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Supertramp - Breakfast in America CD (album) cover

BREAKFAST IN AMERICA

Supertramp

Crossover Prog


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jaggrp@hotmai
4 stars I am one of those fans who didn't like this when it came out. Too rado friendly. Too drab. Over the years, I have come to appreciate Breakfast, some very good writing and the artistic direction is superb. Child of Vision, in my opinion, is one of their top 5 songs. Take the Long Way Home is one of their deepest writing. There is some filler here, but overall, give it a go.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6772)
Posted Thursday, January 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
scharfballs@a
5 stars I really enjoy this album and think that "The logical Song" is the type of song that covers the confusion and reality of growing up through life. Good Music. I also like "breakfast in America" because I think its a little funny, but it has a good point behind it as well.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6773)
Posted Monday, January 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Breakfast, lunch and diner all over the world

After the healthy sales of Moments, Supertramp decided to indeed concentrate on the North american market and was ready to go at lengths to achieve massive success, as the title and the wink New York City artwork indicates. Still with its classic line-up, this album is loaded with hits, although I think that even the group was surprised at the number of successfull 45 rpm singles they pulled out of this monster album, again mostly Hodgson's, most likely on the strength of his instantly recognizable voice. I'm sure that this Hodgson preference did unsettle the balance and ambiance in the group on the mid-term range, because Davies' tracks are at least as good, but not getting the deserved success, despite the success of Goodbye Stranger, one of the most cynical song of the group.

The All-For-America intent is blattantly expressed in the excellent and cynic Davies-penned Gone Hollywood album-opener, with its outstanding middle section. Unfortunately, this type of track gets shunned by the monstrous hits like the superb-but-overexposed soul-baring Logical Song and the wanker melody of the title track, the album's first two hits. Inbetween these mega successses Davies's Goodbye Stranger tunes does manage to pull some attention, but it is mostly due to the song's bitterness, a good guitar solo and unfortunately the awful Hodgson-sung chorus.

The flipside is of the same accabit, opening on the interesting (no more) but also mega-selling single Take The Long Way Home, followed by Hodgson's very personal and emotional Lord Is It Mine track. Rick's Nervous Wreck is another fine Davies track that got shunned by Hodgson's mega-selling hits. I've always wondered if Casual conversations shouldn't have been sung by Helliwell, though. Closing the album is the fantastic Child Of Vision tune, the only track on BIA that reminds us of the progressive slant of the group, with its awesome contrast between the Hodgson vereses a,nd the Davies chorus and the long instrumental finale. In fact, Child Of Vision is simply a stupendous track that would have not been out of place on Crime - its lyrics approach that concept.

If it wasn't the last track, Child of Vision, I would hate this album (well mostly its commercial aura). Although this vinyl has superb pop music, but outside of the scope of this site, this was a major let-down for prog fans, who after Crime and Fool's Overture, expected much more than this collection of pop songs, no matter how beautiful some could be. I still have problems about this album; because of its over-exposure at the time (although I've re-warmed to it in the last decade or so), but the most of the tracks are very Supertramp-worthy. Unavoidable in Supertramp's discography, despite its not-always disserving over-exposure, but I wouldn't call BIA essential listening.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#6775)
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
ray1bm@cmich.
4 stars It's not a masterpiece because most of side 2 is just not as stunning as side 1. "Child of Vision" is a great closer, carrying on that tradition, and "Gone Hollywood" should be on any greatest hits collection. Obviously the hits are worth picking up, and my favorite part of this album is the 1.5 minute guitar solo that closes Goodbye Hollywood. It's not technically difficult but very rare among the band and definitely worth cranking up the speakers for. Great album and the starting point for SUPERTRAMP.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6777)
Posted Saturday, March 06, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I like it ,its very good, but its not very prog, although it contains some prog elements. It could maybe be called Pop Prog ? Child of Vision is definetly the best track and closer to real prog then any other track.These guys know how to do great harmonising if you don't mind the mostly high nasal quality of those voices.Ther are great saxophone solos which are not often heard in this type of music but that work very well indeed.The electric piano (Fender Rhodes) playing is quite unique to the Supertramp sound and is excellent in its own right its dynamic and energetic.On certain songs 3 people play the keyboards at one time ! All the musicians are of high quality and play extremely well. The music is full and rich and very melodic.Worth a listen !

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Send comments to Aztech (BETA) | Report this review (#6778)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Breakfast in America" is one of the most catchy and popular album that Supertramp made. The excellent sax parts are not so omnipresent. There are tons of catchy & rhythmic piano. The very varied and well recorded rhythmic guitar occupies an important role; there are also some excellent catchy & melodic electric guitar solos. The drums and bass enhance the rhythmic provided by the keyboards and the guitars. The lead & backing vocals are ABSOLUTELY addictive and memorable: the silly highly pitched backing vocals slightly remind me the ones on the Frank Zappa's "Zoot allures" album. There is still the omnipresent hammering Wurlitzer piano, the Supertramp's trademark! The sound is fresh, and ALL the tracks are excellent. It seems there are some excellent background strings arrangements, like on "The logical song". The track "Breakfast in America" has some subtle clarinet & unidentified tenor brass instrument. "Take a long way home" has catchy harmonica parts, rhythmic piano and organ parts; again, some string arrangements are in the background. "Lord is it mine" is a bit more melancholic than the other songs. "Just another nervous wreck" has en excellent electric guitar solo accompanied by ambient floating organ. The more mellow "Casual conversation" has some discrete percussion parts in the beginning, sounding like a vibraphone; this track is a bit less lively and more low profile than the other ones. The last track, "Child of vision", is probably the most progressive one: WOW! The powerful backing vocals chanting "Child of vision" of the refrain is SUPERB; the fast hammering Wurlitzer piano, the crystal clear piano solo and the background keyboards are delightful, well supported by the drums and bass. This record is maybe barely progressive, but who cares, when nothing bad can be said about it?

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#6792)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I remember "spring cleaning" in "Seven"ty-Nine with my Mom and stopping in mid-swipe of a dust rag because "The Logical Song" had begun to fill the room with its captivating magic from my AM/FM radio, and I had to stop lest I miss one delicious line, one sympathetic note, one drop of the musical ambrosia that the British Isles seemed to hoard in abundance. Long before the words "progressive rock" meant a thing to me, when things simply broke down into good and bad, Supertramp was infinitely good if it existed in the universe. They straddled a world between 10CC and ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, filtering their eccentricities through (what then seemed) a symphonic understanding of pop music, geniuses sympathetic to the musical ennui an American teenager might encounter in the average day of a radio deejay. In later years, the reveries of childhood give way to what we call reality (an evil if ever there was one), and we attach an asterisk to the old gods as a preventative to a pantheism that might admit mortals into the ranks of the immortals. Having let "Breakfast In America" grow cold over the years, believing I'd outgrown its surfeit of sweetness, I was delighted to find that I had plenty of good taste even at the tender age of thirteen. Listen to "Gone Hollywood", "The Logical Song", "Goodbye Stranger", "Breakfast In America", "Take The Long Way Home" and "Just Another Nervous Wreck." Listen to the songs in between.

If Supertramp didn't have their hand on the pulse of pop music's powerful potentialities, if they weren't a revelation to radio listeners who thought the airwaves were sleeping with the enemy too often, then you weren't there in that room with me. I soon bought the album and took the magic home with me, at my beck and call whenever I felt blue or misunderstood. With time my tastes changed, the raging hormones found a better ally in THE CLASH and THE DEAD KENNEDYS, and somehow I never found the time for "Breakfast". Call it the cyclical nature of life, but I have time now, and the original wonder is there all over again. Hello, stranger.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#6780)
Posted Monday, May 03, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Prog loses out to the lure of commercial success. again

By the time of "Breakfast in America", Supertramp were BIG.

With a number of hit singles already under their belt, this album provided further evidence of their ability to write good catchy pop songs, along with more structured progressive numbers. It has to be said that the former are predominant here, with only "Child of vision" having any real leanings at all to prog. That said, the other tracks are strong and melodic.

"The logical song" was a great single (dreadfully covered more recently as a dance number by the Scissor Sisters), with Roger Hodgson in fine vocal form, delivering some rather disturbing lyrics about mind manipulation. The song has passing similarities to "Dreamer" from the "Crime of the century" album.

"Take the long way home" has a wonderful melody to it, not unlike a cut down version of "Hide in your shell". The keyboard effects on this track are truly magical. When you hear Roger Hodgson's massive input to tracks like this you realise how the writing was on the wall for the band from the moment he left.

The closing "Child of vision" contrasts noticeably with the rest of the album. It is a lengthy keyboard based piece, which draws together many of the band's traits into a more complex, absorbing piece.

With the huge commercial success of Supertramp with "Breakfast in America" , it was a case of giving the masses what they want. In doing so, they did continue to make thoroughly enjoyable music, but the prog world was losing a great band.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#6781)
Posted Thursday, May 06, 2004 | Review Permalink
arqwave@lycos
4 stars This is the most important record for the band, without a doubt, they knew in just one record, to please the worldwide audience, filled with a lot of radio friendly tunes, they faced their peak moment and couldn't grab it the right way, anyway... after all, is a good record, a funny one and a very remarkable effort, beacuse they set the standards for certain "vocals" and instrumentation paths, keeping a very solid trademark sound until today.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6783)
Posted Tuesday, June 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
big_room@yaho
5 stars "Breakfast In America" is the masterful, widely celebrated breakthrough album that made Supertramp enormously famous in the late '70s and early '80s. It is a clever, edgy art-pop record with so much popular appeal that it remains a foundation of classic rock radio. Radio staples like "The Logical Song," "Take The Long Way Home," "Breakfast In America," and "Goodbye Stranger" are more-than-convincing demonstrations of Supertramp's ability to excel simultaneously at cerebral pop and arena-pleasing rock, sacrificing to the excesses of neither, and always maintaining their own distinctive charisma.

If any aspect of "Breakfast" is underreported, it's that the album is actually substantially better than its singles might indicate. Except for the questionably too-clever "Casual Conversations," the songwriting is consistently outstanding, especially on the panoramically brilliant, atypically hard-edged rock of "Just Another Nervous Wreck" and "Child Of Vision" -- those cuts remain among the era's most addictive, compelling blasts of accessible art rock. But the rest of the album isn't far behind, with the biting "Gone Hollywood" and the gorgeous, plaintive "Lord Is It Mine" shining even more brightly than the album's big hits.

The fine remastering of "Breakfast" on this new reissue does make it a slightly more high-impact experience, but not enough so for most fans to upgrade their old CD copy. If you're a fan of smartly measured, classic pop/rock who doesn't yet have it, however, or perhaps one who has never heard Supertramp, it is an absolutely essential listen.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6784)
Posted Thursday, July 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I think four stars is a good call on Breakfast In America. Commercially their biggest ' day' and it would probably warrant a five star rating if ' Take The Long Way Home' was not on it. ' Child of Vision' is my favourite long track by the Supertramp outfit and it is very cleverly put together. Rick Davie's piano work is stunning. Another great track is ' Gone Hollywood' which moves around uncomfortably but delivers a great mood and works as a great opener to the album.' Casual conversations' sung by Davies is also great much in the same vein as ' Downstream' from Even in The Quietest Moments. Yes they went even more commercial on the follow up to this but there is thankfully more excellent material to come from Supertramp after this fine album.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#6785)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
jde_002@hotma
5 stars As Much as I like the works of Supertramp, Brother Where you Bound is an excellent work, as well as Breakfast in America, not to discount the classics like Crime of the Century or the Live Album Paris.... I wish that Supertramp went in the direction that Breakfast in America was taking them, I really enjoy " CHILD OF VISION " (Track 10)...If Supertramp is not part of your collection, you are really missing out on "Real" artisanship, when it comes to making music! Enjoy...The Patient 2004.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6786)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This album was recorded between 1978 and early 1979, and it was released in March 1979, while Disco Music was still the fad and people like me who didn`t like Disco Music (with some good exceptions like KC AND THE SUNSHINE BAND) had to continue looking for new good quality Prog Rock and Rock bands. I first listened to SUPERTRAMP in the Radio, in late 1979 or maybe in early 1980. The first song was "Goodbye Stranger". I liked this song a lot, but still recognizing that it sounded somewhat commercial and even with some slightly Disco drums arrangements. So, in May of 1980 I went to a record shop with one of my brothers, we saw this album (with a cover which seemed to me very "ordinary commercial" in those days!) and I bought this album, and my brother was happy too because he also liked the "Goodbye Stranger" song. We arrived to my parents`house, I played the album, and when the stylus was in the song "Goodbye Stranger" one of my other brothers was dancing and singing the falsetto lyrics of the chorus: "Goodbye Mary, Goodbye Jane"! We liked very much this album, but I particularly liked it more, and one day I played four times the whole album from start to finish."Gone Hollywood" has "loser/winner at last" lyrics and a good sax solo in the end. "The Logical Song" has very good lyrics. "Goodbye Stranger" too, and also a very good lead guitar at the end. "Breakfast in America" is very commercial pop. "Oh Darling" is a great love song with excellent arrangements. "Take the long way home" also has good lyrics and piano, plus Harmonica and clarinet solos. The beautiful "Lord is it mine" is a very good religious song, sung with feeling by Hodgson and with a superb clarinet solo (I consider this song my favourite from this album). "Another Nervous Wreck" is a "nervous" song really, with very good lead guitars. "Casual Conversations" has funny lyrics about a couple in fight, with an arrangement which sounds to me similar as Billy Joel`s "Just Like the Way You Are", and a very good sax solo and funny backing vocals (due to the subject of the lyrics!). Is curious how previous reviewers consider "Child of Vision" a Prog Song. For me, it is slightly Disco Music in arrangement, at least some the drums parts. But it is also a good song. I think that at that time I considered Supertramp a commercial pop band with some Progressive Rock arrangements, but maybe I was most interested in this band due to the lyrics: a high quality commercial pop-prog band with good quality lyrics which were "deep" in meaning and messages. This album is good from start to finish. I still consider the cover design of this album to be very commercial, but it is a good design really.In mid 1981 I bought my next Supertramp`s albums ("Even in the Quietest Moments..." and "Paris") and I still like Supertramp`s music.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#6787)
Posted Saturday, November 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Released in spring 1979, "Breakfast In America" was Supertramp's commercial peak, selling well over 18 million copies worldwide. It's much poppier than their previous albums, but in a good way. "The Logical Song" is their most-known hit, and it surely have been overplayed, but no-matter how much I listen to it, I never really get tired of it. The title track, however, is the weakest on the album. The rest ones are fantastic, in my opinion. "Gone Hollywood" is a very progressive and great song, and "Child of Vision" is a great closer to the album. The crystal clear production makes the album even better too. The musicianship is tight and impressive!

