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Roger Hodgson

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Roger Hodgson Open the Door album cover
3.25 | 62 ratings | 9 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Along Came Mary (6:25)
2. The More I Look (4:56)
3. Showdown (5:20)
4. Hungry (4:27)
5. The Garden (2:15)
6. Death and a Zoo (7:32)
7. Love Is a Thousand Times (3:30)
8. Say Goodbye (3:57)
9. Open the Door (8:54)
10. For Every Man (4:44)

Total Time 52:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Hodgson / vocals, electric (3,4,6) & 12-string (1,2,7,10) guitars, keyboards (1-4,6,9), harmonium (5), piano (6), pipe organ (8,9), harpsichord & bass (8), composer, co-producer

- Alan Simon / high whistle (1,6), bodhrán (6), harmonica (9), co-producer
- Loïc Ponthieu / drums (1-5,7,9,10), wavedrum (9)
- Laurent Verneret / bass (1-5,7,9,10)
- Denis Banarrosh / percussion (1,3-7,9,10)
- Gerry Conway / percussion (1,6), drums (8)
- Christophe Negre / saxophone (1,4,10)
- Bruno Le Rouzic / Highland bagpipes (1)
- Pascal Martin / uilleann bagpipes (1,6)
- Arnaud Dunoyer / Hammond organ (1,7,9,10)
- Jean-Louis Roques / accordion (1,7,10)
- Jean Pierre Meneghin / Scottish drums (1)
- Gurvan Houdayer / Scottish drums (1)
- Marco Canepa / Morse code (1,10), mixing
- Trevor Rabin / electric guitar & keyboards & vocals (2)
- Olivier Rousseau / piano (2,3)
- Didier Lockwood / violin (3,6,8,9)
- Jean Jacques Miteau / harmonica (3)
- Claude Samard / banjo (3), dobro slide guitar (3,4), bouzouki (6,7), pedal steel guitar (7), oud (9)
- Dominique Regef / rebec (5), vielle a roue (6)
- Jeff Phillips / drums (6)
- Alan Thomson / bass (6)
- Zdenek Rys / oboe (6)
- Pavel Belohlavek / cello (6)
- Michel Gaucher / flute (9)
- Manuel Delgado / Spanish guitar (9), handclaps (9)
- Dan Ar Braz / guitar (10)
- Prague City Symphonic Orchestra (1,2,5,6,8-10)
- Mario Klemens / conductor
- Philippopolis Choir / "Bulgarian voices" vocals (8,9)
- Hristo Arabadjiev / choir conductor (8,9)
- Ilana Russell, Sierrah Dietz, Justine Black, Molly Katwman / children's chorus (10)

Speech by Queen Elizabeth II (1), Rev. Jesse Jackson (3), Ronald Reagan (3), Sevik the wolf (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Human Do Design

CD Epic ‎- EPC 4977392 (2000, France)

LPx2 Epic ‎- EPC 4977391000 (2000, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy ROGER HODGSON Open the Door Music

ROGER HODGSON Open the Door ratings distribution

(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROGER HODGSON Open the Door reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars the normal album gets one star as we all wish that he would go back with Supertramp (as they don't fare any better either). Get the special Belgian edition with a bonus cd of a few numbers on a grand piano and some number on acoustic guitar including a superb Quietest Moment that we watched live Aat the Belgian state Radio 21
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Back to school? Bloody well right!

After the disappointing "Hai Hai" released in 1987, Roger Hodgson was forced to take a long break from recording having broken both wrists in a fall. Towards the end of the 1990's, he performed live on rare occasions, resulting in the only other 20th century release from him "Rites of passage". In 2000 though, Hodgson returned to the studio to record this fine comeback album.

Having received those "Rites of passage", Hodgson does not shrink from calling upon his Supertramp heritage as he sees fit here, even at one point including the harmonica wail which opens "Crime of the century". As a whole, the music is supremely melodic and beautifully arranged, giving it the feel of a new Supertramp album.

The opening 6½ minute "Along came Mary" sets out with all the wonderful trappings of a Supertramp classic such as "Fools overture". Recorded voice (apparently of Queen Elizabeth) leads to jangling acoustic guitar and uillean pipes. The initial children's like verse gradually evolves into an ever opening flower with all the colours of a Hodgson masterpiece. This is Roger at his melodic finest, the supreme arrangement perfecting an already special song.

