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Oops! Wrong Planet

Bearsville BR 6970
Released: September 1977
Chart Peak: #73
Weeks Charted: 8

Oops! Wrong Planet is the best and most accessible album that any of Todd Rundgren's Utopia bands have made, and at least two numbers here ("Love in Action" and "Love Is the Answer") rank among the finest songs Rundgren has ever written.

The most obvious difference between Oops! and previous Utopia albums is that each song here is only about four minutes long. Gone are the overextended dinosaurs that glutted Ra and Initiation. Now, weaker numbers such as John Wilcox' "Crazy Lady Blue" (Rundgren is listed as coauthor, but his influence seem negligible) are over before they have a chance to become irritating. Rundgren has always been at his finest in tightly structured three- and four-minute numbers where the melody line is kept under close control ("Hello, It's Me," "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference," "Hamburger Hell"). Because they follow this formula, several numbers here have the potential to become Rundgren classics.

Utopia - Oops! Wrong Planet
Original album advertising art.
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The best is "Love Is the Answer," an anthemlike number invoking the mood and memory of "Just One Victory," complete with an evocative extended closing. "Love in Action" is a fierce rocker, reminiscent of the no-holds-barred aural assaults Nazz was so good at, and "Back on the Street" succeeds with a very John Lennon-like vocal by bassist Kaz Sulton.

Further reading on
Super Seventies RockSite!:

Utopia Lyrics

Utopia Videos

This is the best Rundgren project since the nonoldies side of Faithful, and, to go even further back, since Todd. It finally marks Utopia as a band of promise and provides a viable direction for Rundgren to follow.

- Alan Niester, Rolling Stone, 11/3/77.

Bonus Reviews!

Quartet's recent pop thrust continues here with more trim, richly harmonized new originals. The balance of driving rockers and softer melodic fare should satisfy both fans and programmers.

- Billboard, 1977.

Utopia's fourth album (and second to be released in 1977) found the quartet moving in a much more pop-rock direction, with Todd Rundgren especially contributing catchy songs like "Love in Action" and "Love Is the Answer." * * *

- William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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