One of my favorites with them. 5/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#6788)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just knew The Logical Song five or six years before ...but when i listened entire album "Breakfast In America" ,i realized that this album is really a masterpiece of Art Rock .All songs of this album sound good ,especially The Logical Song and Child Of Vision .Not many albums make me like all songs as this album .I like keyboard music in Child Of Vision very much ... and vocalist Rick Davies was also impressive . Breakfast In America is one of my favourite albums ... i even like the album's cover ,so interesting .I revisited Supertramp's music frequently .I feel peaceful with Lord is it mine and The Logical song ,it makes me relax and feel happy .

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Send comments to Kashmir (BETA) | Report this review (#6789)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars SUPERTRAMP Reissues Part I

I have many fond memories of SUPERTRAMP and their music. I remember it like it was yesterday when I first heard "Crime Of The Century". I was visiting my brother in Boston (at the time I was around 15 years old) and the guy next door invited me in to listen to this cool new band. He proceeded to roll up a big fat one and give the record a spin. I was amazed at how different the music sounded; I had not heard anything like it before. "Bloody Well Right" really stayed with me for a while after that virgin listen. Although I can recall fondly all the great music that would come after that, I never got into the band as I did others of that time. It is now 2002 and nearly their entire catalog is available in the remastered form. I feel more like the new audience rather than the old classic rock fan after hearing these amazing recordings with the crisp and pristine sound.

The listeners that were previously gained prior to the impact of "Crime Of The Century" became disappointed with the bands more mainstream rock direction. I personally feel it made them a better band and allowed for more diversification, thereby reaching a much larger audience. "Crisis? What Crisis?" was an earful of the prog-rock-pop combination, and a very strong statement that could have easily gained some hardliner prog heads back and bring onboard some new fans as well. "Sister Moonshine" served notice that they were not about to rebuild their foundation just to make it commercially ... well, not yet. "Even In The Quietest Moments" started to hint around that they were beginning to soften up a bit and change direction with more acoustic guitar flavorings, although it was a very strong release and good follow up to the previous release. "Fools Overture" was a masterstroke of musical genius clocking in at over 10 minutes. In fact, there were so many great songs on these four albums it is hard to keep track of them all. Some tracks would be become FM radio staples (and remain so today) and others huge hits on the AM radio side of the dial. There was enough mixture of genres in their sound for them to satisfy a large mix of admirers. The usage of piano, acoustic and electric guitars, soaring vocals, and all-around outstanding musicianship is brilliant on all four of these albums. The sound has become simply phenomenal with the remastering process.

The combination of progressive rock and pop would prevail over the course of the first three releases. When the multi-platinum (by the 90s 18 million units were sold) "Breakfast In America" was released they became a full-blown rock-pop sensation, leaving all of their progressive influences behind. The featured instrument was the keyboards, when previously the guitar and keys had an equal measure of influence on all of the other releases. Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies voices played off each other beautifully, and their harmonies were so sweet and melodic. I think that they reached their peak working together on this album.

After the huge triumph of their most successful album, the aftermath would result in creative burn out. I can see how it would be difficult to match the string of successful albums that they produced over the course of a five-year period. They were a literal musical juggernaut, but all good things must eventually come to end. These four albums stand as the most prolific and significant of the group's catalog. Each album stands on its own as classic renderings of rock, progressive rock, and pop.

SUPERTRAMP - The Supertramp Remasters - "Crime Of The Century", "Crisis? What Crisis?", "Even In The Quietest Moments", "Breakfast In America"

Rating: 5/5 (all four)

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#6791)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
rguabiraba@ho
5 stars A very interesting album. Supertramp is a band that attracts many admirers mostly by its energy and humour, altough many lyrics are fullfilled with cinism and criticism. Breakfest in America is superior in catchy compositions than Even in the Quietest Moments, from 77. Although much more related to FM music than in the previous albums, Breakfest is a highlight in Supertramp's carrer, including major compositions like " The Logical Song", "Breakfest in America", "Gone Hollywood", "Goodby Stranger" and "Take the Long Way Home"". These five tracks are enough music to consider the album a five star effort. The sound troughout the album (specially in the remastered edition) are clearly and delightfull. Davies and Hodgson vocals are even better and the instrumental work in all tracks sounds mature and well defined. The group reached a peak of creativity that was in a rush since Crime of the Century. So, in five years they could release an album that reached radio and fans in a same level. Hodgson songs are maybe the better ones, since "The Logical Song" is an anthem for an entire generation in the late seventies. Davies' compositions are strong, the lyrics are even better than in the 77 album, and this fact makes Breakfest a testimonial of what Supertramp were doing in the late seventies, at the peak of their commercial success. Forget about the fact that Breakfest in America sold more than 15 million albums since it's release. I't's not a strictly commercial effort: it's Supertramp at its BEST.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6793)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another great classic from Supertramp, they had hit it big time with this album. Pop Rock takes over here and don't let that put you off the tracks are really great, My Favourite is "Take The Long Way Home" some morning when I got my radio on that is the song they sometimes play, "Logical Song" is another classic only to be spoiled by that awful dance group SCOOTER. "Breakfast in America" is a catchy pop song. Roger and Rick take it in turns on vocals and I like SUPERTRAMP for that. Although somw other bands do it. Give it a listen it's their most known album.

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Send comments to PROGMAN (BETA) | Report this review (#6794)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Bought this album back in 1979 on vinyl and finely I got it on cd now for just ? 9,95. Although this is more pop then progressive with songs as "The logical song and Breakfast in Ameca" I do like every bit of this album. The way of the vocals for instance, the high voice of Roger Hodgson and the dark low voice of Rick Davies is very unique. For me it also was their last good work before Roger Hodgson left the group. I think it is a real shame that he left because they need eachother in order to gain succes. Roger Hodgson and Supertramp were never so succesfull again. But maybe it had to go that way because "Famous last words" was a little bit of a dissapointment. The magic in their music was a bit gone but after Roger left the group they were able to make a real good album with a different sound named "Brother where you bound". For me Breakfast in America is still one of my favorits these days and it really deserves the five stars I gave.

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Send comments to J@pie Mol (BETA) | Report this review (#6795)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
broadwilliam@
5 stars This is a FANTASTIC (!!) album, no qualms about giving this 5 stars. The best thing they ever did, although there were some great songs on their previous 3 albums. This is very, very commercial, but the excellence of their musicianship makes that forgivable. Their is some terrific woodwind playing on 'Casual Conversations', which has a jazzy feel about it. It rates up with the instrumentation on their later hit 'It's raining again'. 'Lord is it mine' is full of emotion, a prayer like song. But the ending that follows 'Casual Conversations', 'Child of Vision', is the icing on a very impressive cake. These guys were brilliant, BRILLIANT!!! musicians.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#53768)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
jonathan_gjer
5 stars I don`t think it could be possible not to like this album. OK, I am a super supertramp-fan, but it`s an incredibly good album!

Gone hollywood: I always jump over to track 2 when I turn on BIA, but gone hollywood is incredibly good, especially the mix of prog rock and rap in the middle!

Logical song: Not as good as the In Paris- version, that`s more rocked, but the studio version is almost annoying, but still very good.

Goodbye Stranger : Best of the best Rick song while Roger still was there. The very special end is also very good.

Title Track: Oh... good!!!! 1000x1000 better than the live version, and really a sad, but still happy and a little bit absurd song.

Oh Darling: I HATE THIS SONG! Totally wrecked song! On the 3 baddest songs list: 1st place: My kind of lady 2nd place: Oh Darling 3rd place: Free as a Bird Mad song!!!

Take the long way home: A lot of silentness and then BOOF!!! A really hit! If I mix the Logical song and this, I get something interresting. If anyone burnt a 2-track CD of Take the long way home and then Know who you are I`d probably thougt it was one song.

Lord is it mine: On the 3 most beautiful song list: 1st: Lord is it mine 2nd: Know ho you are 3rd: Hide in your shell This song seemes to come from a god!!!

Just anoher nervous wreck: Bad song. Not one of the baddest songs, still a bit boring.

Casual Conversations:If Roger Hodgson was Easy does it, Rick davies would be this. Good song really yes!

Child of Vision: On the 3 best list: 1st: Fools Overture 2nd: Hide in your shell 3rd: Child of vision Remarkable song. Supertramp in one song is REALLY Child of Vision. Just listen to the Instrumental music in the end. The start reminds me of AHA`s mega hit "Take on me"(or was it "take me on"?) -The brother of School,The complementary to Downstream, and the mother of Crazy... And the rival of Fools overture. I`ve made a song, The Shadow, I`m not in any band or anything still, Inspired of these two.

No doubt about giving this album 5 stars.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#58006)
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Yanns
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Ah, this album remains to this day one of my favorite listens. The style of the music prevents it, for me, from being a masterpiece of the genre, but what a fantastic album it is anyway. I would consider giving this album 4 or 5 stars if this wasn't a "prog" website. However, it is far more "pop prog" then actual "prog", so it gets 3 from me, although I must stress how much I love the album.

This can easily become one of anyone's favorite albums, simply by listening to it a couple times. The album is so purely enjoyable that most anyone can love it.

The highlights are, for me, tracks 1 through 6 or so. The others are great, but these always stand out for me. Gone Hollywood sets the album in motion in typical Supertramp style.

A standout for the album, for me, is the vocals. The different vocalists and styles of singing provide a great contrast. The main example of this is the song Goodbye Stranger, which, incidentally, is my favorite song on the album.

This is among the most, as I said before, enjoyable albums on the planet. Hence, only 12% of the people here rated this as a 3 or lower (I did too, as you see, but only because of what I said above in the first paragraph). So pop it in and enjoy fellas. You'll enjoy it hands down, even though it isn't fully "prog". 3/5 stars.

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Send comments to Yanns (BETA) | Report this review (#62740)
Posted Monday, January 02, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Perfect Album

So perfect that the band was never to match its greatness again. They dont make albums like these any more; there aint any fillers here. People can pan it for being too "commercial" or not enough "progressive rock", but how can you not like tunes that stick in your mind, long after?

18 million albums sold so there really is no need to explain its greatness: "operatic" composition and harmony, contrasting vocals, cynical, and whymsical and yet humorous and uplifting lyrics.

The last 4-5 songs are so beautifully arranged in order to present the hope of a generation: from the reality of life to the prayer of desperation.

And despite many reviewers criticizing it,

"And now it's all been said If you must leave then go ahead Should feel sad But I really believe that I'm glad Yes I really believe that I'm glad",

one of the best songs. they dont write them like they used to

The Charles Dickens of Pop/Rock? Go on, have a cry to it, it will be good for your soul

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Send comments to chas2u (BETA) | Report this review (#66594)
Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm not a big fan of Supertramp and I have not followed the who's who and what roles they play in the band. And, this is my first review about Supertramp. Oh yes, for sure this album was one of rock albums that colored my schooldays when I was in transition from Senior High School into undergraduate. I heard some tunes of this album were played at the radio and became hits at that time. I even purchased the cassette which I was amazed about the high quality of sonic quality - even though it was just a cassette. It became my favorite when it came into a record with great high fidelity. I could not remember clearly which songs that I regularly played at that time. But when I saw the CD of this album at secondary market I did purchase one and the CD sonic quality is truly amazing! All sound details from the instruments played are produced clearly with perfect balance of bass, treble and mid-range. I really enjoy it very much and never regret owning the CD. Together with this one, I also purchased the live concert album "Paris" volume 1 and 2 (separate CD).

Let's talk about the music. First off I never thought that this is categorized under prog even though when I scrutinized the chords and notations used here resemble prog composition - a bit, at least! Forget about it's prog or not I reckon that this album is definitely very enjoyable with great melody and memorable musical parts. The guys in the band compose the music beautifully - combining sweet melody, rich textures (especially with the use of woodwind instruments) and straight forward structure.

