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ROGER HODGSON

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Roger Hodgson biography
Best known as the one half of the very recognizable duo-fronting SUPERTRAMP in the 70's, Roger Hodgson left the group after the album "Famous Last Words" and turned to a solo career. He recorded a fine first solo album called "The Eye Of The Storm". However, as SUPERTRAMP will make their first album without him "Brother, Where You Bound?" a real success (both artistically and commercially) it became evident that after his second solo album "Haļ, Haļ" and his former group's "Free As A Bird" (both albums were rather poor) that both parties ended up as losers. A reunion seemed the obvious course, but unfortunately egos and business decisions have so far stopped this.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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In The Eye Of The StormIn The Eye Of The Storm
A&M 1984
Audio CD$4.51
$4.22 (used)
Hai HaiHai Hai
Import · Remastered
Universal Import 2006
Audio CD$5.23
$4.00 (used)
Open The DoorOpen The Door
Single
Red Spear Music 2000
Audio CD$17.88
$18.15 (used)
Classics LiveClassics Live
Single
Red Spear Music 2010
Audio CD$15.32
Rites of PassageRites of Passage
Import
Unichord/Voiceprint 2010
Audio CD$4.10
$7.97 (used)
Hai Hai by Hodgson,Roger (1989-02-06)Hai Hai by Hodgson,Roger (1989-02-06)
A&M/Universal Int'l
Audio CD$22.12
Open the DoorOpen the Door
Import
Sbme Import 2006
Audio CD$58.95
$26.95 (used)
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ROGER HODGSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROGER HODGSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.37 | 71 ratings
In The Eye Of The Storm
1984
1.80 | 45 ratings
Hai Hai
1987
3.18 | 42 ratings
Open the Door
2000

ROGER HODGSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.17 | 23 ratings
Rites Of Passage
1997
4.17 | 6 ratings
Classics Live
2011

ROGER HODGSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.15 | 18 ratings
Take the Long Way Home - Live in Montreal
2006

ROGER HODGSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ROGER HODGSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ROGER HODGSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Eye Of The Storm by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.37 | 71 ratings

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In The Eye Of The Storm
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Having been such a huge Supertramp fan, I was really excited for this album when it came out, and I wasn't disappointed back then either, I thought the album was terrific. Now, many years later, I still enjoy it, but I don't love it as much as I did. It is a well crafted album, for sure, but it is an album that tends to lose it's draw after time, unlike the Supertramp album released around the same time under the direction of the other Supertramp leader, Rick Davies. That album has definitely withstood the test of time and has actually gotten better over the years. It's too bad that the two leads had to break up because they were perfect together, and they probably would have continued to produce top quality work. While Supertramp's "Brother Where You Bound" was top notch progressive rock, Roger's "In the Eye of the Storm" only retained progressiveness in the length of the songs on this album, but it is definitely a pop album, even though the music is of the best quality of pop.

If this album and "BWYB" had been release together as a double Supertramp album, we would have had a Supertramp album as good as any of their best. That would have been in a perfect world. Alas, the next albums that Roger and Supertramp put out were both mediocre attempts at trying out new sounds to fit with the 80s, and that was a sad thing.

This album, even if it does grow old after a while, is still a great album and shouldn't be totally ignored, especially by Supertramp fans. You will be satisfied with the piano led songs, that sound like they could have been written at the same time as Roger's "Breakfast in America" songs. They are still very listenable and catchy, sometimes very emotional and beautiful. Those of you that missed Roger's voice in the later years of Supertramp should try to find this album. Then do the same thing I did, make a mixtape of this and "BWYB" albums and alternate the tracks of the albums, and you will have a real Supertramp album. The opening track "Had a Dream" is some of the best Roger Hodgson music ever, and the song immediately draws you in with it's infectious rhythm and lyrics. "Give Me Love, Give Me Life", once the rhythm kicks in will also get you happy with it's bright beat and piano hooks. "Only Because of You" is also a beautiful ballad along the lines of Roger's previous lovely ballads "Lord Is it Mine" (from Breakfast in America) and "Fool's Overture" (from Even in the Quietest Moments). Unfortunately, the other tracks take on a lot of the same style and sound. The tracks "In Jeopardy" and "I'm Not Afraid" are just too repetitive, especially for the length of the songs. I think the main problem is we don't have Rick Davies to balance out the music creating more of a dynamic and variable album that was one of Supertramp's strengths.

