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Supertramp - Brother Where You Bound CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.66 | 341 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The earthquake of Hodgson's departure will lead the band to organize something rather special to draw the attention of the rock press : Supertramp rent the Orient Express for them and fifty press people as part of the publicity for the album. Tickets cost $600 a head! On board the new material was premiered to the press who were lavishly wined and dined. The train left from Paris eventually depositing the party in Venice (at the Excelsior Hotel, not the cheapest one either) !

I usually prefer Hodgson's song and voice than Davies'one. So, an album without him was rather suspicious to me.

When I listened to the poor disco/funky and repetitive "Cannonball" I was expecting the worse from the Tramp.

I was a bit relieved with "Still In Love" : a song coming straight from the "Crime" era. Great sax, good keyboards and the so special rythm of the band.

The pleasant surprise goes on with "No In Between" : no pop, no disco (is this heaven) ? Another very good classic Tramp ballad with a very good backing band and very nice arrangements.

The intro for "Better Days" (which is a six minute song) has some flavour of "Fool's" : a voice on the radio sounding (you know, like the Churchill one...), but when Davies starts the vocal, it turns a bit like "Cannonball" : disco and quite uninspired for most of it. It features voices of Presidents Regan, Bush Sr., and some of their advisors (Mondale and Ferraro). A video was planned to feature their lifesize puppets miming to their rhetorical double-talk.

"Brother Were You Bound". Starts quite dark and scary (with some radio reporters' voices in the background, "Fool's..." is not very far away). Then Davies starts his vocal parts for about a minute. After this, the track really lifts off and develops like a kaleidoscope of the Tramp at its best (it reminds me again a lot the "Crime" period). Great sax and piano combination (so classic and nice of course). Then a bit of "weird" sounds for about one minute or so (a la King Crimson) which lead to the finale. Hard guitar from Gilmour (a guest musician). This is a very good track. The longest Tramp one.

There was an 18 minutes video realized to promote the track (by Rene Daalder, a Dutch director). "The first long form narrative music video for MTV" (it will be nominated for the Grammy Awards). Budget was 500, 000 US $ (remember we are in 1985).

According to Rick it was obvious that he had used most of the budget in the opening shots and it all went downhill from there! When the film ended, a stunned executive stood up and said "Well... that's given us all something to think about!"

The closing number won't be remembered for long, I'm afraid.

Basically, this album is far much better than I had ever expected. Davies confirms that he can hold the band on his own (even if this quality level won't last for long unfortunately). Thanks to the title track, I will rate it three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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