Second, the key characteristics of Supertramp are represented by the powerful and harmonious vocal quality and piano-based music. Almost all songs are sung wonderfully with excellent quality of vocal combined with piano and keyboard work. Take an example of my best favorite track which indeed a title track of this album (track 4) is a perfect composition combining piano, powerful vocal and great rhythm section. The inclusion of woodwind instruments throughout the song has made the song truly rich in textures and set the music apart from any other rock or pop music. The other songs like "Logical Song", "Lord Is It Mine" or "Child of Vision" are examples on how excellent the compositions are. "Child of Vision" is also one of my favorites. It's hard to believe if there is a human being that does not enjoy this well-crafted song. It's the longest one in term of duration and it's very enjoyable from start to end, especially with the piano solo and rhythm section.

Third, in terms of songwriting, I like the lyrics of this album. I think, that's another strong point of Supertramp music. Breakfast In America is a good example of powerful lyrics, especially when it's combined with music punctuation.

It's hard to deny that this is the band's excellent album that any music buffs should own a copy. The music is completely accessible to many ears and also memorable. This album is produced by Supertramp and Peter Henderson.Keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#79605)
Posted Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
5 stars I think if this album suffers from anything, it is for being too good. There are some who shun massively popular music simply as a matter of course. I don’t think that’s the issue with Breakfast in America. With this album the problem is more the 20 quadrillion or so number of times most of the songs have been played on the radio, at social events, or appeared as period references on film or television. Most of the songs on this album are integral icons in our modern landscape.

Roger Hodgson and crew had relocated from England to Los Angeles shortly before this album was recorded, and were clearly impacted by the major cultural shift (hell, most of us who live in America are even impacted by the cultural shift of Los Angeles). In addition, the 70s were coming to a close and the naďve innocence of that time was being supplanted by a hairy-chested and shallow machismo scene being played out between socially-active men and their conquests (er., “companions”). Hodgson and Rick Davies expanded on both of these themes with their usual wry sense of humor and sarcasm, but all the while keeping at the forefront a charmingly unaffected and upbeat attitude. The combination of those themes that unique combination of personalities and attitudes, and some damn fine musical sensibilities, made for a truly memorable album. Perhaps even too memorable.

The album kicks off with the usual suspects picking up right where Even in the Quietest Moments left off – Rick Davies’ captivating work on the Wurlitzer piano; plenty of horns and woodwinds, in this instance saxophone and what might be a very faint flute; and both Hodgson and Davies with their butch guy/fluff guy one-two vocal punch. Great stuff! The boys are describing their adjustment to the cold and impersonal environ of Tinseltown -

“Ain’t nothing new in my life today, I’m tired of walking from place to place;

I’ve yet to come across a friendly face, and now the words sound familiar, as them slam the door - ’you’re not what we’re looking for.’”

But like I said this band seems to be irrepressibly upbeat, so even here the outgoing message for the song becomes –

“So keep your chin up boy, forget the pain - I know you’ll make it if you try again.

There’s no use in quitting when the world is waiting for you”.

And so on with the show! What follows is nothing short of a musical assault of intensely gorgeous art encased on the shell of rock (if you want to call it ‘rock’) music, beginning with the first and biggest of four hit singles off the album, “The Logical Song”. The lyrics here, much like “School” from Crime of the Century, are a direct communication between the band and the soul of every teenager in hearing range. Any kid alive in 1979 probably has these lyrics permanently committed to memory, either because they identified with the very personal message, or because they couldn’t escape the radio barrage of the song in heavy rotation. Musically the band employs at least two keyboards here, the familiar piano but also pretty heavy on a harmonic organ piece. In addition, the liberal use of saxophone is a bit in contrast with the band’s tendency to use brass selectively, but I must say that hear it definitely adds am edginess to the music. So part of the irony of this song was that it was a mega-hit in 1979 with teens and adults alike, but I’m not sure either group knew what they were listening to. The upbeat tempo made this almost danceable, but in fact this is some angst-ridden lamenting on the verge of a breakdown by a grown man struggling to come to grips with his own sense of being. Brilliant stuff!

“Goodbye Stranger” has some of the most intriguing keyboard work on the album, highly repetitive but very nice progressions that are almost hidden and disguised as a pop song. The use of whistling adds to the cavalier theme here, a character sketch of a ‘player’ in the purest sense of the word who is casually tossing insincere comments over his shoulder on his way out the door after a one-night stand. I don’t know where these guys picked up some theater experience, but it’s especially on songs like this one that aspect of their art really shows through. Hodgson cuts loose with some fine guitar work at the end of this one. Despite their label as an ‘art rock’ band, the emphasis is clearly more on the ‘art’ than the ‘rock’, as the presence of the guitar is secondary to the rest of the instrumentation throughout most of the album.

“Breakfast in America” is one of the very few instances in progressive (or popular) music where a tuba is employed as a feature instrument (there they go with more of that theatrical charm again). It is the perfect complement to the choppy keyboards and sparse drum/bass rhythm (and I’m not sure what the woodwind is here – clarinet?). The theme here is a bit of an amalgamation of the first three combined –

“Take a jumbo cross the water - like to see America. See the girls in California - I’m hoping it’s going to come true, but there’s not a lot I can do”

Hodgson brings back his guitar for “Oh Darling”, but the emphasis is still on the twin keyboards. This is a short love song, almost out of place with the building rant the rest of the album represents, but it makes for a quiet interlude before the ranting starts up again.

Which of course doesn’t take long. “Take the Long Way Home” should really have been the closing track for the album, but – oh well. The theme here is one that can really wrap itself around you psyche and squeeze of you’re not careful. It’s all about unfilled dreams, the monotony of the day-to-day, and that innate desire for a little bit of respect. Soul-wrenching stuff, wrapped in the guise of a slightly poppish piano and harmonica ditty, and I think completely misunderstood by most of those who sang along to it twenty-seven years ago:

“Does it feel that you life’s become a catastrophe? Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy.

When you look through the years and see what you could have been oh, what you might have been, if you’d had more time.

So, when the day comes to settle down, who’s to blame if you’re not around?

You took the long way home”.

“Lord is it Mine” is another short diversion into self-indulgent pity, but once again the piano work is superb and the vocals drip with emotion.

I’m not sure if there’s a coherent message in “Just Another Nervous Wreck”, and this is the weakest track here, although considering the high quality of the rest of the album, that’s not bad company. Hodgson has some nice licks on guitar in the middle here, and also in the closing. Otherwise this sounds more like a show tune than it does a progressive work.

“Casual Conversations” is Randy Newman meets Warren Zevon with a bit of Harry Nilsson thrown in over Billy Joel. So you get the idea – simple piano, solo vocals, introspective and sad.

In some respects the best is saved for last, as “Child of Vision” combines all the best features of the album into a single track. That said, I would have liked to seen this switched in the track order with “Take the Long Way Home” as it would have made the album flow a bit better lyrically, but this is a minor point. The piano work here is the best on the album, a bit choppy bit highly expressive and augmented well by the pulsating and repetitive organ and an almost melodic bass line. The extended piano solo in the middle is something the band has been known to do in concert, but frankly I think fans would have been well-served to hear more of this on studio albums. Interestingly, it wasn’t until near the end with Famous Last Words that we started to here more of this type of instrumental work. I’m ranted long and often about my distaste for the fadeout ending, but here it actually works, with the saxophone coming in the augment the piano and providing a kind of mournful yet hopeful feel as they both fade to black. Very tastefully done.

Breakfast in America may have been the commercial peak of the band’s career, and it was definitely a very solid album. I vacillate between four and five stars for this one because to me an album only deserves five stars if at the end of hearing it you’re either sitting in stunned silence, or ready to make a major life change. It’s a pretty high bar, but it works for me. I think this album requires a slight expansion of that line to include albums that simply cause you to applaud the honest and straightforward effort of the artists who offered it. That fits here – five stars.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#85175)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Australian
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars "Breakfast in America" is one of the easiest of all progressive albums I've heard to get into. After just one listen you can reap the rewards of this slightly poppy, yet thoroughly enjoyable album. Supertramp are on par with bands like Queen (in style), but sadly they never received the praise they deserved. Many classic songs, a couple of which have recently been redone by some "artists" emerged from "Breakfast in America." The first song which comes to mind is "The Logical song" which I've heard being sung by some stupid high-pitched warped voiced, I've no idea who sings it but it disgraces the song.

All the songs on "Breakfast in America" are very fun to listen to and they are generally quite short, up beat and happy. But at the same time they have unmistakable progressive elements in them. For me, Supertramp wouldn't be the same with out the Saxes and clarinets, played by Mr. Helliwell , they just suite the music so perfectly. The chorus on the song "Breakfast in America" is a very good example of how much better the music is with them.

As the name suggests "Breakfast in America" is primarily an album about America, and it talks of how it looks perfect, but when one arrives, it's suddenly not all that amazing. I wonder if anyone will write an album called Breakfast in Australia, ah, I can imagine it now, it would be jammed full of stereotypes. The titles song of "Breakfast in America" has a strange ethnic Jewish feel which is mainly brought on by the clarinet (or saxophone, I can't tell.) This is my favourite song form "Breakfast" along with "Take the Long Way Home." Thankfully there is nothing bad to ruin the album and everything is done in a seemingly light-hearted fashion. Another song worth mentioning is "Child of Vision"; the closing section is very fun and proggy.

"Breakfast in America" is an album not to be missed, if you like your music (and/or your USA) then you will probably like "Breakfast in America". For me it is stands out against most other Supertramp stuff excluding 'Crime of the Century' which is even better than "Breakfast." This album is plainly a very enjoyable one, and thankfully there is nothing too dark about it. I highly recommend this album!

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Send comments to Australian (BETA) | Report this review (#87290)
Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As a teenager I was hooked on this album immediately after hearing the big hits: "The Logical Song", "Breakfast in America" and "Take the Long Way Home". These are truly excellent pop rock songs. After purchasing the album I was slightly dissapointed because the rest of the material sounded to me very syrup-flavoured and too much easy-listening. At times, the Hodgson vocals sounded like BEE GEES falsettos, which I hated at the time when I was looking for more avantgarde stuff in rock. However, "Child of Vision" is definitely a masterpiece of this album, with wonderful electric piano (their signature sound!) and assorted keyboards. It was also very popular in Yugoslavia because the instrumental part was used as a background for the famous TV quiz show "Kviskoteka". Looking back, this is a worthy album, definitely the peak of SUPERTRAMP's career. It is very commercial, with American style production, so on the prog side it cannot be highly recommended. But if you like immaculate vocal harmonies, plenty of keyboards and lush arrangements, then this is for you.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#87297)
Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars The logical song sums up Supertramp very well. In so much as it is a half decent number played brilliantly, but it is rather commercial and Middle of the road. "Child Of Vision" is also typical of Supertramp the lyrics are clever but the delivery is truly lacking. Considering the musical skill that these boys had it always amazed me that they never really sparked or let rip. Its all so controlled even down to the tearfulness of the vocal delivery. Live they were really boring, you might as well have listened to the record. Faultless performances perhaps but so very dull. Crime of the Century is starting to look more and more like a fluke by this stage.

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Send comments to burgersoft777 (BETA) | Report this review (#99887)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Though consider it prog to the far less extent than its predecessor or COTC, this album has nevertheless its moments, specially in very balanced music material, where light melodies prevail garnished with blazing arrangements. Among all the tracks two are my favourites, 'Child Of A Vision' and 'Lord Is It Mine'. It is interesting that at the time of its release i.e. at the end of seventies I had the feeling, listening to this particular album, that somehow it was marking the end of the golden period of prog music. That is why I even today look on 'Breakfast' as my personal farewell to the prog I've been so much fond of.

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Send comments to bsurmano (BETA) | Report this review (#106652)
Posted Monday, January 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Supertramp delivered three very good albums between 74 and 77. I don't remember from where I got this description but I believe it is very true : "Despite chart success the band never attained stardom; it was remarked at the height of their popularity that Supertramp was the best-selling group in the world whose members could walk down any street and not be recognized".

In the meantime punk/new wave on the one hand and disco/sould on the other had surged. So, how will they cope with this, musically ? Well, the trend is definitely towards a more commercial music (but who can blame them) ?

IMO anyway, Tramp has always wrote commercial numbers. So, it is not really an innovation.

"Gone Holywood" opens the album, and one has to wait for about three minutes to have the song really started. The second part is, indeed, a very good Tramp song : good sax, great keys and beautiful melody. "The Logical Song" is 100% pure traditional Supertramp classic : wonderful vocal harmonies, the keys ... so typical (so logical) ? The hit from this album and a very (logical) song.

"Goodbye Stranger" could have been on "Crime" : very good Davies'one : great melody (beautiful dual singing), good rythmic section. Another highlight. "Breakfast in America" follows the poppy orientation, but when it is pop songs of this caliber, let's go for pop ! I have absolutely no problem (I only wish more bands could delivered that high). Short but nice. "Oh Darling" is the weakest track so far. An other attempt on "Goodbye Stranger" but failed.

