Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Supertramp - Breakfast in America (1979)

Despite initially getting off to a rocky start with two albums that were essentially ignored by the public in the early seventies (their debut and it's immediate follow-up, Indelibly Stamped), Supertramp more than made up for it with 1974's Crime of the Century and with that album the band also seemed to find it's footing-- putting out a series of exceptional albums; Crisis?! What Crisis?, Even In the Quietest Moments, and then this-- their smash hit, the pinnacle of their success, Breakfast in America.

While this isn't their best album, it is their most accessible and radio friendly. Spawning the hits Goodbye Stranger, Breakfast in America, The Logical Song, and Take the Long Way Home radio and the general public could not get enough of this gem.

And listening to the album start to finish, it's not difficult to understand why. The album is infectious, it grabs hold of the listener on Gone Hollywood and doesn't let go until Child of Vision.

Despite this not being their best album, it is certainly still one of their better, in the succession of albums they released between 1974 and Roger Hodgson's departure in 1983. The vocal chemistry between Hodgson and Davies is the best it had been since Crisis?! What Crisis? The songs are crisp and exceptionally executed and capture the overall dour melancholia that was so pervasive in that era.

This album could not be duplicated today, it's a capsule of a place in history and perhaps better than just about any other album from that era, Breakfast in America is a snapshot of the overall mood of the western world at the time of the album's recording. What was not captured in the album's lyrics was certainly captured in the music and the overall performance of the album as a whole.

Related Links
Roger Hodgson - Open the Door (2000) review
Supertramp - Crisis?! What Crisis? (1975) review
Supertramp - It Was the Best of Times (1999) review

Goodbye Stranger

Breakfast in America

The Logical Song

Take the Long Way Home


BarBarA said...

AWESOME! I absolutely loved this album. It think partly because of the era of my life - pure fun. I just downloaded a few of these songs that I didn't have. Thanks for reminding me of some good music!

Dantallion said...

Love this album.

I really like the new approach to the revues - whereas before, you'd probably end up 'preaching to the choir' in a way, now you've made it really easy for someone less familiar with whatever you're discussing to actually see what you're talking about - you stand a real chance of exposing people to something that they've never heard before, or at least long forgotten. And I'm all for that. Great job.

Jeff said...

Great review! I don't quite know if I like this album more or "Crime of the Century", either way this album is a classic. "Take the Long Way Home" is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Metal Mark said...

I own this on vinyl, but have never listened to it. A friend gave me a bunch of albums a few years ago and I just have not gotten around to hearing all of them yet.

David Amulet said...

I think that the earlier albums were better artistic albums, but this is one hell of a pop statement. "Goodbye Stranger" is one of the best classic rock/pop songs EVER. And it was expertly used in Magnolia in the scene with William H. Macy at the bar.

And I'll second Dantallion's comment. I loved your earlier style on many reviews--for the albums that I knew--because you pointed out many of the things that I loved about them but I hadn't recognized. That said, this approach is more accessiible and great for every album!

-- david

Perplexio said...

Barbara: Any time. I love sharing and/or reminding people of good music they once loved but may have strayed from in recent years.

dantallion: I'm trying to continue the same writing style in the reviews themselves, but I felt adding "related links" would help those unfamiliar to get acquainted with music they might not otherwise listen to. And it would help those who ARE familiar to grow more acquainted with the music.

jeff: While I dig this album, Crisis? What Crisis?! is now and will probably forever remain my favorite Supertramp album (Crime of the Century comes in a close second).

metal mark: A friend of mine back in Ohio was given a few crates of CDs by a friend of his. Amongst those CDs were Supertramp's Crime of the Century and Breakfast in America. He knew that I liked Supertramp so he passed those CDs along to me... And I was hooked.

David: I'll try to maintain the same writinig style as I used in the older reviews, but keep the links to help those unfamiliar with the music to gain some level of familiarity and/or enjoyment from the review regardless of whether or not they were familiar with the music prior to the review.

Anonymous said...

just bought this on vinyl for 2.99 and im lovin it!!fleetwood mac next