"The more I look" is one of Hodgson's fine ballads with one of those choruses you simply have to sing along to. His falsetto backing and multi-part harmonies are always special, but here he pushes the boat out to quite stunning effect. The cry of the harmonica which opens "Showdown" reminds us of "School", and indeed the early lyrics do talk of the schoolyard. This is though more of a "Bloody well right", the shuffling beat and jazzy fiddle creating an upbeat mood which contrast with the doom laden lyrics.

"Hungry" begins with "It's raining again" type sax, the song being similarly accessible with a fine sax break. "The garden" is the shortest track on the album at a shade over 2 minutes. It has all the appearance of a light link piece, but has something of a sting in the tale. With "Death and a zoo" we are treated to another epic piece worthy of the top table of any Supertramp album. The rather odd title refers to the Hobson's choice of death or a life of captivity/depravity. The album features a guest list of thousands, but here the oboe playing of Zdenek Rys is particularly atmospheric. The centrepiece of the track is a drums heavy break with jungle noises against a chaotic backdrop.

"Love is a thousand times" reverts to an acoustic backdrop for a lighter piece, but even here the superb instrumental arrangement and Hodgson wonderful vocals create a magnificent whole. "Say goodbye" is a classic Hodgson ballad with pained vocals, alto sax, dramatic drum rolls and a male voice choir. The title track, which segues straight from "Say goodbye" is the longest track on the album at almost 9 minutes. Once again, the familiar cry of the harmonica opens the track, but here the vocals are those of the title track to "Crime of the century", full of drama and suspense. The track has much in common with "Sleeping with the enemy" the opening track on Hodgson's debut solo album. As the track builds Roger throws everything into the pan in a grand melee of sound, rounding things off with piano and harmonica. The album is rounded out with "For every man", a simple acoustic song with an anthemic feel.

Anyone who is still hoping that there will be another great Supertramp album should "Open the door" to this album without delay. This is a truly magnificent effort by one of the most under-appreciated musicians on the planet. Thankfully, Roger has also returned to touring, his one man orchestra show being a truly magical experience.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars His preview album was a total nightmare IMHHO. Some thirteen years prior this release. Did Rodger need all his time to come up with something far much better or was this just a record to fulfil with some contract?

Actually, I don't know but there is no doubt that this one sounds waaaaaaay better than ''Hai Hai'' (but this was an easy job, wasn't it?).

This work does sound as a Trampish one: fine vocal arrangements (but who could doubt about this), nice compositions as the opener shows: ''Along Came Mary'' which a lot of the emotional ''Supertramp'' sound I like very much.

This album is of course no masterpiece. Too much average (pop) songs to deserve the rate. But still: not bad at all either. I would recommend this work to some Tramp fans who are waiting for an illusory reunion. Melody sits at each corner of this album and even if ''The More I Look'' sounds childish, it conveys some nice feeling to my old ears.

I witnessed a Rodger concert in 2002 or so at the ''Ancienne Belgique'' (Brussels). I was like a young child listening to one of his master (but I do have plenty). The whole concert was a fantastic travel through the Tramp repertoire, but he did also play some of the songs from this album. There were not the best of the show (how could one compete with ''School''?) but they were not sloppy either.

Some songs are bottom line pop tunes (''Hungry''). But so catchy.Yes, I guess that I am biased (but at least I confess it). This sound is so much related with my teens that I just succumb to the simple beauty of ''Hungry''. Give me more (or at least a little bit) like these, please!

It is also such a good feeling to listen to something substantially better than ''Hai Hai''! What a relief to review a better work! I just wonder what the big man did through all those years? Feel ashamed? Think of an impossible reunion? Anyway: it is a pleasure to listen to such pleasant songs as ''Death And A Zoo'' which develops quite a bit of a structure during its almost eight minutes of good music. Even if the too much ''Zoo'' tempo is not the best part available during the second leg.

The popish Tramp sound is not forgotten either (''Love Is A Thousand Times'' or ''Say Goodbye''). But actually: who could blame him for this? As long as it is pleasant, and of remembrance of so great times.No one, I guess.

