What his vision was back in 1973 was anybody's guess but suffice to say he produced an album so rich and diverse and overflowing with ideas which has rightly gone down as a truly classic piece of work.
It's a covers album mostly, with interpretations of songs by the world's artists some being the most prominent in history. The remainder sees Rundgren covering a multiple of musical trends and aspects and a couple that really seem to be ahead of their time, which is par for the course for Rundgren..
To my way of thinking, the complete discography of Todd Rundgren would be the equivalent of an A La Carte restaurant. You can take your pick of the many varying styles he has delivered over the last 40 years or so. 'Arena', his 2008 is a fantastic return to that bombastic sound of the 70's - melody is prominent throughout..
As a debut, there's no doubting that this LP was challenging and confronting to the existing Rundgren fanbase. Certainly a unique album for its time, though probably not the best Utopia album in the back-catalogue. Still worthwhile giving this one a write-up regardless.
By 1985 Utopia were back to their very best AOR form, but sadly they had never recovered commercially from 1980's ill advised Beatles parody 'Deface The Music'. Utopia did however deliver a triumphant AOR disc under very trying circumstances.
Although incomplete, this is a welcome early Utopia live recording from October 29, 1975 at London's Hammersmith Odeon. The original BBC broadcast was three hours long and whittled down to fifty-five minutes on the notorious bootleg LP 'Nimbus Thitherward' a year later.