On the contrary, "Take the Long Way Home", from Hodgson (definitely the Tramp songwriter I like most) is another good poppy moment. Sax and piano in evidence like in most of their good songs (from both Davies and Hodgson). It keeps the level of the album to a very high one.

Unfortunately, the next numbers of this record will not be on par and are a bit of a desillusion for me. "Lord Is it Mine" is a mellow ballad, with a weak melody and too edulcorated. Maybe Roger was touched by the "Lord" when he writes : "When everything's dark and nothing seems right, There's nothing to win, and there's no need to fight". It is not a bad track, because the vocals are, as usual, very good but the general feeling rather melancholic (a bit too much). "Just Another Nervous Wreck" is a poopy tune with little feeling. It's th third weak track followed by the fourth one "Casual Conversations" : a jazzy ballad with almost no flavour (except the sax from Helliwell).

"Child Of Vision" is my preferred song of the album. It is a kaleidoscope of the band's production : wonderful intro, harmony at an all time-high, catchy riff. Tramp's trademark. So typical.

I have been trying for several minutes to remind from which song this one took the chorus from : the answer is "Schools'Out" (by Alice Cooper in 1972). Listen carefully around minute 2'22" and 3'15" : "Child of Vision, won't you listen? Find yourself a new ambition". It is really obvious. Anyway this wonderfully closes the album with a great instrumental part.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#111119)
Posted Thursday, February 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hi again everyone! It's been a long time since I wrote a review, but I plan on changing that. This time I'll be reviewing ''Breakfast In America'' by Supertramp. I'm currently home from school with a high fever, and I decided to pop this in just to listen. It struck me how great this album is. However, a fair warning: Supertramp are IMO not very proggy. This album is very poppy, save for the Child of Vision song. Nonetheless, the melodies here are outstanding. But let's get on with the review, shall we?

01. Gone Hollywood (5:19): A slow fade-in piano riff is heard as soon as you press play, just to explode into the first great verse. Rick and Roger share vocals here, and it's lovely. The lyrics are very interesting, written by Roger. At 1 minute in, the best part of the song kicks in. A sad piano riff is played, with some lovely saxophone soloing over that. The eerie synthesizer playing in the background is great as well. Rick shouts out ''Ain't nothing new... In my life today! Ain't nothing true... It's all gone away''. The bass guitar soon kicks in, and Rick sings it again. A catchy, yet dark section comes, and then climaxes when the loud synth plays in collaboration with Rick screaming the great lyrics again. Roger then takes over, stating ''If we only had time... only had time for you.'' The same piano riff as from the beginning kicks in again, but now with a distorted guitar riff along with it. The great verse comes in again, and after this the song suddenly leads into a happy sounding section, quite the surprise. Anyway, the song slowly fades out after this.

02. The Logical Song (4:10): The Logical Song starts out with one of the greatest synth riffs I've ever heard. Roger is tapping away at those keys, and it's awesome. The lyrics kick in after that, and Roger's vocals are in amazing shape, and the lyrics are very interesting. ''When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful. A miracle. Oh it was beautiful, magical''. Recognize it? After the first verse, the second verse comes into play now with drums. Again, extremely lovely vocals. The chorus is lovely after this, and utilizes some great chord playing. Some loud guitar playing leads into the amazing third verse, where Roger sings the best lyrics in Supertramp's catalogue. He sounds angry while still calm. Finally, we hear him sing ''Oh... Tick tick tick'' which leads into the incredibly loud saxophone section. The piano chords are played amazingly here, it just has to be loved. Easily the best part of the song. The chorus kicks in again, and the loud guitar riff is played while Roger screams ''Who I am!'' and this leads into a bizzare section, with loads of sound effects and the song settling in a darker mood. Roger wanks away at the lyrics, it's awesome. Again, the loud saxophone comes into play. The song fades out after this.

03. Goodbye Stranger (5:50): This is a very commercial song, but still lovely. Rick has such a lovely voice. The first verse has great singing, though the lyrics are a bit optimistic. A lovely synth riff is played after the first two verses, and Roger Hodgson then sings with his regular high key vocals. It actually sounds like a woman. Anyway, he sings ''Goodbye stranger'' and such, with Rick then kicking in as well, which works lovely. The intro riff plays out again, with a wah-wah dominated guitar collaborating with it as well. Rick then sings one more verse, with some great drumming as well. After this, the ''Goodbye stranger'' section kicks in again. It goes on for quite some time, a minute or so, with the drumming increasing in quantity. After this, there comes a very jazzy section which is great. Some awesome guitar playing in here, and again, the song slowly fades out.

04. Breakfast In America (2:39): The shortest and most commercial song on the album. I myself love it. It starts out immediatly with a great, dark piano chord riff. The awesome verse kicks in, with superb vocals by Roger. I just love his crisp, high vocals. The chorus kicks in after this, which is pretty cool but not of such high standard as the verse. Another great verse kicks in after this, followed shortly by another chorus. This leads into a cool section with some strange instruments. The third verse is the best, with Roger screaming ''Don't you look at my girlfriend! She's the only one I've got''. Shortly thereafter comes another chorus, and the same section with strange instruments kicks in again. After this, the song ends.

05. Oh Darling (4:02): A pretty boring song. Very commercial. There's not a whole lot to say about it. The cool bluesy guitar riffing in the second verse is cool though. The song is not very memorable, and thus I won't really say much about this.

06. Take The Long Way Home (5:08): It starts out with eerie synth playing, followed shortly by some loud piano playing. Some amazing harmonica playing fills in along with the lovely piano riff. The first verse comes in after this, with nonsensical lyrics. Still, great vocals by Roger as always. Some great drum fills leads into the amazing chorus with great chord progressions. Multitracked vocals make it even better. Another catchy verse kicks in after this, again with pretty nonsensical vocals. Another chorus comes in after this, with great ride cymbal playing by Bob Siebenberg. After this, some great saxophone and harmonica soloing kicks in, followed shortly by another lovely chorus. A new interpretation of the verse riff kicks in after this, quite cool to hear how one can bend a riff like that. After that, Roger sings ''long way home... long way home...'' for a good 30 seconds, and then the song ends.

07. Lord Is It Mine (4:09): This one is lovely. Emotional piano playing introduces us to the first verse, where Roger sings some sad vocals. When he sings ''Is it mine? Oh Lord, is it mine?'' it makes me crack up. Another verse kicks in after this, again with the lovely vocals. An amazing bridge comes up after this, with catchy drumming. It sounds very unlike Supertramp, yet it is undeniably them. This leads into another verse, with great lyrics. Again, the bridge comes up after that, louder this time. The vocals are so great here that I can't explain it. Some mellow tenor saxophone soloing comes up after this, playing over the main riff. A completely new section arises after this, and the song climaxes with Roger screaming after this. After this, another new section comes up, which is lovely as well. Suddenly the intro riff plays up again, only to die out shortly thereafter. Great song.

08. Just Another Nervous Wreck (4:25): A cool synth riff plays, followed by Rick's great vocals. The lyrics are pretty cool. A sweet chorus drives into gear after this. Some unfitting drumming is followed by this in the second verse. I don't really like it. Anyway, another great chorus is played after this. The bridge comes up after this, with a lovely chord progression, and Rick's usual loud vocals. The album's only guitar solo is played after this, and though nothing amazing, it is lovely. The chorus comes up after this, and another bridge comes after this. Ride cymbal playing is introduced to us in the chorus that follows shortly, and after this the song fades out.

09. Casual Conversations (2:59): This song is another short one. Some jazzy chord playing takes up the first verse, with Rick's melancholy vocals fitting the mood perfectly. The chorus is pretty cool, with lovely percussion playing. A stunning saxophone solo kicks in at 1:30, and after that, the song sort of repeats itself. It ends after that.

10: Child of Vision (7:28): The only song on the album to have considerable length, it is nothing short of amazing. An awesome and stunning synth riff is played immediatly as the song starts. Slowly going down in key, ending on a chord, the loud drumming is heard. More synth layers on top of this leads into a catchy section with some great fill's on the synth. After this, the verse kicks in. One of the most awesome riffs ever occupies the first four bars of this, followed thereafter by Roger's most amazing vocals and lyrics. ''Well who you think you're fooling? You say you're having fun! But you're busy going nowhere, just lying in the sun!''. The lyrics are the best, apparently about Rick Davies (How Supertramp's succes had changed him''. The bridge comes in after this, with Roger singing ''How can you live in this way?''. Ironically, Rick answers the questions that Roger asks. After this, the chorus kicks in. Choir-like multitracked vocals make it nothing short of amazing. The second verse is as amazing as the first one was, with more lovely lyrics. The bridge again has Question-Answer lyrics, and another great chorus kicks in after this. At three minutes in, this is where the instrumental section begins. An awesome piano solo plays above the chords of the verse, loudly and in high key. It's pretty bluesy in a way, great in contrast to the dark verse riff. I must say that the bass playing is great here. Of course, the piano solo carries on for a long time, getting better the longer it goes. The synth also gets more intense the longer it goes. After four minutes of piano soloing, the song slowly fades out along with the saxophone and catchy drumming. Amazing.

Thank you for reading this review. If you interested in more Supertramp reviews, I've written a review for Crime of The Century and Brother Where You Bound as well. Anyway, this album is recommended for everyone who enjoys 70's pop with art rock touches. And Child of Vision is an amazing song in it's own right. Cheers! //Axel

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Send comments to Axel Dyberg (BETA) | Report this review (#114244)
Posted Monday, March 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars There is so much that I don't like about this album, but I confess that there are still some good songs on it none the less.

"Gone Hollywood" really makes me cringe when I hear the background vocals that are so high, almost chipmunk like.The sax is great though. "The Logical Song" is about as commercial as you can get and I know it sounds absurd, but please tell me why I like this. More hit songs with "Goodbye Stranger" and "Breakfast In America" the latter is quite funny. "Oh Darling" features some good piano melodies.

"Take the Long Way Home" features some more amazing sax that lets you know right away that this is SUPERTRAMP. "Lord Is It Mine" is a ballad that has a full sound after 2 minutes. "Just Another Nervous Wreck" is more bombastic, with the drums taking a more prominant role. The last two songs really don't do anything for me.The latter sounds so eighties with the electronic sounding drums.

For me this record is very inconsistant, but was huge because of 4 big commercial hits. I would rate this behind the three previous studio albums. 3 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#114360)
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A guilty pleasure for me. Pass the bacon, please.

Breakfast is a great album with its pop sensibilities. It does suffer from radio overkill disease to be sure and I acknowledge that many of you feel this is too far from prog to matter. I don't believe these songs we've heard a million times require a track by track description, so I'll just say they have many positive attributes like great musicianship, quality songwriting, wonderful melodies, and focus. Compared to something like Tormato, I think it's safe to say that Supertramp were ahead of their competition in execution at this point in time. As I've said before, there is something to be said for tension in a band. I think the obvious tension between Davies and Hodgson pushed both of them to come up with some good stuff. I'd always heard that "Casual Conversations" and "Child of Vision" were direct lyrical messages between the two and if you read the lyrics it would seem to be true.

I like all of the songs although I do skip the title track and Logical Song just because I've heard them so many times. So 3 stars for this website, although if I were reviewing this album for a straight rock site I would go higher.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#128522)
Posted Saturday, July 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the many things I love about the privilege of being a prog reviewer on this website is that it has caused me to go back and re-evaluate albums that for one reason or another I chose to dismiss. A lot of it had to do with my being an effete musical snob in my younger days when any genre that I wasn't into at the time I deemed to be inferior. It took me a while but I finally grew out of that. In the case of this LP that unbecoming character flaw was a factor but, as I listen to it now with fresh ears, I think I chose to ignore it because I was jealous of the record's huge success and, on a subliminal level, the sharply pointed lyrics were striking pretty close to home. (To what I thought I wanted, that is). In 1979 I was a struggling musician from Texas working at a Platterpuss record store in Redondo Beach, CA to make ends meet while I fought the good fight to try and land a recording contract for my band. I think I secretly resented any group or artist who achieved their goals and this was the biggest thing going at the time so I wrote it off as commercial pandering and did my best to avoid really hearing its quality. Turns out I was only cutting off my nose to spite my face. This is a great piece of work, y'all.

"Breakfast in America" was their 4th album in succession with the same lineup so by then they had become a smooth machine in the studio, making records that were state-of-the-art sound-wise but their words showed the strain of being in the "biz" all too clearly, starting with the opener "Gone Hollywood." The satiric Bee Gees-like harmonies at the outset lampoons the hole that the music industry had dug for itself and then they quickly segue into a "floating" interlude where John Helliwell's tenor saxophone soars. The singer tells you that he's come to face the harsh reality that he was wrong about the myth of Los Angeles because there's "so many creeps in Hollywood." Do tell. The band makes a dynamic return with the playful falsetto harmonies before John takes over with his sax being processed through some kind of very cool effect during the fadeout.