Anyway, it's a great album, but I can't bring myself to consider it excellent or essential like I once did. It's not progressive music, it's just highly enjoyable, especially with the first several listens. For that reason, it is a worthy purchase. But, it doesn't hold up for me over the years like BWYB does. 3 stars.

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 Open the Door by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.18 | 42 ratings

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Open the Door
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

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.

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 Open the Door by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.18 | 42 ratings

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Open the Door
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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) (8:54) For Every Man (4:44)

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

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 Hai Hai by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1987
1.80 | 45 ratings

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Hai Hai
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

1 stars I've been trying to avoid this album even though I grew a fondness for it's predecessor, In The Eye Of The Storm, but after finding out that it's successor, Open The Door, was also quite enjoyable there really was no way for me to avoid Hai Hai! How bad could it possibly be, I thought to myself? Let's dive in and find out...

The first moments of this record suggested that I wouldn't like the rest due to the introductory '80s synths and drum sounds. But this is really not the biggest problem that plagues Hai Hai since this record is filled with hollow songwriting that I would compare to a visit to a fast food franchise of your choice. It certainly fills your ears up with sounds but leave you pretty empty once it's over. Roger Hodgson's vocals are just as charismatic as ever but there just doesn't seem to be any purpose to any of these performances. All the session musicians seem to do their job just right but all it does is cover the lackluster songwriting. Songs seem to linger on for long periods without any excitement or passion to them and the moment that actually sound exciting are only glimpses of Hodgson's past glories.

Unfortunately there's very little enjoyment to be found for me on Hai Hai. Yes, it kind of feels like beating a dead horse, since anyone who likes this record will find themselves in a minority, but I just can't find any sympathy of this record. I'm certain that some of these tracks might grow with repeated listens but the '80s production really makes it difficult for me to give Hai Hai another go.

**** star songs: Hai Hai (5:28)

*** star songs: Right Place (4:05) You Make Me Love You (5:08) Who's Afraid? (4:57) Desert Love (5:26) Land Ho (4:06) House On The Corner (5:21) Puppet Dance (5:16)

** star songs: My Magazine (4:39) London (4:11)

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 In The Eye Of The Storm by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.37 | 71 ratings

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In The Eye Of The Storm
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I've been quite hesitant when it came to exploration of solo careers of different artists in the past but lately I've managed to overcome this barrier and began to uncover quite a few hidden gems!

Roger Hodgson is best known for his formidable career with Supertramp, a band that most of us have come to appreciate over the years. I wasn't even born when Hodgson decided to leave the band and so I obviously had a lot of catching up to do once I discovered the music of this wonderful band. After getting familiar with most of the band's repertoire up until Brother Where You Bound, it became quite obvious to me that my personal music preference had more resonance in the music of Roger Hodgson than Rick Davies. Both of the members had their musical ups and downs but overall Hodgson's ambitious melodies was undeniably the reason that made Supertramp the hit-selling band of the late '70s and early '80s.

Still, I wasn't exactly keen on exploring In The Eye Of The Storm due to a number of reasons. First off, I've never really had time to explore solo projects by some of rock historie's icons due to the time constrain that I've always felt. Whenever the choice fell between another album by a famous band or a solo album by one of the band's members I've always chose the former. The second minor problem was the fact that the record was recorded in the middle of the '80s, a decade that has generally not been kind to progressive rock. I remember reading a few review that mentioned that the production of this album had a distinct '80s sound to it, which wasn't exactly something I was keen on experiencing. Finally, I never read any reviews that had praised Hodgson's solo output to the iconic status that Supertramp's records have been lifted to over the years.

