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PARIS

Supertramp

Crossover Prog


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jaggrp@hotmai
3 stars A Good live album. The sad thing with this, is the very ` studio` feel of the whole production, there is very little spontanious playing here, if you want a good live Supertramp album, stick with The Best of Times.

Its good enough to say ` give it a go`, but not their best live effort.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6799)
Posted Thursday, January 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
arqwave@lycos
3 stars A fair live album, very solid, but with lack of spontaniety, all the songs sound exactly like the ones recorded in the albums...but... there´s a band experiencing their first eight thounsand people audience, so, enjoy to the point of hearing, not listening

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6800)
Posted Monday, March 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This GREAT Supertramp's live album is a double LP record. The sound is excellent, and the instruments are very well balanced. There is a pleasant live atmosphere and bottom low frequency sound, with just the right amount of ambient echo, so that it gives you the impression that you really attend this show! It seems that the electric guitars are slightly more distorted and hard rock than on the studio album. On "School", you don't know if the young girl's shout is from the excited crowd or pre-recorded like on the studio album. The French crowd is favorably responding. The chosen tracks are obviously sure values: "School", "Logical song", "Bloody well right", "From now on", "Hide in your shell", "Dreamer", "Take a long way home" and "Breakfast in America", among others. The famous French spoken words "(Bonsoir Paris et bienvenue a une soiree avec Supertramp! Nous sommes trčs heureux de jouer a Paris)", just before "The Logical song", are quite friendly! How about the other charming French words about the breakfast taken by the musician before the "Breakfast in America" song begins? "Hiding in your shell" and "Fool's overture" are particularly remarkable. This is a quality live album.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#6812)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
The Prognaut
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I have always said that in order for a band to record a live album, there are three steps to be taken religiously: the sound quality should be exceptional. That means the arrangements aside what the band played in the studio should be completely different and impeccably orchestrated in order to offer an enjoyable performance. Secondly, the instrumentation should vary from the original formula by adding up special features far beyond from what the band is used to do in the studio: backing vocals, classical instruments, improvised guitar/drum solos, etc. And last but not least important: not to rely in live recordings to bounce back in business when the lack of creativity and ingenious start to hold back the band.

There, with all that said, let's get down to it. "Paris" is a 2 CD set piece, recorded live at the City of Lights on November 29th, 1979; that seemed to be a step ahead of what we were inevitably going to listen to in the early 80's. I have always been so harsh on myself about considering this SUPERTRAMP work as a "great" live album, but I rather get off me when I give it the rating of "average" or even "ok".

The SUPERTRAMP guys did their homework with this. They played the classics and the oldies. "Breakfast in America" and "The Logical Song" were assumed to be played rigorously and they sounded off pretty well. It would've been ironic for the band not to shine in Paris, but somehow they managed to do so in a very peculiar way. It's your call for this album, not that I'm arrogant, but there isn't anything close to the term "impressive" inside of it. If you already got this album, you better want to spend your money wisely "From Now On".

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Send comments to The Prognaut (BETA) | Report this review (#6805)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
big_room@yaho
2 stars Released at the peak of their popularity, Supertramp's 1980 double album "Paris" followed up their mega-smash "Breakfast In America" with a typically packaged set of live art pop. At the time, it was especially significant as the first 'Tramp album to span multiple studio releases; it contains songs from the four superb albums still recognized as their best, "Crime Of The Century," "Crisis? What Crisis?," "Even In the Quietest Moments," and the aforementioned "Breakfast." Although missing several important cuts from the era --"Give A Little Bit" is the most bewildering omission-- and dramatically shortchanging the underrated "Crisis?" album, it was still the best 'Tramp sampler around, featuring sophisticated, melodic art-pop gems like the masterful "Fool's Overture," the touching, plaintive "Two Of Us," and hits like "The Logical Song," "Bloody Well Right," and "Dreamer." Expectedly strong performances and the distinguishing nuances captured on this live document made it a worthy release for diehards and newcomers alike.

But time changes things, and despite the fine remastering of this reissue, "Paris" now feels like a for-fans-only kind of album. Songs on "Paris" are rarely more energized the studio takes, perhaps reflecting that Supertramp was always more cerebral than rockin'. Further, this reissue is an exceptionally short two-CD set; no bonus tracks were added to the original release.

