Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Singring and the Glass Guitar! Pure Utopia

I absolutely love this piece by Todd Rundgren's Utopia. A cheesy story. Goofy 70s costumes. What's not to love? Oh, and did I mention amazing musicianship?

The story is about Singring, the spirit of peace and happiness, being trapped in a glass guitar and locked way, with 4 keys scattered to the ends of the earth, with 4 heroes (the 4 band members) sent out to find them and bring happiness back to the land. The best thing about this piece is each of the band members gets their own section to sing lead (how many bands could do that?) and then play an extended solo portraying their quest to retrieve their key. Then they finally return with their keys, unlock the chest, and smash the glass guitar (apparently in many of their concerts they had a guitar made out of ice that they would literally smash) and free Singring.

So here it is, an old video from 1977, complete with less than ideal sound quality, synch problems, and video glitches: Singring and the Glass Guitar, spread over 3 YouTube video clips. Sit back and watch the adventure unfold!

And if that wasn't enough, here is a live recording of my favorite Utopia track. Just listen to those harmonies--and they're playing pretty complex parts at the same time. Pretty amazing. Not the best sound or video quality, so check out the studio recording if you want to hear it a lot cleaner.

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