Utopia – Hiroshima – synth solo

This week I revisit Utopia’s Ra album, from which I previously recorded the killer solo of Sunburst Finish. Though the record was not a huge commercial success, it remains one of my favorite if not my most favorite Utopia album.

Hiroshima has a monster keyboard solo, with back-and-forth interplay between keyboardist Roger Powell and guitarist Todd Rundgren. It’s devilishly fast and includes a number of synthesizer techniques not so easily attained on modern keyboards. (I think he is turning a knob on a voltage controlled oscilator (VCO) at multiple points and he’s definitely using a low frequency oscillator at a much higher frequency than normal (around 35 Hz) and with a square wave instead of the usual sine wave.) However, I have, in my opinion, faithfully reproduced both the notes and the sounds.

This is a solo I never thought I would be able to play… and now I can. With this solo I consider the killer solos project to be complete — although I have not done a complete year of solos, I have achieved everything else that I set out to achieve. There are no solos in the queue that I am eager to take on — I have played all the ones I had in mind when I started with the project and quite a few more… more than 30, in fact. The project is now impacting important collaborations, which is where I’m headed next, and so it is time to move on.

I may visit and blog from time to time, and I may even resume the project at some point, but I have no firm plans to do so at this time. (I will continue to read and respond to comments.) So here is the final killer solo… please enjoy synth virtuoso Roger Powell mostly on the left, and me mostly on the right, doubling the killer synthesizer solo from Utopia’s Hiroshima…

(Buy the original at iTunes, Amazon.)


~ by killersolos on May 12, 2010.

4 Responses to “Utopia – Hiroshima – synth solo”

  1. Dude you are my guitar/synth hero! Is there any way I can get the tabs for the guitar from you?

  2. Hi! Great performance! I would ask you a thing, can you contact me on my facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/fulvio.gaslini

  3. I’m working at a new tribute: a Hiroshima cover, the song is almost ready. I like compose and record my music, but I like also record some cover of songs written by the artists that more have influenced me in the seventies. In these months I’m working on the great Todd and Utopia. I play bass guitar (also guitar, and keyboards, but not “synth killer solos” 😀 ) I have recorded “Communion with the Sun” and the bass solo of “Singring and the Glass Guitar”. I would like insert this killersolo in my Hiroshima cover, I hope that you would like the same. Here the links to my version of Communion and my version of the bass solo by RA:

  4. […] Egypt. The singular highlight was Hiroshima, a blistering, metal-infused ode (with guitar and keyboard freakouts) to the worst split second in the history of mankind (also Nagasaki, three days […]

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