Overall, "Paris" is still a good collection of great music, but it is not an extraordinary success, and only 'Tramp devotees are likely to care deeply about the distinctions between live and studio versions, or about the hard-to-hear French-language stage banter. For casual fans, there are many studio anthologies available now that were not present in 1980, and most of them are even worthier purchases than this.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#6806)
Posted Thursday, July 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This a good album live but nothing dynamic. It is much better to see Supertramp live than hear a live recording of them. It gets a bit diluted on the recorded versions. In saying that ' Assylum', ' School', ' Rudy' and ' Crime of the Century' are all great versions. ' You started laughing', not on an album is nice to have as well.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#6807)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It seems that the "mega-success" of the "Breakfast in America"album had an enormous pressure for the band. I have read some interviews with Roger Hodgson done in the 90s, and he considered that the "Breakfast..." tour was the time when the band started to have some personal frictions, and the fun to play together started to diminish. But this "Paris" live album is very good, and being a live recording from the 70s I still consider it a very good recording which sounds better in the CD format (as I listened to this album in CD format in a FM Radio station broadcast some years ago). I think that this album, which has 7 songs from the "Crime..." album, could have been better if the band and the record label included songs like "Give a little bit", "Goodbye Stranger", "Even in the Quietest Moments" instead of almost all the songs from the "Crime..." album (except one:"If Everyone was listening").Still, this is an interesting live album, with very good live versions of "Ain`t nobody but me", "The Logical Song", "You started laughing" (which also was recorded in the studio and released as a B side of one of the singles of the "Crisis?..." album, but this live version is the only available version of this song in an album), "Hide in your shell", "From now on", "Rudy", "A Soap Box`s Opera", "Take the Long Way Home", "Fool`s Overture", and an energetic "Crime of the Century". The original double L.P. had inner sleeves with very good photographs of the band playing in concert (I don`t know if the CD package also includes these photos). I can hear several keyboard players playing at the same time in some songs, so John Helliwell also played keyboards as some of the photos show. But I don`t know if the band also used some programmable keyboards because in some albums and in this album too they gave credits for "Oberheim programming" to some people.But it is clear that they used some "pre-recorded tapes" in some songs like "Rudy" (train and train station sounds, a violin), , "Take the Long Way Home" (in the Harmonica/Clarinet solos, it sounds to me that they "doubled" them with pre-recorded tapes), "School" (children`s voices), "A Soapbox`s Opera" (the choir), "Asylum" (the two final piano notes) and "Fool`s Overture" (Churchill`s voice and other voices). The presence of Roger Hodgson singing his own songs in this album makes this album their best official live album.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#6808)
Posted Saturday, November 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Recorded during the following tour after the highly sucessful "Breakfast In America" album in November 1979, this is my favoriet live album from Supertramp and captures their tight live perfomance perfectly. The songs performed here are very faithful to to original songs, unlike other progbands who like to improvise them a bit (Gentle Giant being a perfect example), but they sound really fresh and renovated. Almost all of "Crime of the Century" is featured here as well as a new composition by Rick Davies named" You Started Laughing", a tune perfectly in their usual tradition but less interesting. This one is definitely essential for fans especially and has become one of my alltime favorite live albums over the years.

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#6809)
Posted Friday, December 03, 2004 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars "Paris" - After the huge success of "Breakfast In America" it seemed like a good time to release a live album. It may have been good timing considering the success of several studio albums; the only problem was that they had the difficult task of duplicating all of the sounds produced in the studio. Unfortunately, they could not reproduce all those wonderful layers of sound in a live setting and the result was that they did not sound like the authoritative progressive rock band that they once were. It was more like a stripped down bare bones rock band missing their pomp and flair. This is a flat performance; although the remastered sound always makes things better, it did not help this recording.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#6811)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having the 2 lp version for almost 30 years now it was time to buy it on cd. Offcourse the lp was played grey !I was also used to play the lp on a minor stereo set and it was a relieve to hear the cd quality. So this is still realy great music and what a atmosphere! It is still one of my favorite live records and good to listen to so once in a while. "Paris" is a live recording when Supertramp was at her top I think.

