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Supertramp - Famous Last Words CD (album) cover

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.11 | 210 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Previous reviewers think that the band knew that this was their last album with Roger Hodgson. I read in some good websites dedicated to Supertramp (their official website isn`t interesting for me because they only announce their new albums there and how to buy them!) that the band knew that this album was their last with Hodgson, because he said during the recording sessions that he was going to leave the band after the tour for this album. I read some concerts reviews from 1982-83 and in these reviews the reviewers wrote that Hodgson was announcing in the concerts in that tour that he was going to leave the band after the tour.So, it seems to me that the title and the cover of the album are about Hodgson leaving the band. It seems that the rest of the band decided to continue without him even before this album was released. For the first time in a Supertramp`s album with Hodgson, the songwriting credits are "Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson", but with the names of the songwriters printed in different colours and this happens in the lyrics printed in the inner sleeve, too, maybe to make clear who wrote which song. Hodgson composed five songs alone ("Crazy", "It`s Raining again", "Know Who You Are", "C`est le Bon" "Don`t Leave Me now"), and Davies four ("Put On Your Old Brown Shoes", "Bonnie", "My Kind of Lady" and "Waiting So Long"). It seems that Hodgson wasn`t happy with the songwriting credits anymore as being by "Davies/Hodgson", because he wrote more songs for other albums than Davies, with the exception of the "Breakfast in America" and "Crime of the Century" albums in which the songwriting was equal by both musicians. I bought this album in December 1982. It is a "sad album", really,as most of the songs are sad. "Crazy" has a very good piano by Hodgson and a great sax solo by Helliwell. "Put On Your Old Brown Shoes" is a Blues, with an Harmonica played by Davies and with the Wilson sisters (from the band called "Heart") in backing vocals. "It`s Raining Again" is a Pop song which I like, and it has a Video which I saw on T.V. once in 1983. "Bonnie" is a song about a fan of an actress and how this fan loves her and wants to know her. This is one of my favourite songs of this album. Helliwell is credited with playing keyboards in this album (for the first and only time in all Supertamp`s discography!), something he did on tours and maybe in previous albums too. This song doesn`t have wind instruments, so I think that Helliwell played keyboards in this song. "Know Who You Are" is a "real" solo song by Hodgson, with very good lyrics. He plays acoustic guitar and sings, with a "sad" string arrangement by Richard Hewson (who also worked with the band in the "Crime..." and "Crisis?..." albums, and also with The Beatles in the Phil Spector version of the "Let It Be" album). "My Kind of Lady" is a good song, too, with a great sax solo and very good keyboard arrangements. This song also has a Video which I have never seen. My favourite song in this album is "C`est Le Bon", another "sad song" with a great clarinet (is it a clarinet?) solo by Helliwell and with the Wilson sisters again on backing vocals. It also has interesting lyrics, at least for me:"I never wanted the responsibility/I still remember what they tried to make of me/they used to wonder why/they couldn`t get through to me/`cause all that I had was this music a-coming to me/and all that I had was this rhythm a-running through me...". This section of the lyrics means to me that some people who wants to be musicians and work as musicians have "hard times" to explain to their families and to the general society that they don`t want to "work in a factory" or to study more "Conventional" careers to survive. They want to work and live as musicians despite having sometimes hard times to survive. Hodgson seems to ask himself in this song what is the next thing to do in his life after leaving the band, but he knows that he still has "this music" in him,something that he still enjoys. Excellent song. The next songs are the most sad of this album, and are the songs which I don`t like to listen very often, really. "Waiting So Long" has a very good lead guitar but sad lyrics. "Don`t Leave Me Now" has a good piano section, backing vocals by Claire Diament, a very good lead guitar, and very good drums. But it closes the album in a sad mood, really. I read some interviews done separately with Davies and Hodgson in the 90s, and they were asked about a "reunion" of the classic line-up of Supetramp. Both said that in 1992-93 they tried to work together again, but that Hodgson wanted separated songwriting credits and a new manager, because he didn`t want the band to being managed by Davies`wife. Davies didn`t agree, so Supertramp appeared again in 1996- 97 to record a new album ("Some things never change") without Hodgson, and also without Dougie Thomson, who said in other interviews in the 90s that he wasn`t happy in the 80s playing Hodgson`s songs without him in the band, so he wasn`t invited by Davies to the new Supertramp line-up of 1996-97, but that he and Helliwell played some concerts with Hodgson in 1996-97. Hodgson is still in good terms with Helliwell, Thomson and Siebenberg, but not with Davies. But he mentioned in one of those 90s interviews that he went to see the band in concert once during the 1997 tour, and that he liked the new music of the band, but that he didn`t enjoy seeing the band playing his songs without him.
Guillermo | 3/5 |

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