It would feel like I was being patronizing to describe the exemplary nuances of the arrangements in the next three songs because they are so well known and so often played on the radio to this day. So I will restrain myself accordingly. "The Logical Song" starts with the signature Supertramp electric piano and sweeps you away instantly. The lyric epitomizes the predicament that a young person finds themselves in after finishing their schooling where the administrators would "like to feel you're acceptable, respectable, presentable, .a vegetable!" The confused singer just wants someone to tell him who he is. Helliwell once again throws in a searing sax performance. "Goodbye Stranger" is next and the hits just keep on a comin'. The tune seems to be about an unconscionable love 'em and leave 'em musician who breezily walks away from his one-night-stands with a carefree whistle on his lips. "You can laugh at my behavior/that'll never bother me/say the Devil is my savior/but I don't pay no heed." I've known many cads like that myself. The group delivers a steady buildup until Roger Hodgson's punctuating guitar lead relieves the tension. "Breakfast in America" follows and makes it a hat trick with its clever, imaginative use of polka instruments, culminating in a terrific clarinet solo. The song is about disillusionment with fame as he confesses "I'm playing my jokes upon you."

"Oh Darling" is an average track (especially when compared to the previous three) but the crystalline production makes it rise above mediocrity. The tune is about finding a potential love connection in a person but not having the time to cultivate the relationship. "I've been feeling left behind like a shadow in your light," he sings. The ending is very much in the style of Elton John. A wailing harmonica and a happy, bouncy beat belie the dark words of "Take the Long Way Home," yet another top ten single. There's hardly a man or woman alive that can't relate to "When we look through the years/and see what we could have been/oh, what might have been/if you'd had more time." No kidding. Hindsight is forever in 20/20 vision. The inventive lead break with the harmonica and clarinet together is a treat and the lush chorale of voices at the end is breathtaking.

Rick Davies' acoustic piano work is beautiful in the somber "Lord, Is It Mine," a highly personal hymn of bewilderment as he desperately seeks a "silent place I can call my own." John's pure soprano sax ride is exactly what's called for and the song steadily builds to an emotional peak. The steep price of being famous and desired is examined in "Just Another Nervous Wreck" where we are told that he has "lost the craving for success" and now has to deal with the unpleasant side effects. The tune comes across a little too bitter and is the weakest cut on the record.

A needed change of pace arrives in the form of the melancholy lounge atmosphere of "Casual Conversation," a simple ditty about resigning oneself to an inevitable breakup. "It doesn't matter what I say, you never listen anyway," he laments. Helliwell's sobering sax lead is perfect. The kicker comes when the singer admits it's finally over and that he really believes he's glad. "Child of Vision" is the finale and it starts with a frantic, hyper electric piano and features a huge, full chorus. They sum up the whole theme of the album here with a blatant statement of "How can you live in this way?" I feel that they missed a fine opportunity to spotlight the numerous and versatile lead instruments of the band at the end, though. The piano solo goes nowhere for about three minutes and when they finally bring in John's sax the tune is already starting to fade out. Can't have everything, I reckon.

This album was a mega hit that put Supertramp at the #1 position for weeks and it was a welcome relief from the incessant stream of mind-numbing disco that had saturated the airwaves for years. It was the right sound at exactly the right time and people just couldn't get enough of it as it sold over four million units in the US alone. While I'm still partial to their incredible "Crime of the Century," I've gained a lot of overdue respect for this admirable recording and will no longer hold the group's amazing success with it against them. It's the least I can do. 4.4 stars.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#129836)
Posted Sunday, July 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Supertramp has the special ability to make music that is the perfect balance between prog and pop. They are loved by both prog fans and mainstream listeners.

Almost all the songs here are enjoyable to me. They all have that Supertramp sound especially because of the Wurlitzer piano. My favorites off here are "Gone Hollywood", "The Logical Song", "Take the Long Way Home" and "Child Vision". The last song in particular is awesome. I guess this is just one of those albums almost everybody loves. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to White Shadow (BETA) | Report this review (#140383)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Raff
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Supertramp's massively successful "Breakfast in America" might be regarded by some as little more than a good pop-rock album with some prog elements thrown in for good measure. To these ears, though , it is nothing less than the blueprint for that odd, controversial phenomenon known as 'progressive pop', which some see as a contradiction in terms. While this is not the place to go into a debate on whether it is possible for pop and prog to mix, if such a pairing is really possible, then Supertramp, over the course of their long career, have presented us with many remarkable examples.

Breakfast... kicks off with a bang. The barnstorming "Gone Hollywood" boasts killer vocal harmonies, dramatic piano work and a poignant middle section, in which the narrator complains that ain't nothing new/in my life today - definitely a track to be included in a list of the best album openers ever, and one of the most progressive offerings by the band. The interplay between Rick Davies' and Roger Hodgson's vocals is as effective as ever, especially in the song's context of light and shade (or rather, hope and disappointment).

The trio of songs that follow, while not scoring very highly on a progressiveness scale, are undisputed masterpieces of sophisticated, well-crafted pop-rock. "The Logical Song", the band's best-known, most successful composition by far, has thought-provoking lyrics that provide a sting in the tail of the song's infectious, apparently innocuous melody, and an excellent sax solo at the end. "Goodbye Stranger" sees Davies's gruff, expressive voice and brilliant piano lines take centre stage in a skewed, bittersweet romantic song about a player who is nevertheless very honest about his intentions. Then comes the title-track, another slice of intelligent, tasteful catchiness with an endearingly naďve air about it.

The wistful sound of the harmonica introduces another of the album's highlights, the deceptively jaunty "Take the Long Way Home", another song about disappointed hopes disguised as a pleasant pop offering. While the prayer-like "Lord Is It Mine", showcasing Hodgson's voice at its most poignant, acts like a pause of reflection, "Oh Darling", "Just Another Nervous Wreck" and "Casual Conversations" can be indicted of being somewhat nondescript, and slightly on the boring side. However, album closer "Child of Vision" can be numbered amongst Supertramp's strongest compositions, reminiscent of the immortal "Crime of the Century", though possessed of its own individuality. With a big, dramatic chorus, driving piano, and lyrics that starkly criticise the modern way of life, it is definitely more ambitious than most of the other compositions.

"Breakfast in America" seems to be one of those albums that polarises opinion. Some love it to death, others hate it with equal passion for being too commercial and radio-friendly. Personally, though I find it inferior to the band's masterpiece, "Crime of the Century", I have always had a weakness for this record and its enlightened approach to quality pop music. Highly recommended to all open-minded prog fans, especially when in need of the occasional respite from the likes of Magma or The Mars Volta.

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Send comments to Raff (BETA) | Report this review (#160569)
Posted Saturday, February 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gone successful

Supertramp where already a big name when Breakfast In America came out, but this is the album that would launch them over the top. Granted, afterwards the band would never be the same, and after a enormous flop (the appropriately titled ...Famous Last Words) the band would explore more experimental roads with tremendously mixed results. But let's stick to this album. In terms of music this one has often been pointed out an ridiculed for its many hit tracks and often called not as progressive as its brethren such as Crime Of The Century or Even In The Quietest Moments.... Poppy? At points, yes, but these are fantastically written and arranged pop songs the caliber of which would rarely see the light of day again from any band.

So lets drive right in, shall we?

Opening quietly until the musical burst is Gone Hollywood. Not the biggest standout on the album, this song still sets the tone for the rest of the tracks. Hodgeson and Davies split vocals and the song manages to find time to change speed within its short structure. But it's not until the next track that we get to the hits. First up, The Logical Song which finds the band being very much cynical and logical about the workings of the world. Floating synths and bass make this one more than just a pop song. Following is the ear splintering vocal parts from (surprisingly) Davies on Goodbye Stranger. This is a good thing, of course, and the song actually sees the 'Tramp taking a heavier approach with (*gasp!*) a guitar leading the fray along with the piano.

A couple of shorter songs come along, these ones perhaps the most threatening to the average prog listener. Breakfast In America and Oh Darling are a couple catchy, radio friendly songs that help the album move along without hampering it by becoming increasingly poppy (though some may argue that point).

Then we see the darker side of the 'Tramp once more. The deceivingly light toned Take The Long Way Home hides some very troubled lyrics that make this song a very nice treat. Opened by an excellent sax part and carried by the piano once more this is a huge standout on the album, and indeed, the band's career. Then the speed gets brought down once more for the slow, emotional delivery of Lord Is It Mine, which gets better as it picks up, but remains likely the least necessary song on the album.

However, coming into the end we get a couple of the 'Tramp's best songs.

Just Another Nervous Wreck opens with some nice piano until Davies voice carries it into the heavier parts of the song. Excellent melodies, lyrics and vocals make this a standout on the album above any of the album's hit singles. Another short and bouncy track fades in and out as though nothing happened and then we get to the final track on the album. Child Of Vision is the track that finds Supertramp still taking a more progressive road with it's keys and dual vocal attack. This is likely the second best track on the album (falling right behind Nervous Wreck), but the song that will hold the attention of the average progger the best.

Not Tramp's most progressive album, although its deceptive simplicity still hides a very progressive side. The last good Tramp album for a couple of years, this one is definitely an excellent addition to the prog libraries of the world. Not a masterpiece, but certainly excellent, 4 stars. Highly recommended to Tramp fans and everyone else.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#166157)
Posted Wednesday, April 09, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is magnificent, but no because of those famous pop-prog-sound tracks that we all know. It is magnificent just for the last track Child of Vision which develops and atmosphere of textures. The bass seems to be endless in the no-singing part of the song, And the synthesizer blends perfectly with the guitar and the drum matizes. Child of vision is one of Supertramp´s most progressive tracks, it is true that is not as long as the tracks that we have heard from Yes, Genesis, or Pink Floyd, but it is harmonically assembled and interesting musically saying. The lyrics are quite simple, just a story of a girl coming into a new world "not hers" ready for challenges and temptations.

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Send comments to jesus (BETA) | Report this review (#168942)
Posted Monday, April 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars SUPERTRAMP are classified as 'Crossover Prog.' This album is the reason why.

The band always had an eye for the charts, having already been taken there with 'Dreamer' and 'Give A Little Bit'. They also had an eye for art-rock, where their ear for a melody was married with excellent arrangements to produce some excellent prog-related material. On this album we are presented, finally, with the perfect marriage: gloriously vibrant pop songs with thoughtful lyrics and stunning arrangements. Here, for a brief moment, SUPERTRAMP became the memories of a generation.

Ignore the irrelevant opening track: the album is a full frontal assault of the most clever pop the late 70s had to offer. Yes, I know you've heard it all far too many times, but that's because you listened to the radio. I never did. These songs are still fresh to me. 'The Logical Song' is a marvel, a slice of genius - that opening, with the wurlitzer and the slippery bass heralding some of the cleverest lyrics in pop history, is magic. The song even manages to let go during the instrumental breaks, with Helliwell's sax a little rougher than usual, a little more unsettling, and the wurlitzer driving the song to a satisfying conclusion. 'Goodbye Stranger' is a reasonable DAVIES ballad which achieved unaccountable success given its relative thinness. And then there's the famous title track, known for its memorable lyric and bold piano. I bet you're sick of it. I like its joviality and cheekiness, but would be the first to admit it's not a heavyweight. Still, it's less than three minutes.

'Take the Long Way Home' is, for me, the quintessential SUPERTRAMP song, and easily the most memorable thing HODGSON wrote for the TRAMP. It has a superb dynamic, and what an intro! It generates a genuinely spine-tingling atmosphere, the synth, the sudden deep piano note and the yearning of the harmonica. The lyric leans on close-knit rhymes again, reminding us of 'The Logical Song', but eclipsing that track with ease. Here the band achieve for a blissful moment the perfect balance between melody and structure prog and pop, exemplified by the majestic outro beginning at 3.46. Sorry, I can't fault this.

'Lord Is It Mine' is a splendidly evocative ballad, sung with real emotion, appearing in just the right place on the album. 'Just Another Nervous Wreck' is a strong pop song but is barely noticed here, such is the strength of the album. Ignore 'Casual Conversations.' The finale, 'Child of Vision' was placed there as a sop to the hardy prog fans still sticking with SUPERTRAMP, but nonetheless it's a worthy track, an extended rock track rather than a true prog epic, but thoroughly convincing for all that. I'm particularly taken with the bass work on this track, and enjoy the extended instrumental finish, one out of the ELTON JOHN school of piano-rock.

You need to own two SUPERTRAMP albums. Together 'Crime of the Century' and 'Breakfast In America' encompass everything good about this band. Never a band to reach true prog greatness, they nevertheless inspired other prog bands to reach for the charts. I'm betting that more than a few of you think this was a Bad Thing.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#183928)
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Wow! I Love this album! Ok, there is very little real prog music here (only the long Child Of Vision could be labeled as that), but this a superb work anyway. Of course they would never make another Crime Of The Century. And from the prog-pop of Crime... they went for the pop rock with some prog influences. This transition was done with some ups (Even At The Quietest Moments) and downs (Crisis? What Crisis?). But now they had reached the big time. Breakfast In America may be their album where they took a definitly turn to pop, but it was sophisticated, well crafted pop. And, in that field , they were highly successful. So, if you don´t like the mix of pop with prog, forget this CD and look elsewhere.

The main reason this album is so satisfying is that one of the good, inspired songwriting. Those guys did know how to pen some fine and catchy tunes while retaining insightful, intelligent lyrics that were still accessible, something that the even the casual listener could relate to. And everything was packed by some outstading perfomances both in terms of the playing and arragements. The right production also helped a lot, since the band was now a tight, very well oiled music machine, after years on the road and an studios with the same line up. Their unique sound and deliverance of the words in the songs (they were serious, but also witty and humorous about those subjects, a rare case of good balance) did place them at the heart of many. Like them or hate them, you have to respect Supertramp for their talent.