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Send comments to J@pie Mol (BETA) | Report this review (#35295)
Posted Sunday, June 05, 2005 | Review Permalink
jpmoalmeida@h
5 stars Paris was my first Supertramp Album. It changed my live for ever and the opinion i had about music, i bought it in 1987 when i was 17 years old and i played it over and over again for about 6 months, i remember playing it for the first time in my house with my friends and everyone wanted to take it home. It was a vynil and specially the B side of the second one (Take the Long Way Home, Fools Overture, Two Of Us and Crime Of The Century) were taken to limit of the disc, then i had to buy the cd version. Today i still listen to this concert very often because its a great concert by great musicians. I must rate it 5 stars, because its one of the 10 most ever. Greetins from José Paulino in Santarém - Portugal

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#57100)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really loved Supertramp's live in Paris record. It takes all the intensity of the previous releases to an awsome performance infront of their european fans. It has all the songs you wanna hear from Supertramp, from "Crime Of The Century" to "The Logical Song". Instrumentally it sounds perfect and the vocal performance is very good. If I had to buy only one Supertramp release, as I'm not such a big fan and I really enjoy live recordings, I'd choose their Paris album.

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Send comments to Dr4Wazo (BETA) | Report this review (#75252)
Posted Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's another enjoyable rock concert by Supertramp. With my unfamiliarity of who's who in the band I also enjoy this live album especially on the live vibes generated from the concert. It seems thousands of crowd who watched the band on stage were really enjoyin the show and the band communicate very well with them - in France, of course. The opening track "School" is not a song I'm familiar with but it's a nice song with great piano and woodwind, combined with clear lead vocals. As the sleeve says this tour has been a hard one - 108 shows so far; you can imagine how tiring the tour was. But when it comes into recorded materials I don't see any deficiency of the band performing their music. In fact, this concert sounds like a studio album because the sonic quality is top notch!

The second track "Ain't Nobody But Me" is another enjoyable track combining saxophone and woodwinds in the body of the music that make this composition is rich in textures. Guitar work which resembles classic rock style is also another interesting part. During the break the band communicate with the crowd :"Bonjeur Paris!". Next is the famous "The Logical Song" which is performed excellently and applauded by the crowd. The opening part of this song, where vocal and piano are combined together is really nice. "Bloody Well Right" demonstrates some exploration of the band's music into jazz style through the use of piano. Nice piano solo. "Breakfast In America" is my favorite and it's performed excellently here.

Disc Two starts with a bit of piano improvisations on "Dreamer" continued beautifully with "Rudy". "A Soapbox Opera" has a catchy melody accentuated with piano work and excellent vocal. There is a bit flavor of symphonic style here plus female choirs in the middle of the track. "Asylum" continues the music with piano-based composition whereby the piano sound is like a clavinet. It flows nicely to "Take The Long Way Home". "Fool's Overture" is the longest duration song with excellent piano and keyboard work at the opening part. Am not quite sure from which album this song is but for sure, if I look at the structure and style, this is definitely a prog one. The music flows beautifully with piano as main rhythm section and powerful vocal brings the music into multi verses with different moods. It's really a beautifully composed music - I'm wandering how the studio version sounds like? I'd better find out for comparison.

It's definitely a good live concert album with excellent sonic quality, beautiful composition with nice melody. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#79606)
Posted Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first time I heard this album I was 13 y.o. I heard most of the pop classics made by Supertramp on radio so I was amazed and surprised to hear songs like Rudy, School, Fool's Overture or Crime of the Century... Long time has passed and now looking backwards I have to thank God and my friends for putting this album in my life.

I generally love live recordings but this album has something really special. First: Supertramp knows how to mix very poppish and "light" songs with epical musical monuments as Fool's Overture or Crime of the Century. Second: Every musician sounds perfectly. There are not weak points in the album. From the poppish songs to the "art rock" repertory every note sounds perfect. Third: the magical voice of Mr. Roger Hodgson in the peak of his career. Priceless.

For me, the entire album it's very magical and well played. Starting with School, Ain't Nobody ButMe, the famous Logical song and Bloody Well Right, a side that shows the pop-side of Supertramp. Even when many people doesn't like this side of Supertramp I have to recognize that the 4 songs sounds great. The next 4 songs (Breakfeast in America, You Start Laughing, Hide in your Shell and From now On) shows us a Supertramp side a little different with some musical elements a step closer to something we can call prog. Even when the start of disc two (on vinyl) is the mega-hit Dreamer, the next 7 songs are purely Supertramp art-rock side, with an incredible prog performance on Fool's Overture, the liberated sadness of Crime of the Century, a wonderful ballad (Two of Us) and some great songs like Rudy and Asylum.

