We kicked off our week here at Second Disc HQ yesterday with a veritable smorgasbord of Utopia news, and today that feast grows even more bountiful! The Shout! Factory label is joining the ranks of Edsel, Esoteric and Rockbeat as yet another purveyor of all things Rundgren. Live at Hammersmith Odeon ’75 has been set for release on April 10, and the 10-track CD (also available as a digital download) captures the first U.K. concert of the band then billed as Todd Rundgren’s Utopia. Recorded by the BBC on October 9, 1975 and widely circulated ever since, the Shout! Factory release marks the concert’s first commercial issue. The set features the line-up of Rundgren (guitar/vocals), Willie Wilcox (drums/vocals), Roger Powell (keyboards) and John Siegler (bass). Once Kasim Sulton replaced Siegler in 1976, the “classic” line-up was in place. Hammersmith Odeon is also notable for the presence of Luther Vandross on backing vocals, joined by Anthony Hinton of Vandross’ early group Luther. 2012 looks to be another promising year for Rundgren-related reissues, with Esoteric Recordings soon delivering Utopia’s “lost album” Disco Jets following a wealth of classic Bearsville releases from Edsel. Rundgren has also recently signed with the Cherry Red imprint with the intention of delivering a new studio effort.
Perusing the track list of Hammersmith Odeon, you might notice some similarities to that of Another Live, recorded just a couple of months earlier with the six-piece Utopia group of Rundgren, Powell, Wilcox, Siegler, Moogy Klingman and Ralph Schuckett. Both concerts saw “The Wheel,” “Heavy Metal Kids,” Roger Powell’s “Mister Triscuits” and Jeff Lynne’s “Do Ya” all performed. Hammersmith Odeon, interestingly, offers both “Do Ya” and the Rundgren original “Open My Eyes,” first recorded by The Nazz. It’s been said that Rundgren covered “Do Ya” as a response to Lynne’s band The Move covering his “Open My Eyes.” The Hammersmith set also takes in songs from select Rundgren solo albums, including “When the Sh*t Hits the Fan/Sunset Boulevard/Le Feel Internacionale” (A Wizard, A True Star), “The Last Ride” and “Sons of 1984” (Todd, also original home of “Heavy Metal Kids”) and “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” (Something/Anything). “Freedom Fighters” originated on the 1974 Todd Rundgren’s Utopia album and “The Wheel” on Another Live.
Hit the jump for more, including the track listing and pre-order link!
In addition to its historical significance for Utopia, this gig is considered by many Rundgren fans to be one of the artist’s finest concert moments. You can hear for yourself when Live at Hammersmith Odeon ’75 arrives from Shout! Factory on April 10!
Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Live at Hammersmith Odeon ’75 (Shout! Factory, 2012)
- Freedom Fighters
- Mister Triscuits
- The Last Ride
- When the Sh*t Hits the Fan/Sunset Boulevard/Le Feel Internacionale
- Heavy Metal Kids
- The Wheel
- Open My Eyes
- Sons of 1984
- Do Ya
- Couldn’t I Just Tell You