Thursday, February 10, 2022

Utopia - Ra (1977)

Utopia - Ra (1977)

Tracklist front / back album covers

Side one
1. "Overture: Mountaintop and Sunrise/Communion with the Sun"   7:15
2. "Magic Dragon Theatre"   3:28
3. "Jealousy"   4:43
4. "Eternal Love"   4:51
5. "Sunburst Finish"   7:38

Side two
1. "Hiroshima"  7:16
2. "Singring and the Glass Guitar (An Electrified Fairytale)"   18:24

Utopia Band Members / Musicians

Todd Rundgren - Electric guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals, piano and saxophone on "Magic Dragon Theatre"

Roger Powell - Keyboard, lead vocals, backing vocals

Kasim Sulton - Bass guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals
John "Willie" Wilcox - Drums, percussion, lead vocals, backing vocals, harmony guitar on "Jealousy"

Producer: Todd Rundgren for Alchemedia Productions, Inc.

Engineer, Calligrapher, & Voice of the Story Teller: John Holbrook

Assistant Engineer: Tom Mark
"Communion with the Sun" & "Jealousy" recorded at the Turtle Creek Barn using custom equipment owned and operated by Yes engineer Eddie Offord
Musical arrangements by Utopia

Ra is the 2nd studio album and third release by Utopia on Bearsville Records, released in 1977. Rundgren planned on releasing the LP in 1976 on his own label "Ethereal Records" as the new 4 piece line up was not signed to Bearsville. Replete with an elaborate $250,000 stage show featuring a 22-foot-tall (6.7 m) pyramid and golden sphinx which took 18 months of prep, Ra was Rundgren's most ambitious live undertaking.

The cornerstone of the album and show is "Singring and the Glass Guitar," which comprises solos by each band member battling the elements: water (drums), wind (bass), fire (keyboards), and earth (guitar).

The album was modestly successful, peaking the Billboard Top 200 at #79.

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