Really, a magical live experience with Supertramp in the peak of his career, plenty of awsome musical moments...

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Send comments to progadicto (BETA) | Report this review (#100871)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Supertramp fan had to wait for quite a long time to hear a live album from this wonderful band. This tour (as most of their tours before) is concentrated on "Crime". Since it is a masterpiece, I have little problem with this.

Seven out of eight tracks from this album (only "If Everyone Was Listening" was skipped). There is one unreleased album track "You Started Laughing" and I really wonder why they played it : it is the poorest song of this double live album. I would rather cry than laugh when I hear it !

I am also a bit frustrated that there are only three songs from "Crisis" which is one of my fave of the band (second to "Crime" IMO) with no sign from "Lady" for instance. This was the supporting tour for "Breakfast" and only three songs from the album are played "Take The Long Way Home", "Breakfast in America" and "The Logical Song". I guess that indicates than even then, the fans (as the band) were not over-enthusiastic about this release.

From the two songs from "Even ...", there is a wonderful rendition of "Fool's Overture" : all the studio effects are well reproduced on stage (taped I guess) and this is of course the highlight of this live album. The sound is very good and the audience really seem to appreciate this fantastic number during the show.

Some good numbers from the era are missing though. "Goodbye Stranger", "Even In The Quietest Moments, "Give a Little Bit" and "Another Man's Woman". It was interesting to note that a week earlier, A&M Records (Canada) released a publicity memo stating that a "triple album" would possibly be released of an ENTIRE Supertramp concert.

The entire Paris show was filmed and although clips of eg. "Dreamer" have been seen with Helliwell lying on his back on top of the grand piano whilst singing backing vocals, the entire footage hasn't been released commercially. What a pity ! Roger's daughter, Heidi was born back stage at 7.45pm 11th April 1979, just 10 to 15 minutes before her dad was due on stage at 8pm. She was born in Roger's motor home !

Even if those live tracks lack sound a lot like the studio ones, it is a very good live album. Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#111120)
Posted Thursday, February 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Hope you can't spot any differences

"Paris" is a live album recorded when Supertramp were in full flight, and attracting enormously large audiences. The tracks are taken from the period covering "Crime of the century" through to "Breakfast in America", by far their most successful and creative phase.

There was never much room in Supertramp's live act for improvisation or tomfoolery. The over-riding objective was always to perform the tracks as mirror images of their studio counterparts, to the extent that if you could not tell the difference, the performance was a success (my words, not theirs!). This live collection is thus a sort of "Best of" album including as it does their most successful and most popular tracks. The "Crime of the century" album is naturally heavily featured, with no less than seven of the eight tracks present but dispersed throughout the set ("If everyone was listening" is the missing one!).

There is one rarity here though, "You start laughing". This was originally released as a single B side, but did not appear on a studio album prior to the "Retrospectacle" compilation (the studio re-masters are stubbornly devoid of bonus tracks). It is hardly worth buying the album for, but it does at least add some interest. The version of "Two of us" is notably shorter than the "Crisis what crisis" original, effectively serving as an intro to the magnificent closing "Crime of the century" title track.

The cheering during "Fool's overture" reminds us that this was a visual as well as audio experience, the screen effects which accompanied the performance requiring the use of some imagination from the listener. A hint is given on the inner sleeve picture collages, which include the band playing in front of a huge "Crime of the century" sleeve picture.

The occasional between song banter, sometimes in French, is presumably by John Anthony Helliwell, who acted as master of ceremonies during the band's gig. Given the faithful nature of the performances here, it's questionable as to what purpose this albums serves. The original albums are still widely available, as are various compilations. An enjoyable, well recorded album, but far from essential.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#134030)
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the first ever album I bought and it a great recording. Most of 'Crime of the Century' is on here with better versions of the 'Breakfast in America' tracks and wonderful renditions of 'A Soapbox Opera' and 'A Fool's Overture'.

If you are interested in Supertramp's music, there is no better place to start.

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Send comments to rvro (BETA) | Report this review (#149114)
Posted Monday, November 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Paris is a good live album that may be considered even a solid best of collection to those lacking their studio albums. Almost entire Crime of the Century is presented here. Performance is very technical and almost perfect, which is the major weakness for me. Apart from few Rick Davies' occasional uttering in French, there is not much of a live atmosphere. This is an enjoyable listening and decent capture of the band's most productive years, but nothing more than that.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#179198)
Posted Friday, August 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very special live album and a long time favorite. The LP version has some fantastic artwork which is sadly being lost on the CD version. This album is the best ever argument for LPs in the LPs vs CDs argument.