For all those reasons, this is a pop/prog record that stood the test of time quite well. With no fillers and a very good tracklist, this is one of the best late 70´s CDs in my collection (and those times were not exactly the best in the music scene of the last decades, you know...). Although it had some overplayed hits (The Logical Song, the title track) this is an album to hear as a whole. Besides, Take The Long Way Home and Child Of vision are among of their greatest songs ever. Four stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#184419)
Posted Thursday, October 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Breakfast in America is the last of the four big albums from Supertramp. It's also the most commercially successful, with quite a few hits. Sometimes popularity and or commercial success weighs down an album, especially to us prog fans, but that isn't at all the case here. This album is a great one and I'd like to agree with other reviewers in saying this album as stood the test of time very well, not dated at all.

Starting off with Gone Hollywood, a great song and very refreshing to hear after I had heard The Logical Song and Take the Long Way Home and such numerous times before listening to the album as a whole. As I've said before, I really dig the Sax (wish I would've picked it instead of trumpet back in middle/high school band); I love its use on this song and album. The next three tracks, probably the most familiar are all good, Goodbye Stranger sticks out for me. Sometimes when you hear a song you remember where you were at some point in time or something like that, well this one's one of those for me. Back when I used to start work at like 4,5 am and I'd be walking to work in the dark, I always played this song on my cd player, good times. The last half of the album contains the lesser known tracks, but in my opinion is the stronger side of the album. Just to mention some, Oh Darling is great, Lord of Mine is a beautiful song, and Child of Vision reassures all listeners its sticking to its progressive roots, just brilliant.

I can't give 4.5 stars for an album, and usually I'd round up, but as great as Breakfast in America is, it doesn't compare to Crime of the Century, therefore I give it 4 stars. It does however compare to Even in the Quietest Moments which I also gave 4 stars.

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Send comments to Kix (BETA) | Report this review (#187301)
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars SUPERTRAMP were made for the charts, the 70s analog to the ARCHIES or the CUFF LINKS, more sophisticated manifold of course, but essentially a studio band assembled to appeal to the broadest range of music fans through an almost utter domination by piano and its ilk, a faux-jazz brass character, pre-pubescent rhyming lyrics and meters with the type of melodies that you wish you'd forget but can't, and ostensibly earnest upper octave vocals. All things considered, it's rather surprising that they didn't receive their due windfall until "Breakfast in America", but this album does represent the most rarefied implementation of their commercial vision.

None of the above characteristics are sufficient for conviction, and in fact there are several excellent tracks only diminished by overexposure - the title cut and "Take the Long Way Home", while "The Logical Song" goes from brilliant to trite after about 2 airings, never to return, and "Goodbye Stranger" starts with promise before settling for the band's trademark childish vocals and stunted tune that even the best arrangements cannot rescue, and in any case no such compensation is to be found. The remaining tracks got virtually no airplay and yet still sound stale and so much a product of their time. Concomitantly, CHRIS DE BERG was developing a more engaging and lyrically rich mixture along similar lines, with reasonable recognition although nothing of the sort enjoyed by Supertramp.

The closing cut is certainly the most progressive if only by taking track length into account., but it's really little more than an extended version of "Lady" dating back to "Crisis...". Some good piano as it rolls along but nothing exceptional especially for the time.

Neither patently progressive a la "The Wall", unabashedly and convincingly poppy like "Spirits Having Flown" (although the vocal stylings are oddly allied), nor risk taking rock in the manner of "Tusk", SUPERTRAMP's best selling meal was a nadir of sorts for the 70s, and, in spite of its ubiquitousness, seems to have influenced virtually nobody.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#222225)
Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I will just say one comment taken from our great fable writer Aesopos: things a fox cannot reach(meaning the grapes hanging from above) the fox says that the grapes are not grapes but coat hangers...if you know what I mean... Breakfast In America apart from being virtually one of the best albums of the 70's it is a "fine" product of the high antagonism between the two songwriters-Mr Hodgson and Mr Davies-but it is their marginal point of it, meaning that this antagonism made them bring out their best of themselves without losing their target and that was to keep them being a band...this control was lost soon afterwards and Supertramp called it a day after the tour to support their last album Famous Last words. As for this album itself I will just say that I find it harder and harder through all the past 15 years or so to find such diachronical albums!(is there any comment about that?). When at least 8 songs in this album are from really good(Goodbye Stranger, Lord It Is Mine, Child Of Vision, Just Anther Nervous Wreck) to excellent (Gone Hoolywood, the Logical Song, Breakfast In America, Take The Long Way Home) it is rather just trying to pass a camel through a needle's eye... V i r t u a l l y a full four star album...

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Send comments to Silent Knight (BETA) | Report this review (#222229)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok, there's not much to say about this album. Except that it's a flawless masterpiece.

With a shaky start with Crime Of The Century, Breakfast In America was a move foward into their contemporary prog aspects.

With hit singles, classic Sumpertramp numbers, and their most sophisticated material to date, this is a must have.

Ricks voice sounds suprisingly okay, and Roger's is just, omg!!!

I never really got the artwork, but it is funny.

1. Gone Hollywood - What an intro. Rick's vocals ar actually really good. What an atompshere these guys build up with this song. What an amazing piece of music. 10/10

2. The Logical Song - One of the greatest songs ever made, in my opinion. Roger's vocals are just spellbinding. It's just so good. It plays in my head constantly. I also attempt that high note every day. I usually always get it, depends, I sometimes do it in the morning when I can barely speak. The first time I actually came into contact with this song, was the Scooter version, which I still like. 10/10

3. Goodbye Stranger - Ricks vocals are great again. Roger's falsetto is also amazing. A great composition. 9/10

4. Breakfast In America - Incredibly catchy. Amazing vocals. Just flawless. I don't really like the Gym Class Hero's version, but one does really. 10/10

5. Oh Darling - Nice and laidback. Almost ballad like. Great composition. 9/10

6. Take The Long Way Home - Very cathcy. I never really liked the harmonica as instrument, but it's okay in this song. Amazing vocals, as always. 9/10

7. Lord Is It Mine - Lovely ballad. Rogers vocals really show a lot of emotion. The clarinet and piano work is also really beautiful. 9/10

8. Just Another Nervous Wreck - Has a very Elton John vibe. Great song. Rick's vocals are great in this song. Loving all the organ work. 9/10

9. Casual Conversations - Nice and laidback. Great discourse between vocals and saxophone. 8/10

10. Child Of Vision - Classic prog at it's best really. Amazing vocals and phenomanal instrumental work. 10/10

CONCLUSION: Their best I believe. I have to hear more, but this really is amazing, and if it's their best, then they are as cunning as they

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#286996)
Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is a strong prog-pop-rock album that's very "radio friendly" yet manages to be rewarding enough to the more demanding listener as I'm sure most of you who are reading this review. All of the tracks in here are very "poppy" and actually quite similar to each other (which in my opinion lowers the appeal of the album). The characteristic electric piano sound of Roger Hodgson is present all over this album and sometimes may be a little monotonous, but It's still very enjoyable as it's well employed and the compositions are interesting enough to keep your ears up. This album contains catchy melodies, light- hearted lyrics that still manage to be interesting, and good performances from all the musicians. I think this album is a very good example of well-crafted pop music that helps bring the average listener into liking more sophisticated arrangements, lyrics, and musical styles.

I don't think this is a masterpiece of progressive rock (I think that title is only reserved for albums at the level of Close to the edge, or Foxtrot, or albums that really have that "something" required to prevail in time and provoke intense emotions to the listener). I enjoy this album very much, and I think it's very hard to have a bad time while listening to this. I do think this is a must-have in any prog collection because of the important achievements described above. I'm giving this a 3.5 rounded up to 4.

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Send comments to AcostaFulano (BETA) | Report this review (#287646)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The '70s went by really fast for Supertramp and the band's sound had began to fade in popularity towards the shift of the decade. This is why Breakfast In America came as a complete surprise to both the critics and the mainstream audience becoming an international hit and proving that great (Art Rock) music could survive even in the prog-forsaken punk era.

The closest comparison that I can think of whenever listening to Breakfast In America would be that of Black Sabbath's Paranoid. Both albums are generally considered to be the hit-records for the bands with many of the heavy hitters occupying side one of the respective record, leaving side two exposed and suggestive of a turbulence within the collectives. In Supertramp's case we basically get a side filled with hits like The Logical Song, Goodbye Stranger and Breakfast In America that don't really need any introduction since they became the backbone of the band's career for years to come. Side two starts with the memorable Take The Long Way Home but that's where it all comes to a screeching halt and the limitations of Rick Davies/Roger Hodgson songwriting start to show.

It also becomes clear, though in the lyrical context, that the songwriters were already on the verge of a breakup and we can only imagine how it would have gone down if Breakfast In America hadn't been the massive hit which it ultimately was. Eventually one of the fellow collaborators had to leave and Roger Hodgson took that step after the release of the much delayed 1982 Breakfast In America-followup album Famous Last Words.

Even though this is a very disjointed release I can't really argue against the excellent quality of the music featured here. Breakfast In America might not come close to the level of Crime Of The Century nor Even In The Quietest Moments... but it's still an essential piece of Supertramp's history making it an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Gone Hollywood (5:19) The Logical Song (4:07) Goodbye Stranger (5:48) Breakfast In America (2:38)

**** star songs: Oh Darling (4:02) Take The Long Way Home (5:08) Lord Is It Mine (4:08)

*** star songs: Just Another Nervous Wreck (4:23) Casual Conversations (2:57) Child Of Vision (7:28)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#294293)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The most succesfull Supertramp album, shows them mainly as a pop band. High quality pop of course, but sincerely I can't find many progressive rock elements. Hodgson started to take since this album the pop road, continuing in the vein of songs like Give a little bit. The Logical song, Take the long way to home and Breakfast in America are great pop tracks, world wide hits. Lord is it mine is Hodgson ballad, great ballad. Davies sounds a bit uninspired here, except by the outstanding Goodbye stranger, maybe the best track of the album, in which I can find some prog elements. Child of Visiion is the more proggy one with a good piano based instrumental passage, but inferior than Another man's woman. Anyway is a good track. Gone Hollywood is the the other prog (a bit) related track, composed by Davies.

In another site related with just rock music I could rate this album with a higher rating, but here, in a progressive rock context I can't find reasons to consider it essential. So in my opinion is good but not essential. 3 STARS.

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Send comments to genbanks (BETA) | Report this review (#299172)
Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The problem with this album isn't the pop direction that's apparent on it. Supertramp have always been a pop-infused band (at least classic Supertramp has - I'm unfamiliar with the real early, real obscure stuff). The problem is that not all the songs are good. But the strong songs on here are among their best and are their most well-known for good reason: they are HOOKY!

The title track is one of the greatest, compactest little pop tunes ever recorded. "Take the Long Way Home" has a great moment, where the piano comes in quiet and real dramatic, then gets louder, then all of a sudden the harmonica solo jumps right in full-force - it's great. And "The Logical Song" is another favorite of mine, with some of their best lyrics and an emotionally charged vocal delivery that can send shivers down your spine if you're in the right mood (especially when Hodgson repeatedly shouts, "Who I am?!?!" before the "solo" section, composed of a bunch of sound effects which don't irritate me at all as such things usually do).

And their prog ambitions haven't been completely abandoned, either. "Child in Time" is on here, and it's great - especially the end. The piano solo rules. I'd have liked a nice, heavy guitar over that, but when listening to the song at home I typically just supply my own. But there's nothing wrong with that piano solo - it just might be a little timid-sounding next to the song's overall grandiosity.

Unfortunately, the rating has to be brought down due to the inclusion of some weak tracks, particularly on Side 2. I can't hum a line from any of them except "Is it Mine?" and that one isn't very good. Still, essential if you're a Supertramp fan, and if you like sophisticated pop but are exhausted on Beatles (or even if you want to see a possible direction the Beatles might have taken had they stayed together), this album is great.

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Send comments to KyleSchmidlin (BETA) | Report this review (#326577)
Posted Friday, November 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars The most well known album from Supertramp. The singles from this have been played to death on radio. "The Logical Song", "Take The Long Way Home" and the title track are all great songs, but I've heard them so many times I could play them in my head. The most interesting song to get played on radio is "Goodbye Stranger". The whole album features some great Wurlitzer electric piano, but it doesn't sound better than on this song. I like the fingersnaps and phased guitar in the middle. Good jam at the end.

This is the most radio-friendly album Supertramp made yet. Most of the songs seem made for radio. I have to give them credit, though. This doesn't sound anything like New Wave or disco. It must have been rare for a group with saxes to have huge hits in 1979/1980. Actually, most of the singles here are more adventurous than most singles of the time. "Oh Darling" is a good song that wasn't a single. Because it never got played to death, it still holds up well. "Just Another Nervous Wreck" is one of the best songs. Great chorus. Tempo increases at the end with some good organ.

