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Supertramp - Famous Last Words CD (album) cover

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.16 | 293 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 98

"Famous Last Words" is the seventh studio album of Supertramp and was released in 1982. This was the last album with the presence of their guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, composer and founder member Roger Hodgson, who left the group to pursue a solo musical career.

"Famous Last Words" has nine tracks. All songs were written by Hodgson and Rick Davies. The first track "Crazy" is a very good song to opens the album. It's a typical Supertramp's song and represents perfectly well their unique and unmistakable sound. It's a song very well written and based on the piano that sounds so typical of the band. It's very well accompanied by John Helliwell's saxophone and by Hodgson's voice. The second track "Put On Your Old Brown Shoes" is a typical Davies' song. It's clearly a song influenced by jazz and blues with reminiscences from many other songs composed by him. Despite being a very nice and fun song, I think it doesn't work so well on this album. So, this is my less favourite song on the album. The third track "It's Raining Again" is a typical pop song and represents on the album the most commercial track and a typical song made to be released as a single. This is a typical song of the band, that we love or we hate since the first listening, such as "The Logical Song" and especially "Dreamer". Sincerely, I must confess that I like very much the song and I think that it's a perfect example how to make a good pop commercial song with really good quality. The fourth track "Bonnie" is another kind of thing, because it's, in my humble opinion, one of the best songs on the album and represents one of its highlights. This is a love song that describes the obsession of a fan who wants to be closer to a movie star. However, some think that the lyrics are only symbolic and describes the intensely and difficult personal relationship between Davies and Hodgson. Anyway, we are in presence of a great song, one of the best composed by Davies, and curiously, it's a song with no wind instruments and where Helliwell plays keyboards, which I think was the only time that happened on the entire Supertramp's musical career. The fifth track "Know Who You Are" is another great song and represents also one of the highlights of the album. It's a perfect song, at the same time sad and beautifu, made by the hand of Hodgson, and sincerely, only he can write songs like this. It's a song with great melody performed by a great sensitive singer alone with his acoustic guitar. Here we have Hodgson and Supertramp at their best. The sixth track "My Kind Of Lady" was the second single taken from the album, after their first single "It's Raining Again". It's a Davies' love ballad very well sung by him, who harmonizes his natural voice with a falsetto vocal. It's a good song, a tribute to the 50's, magnificently arranged and performed and with a nice saxophone work by Helliwell, as usual. I think we can consider that we aren't in presence of one of the best musical moments of Davies, but like "Put On Your Old Brown Shoes", we are in presence of two typical and decent Davies' songs. The seventh track "C'Est Le Bon" is a great song and unfortunately is an underrated song of Hodgson. It's a classic Hodgson's song that stood perfectly well the test of time. It's a song very well arranged with a catchy melody and good lyrics and where once more, and like "Know Who You Are", we have a great sensitive singer performing with his acoustic guitar. The eight track "Waiting So Long" represents one of the highest moments on the album, if not the better. This is in reality a great song, extremely well arranged, very progressive and with fantastic individual musical performances by all band's members. The epic development of the song can be connected with the great classics made by them all over the years. This is a genuine progressive song and here we have Davies and Supertramp at their best. The ninth and last track "Don't Leave Me Now" is another pearl of the album and closes it in a great style. This is, in my humble opinion, the best Hodgson's song on the album. Despite being a sad song with pessimistic lyrics about solitude and fear of loneliness, it's a very powerful song that closes the album magnificently.

Conclusion: "Famous Last Words" is an underrated album. So, I can't agree with those who consider this album a minor work of the group. It has all the ingredients that made of Supertramp a great band. It has one of the most creative, one of the most respected and one of the most successful duo of composers in the progressive rock music. It's true that it isn't as good as "Crime Of The Century" and "Even In The Quietest Moments", but it's almost at the same level of "Crisis? What Crisis?" and "Breakfast In America". But unfortunately, "Famous Last Words" puts an end in this great duo of composers. The future has shown that the whole is better than the sum of the parts. Hodgson and Davies can't really be replaced and they worked better together than apart. So, "Famous Last Words" represents the Hodgson's last contribution to the band. But we may say that, with this album, he leaves Supertramp by the front door.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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