The music is lush pomp pop-prog with plenty of keyboards. Sax and guitars is added to the mix. I cannot compare SUPERTRAMP to any other bands I know. They are unique and very 1970s. The music is pretty good throughout. The live feeling is most definate there. I am not a big fan of this band though. I hardly know their studio albums. But the music here seems well rehearsed. The vocals is a bit special and takes time to get used to. But it works in this type of music. Pomp-pop is probably the best label on this album, although it has some prog rock influences too. The excellent songs here are Breakfast In America, Crime Of The Century and School. The rest of the songs are good and I tend to regard these 90 minutes as one piece of music instead of single out one or two songs. This is just a very good live album, from cover to the music. I regard it as an almost essential live album although this band is not one of my favorite bands.

3.65 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#223005)
Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Pleasant, but ultimately unnecessary live record

Well played, well recorded versions of well-done Tramp classics. Supertramp is composed of competent musicians that are most at home in a studio, so this record is mostly rehashing the studio versions of their songs. A quick glance at the track running times will tell you none of the songs have been significantly altered or expanded. At most, Davies will occasionally extend some keyboard dazzling (though he is clearly no Emerson) or Helliwell will get a bit more time to flex his sax (though he's no Mel Collins). Furthermore, while the sound quality of this recording is quite good for a live record it sacrifices Supertramp's trademark crystalline production that makes their studio albums an absolute delight to hear.

A good recording nonetheless, but clearly best suited for fans who want a slightly fresh take on Supertramp's staples.

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Send comments to Evan (BETA) | Report this review (#231257)
Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Double live Supertramp album is in fact the collection of their greatest hits (to time). Every band's fan will have many songs he loves to hear, but is it enough for double live album be recorded?

I can't say nothing wrong about this work, but at the same time there are not too much reasons for purchasing of this album. I really like Supertramp work from 70-s, but after listening of this album I decided, that I prefer their studio work. Whenever familiar songs sound there at best as copies of studio recordings ( and often studio versions have much more better arrangements and sound, what is not strange at all), and there almost absent drive or energetic, so beloved on good live releases, It's difficult to find a reason to have this album (unless you're collector).

For sure, sound quality is acceptable, and it is a pleasure to listen band's early catalogue once again, but too bulk and not very inspired musicianship doesn't add pluses to band's reputation.

To be honest, I can recommend good compilation instead of this live work.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#264211)
Posted Thursday, February 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars The unexpected success of Breakfast In America made Supertramp a hot item for over the next few years and the band's label A&M made sure to make the best out of the situation by suggesting a live album release. This idea did make sense considering that Supertramp had so far not released a single live album. The live concert was recorded during the Breakfast In America tour in November 1979 Paris, France and depicted the band performing a show consisting of mixed material from their past few albums.

The final product is quite decent even though I can't help but wonder how the record would have turned out if it was released following Even In The Quietest Moments.... I know that it would mean that tracks from Breakfast In America wouldn't be included, but the possibility of including a few tracks from the debut album does appeal to me more than just performing an uninspired rehash of the studio takes from a success record just to please the mainstream audience. In fact, the only moments where I truly feel a sense of inspiration on the part of the band is where they perform compositions from Crime Of A Century and they perform seven out of the total of eight compositions featured on that release. If that isn't considered a tribute to that album then I really don't know what is!

Paris is a sad album for me since it marks a conclusion to the magnificent chapter in Supertramp's history, a fare well to the '70s sound if you will. With the departure of Roger Hodgson meant that the band would also lose at least 50% of their writing talent and the great soprano voice. All this makes this album all the more noteworthy even if we take into account the promotional aspects of this release and the fact that Supertramp aren't really known for their spectacular live act.

***** star songs: The Logical Song (3:57) Hide In Your Shell (6:55) Take The Long Way Home (4:57) Two Of Us (1:25)

**** star songs: School (5:42) Bloody Well Right (7:23) Breakfeast In America (2:57) Dreamer (3:44) Rudy (7:09) Asylum (6:51) Fools Overture (10:58) Crime Of The Century (6:31)

*** star songs: Ain't Nobody But Me (5:24) You Started Laughing (4:02) From Now On (7:05) A Soapbox Opera (4:51)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#294372)
Posted Friday, August 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars "You go to heaven...what you're going to do ? You gonna sit around a cloud and say... "hey, what a lovely view" ???" ( "You started Laughing", only non-album track on "Paris", words by Rick Davies )

Well, the answer for Supertramp themselves, who were up there by the time that "Paris" was recorded, could have been: "No. I've got to live with the music critics who always find something to complain about and obviously do not want me to stay up here" !