"Child Of Vision" is the longest and proggiest song. The only song where the synths stand out. It has a great beginning with Wurlitzer and string-synths, then drums. It starts to get weaker once the chorus starts. The 'jam' for the last half of the song goes on for too long. It ruins the whole song. One of the better albums of 1979(prog or not). A prog fan would be better off starting with Crime Of The Century or Even In The Quietest Moments. The first album from 1970 is good too, but not for beginners. The prog moments are few but still a good album. 3 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#353401)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars In my review of Crime of the Century, I mentioned that Supertramp were responsible for at least two wonderful songs. One was Dreamer on the Century album, the other, The Logical Song, is here in all its glory. For me, this is one of the great songs of the rock/pop era. Soaring, daring, vocals ride over a skipping track with words that hit dead centre and a tune to match. It has such poetry in its soul. But why oh why did some idiot put a whistle in the track? Are they mad? It ranks alongside the sparky harmonica in Mr Blue Skies by ELO and the J Arthur Rank gong at the end of Bohemian Rhapsody as one of the great naff moments that defiles an otherwise great record (though in the case of Queen, going over the top is almost par for the course, on that record as well as in their career).

I particularly hate the title song Breakfast in America though. Yet it shouldn't be a terrible song, musically it has a lot of the Supertramp elements that made other things they did a musical success.I guess it's because it's too obviously an attempt to write a hackneyed version of what they think the public perceives is a Supertramp song. It's so self-conscious it's embarrassing to listen to, such naff and clumsy words and wooden musical phrases, it's hard to believe these are the same people who wrote those great songs.

But I still love The Logical Song, it's wonderful. What a shame (it seems to me) that this and Dreamer were the true high points of the band, with some other songs like Crime of the Century at least providing some sparkle and interest. For me, there were too many low points, or perhaps more accurately, mundane/average points for this band to rate highly on my personal richter scale. I think they were incredibly lucky to do as well as they did, and bloody good luck to them too.

I'd love to give 5 stars for The Logical Song, it deserves it, but common prog sense prevails, and I'll go for a 3.

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Send comments to JeanFrame (BETA) | Report this review (#362241)
Posted Thursday, December 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The most successful Supertramp album; although it was not their best rated here in progarchieves. And this sentence summarizes everything, doesn´t it ?

Here in Breakfast in America, the poppy approaching that weakened Even in the Quietest Moments got even more importance. They were well succeeded in their job and the album sold like hell. But to proggy ears things are not so intense, and I know many guys that even do not consider this a progressive work. I do not disagree with them, but even so I can have some good feelings about BIA.

Even with its pop side, songs here are very well crafted. Some of them turned into memorable songs like Goodbye Stranger, Take the Long Way Home or The Logical Song. Together with other ones (there are no weak songs here), they turn the listening of this album a very pleasant experience; this is undeniable.

One last comment to reinforce the three stars I rated here: We have a final closing for Breakfast in America which demands everyone´s attention here. The very good progressive song Child Of Vision closes with a golden key one of my most appreciated pop/prog albums?

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Send comments to Antonio Giacomin (BETA) | Report this review (#364319)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
3 stars This is a superbly produced album. I'm sorry, but that's the best thing I can say about it.

Sure, there are some nice pop songs on the album, but really nothing that reaches the heights of "Crime Of The Century", or even "Even In The Quietest Moments". I'm sure it was the simplification of the songs that helped make this album such a commercial success.

To me, it's Roger Hodgson songs that make the album listenable. On his tracks, where it seems that all of the hits came from, Hodgson at least makes an attempt to spice up the arrangements (just a bit), with woodwinds and keyboard play. Rick Davies' songs tend to me more low key ballads. This stylistic split might be an indication of the rift that split Hodgson & Davies after the tour for this album.

It's a listenable album, but no way is it Supertramp's best.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#466474)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When one thinks of mega selling (or, in the words of some, "sell-out") pop/prog monsters, most turn to Genesis in the 1980's or Yes with 90125. Well, forget it. As well as they sold, I would imagine there is barely a household on earth with a member of the family over 40 who did not, at one time, own a copy of this album. BIG goes nowhere near describing just how colossal this work was.

Of course, the million dollar question is; is it as good as its sales record suggests? Is it, for prog fans, rather better than one remembers when spitting out that dirty word, commercial? To this reviewer, the answer to both questions is a resounding yes. I love this band, and I think they thoroughly deserved their success.

In terms of album track layout, it follows a familiar pattern, this being separate Hodgson & Davies compositions bound together in a common identity of Supertramp. It's just that they got better at flogging and producing the stuff.

The highlight for me will always remain one of my favourite all time songs of any genre or generation - Logical Song. This is easily Roger Hodgson's finest moment, apparently written when he was still a teenager. In 1979, it struck a chord with me as a 15 year old immediately. It still does. A song full of angst, regret, and passion, detailing the confusion that any decent, right thinking person must have when he views the inequalities, inequities, and sheer injustice of the world run by elected and unelected dictatorships. It also has that unique trick of turning a very serious lyrical piece of work into an instantly accessible musical piece, catchy, well performed, and, overall, a sheer delight to listen to. A song I want played at my funeral.

The one track that, to these ears, takes one star from the masterpiece status is the title track itself, which, to me, takes the concept of whimsical to absurd heights. For sure, it was a monster smash hit, and is still played on radio's the world over to this day, but I remain of the opinion that this is Hodgson's worst ever composition. Grating, annoying, and instantly throwaway. Always, without fail, skipped on my MP3 player when it comes on.

Compare that to another single from the album, Goodbye Stranger. Commercially, it bombed in comparison, but I don't think that Davies ever sounded better, or, indeed, wrote better in terms of commercial blues based rock. This is one of the finest singles ever released, and Davies managed his usual trick of throwing himself in emotionally to compensate fully for the obvious comparisons with Hodgson's better singing voice.

Of this, Lord Is It Mine is perhaps his finest example. This is an exceptional piece of music, and, alongside Logical Song, is amongst the very best in fusion of pop and progressive rock music. Sung with absolute sincerity, theatrical, dripping with emotion, and extremely well performed by a band right at the top of their game, it is a pure joy.

Take The Long Way Home, though, comes pretty close. Another theatrical piece, telling a sad story, it fuses symphonic prog with pop sensibilities perfectly.

The longest track is the closer, Child Of Vision, and the closest to "pure" progressive rock the album came to. It is a natural successor to Fool's Overture from its predecessor, having the same symphonic burn, albeit far catchier.

In comparison to all of this, the other Davies ballads, Oh Darling, Just Another Nervous Wreck, and Casual Conversations sound almost throwaway. They're not that. They are, in fact, very good ballads, but he was, and is, capable of better, and they are bit of a letdown when compared to all else on this album, and also his work on previous albums.

So, the Davies song Goodbye Stranger aside, this is most definitely Hodgson's album, easily his most successful and finest recording ever. This is an excellent album, another in a long line which puts paid to the fiction that commercial is bad. It isn't.

Four stars. An excellent album which you really should own. Go on. We all deserve a guilty pleasure every now and again, don't we?

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#468251)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
baz91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you need one pop album in your collection, this is for you!

At this point in history, and certainly after the release of this album, Supertramp became superstars. Unsurprisingly, with this stardom led the group to write less progressive material, and more catchy pop tunes. Fortunately though, this album shows Supertramp adhering to their generally successful formula of sophisticated pop which provokes the listener to think about the music.

Indeed, this album is full of commercial tunes. An astonishing four out of ten songs on this album were released as singles and each one became a hit in it's own right. These songs include the catchy The Logical Song, the feelgood Goodbye Stranger, the brief yet memorable Breakfast In America, and the all-round lovely Take The Long Way Home. This album is like a greatest hits compilation by itself!

Most people say that the 7˝ minute closing track Child Of Vision is the most progressive song on the album, but I must dispute this! Despite it's length, Child Of Vision plays out like a regular AOR track, but with an extended instrumental intro and outro - the outro lasting 4 minutes, over half the song! Unfortunately, the outro is nothing spectacular, and is simply a jam on the same repeating chords.

Indeed, the title of most progressive track must be awarded to the albums opener Gone Hollywood. This is due to the excellent middle section, which begins with a sensational saxophone solo, and slowly builds up to a powerful anthemic section which rocks this reviewer to the core. This is a highly emotional song that is actually too good to be used at the start of the record, because it motivates this reviewer to turn off after the first track. Killer stuff!

In summary this is an album aimed entirely at the public, and at no niche genre. The first side of the album contains the lighter material, and Gone Hollywood, whilst Side 2 has more melodramatic songs. Whilst not being their best album, 'Breakfast in America' is essential to anybody who wants to understand and get into Supertramp. If that's not enough, it's got a bloody good cover too!

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#540248)
Posted Sunday, October 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars In fact this review could be a sort of copy of my Crime of the Century review where I tried to point out the progressiveness of the songs on the album. It seems only fair to me to do the same thing with this also high valued album by the band (which I consider - I have to say it again - no more than prog related. Here we go.

1. Gone Hollywood. One of the better songs on the album (piano, sax !) but more pop than prog, so 2,75*

2. Logical Song. This one has been played to death on Dutch radio through the years and this hasn't really contributed to the popularity. One of those that start to bore with to much playing time. Besides that a downright pop hit. 1,5*

3. Goodbye Stranger. On itself nothing special and another pop hit but somehow this one actually does appeal to me. Especially the last 70 seconds are haunting and huge in quality. Unfortunately often skipped on Dutch radio. Obviously they don't appreciate proggy moments. 3,25 *

4. Breakfast in America. One of the worst and most annoying songs they ever produced. Besides that 100% pop and 0% prog. So only 1*

5. Oh Darling is much better but still just pop. I will give 2,25*

6. Take the long way home. Another big hit in their discography and actually a pretty good song according to my taste. But also this one at least 70% pop. 2,75*

7. Lord it's mine is a very nice ballad but again poppy and therefore just 2*

8. Just another nervous wreck is also one of the better compositions on this release but also this one doesn't quite live up to required prog standard. 2,5*

9. Casual Conversations is one of the few sung by Rick Davies and I like his voice a lot better than Hodgson's. A nice ballad but only 20% (or something) proggy. 2,5*

10. Child of Vision is one of the more proggy tracks on the album, if not the most. At least this one warrants the bands presence on PA a little bit. Because of this 3*.

I have to admit the album turned out a bit better than I had in mind. I'm somewhat ambivalent about Supertramp. I don't really hate them but don't love them either. I feel they are in the wrong subgenre on here. It should be prog related instead of crossover. Anyway, it's one of the reasons I can't give their albums high ratings. On a pop site or general music site also this one could score 3 or 3,5 stars for my taste. But here on PA again I (and Supertramp) will have to settle for just two.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#561216)
Posted Wednesday, November 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars With Davies and Hodgson finding it increasingly difficult to work together, Supertramp continued their shuffle towards the mainstream with this finely crafted art-pop album. This wasn't a creative compromise on the scale of, say, Genesis' We Can't Dance or Yes' Big Generator - unlike other prog bands, Supertramp only became good once they dropped their aspirations to complexity and started crafting lovingly polished art rock hits from Crime of the Century onwards. However, the material here shows a marked step down from that classic, or even from the moving Even In the Quietest Moments.

The Logical Song is decent enough, though overplayed, Breakfast In America was another pop hit but has little to recommend it, and on the whole the album presents a stripped down and simplified version of the band's Wurlitzer-heavy sound which flags badly in the second part. Slick and polished, but scratch the surface and it turns out there's nothing underneath.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#561447)
Posted Wednesday, November 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are albums on which everything is coming together, the prime of songwriting, the prime of arranging, the prime of performing, the essence of what an artist or a band is about all emerging into one. "Breakfast in America" is such an album for Supertramp. Being completely a world of their own, it may have come as a surprise that it took the world by storm in 1979 - it had nothing to do with the time and whatever music was fashionable at the moment, it was simply meant to succeed because of its sheer quality, the only thing that was necessary for it to do so was confidence, memorable melodies, striking lyrics and a whole lot of ( read my review to "Famous last Words" in which I tried to point out what made this band so very special ) personality.

No one can honestly blame those five guys for having aimed at a commercial sell-out by "going pop", cause if you are familiar with their previous albums then you cannot find a lack of quality but a plus of energy making "Breakfast in America" a natural progression of all ingredients this band was made of, with only... this time, there wasn't a single tune based on acoustic guitar ( well, on "Crime of the Century" there hadn't been any either, so this was rather coincidentally happening with the songs, I think ), "Breakfast" is based on songs that solely rely on basically piano and keyboard-arrangements augmented by John Helliwell's skillful saxophone and woodwinds as well as the driving rhythm-section of Dougie Thomson and Bob Siebenberg ( by then, still funnily altering his name to "C". Benberg ).

Only one thing is deceptive about this album, and that's the title. Breakfast ? No, my friends, this is diner-time, except you are used to having the best and hugest meal for breakfast and during the rest of the day only rely on little snacks !

