulton, drummer John “Willie” Wilcox, and keyboardist Roger Powell. Utopia was always a four-way democracy, very much a communal creative effort; but now, with the advent of new recording technology like the Fairlight synthesizer, the musicians could create new work without ever having to be in the same room. Which is exactly how these demos came to be; both “Secret Society” and “Play This Game” are vocal demos that Rundgren made at Utopia Sound in Lake Hill, while “Mated” was a tune by Wilcox for which Rundgren wrote and sang the vocals. All three songs made the album with full band arrangements, though Wilcox elected to stick with programmed drums, a decision which precipitated the break-up of the band. But despite all the infighting, these demos and the resulting album alike maintained the melodic brilliance that was always the band’s calling card, even as POV proved to be their last studio album together.

Now, Real Gone Music presents these fascinating, behind-the-scenes demos in a limited edition exclusive for Record Store Day/Black Friday: sky blue 45 r.p.m. 12” vinyl inside a jacket sporting liner notes by Paul Myers—author of A Wizard, a True Star—Todd Rundgren in the Studio— that include quotes from Rundgren, Sulton, and Wilcox. Limited to 1500 copies, this one’s a must for fans forever “mated” to Todd and Utopia.

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