The title track is one of the highlights, for sure. I quite like this album. It is such a great trip back in time (but one might love or hate this). It is hard to rate it: three to four stars? I'll be conservative and give it a three. But you know that I am quite severe in terms of ratings.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It is not a new Supertramp album. But this Hodgson work has many touches from his Supertramp period. And it is a great news, because he didn't recorded solo nothing better than years ago was recorded with band.

Album is soft rock with some world influences, chorus, nice arrangements, but not bright enough. In moments pleasant, in other moments - a bit boring. But two great components just put it in higher position: very recogniseable vocal, and excellent acoustic piano interpts ( or piano - sax moments). Many of songs have this deep deja vu feeling, which reminds me Supertramp sound from mid-70-s. And this is big enough reason just to listen this album.

Small chance this work will attracts new Hodgson listeners, but it is enough pleasant work for old Supertramp fans.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After taking some time off to recover from the misfire that was Hai Hai, Roger Hodgson returned to the familiar territory of art rock with Open The Door. This record is not the triumphant return to the Supertramp sound even though this seems to be the general consensus whenever the album is described. My reasoning is based on the fact that Open The Door lacks the grand sound of the band's work where even some of the big sounding tracks, like the title track or Showdown, still feel quite low key in comparison to Supertramp. Luckily, what this album lacks in arrangements it more than makes up in excellent songwriting and strong melodic sound!

There are plenty of nice melodies and vocal deliveries that will sweep pop music fans right off their feet. Some of my personal favorites are The More I Look, Say Goodbye and For Every Man. Even though I do enjoy these songs quite a bit, they manage to sound more like Cat Stevens than Roger Hodgson - the voice of the legendary art rock band Supertramp. It doesn't necessary diminish the quality of these compositions but I find it hard not to compare these compositions with the much more sufficiently arranged In The Eye Of The Storm. Even the two nods at art rock, on Death And A Zoo and Open The Door, fall slightly short when compared to Lovers In The Wind and Only Because Of You off In The Eye Of The Storm.

It's difficult to dislike Open The Door due to strong songwriting but I still feel slight underwhelmed by the low key arrangements that Roger Hodgson uses all throughout the album. The long list of guest and session musicians does little to remedy this problem. Having said all that, this is still the closest that most fans will get to hearing any new material from Supertramp. This alone will probably make this record a must for fans of Roger's previous endeavors.

**** star songs: The More I Look (4:56) Hungry (4:27) Death And A Zoo (7:32) Love Is A Thousand Times (3:30) Say Goodbye (3:57) Open The Door (8:54) For Every Man (4:44)

*** star songs: Along Came Mary (6:25) Showdown (5:20) The Garden (2:15)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Roger Hodgson's best work came with Supertramp. He seems to understand this. But while his voice was the most recognizable part of their music, he needed Rick Davies to elevate the music above stylized pop.

On this, Hodgson's third solo studio album, he makes a valiant attempt to create his own Supertramp album, but for the most part fall short.

On the up side, Along Came Mary has some of the choral features that make Jon Anderson's solo work distinctive and pleasant. Death And A Zoo has a very strong rhythmic base, and is very listenable, although the main drum lick is a bit too reminiscent of Phil Collins' work on In The Air Tonight. The best track is Open the Door, the only truly prog track, that actuall captures the essence of Supertramp with some orchestration that captures Davies' style.

The rest, well is sounds like a struggle to sound like Supertramp, with too many tracks sounding like weak imitations of classic tracks.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is the closest thing to Supertramp since Supertramp. And it is as close as possible. Vocals are Supertrampesque, lyrics are Supertrampesque, piano are and sax are as well. Most openings are, So what is missing from the puzzle ? Well, it is a bit weak on the orchestration/prog side. It's w ... (read more)

Report this review (#262375) | Posted by franp | Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Very nice album, that reminds me very much of the classic Supertramp material, though not as good as those really. very good songs, very well performed and a must for Supertramp fans, for this is as close as you can get to that amazing sound. Highlights are the opening Along Came Mary the Tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#93700) | Posted by tuxon | Saturday, October 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is an awesome album! Doesn't anyone know that Roger IS Supertramp. He even reproduces Davies lower register vocals on some tracks. The muscianship on this is great. Saxes sound like Supertramp and use of flute and violin solos is refreshing. If you are longing for more classic Supertramp t ... (read more)

Report this review (#35875) | Posted by | Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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