Todd Rundgren & Utopia - Disco Jets (CD)
Regular price €12,90
Throughout the history of rock, quite a few renowned artists have recorded (or at least began to record) albums that for one reason or another went unreleased -- the most renowned being Prince's The Black Album, the Beach Boys' Smile, and the Who's Lifehouse.
One similarly shelved recording that attracts far less attention than the aforementioned ones is Utopia's Disco Jets.
Recorded back in the mid-'70s (some fans assume it was 1976, but in interviews, Todd Rundgren admits he's unsure of the exact year), the album seems to be a bridge of sorts between Utopia's earlier prog rock direction and their forthcoming more streamlined direction.
Disco Jets is easily one of Utopia's most puzzling recordings (perhaps only outdone by 1980's Beatles tribute, Deface the Music), as the entire album is comprised largely of instrumental compositions in a spacy/funk style (the only time there are any vocals is when there's dialogue between bandmembers). Some of the tracks are worth hearing for longtime fans, such as the album-opening title track, a cover of theme from Star Trek, and Pet Rock (named after the fad that was sweeping the U.S. at the time of the album's recording, the song also bears some resemblance to the future Utopia song Fahrenheit 451 from 1982's Swing to the Right).
Disco Jets also turned out to be the last Utopia recording that featured original bassist John Siegler, who would soon be replaced with Kasim Sulton. While hardcore fans will be curious to hear Disco Jets, it becomes apparent that there was a reason why Rundgren's label at the time passed on releasing it -- it's just not as strong or memorable as Utopia's other releases.
Reissue 2012 Esoteric Records