R2 71185 Redux '92: Live In Japan
Produced by Todd Rundgren
Released on May 18, 1993
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
R2 71185 cover
[high resolution scan]

A s I thumb through my record collection, it occurs to me that Japan is like the Love Boat of live venues. Maybe it’s cosmic payback for Pink Lady. Or perhaps it’s a pop culture doppler effect, a land that time forgot where American-darlings-turned-doyens can still play king for a day. Anyway, so it was that Utopia found themselves in the land of the rising sun, where the ‘80s reign eternal, very much alive in Japan. And for two weeks in 1993, it was 1986 all over again. If you’re worried that the new Utopia sounds stale, relax ducks. Todd, Roger, Willie and Kas charge through the material with just as much energy as you remember: “Trapped,” “Princess of the Universe,” “The Ikon,” “Love In Action,” “One World.” And, most of the time, they nail it. Despite a little tinkering with tracks like “Caravan,” Redux ’92 generally sticks to the blueprints. Perfectionist that he is, Todd works hard to capture the exact sound of the originals, and the result is a live record that feels like the work of a young band touring as if their livelihood depended on it (and not a dormant band dusting off the oldies for a few bucks). It’s an effort the faithful will appreciate, and even those visiting Utopia for the first time may find this a suitable sampler. More impressive, in a rare case of restraint, not one Todd Rundgren solo track slips into the proceedings. What does slip in, and I suppose it would have been conspicuously absent otherwise, is “Hiroshima.” It’s a dicey move, delivered here like a lead balloon, which the audience receives graciously and (thankfully) adds a touch of levity to at the end. Without testing the tensile strength of our rights to free speech, I do believe that part of the USA’s lack of credibility among foreign nations is our selective memory. Never forget the sacrifice we made at Normandy, France. Never forget Pearl Harbor, Japan. Never mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A United States that remembered its own atrocities might become a Utopia indeed. So in summation: good live disc (buy it) -- patriotic rhetoric (don’t buy it).

R2 71185 back picture sleeve
R2 71185 back picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. FIX YOUR GAZE    (Utopia)    4:23
  2. ZEN MACHINE    (Utopia)    4:42
  3. TRAPPED    (Todd Rundgren)    3:10
  4. PRINCESS OF THE UNIVERSE    (Utopia)    3:28
  5. ABANDON CITY    (Roger Powell/Todd Rundgren)    4:55
  6. HAMMER IN MY HEART    (Utopia)    4:30
  7. SWING TO THE RIGHT    (Utopia)    4:57
  8. THE IKON    (Todd Rundgren/Ralph Schuckett/Moogy Klingman/John Siegler)    4:38
  9. HIROSHIMA    (Roger Powell/Todd Rundgren)    7:24
  10. BACK ON THE STREETS    (Todd Rundgren)    4:28
  11. ONLY HUMAN    (Utopia)    6:20
  12. LOVE IN ACTION    (Todd Rundgren)    3:42
  13. CARAVAN    (Utopia)    7:56
  14. LAST OF THE NEW WAVE RIDERS    (Utopia)    5:28
  15. ONE WORLD    (Utopia)    3:27
  16. LOVE IS THE ANSWER    (Todd Rundgren)    5:19

CREDITS

ROGER POWELL -- synthesizers, vocals
TODD RUNDGREN -- guitar, vocals, mixing
KASIM SULTON -- bass, vocals
WILLIE WILCOX -- drums, vocals
Larry Toomey -- house engineer
Geoff Gans -- art direction
Monster X -- design
Prairie Prince -- caricatures

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US May 18, 1993 Rhino CD/CS R2-71185  

 

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