Bootleg Series, Vol. 2: KSAN 95FM, Live '79

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As was his wont in those days, Todd Rundgren, having made a solo album, Hermit of Mink Hollow, for release in 1978, returned to his band project, Utopia, to craft their follow-up to 1977's Oops! Wrong Planet. At the spring 1979 San Francisco concert captured on this archival release, the group apparently had been at work on the album to the extent of knowing its title, Adventures in Utopia, and its projected release date, which Rundgren gave as July 6 (it actually appeared six months later). But in addition to previewing the songs "Shot in the Dark," "Love Alone," and "Last of the New Wave Riders," the band was prepared to review its first four albums, dating back to the segment of "The Ikon" from Todd Rundgren's Utopia that segued into "The Seven Rays" from Another Live and including "Trapped," "Abandon City," and "Gangrene" from Oops! Wrong Planet. (Annotator Paul Lester also mentions "Love in Action," but unfortunately it didn't make the cut.) And Rundgren, as ever making only a partial separation between his solo and group careers, also threw in several of his own numbers, including his recent hit "Can We Still Be Friends." Although each of the other three bandmembers got one lead vocal, Rundgren also dominated the proceedings with his off-kilter sense of humor, which included a shaggy dog story about "dinky Incans" that served as an introduction to "The Wheel." In other words, this is a fairly typical mid-period Utopia show. It provides a good cross section of the first half of the band's career and is a fine addition to the Rundgren live library.

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