Utopia

Official Bootleg, Vol. 5: Oops! Wrong Planet Tour

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Out of all the releases issued thus far in the Todd Rundgren/Utopia Official Bootleg series, it turns out that Vol. 5 -- Oops! Wrong Planet Tour -- is one of the most "bootleg sounding" of the bunch, as it's less than stellar audio quality suggests it is an audience recording. Despite not possessing as clear a sound as the other volumes (which appear to be mostly soundboard recordings), Oops! Wrong Planet Tour does a good job of capturing the group during one of the most transitional periods of its career. Beginning the year (1977) as a prog rock band (RA) and ending it as a new wave-ish arena rock outfit (Oops! Wrong Planet), both sides of the group are showcased on this double-disc set, while a generous helping of solo Rundgren material is included as well, given a Utopia makeover. Highlights can be easily separated into the three aforementioned different categories -- prog (the 30-plus minute long, Spinal Tap-ish "Singring and the Glass Guitar [Utopia Theme]"), arena rock ("Back on the Streets," "Crazy Lady Blue," "Love in Action," "Love Is the Answer"), and solo Rundgren nuggets ("Black and White," "Heavy Metal Kids," and the perennial set closer, "Just One Victory"). Oops! Wrong Planet Tour more than makes up for any sonic deficiencies with a stellar track listing and strong performances. [Note: this CD is either available as an expensive Japanese import or as part of a more affordable box set, 2003's Last of the New Wave Riders. Also, no date or venue information is included.]