By the time they conquered the world with the Album and Tour to "Breakfast in America" the critics ( who, in Germany at least, had given praises to the album ) tended to write them down. They accused the band for a "lack of spontaneity, only trying to reproduce their studio-work in perfection" and therefore sacrificing the spark of the music itself in concert. It seemed to be no good idea then that, in order to stay present on the market whilst taking a well deserved ( and needed ) break after the exhausting schedule of work they had underwent, the band came up with a live-album next. It had been Rick Davies' idea - not the record company's, as you may have thought when "Paris" had been released to promise another "big time" in the advertising campaigns of A&M... you know ( if you have read my previous reviews to certain Live-Albums ), all those ones who have been made to not keep that promise at all come to mind immediately. And even if you were a fan ( such as me ) you couldn't help but wonder if it was wise for a band like Supertramp, who, in the studio, seemed to have delivered their best already... and, if you had all those albums from "Crime of the Century" straight to "Breakfast", if you really needed to buy "Paris" only because of "You started laughing" !

Was it just another "double with applause additions", a "Greatest Hits in disguise", a clever cash in that, in terms of art and music, was doomed to be inferior and superfluous ? One can only guess how many aspects of the "hard work", that - Davies pointed this out in the booklet to "Retrospectacle" - "Paris needed" in order to be completed, really went into the blessings of "post-production", so it even appears to be an album under heavy suspicion of being a "falsified live concert" for monetary reasons, not capturing the spirit of the moment at all, only giving us an illusion. It may be so, but only the artists and their co-producer know.

What we, the fans, know since many, many years is: "Paris" was not only a clever plan being materialised as an album, no, it remains an irreplaceable pinnacle of our record-collection that all of us can only be thankful for ( and happy with ). Cause the accusations of those critics proved to be of no avail, they weren't fair at all only because the band had stayed faithful to the original ( and unbeatable ) arrangements of their songs. To this day, every listen to "Paris" is a huge pleasure revealing that the band sounded alive and inspired, no less than giving their all into their performances, and even if it was an overdubbed affair, it couldn't have been done with more care and sensitivity so that the overall feel of a gorgeous live-event could be preserved.

And a "Greatest Hits Live" ( though having been advertised as such ) it ain't, either, with the omissions of "Give a little bit", "Goodbye Stranger","Even in the quietest moments" and "Lady". If you want all those ( and any more to come afterwards ) compiled together in perfect assemblage, then, dear radio-listener & record-buyer, go buy "Retrospectacle" and be happy once and for all. No, "Paris" seems to have been compiled for the devoted fan as well as everybody to become one and, if you in any way treasure that band as a part of the genre, the "prog-lover" ! A feast including 7 of the eight "Crime of the Century"-classics as well as the magnificent "Soapbox Opera" and, lord, "Fool's Overture" in full length and glory... could anyone ask for more ?

From the start with "School" to the final echoes of it with the Harmonica reappearing at the end of "Crime", Supertramp make sure that Paris, the "city of love", is theirs as are our hearts and ears. In the meantime we became witnesses that their well known and -loved songs could not only be equalled on stage, no, they could even be bettered, as "Hide in your Shell", "Ain't nobody but me", and, in particular, "From now on" and "A Soapbox Opera" - as my personal highlights of them all - so eloquently demonstrate.

The rockier pieces seemed to be made for stage-performances anyway, be it "Bloody well right" or "Rudy", all benefiting from the atmosphere even if slightly hastened at times, no problem at all, this is live. To hear Rick Davies fall short of memorising the words in "Asylum", so that the verses aren't really complete, is, after all these years, a charming pleaser rather than a miss... that's what can happen when it's live, the man was nervous, he's a human being ! Being an album as perfect as can be, "Paris" is not so perfect at all, and that's what's finally making it a perfect one.

No need to say any more about "Fool's Overture" in its definite rendition, I think. You're completely lost in awe by then, as "Two of us", not in full length but with more directness and devotion, serves as an intro to "Crime of the Century". For one more ( and the last time on this album ) this quintessential look at the claim and failure of man in singular as well as mankind in general "grasping for the wind", in all its musical daringness and disturbing gloom, becomes a showcase for the unbelievable. It's been improved. Can this be ? Yes it can, no matter how much you thought of the Album-Version as simply unbeatable. It's better because of the feel and devotion that this underrated band was able to put into their live-performances. It's leaving me speechless in the end, with stirring eyes and mouth wide open, after all these years. Haunting, uncanny, having imprinted the message of those few but essential words that never ever seem to lose their validity into one's soul: "Who are these men of lust, greed and glory ? Rip off the masks and let's see. But... that's not right ! Oh no... what's the story ? Look... there's you and there's me !" Accusation and confession at once, this one is ought to remind any of us and all the generations to come that, whatever happens, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE !

"Paris", there can be no doubt, is one of the seldom cases to keep the promise of delivering a "big time" and, capturing this band at both, the height of their success as well as their power and creativity, it's a testament of the sheer brilliance and potency that the classic line up of Supertramp was made of. Even if it's an illusion and not 100% "Live" ( for sure they had to rely on tape-interspersions in order to supply the snippets of choir to "A Soapbox Opera" and the obligated voice of Winston Churchill following the clinging of Big Ben during "Fool's Overture" ) it's the definite Live-Album for this band and highly recommended to every prog-lover, offering the cream of "Supertramp-prog" amongst some of their most memorable Hit-songs.

A personal 5-star anyway, the only thing that leads to the omission of one star for the final rating here is: You still have to be a fan of this band, or else this big cake can simply be too much of everything for you. They clearly aimed and succeeded at giving their all. It was the best of times.

To give a personal answer to the question that started this review ( I may be one of a few people to count in "You started Laughing" to the very best of this band ! ): Well... I may be in heaven already when I listen to this album. I'd just close my eyes. And if I open them up again and find myself sitting on a cloud, well, as long as I can still listen to "Paris" there'd be not much better things to do. Heaven is supposed to allow me to or else it isn't really heaven. I gladly appreciate lovely views from up there but I'd like to have a good pair of headphones on and my favourite albums ready and, be sure, Paris is amongst them, sharing the top-spot with some others including most of what this line-up of Supertramp have recorded in the studio as well. Thank you.

Roop.

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Send comments to rupert (BETA) | Report this review (#610383)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A piece of history and part of my youth

I remember 1980, I was finishing school and used to go to a movie were promotional films from Rock bands were shown, and then it came, School in Paris, what a presentation, simply delightful, I had heard this songs many times but this was the ultimate version. Until then I wasn't a fan of SUPERTRAMP and only had Even in the Quietest Moments mostly for Give a Little Bit, but next Wednesday didn't went to classes in order to be one of the first to buy Paris on the days that record stores were the only way to get music, but there was such expectation, that I got one of the last copies.

At the end of the day I was suspended for skipping school, but it was worth, the album is simply delightful, even songs that are too acute to my ears like Dreamer and The Logical Song or others that I never liked as Ain't Nobody But Me or Bloody Well Right sounded wonderful.

And of course masterpieces like Fools Overture and the dramatic Crime Of The Century turned this double LP into the essential SUPERTRAMP release. I won't make a song by song review in this case being that we are familiar with all the material from their studio albums, but will say that even if you are not a fan of the band, Paris is a magical piece of art that every fan of good music should own.

I still believe that SUPERTRAMP is not a Prog band and should be in Prog Related, but this album is a masterpiece of Rock history and deserves no less than 4 solid stars that should be 4.5 if the system allowed it. What I can't still understand is why they didn't played Give a Little Bit, an all-time favorite of the band and fans.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#938283)
Posted Monday, April 01, 2013 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Merely the absence of If Everyone Was Listening and the shift in the placement of Asylum prevents the Paris show from effectively being a live version of Crime of the Century, with songs from the subsequent albums slipped in at appropriate places along the way. With excellent performances all round, the band do justice to their better studio albums from this era (Crime of the Century and Even In the Quietest Moments) and, to my ears at least, improve on the material from the era's less inspiring albums (Crisis, What Crisis? and Breakfast In America). Glorious stuff, definitely worth a listen if you want the definitive live document of Supertramp's most commercially and creatively successful period.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1135941)
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2014 | Review Permalink

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