"Gone Hollywood", one of Rick Davies' very best ones ( well, each song on that album belongs to the very best of his and Hodgsons', so forgive me this rather superfluous addition, please ), opens up the delicious menu. Fade-in-piano followed by an electric-guitar-riff to the powerfully in-bursting falsetto-voice of John Helliwell ( often having been mistaken for Roger Hodgson ! ): "It's just a heartbreaking !" It can still blow you from your chair. Being one of Davies' more complex constructions, "Gone Hollywood" features astonishing breaks and a haunting, moody slower middle-part with Helliwell's sax weaving around Davies' piano whilst the singer's voice is lamenting: "Ain't nothing new in my life today". The protagonist is out of fashion, lost in Hollywood... and his dreams of making it big there, one by one, just fade out of sight. One can only wonder what happened when, at the end, he's finally made it. But one thing's for sure: He had to suffer through the hardest of times and cling to whatever was left of his plans, and the message is clear: "Never give up, hold on to your belief, renew your faith, no matter how many people are telling you that you're only dreamer, no matter how many times you find yourself alone on the ground after having been rejected !" This, of course, is more than the story of a man who aimed at making it big and finally won the battle. It's meant to encourage anyone who's desperately looking for a job, struggling to survive these days... you feel too old ? Of no use ? The System has locked you out ? Then you know what it means: "Now the words sound familiar as they slam the door: YOU'RE NOT WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR !". It takes a lot to handle the disappointment of being turned down over and over again, but there's no sense in giving up. This one's all about stamina !

"The logical Song", the biggest hit of them all, is fitting perfectly afterwards. What have you been taught and where does it lead you ? What is left to believe in ? What's the logic behind it all ? Is it really a logical thing to do as the others do ? The more you follow their advice, the more your life loses what once had made it so beautiful. And from a child who's being loved by their parents, from a special, individual person who is welcome and safe, you're being diminished into a number, one of millions joining the rat-race, made to function and, after all, becoming replaceable. And if you're not willing to do so... watch out, they're putting their stamp onto you, whatever you do or say, you're going to get branded. This world is out to break your neck and rob you off the best of values to be found... either you're bound to go crazy in it, or they simply tell you that you are... no matter how much you fight for your sanity. Hodgson's making sure that a sensitive individual is supposed to feel ( and get ) lost without faith and remembrance of the real values that life itself has got in store. You've got to find ( rediscover ) them inside, and you cannot do so as long as you're filled up with all of the stuff to overshadow IT. The thinking itself will get you nowhere then, the mind has got to be emptied for meditation. No need to tell you anything about the music, or is anybody out there who hasn't heard it yet ? One of the most clever and original pop-songs that has ever been composed, far from being simple, oh no, don't let your mind be misled once more ! It's as good as "School".

"Goodbye Stranger" was, for me, the hardest thing to swallow when I was young. I didn't like the refrain. It seemed to sound silly. And the lyrics... isn't that a sexual hedonist living at cost of those who are willing to give him love ? Exploiting the women ? And justifying his egoism with the need to "have to have things my own way to keep me in my youth" ? What's that ? Funny ? Well, of course, it is. And after having given my heart to no avail more than once, after finally having got the revelation of seeing through "the game" that men and women play, this man has got my indulgence for sure... no pity for those women, sorry. He's right. He's paying the price anyway. He's simply playing for something different than a home. "Goodybe Stranger" is perhaps the most funny monument of song that's ever been written for a "Rolling Stone". And, in retrospect, Rick Davies' hugest and most well deserved Hit-Single with Roger Hodgson's guitar to be the cream of energetic overspill in the fade-out... the man is leaving and there he goes, no end in sight. Not silly at all. Splendid.

The title track is Carnival, or innit ? You're supposed to have a good time with it. Bold. Annoyingly impudent. You're not allowed to blame Roger Hodgson for this, even if you despise it... why ? Well, while Roger had to fight for quite a lot of his songs ( including the "Logical" one ) to finally have Rick agree them to be released under the banner of Supertramp, this one saw Rick pleading until Roger "eventually came around with it". It was one of the first ( and eldest ) Songs that Roger had penned. It pre-dated Supertramp as an innocent attempt at composing a fun-tune. And it's due to Rick's affection for it that we all came to share the fun. What a great performance by the band ! Do not take this too serious. This IS Carnival. And "Breakfast" is a feast. Make it one for yourself and have a good meal.

"Oh Darling" is Rick Davies' most positive love-song ever. The suitor, one which we ought to be familiar with since "Poor Boy" and "Ain't nobody but me" ( the latter may get him in charge of stalking nowadays ! ) is finally succeeding. Well, he was supposed to. He's a charming man. Other than the one in "Goodbye Stranger" he's an honest lover who, at his most sincere, is not out to break the lady's heart ( the lady, once more, is John Helliwell... lol ). But he for sure is as potent as him. Why ? It's the same guy in the end. He's just about to settle down. He became conservative. He became Rick Davies. I love this song, I did it from the start. It's such a pleasure. It made Rick my brother as well ( you know, I felt brother to Roger immediately, and this was the link that served to finally do the same with Rick ). Romantic, enchanting, and, again, fun-time.

"Take the long Way home". Roger Hodgson's self-ironic exploration of stardom. Everything he's good at in a single song. For a long time it was this one, the next one and the final one that, to me, were best on this album. Nowadays I'm not able to choose anymore. You may be out for more serious stuff, more proggy and lengthy ones. I don't think this is any inferior, musically. It's only more entertaining. Sooo clever... and so moving, still. Brilliant as can be. Roger Hodgson at the top of the game, the arrangement being no less than a revelation ( with huge contributions of all the others, especially Rick ). If you don't like this, then you simply never got around to the essence of this band.

"Lord is it mine". Roger's grand ballad on the album. A prayer in song. Magnificent, soaring, once more expressing his inner quest as well as his need to find a place of his own in this world... no one else but the man who wrote "Hide in your Shell", "Even in the quietest moments" and "Babaji" could have done this. A song like an island. Love it or hate it, but that's what ( and who ) this man is writing songs for: intimate outings of the human being before its creator. Shared with whoever is willing to listen. I'm not alone in this world... when I started writing songs, that's what it was about for me as well. And anytime I don't know where to go with my art, best I can do is remember where it started out. With the aid of songs like that, I cannot fail. The heart.

This, of course, is not allowed to remain without a severe counterpart here. Rick Davies had been quiet for too long to not come back with a typically profane, thought provoking outburst yet. As if to make sure that you better wake up in this world now, "Just another nervous wreck", one of Rick's most distinctive, R'n'B-flavoured Rockers, is taking over as the central piece of the LPs second side. Rick's central piece. As average as vintage... you know, it's composed of all the things we came to be familiar with during the years. A strange character about to lose his mind, overburdened by the surroundings he had carefully built up for himself to finally find it's all too much... his house of cards breaking in, so now it's "protest time", the world is guilty... well, is it, really ? It's great how Rick draws that picture to full consequence as the man who loses his nerves finally gives in to left-wing-paroles, fighting the world that left him such a "poor victim". This, of course, he is not. He's guilty. He's been playing that game willingly until his dissatisfaction won over. He's aiming to shoot at the likes of himself... and no one else. Great stuff.

There's only one song on the album that, having a superficial listen only, may seem out of place. It's "Casual Conversations". Quiet and short, even jazzy, it's Rick's ballad here. And, of course, it's not out of place. It's demanding its very own place as a stand-out-composition with lyrics so good you better not overlook. The work-out of a relationship/love affair. Its sad mood perfectly captured in song. Rick at his most evocative, tenderly touching heart and mind. If ever you have experienced the same, this one is going to leave you helpless. Stylish and graceful performance with genuine emotion inside. Entertainment cannot be any better.

The final song, another Hodgson - composition, ends the album on a high note. Here we have the counterparts together, the sacred and the profane, giving us the quintessence of this band. As if it was written for Davies, it's Roger reaching out his hands to him. "We have no reason to fight cause we both know that we're right !". And the long, excellent piano-solo at the end is Rick's as well ( syncopating with Roger's percussive staccato lines ), progressing ( improvising ! ) above the two-chord-pattern that makes the emotional climax of the album . The groove is mind-blowing. It's a burst of energy resolving in a cry as Helliwell's sax roars in. And the lyrics say: Take care, folks. Don't be misled by ideological claims at the "truth". Who's right and who's wrong does, more than once, depend on a point of view that cannot be generalised. All of us are human beings, fallible and in need of each other. Do not judge ! The most wars in this world are superfluous. Maybe all of them. We better make peace as long as we can, we better recognise we belong together as one family before we condemn one another. So if it's another accusation you're hearing, another scapegoat to be pointed ( and singled ) out, another hunt invented by the yellow press or religious/political leaders - find yourself a new ambition !

I needed to raise the rating whilst reviewing this. I couldn't stand to have mine remaining the usual "four-star for PA" only because of it being less prog than "Crime of the Century". It doesn't matter. It can't go below 5 stars. It can't go below the best rating because "Breakfast in America" is Supertramp's best album.

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Send comments to rupert (BETA) | Report this review (#610382)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

With Breakfast In America Supertramp reached the much desired commercial success that so many bands want. Although Crime of the Century has been his creative peak and definitely their best album (one of the best of all time, in my opinion) Breakfast In America is the album for which the group will always be known. No wonder he sold more than 20 million copies, something that neither they expected.

Since it was the late '70s and the golden age of progressive rock was over this is one of the few albums from that period where you find traces of prog ... although there is a controversy if Supertramp is progressive or not (and I do not care). Some of the songs here are among the most famous band and has been run to exhaustion on the radio. Starting at Gone Hollywood, a satirical reference to the cultural effervescence of Los Angeles (where the band had settled in that period). The song shows a typical structure of Supertramp, but at 1:15 there is a curious break and we are led in another direction. An excellent opening track, but not the best here.

The Logical Song is the first (and most successful) of the four singles from the album. In my holiday I was reunited with my family on an island in the region of Salvador and radio began to take this song. I was asked by my uncle about that artist was and even having forgotten the name of that song Hogdson's voice is unmistakable and I then said "Supertramp", so proud of him. In fact this song is absurdly known and is one of those singles that "stick" in your mind.

The album continues and we come to Goodbye Stranger and the title track, two other singles. The first is marked by distinctive Wurlitzer electric piano (which is abundant throughout the album) and vocals by Hodgson and Davies, but the second is another highlight, in my view, even with the smallest song disc is one of the most impressive. Side A ends with Oh Darling, it's just an average song and does not equate to earlier.

Take the Long Way Home opens Side B with his distinctive harmonica vcais and more brilliant, and is another highlight. Well-deserved attention to the melancholy Lord it is Mine, a song can take you to tears - especially with that gorgeous clarinet - while Just Another Nervous Wreck Casual Conversations and are worthy ... of dispensing. Child of Vision is the "epic" of album, powerful chorus, piano and sax converging to a wonderful climax to fade out.

In conclusion, Breakfast In America is a very strong album of Supertramp, but did not produce the same effect on me that's masterpiece Crime of the Century. The fact that he has sold so many copies can leave many with bristly hairs, but do not be fooled - this is a strong album. 4 stars.

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#624652)
Posted Wednesday, February 01, 2012 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After five albums of steady progress Supertramp finally hit paydirt with this huge-selling 1979 effort, an album that would come to define both the group and their quirky, pop-prog sound. Formed in the early-seventies by the duo of Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, Supertramp started out as a fully-fledged five-man progressive- rock group with arty ambitions, a slight pop edge and a very generous Dutch millionaire supporting them through their formative years. A first, self-titled album appeared in 1973 to little fanfare, with Hodgson and Davies subsequently sacking the other three members and replacing them with bassist Dougie Thomson, woodwind-specialist John Helliwell and American drummer Bob Siebenberg(here credited as Bob C. Benberg). This line-up would ultimately become known as the 'classic' Supertramp line-up, producing the group's highly- acclaimed third release 'Crime Of The Century', the album that put the five-piece firmly on the major international map. Two more efforts followed in the form of 'Crisis? What Crisis?' and the superior 'Even In The Quietest Moments' before a move to California culminated in their big break. And what a break it was. Featuring a delicate, rather quirky and very catchy art-pop sound, super-slick production values and dominated throughout by the gleaming tones of the Wurlitzer piano, 'Breakfast In America' was an immediate hit, both with fans and critics alike. Every major rock group has one - a masterpiece that is - and for Supertramp this was it. By now, of course, the group's overall sound was far removed from their progressive past, though fragments remained, especially in the swirling, up-tempo odyssey 'Goodbye Stranger' and the final, lengthy cut 'Child Of Vision'. Elsewhere, sparkling pop nous decorates the seminal pop catch of the brief-but-brilliant title-track, whilst CSN-style vocals adorn the acerbic fan favourite 'The Logical Song'. Yes, it may lean very favourably towards a more simplistic, mainstream-baiting sound, yet the combination of crystal-clear pop-rock melodies and witty lyrical observations make 'Breakfast In America' a truly unique spin of the 1970's rock theme. A key album for both group and year, this is an album that oozes class and never grows tiresome. And as career peaks go, this is a mightily impressive one. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#877320)
Posted Monday, December 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album contains some famous songs such as the title track and "The Logical Song". I consider it a pop, catchy yet intelligent album of crossover prog. I can't help but smile when i hear "Take The Long Way Home". But I suppose this attraction that pop music has is what puts this album in the "cheesy" category IMHO. I stopped listening to this album seriously when I discovered the REAL prog bands, but I still think it's good. If you never listened to prog rock this album may open hour head! This is well crafted music and I respect it very much!

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Send comments to marcobrusa (BETA) | Report this review (#966612)
Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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