Todd Rundgren and Utopia were trailblazers in the field of promo videos, yet they never seem to get their due. They were one of the first to go beyond just filming clips of the band lip-syncing a song's lyrics on stage, and were never afraid to let their wacky sense of humor come through in the videos. While many of these shorts were played regularly on MTV in the network's early days, it's become almost impossible to find these intriguing clips nowadays, until the compilation A Retrospective: 1977-1984. First issued as a home video in 1985 and reissued as a DVD in 2000, A Retrospective contains just about every Utopia clip you can remember. Highlights include the hilarious vid where the band members dress up as bugs ("Feet Don't Fail Me Now"), a goof on the Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan ("I Just Want to Touch You"), and fun clips for a pair of early-'80s hits ("Set Me Free" and "You Make Me Crazy"). Also featured is a behind the scenes clip of the band at a photo session in 1980, as well as many live renditions of Rundgren classics: "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference," "Trapped," "Love in Action," "Love of the Common Man," and "Just One Victory," among others. At 70 minutes in length, A Retrospective: 1977-1984 is highly recommended not only to fans of Rundgren/Utopia, but to admirers of the early days of music video/MTV.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato