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Todd Rundgren

and Utopia – Live at the Electric Ballroom, Milwaukee 23rd October 1978

Review by Gary Hill

This is a live album from Rundgren and Utopia and it’s a killer set. They do Rundgren solo songs along with Utopia tunes and are on fire. The live sound isn’t the best ever, but it’s certainly not a problem. I would say that not everything here is prog, but I’ve included it there because most people put Utopia there and a lot of it does fit. However you label it, though, this is great stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Disc One
Real Man
After a distinctly Rundgrenesque introduction, they power it out into a hard rocking tune that’s trademark Utopia.
It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference
With trademark Rundgren elements, this is another great tune. I really love the vocal arrangement and hooks on this.
Love of the Common Man
A bit more of a rocker, this is trademark Utopia.
An even harder-edged rocker, this is great stuff. It’s the most decidedly prog thing to this point of the set. I love the multiple layers of vocals on this.
Abandon City
Another with a lot of layers of vocals, there is a cool groove to this thing. It’s complex and deceptively so. It’s also an effective rocker. The instrumental jam later in the track is purely on fire.
The Verb “To Love”
Less of a hard rocker, both the instrumental arrangement and the vocal one have some interesting twists and turns. Yet, there’s almost a soulful vibe to the piece. It’s great stuff. I love the piano playing on the instrumental segment mid-track.
The Seven Rays
Quite a pure prog rocker, this one has some great shifts and changes along the road. I really love the bass work on it. The jam mid-track is particularly meaty.
Can We Still Be Friends
I really love this song. It’s got some great vocal hooks and arrangements and it’s just a potent pop rock tune.
The Death of Rock and Roll
Another hard rocker, this one has a lot of energy and “oomph.” There are some pretty crazed shifts and turns here. This is also some furious jamming.
Disc Two
You Cried Wolf
I like the fast paced rock sound on this tune. It’s got a classic Rundgren and Utopia sound.
Even more of a screamer, this is fun.
A Dream Goes on Forever
A keyboard and vocal only track, this isn’t really a ballad, though.
Black Maria
This rocker is very much a progressive rock tune. It’s also a killer and one of the standouts here.
Eastern Intrigue / Initiation
This is a diverse and unique prog tune. It’s got some unusual shifts and changes and some really cool moments. This thing is quite theatrical in a lot of ways. This is really an extensive number that is a real powerhouse.
Couldn’t I Just Tell You
Hard rocking prog with a real classic Utopia vibe, this is good stuff.
Hello, It’s Me
I absolutely love this Rundgren solo tune. It’s bouncy and fun. Is it prog? No, it sure isn’t, but it’s great.
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