Utopia

Official Bootleg, Vol. 6: Deface the Music Tour

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Easily, 1980 could have gone down as the year that Utopia broke through to the mainstream. With the commercial success achieved with the album Adventures in Utopia and its single, "Set Me Free," it appeared as though Rundgren and company were well on their way with their next release. But instead of issuing another album of new wave-esque pop, the group completely switched gears and released a twisted Beatles parody, Deface the Music. While longtime fans loved it, the release obviously confused and alienated their newfound mainstream following, as it failed to follow its predecessor's strong chart showing (and with John Lennon's death just two months after its release, a Beatles parody wasn't exactly what many rock fans wanted to hear at that point in time). As a result, the group only performed selections from the Deface album during its short supporting tour. Now fans can finally hear what the songs sounded like on the concert stage, with Vol. 6 of Rundgren's bootleg series, Deface the Music Tour. For hardcore Utopia admirers, the main attraction of this double-disc set is obviously such rarely performed tracks as the set opener, "I Just Want to Touch You," "Feel Too Good," "Alone," and "That's Not Right," all of which sound great in a live setting, making it a shame that the group never performed this material more often. Also included are plenty of more common Utopia concert standards, such as "Set Me Free," "I Saw the Light," "Trapped," and "Couldn't I Just Tell You," as well as a sneak preview of the yet-to-be-released "One World." Deface the Music Tour is definitely one of the more interesting releases to come from the Rundgren bootleg series thus far. [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.]