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Supertramp - It Was The Best Of Times  CD (album) cover

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.40 | 35 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

genbanks
4 stars Was hard to find the double CD but finally I have it, and it is a great production. Along the years I was enjoying more and more the Davies side of Supertramp and this album is for me a good proof of that. The album has a great sound and a shows a very polished performance of the band. One of the things that I really aprecciate of IWTBOT is that there are many tracks from the post Hodgson era, and they sound great. Mark Hurt is not Hodgson but he does a decent job, and by the way there are only 4 songs originally sung by Roger, over a total of 21, so less than a 20%. The set list mixes some pop stuff (specially Roger's American Breakfast songs), some stunning ballads written by Davies, and these prog jazzy tracks that I really enjoy too much.

The show starts wit It's a hard world, a mini epic from the Some things never change (STNCH) album, in a superb version with some differences with the original, simply great. You win I lose is another track of that album, but not a big thing. Originally this song was an attempt of Davies and Hodgson to return to the old times which finally was a failure. If this song would be a bit faster maybe could be better, so, nothing special. Things get better with the other song of STNCH, like Listen to me please. Now the performance and the track are stunning. The fast piano riff and the Davies singing are great and Hurts fits perfect in the vocal counterpoint, Then, in the chorus, Davies sounds with all his power. On the CD 1 old tracks like Ain't nobody, From now on or Rudy goes well too, specially this last one, a really prog number. Cannonball sounds really good, and the ballad Free as a bird in the same way. Sooner or later, sung by Mark Hurt, seems to be almost an Alan Parsons track, till flows into the instrumental section, and here John Helliwell is at his best in a great performance, over all this piano and hammonds inputs, great.

But the best is in the CD 2, and maybe that confirms my present tastes. I'm talking about of this version of Another man's woman. Here Supertramp sounds incredible, and doing a live prog number in a level in which maybe never did before. I have the Paris DVD, with an old version of this track live, and differences are prominent. Here everything seems to be perfect, the power of the band, the guitar and the percussion works, but mainly this long and frenetic piano solo. Davies shines with his voice and the ending is just perfect. Another man's woman is the absolute highlight of the album, and this song is not in the single CD version. In this second CD we can find a stunning performance of the beautiful ballad Downstream (Even in the quietests moments), or the live version of And the light, another great ballad from STNCH, and amazing renditions of classics like Goodbye stranger (not in the Paris CD), Bloody well right, School or Crime of the Century.

Hodgson wasn't anymore, and Supertramp made one of their best works (IMO), with many prog elements, and I think that is an excellent addition.

genbanks | 4/5 |

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