So why have I finally decided to give this record a go? Due to the invention of great streaming services such as Spotify, I was finally able to legally listen to and experience music that I might have previously have neglected. I've recently made quite a discovery by listening to the solo career of Paul McCartney and have followed it up by exploring other solo careers, Roger Hodgson among others.

I found my first experience of In The Eye Of The Storm to be a bit of a mixed bag since most of the songs really didn't feel as catchy as some of artist's previous work but after a few revisits it finally all started to make a lot more sense. The pieces finally fell into place and the minor masterpiece has began to take shape!

The intro to Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy) sounds almost like something taken from a Pink Floyd song, which is quite unfortunate considering that the remainder of the composition is such an enjoyable piece of music. In Jeopardy and Hooked On A Problem are two pretty catchy tunes that I learned to love, even though they weren't all that enjoyable at first. Lovers In The Wind is a strong melodic ballad which reminds me of Supertramp songs like Even In The Quietest Moments and If Everyone Was Listening. Give Me Love, Give Me Life takes a while to get going but, once it does, the melodic hooks really bring a lot of joy to my ears. The only real miss comes in the form of the 7-minute I'm Not Afraid which should probably not have been longer than 3 minutes since it has little content to it. The final track is the crown jewel that brings In The Eye Of The Storm to a majestic conclusion; Only Because Of You reminds me of a Supertramp crossover between Don't Leave Me Now and Fool's Overtune, simply put one of the most gorgeous compositions that have been put to tape!

If you're like me and enjoy Hodgson's work in Supertramp but feel a stigma related to artist's solo albums then let me reassure you that you won't be disappointed by this debut solo album.

***** star songs: Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy) (8:27) Only Because Of You (8:38)

**** star songs: In Jeopardy (5:58) Lovers In The Wind (4:14) Hooked On A Problem (5:09) Give Me Love, Give Me Life (7:33)

*** star songs: I'm Not Afraid (7:05)

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 Hai Hai by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1987
1.80 | 45 ratings

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Hai Hai
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars It seems that many bands, Supertramp included, are greater than the sum of it's parts. More often than not, when members of a great group go their separate ways, they at best become a pale imitation of what they had once been. This is extremely evident in this Roger Hodgson solo.

Hodgson has surrounded himself with an all-star cast. Jeff Porcaro, Omar Hakim, and Nathan East head up a very long list of sidemen, who make this set of songs as slick and well produced as any Supertramp classic. Unfortunately, the best moments sound like rehashes of popular Supertramp tracks, changed just enough to make them seem to be original songs. And since this is Hodgson without Rick Davies, it leans far more to pop simplicity than prog grandeur.

2.5 stars.

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 Hai Hai by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1987
1.80 | 45 ratings

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Hai Hai
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by Uncool

4 stars It's not perfect, but believe me, it's not horrible either. I enjoyed a lot of stuff in here... The best tracks are: London, Who's Afraid?, Land Ho, House on the Corner and Puppet Dance (quite stellar by the way) My feeling about this period in Supertramp history is this: had they stayed together, the best tracks of Free As a Bird combined with the best ones of Hai Hai would have made a great 80's album. I know, it would still be maligned by all you at progarchives.com but it would have sold millions of units and people in the 80's would have pickd this as their favorite.

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 In The Eye Of The Storm by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.37 | 71 ratings

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In The Eye Of The Storm
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by mohaveman

4 stars As a big fan of Supertramp, I remember when this came out and I purchased it, I listened to itoften. If you like the work of Roger Hodgson rather than the Davies part of Supertramp, then IN THE EYE OF THE STORM is for you. It is an 80s album so sounds it, but it still has wonderful songs like "Had a Dream", "Lovers in the Wind", and "I'm Not Afraid". This is not CRIME OF THE CENTURY or CRISIS WHAT CRISIS, but it is way better than anything the band did after Roger left, and better than their last album with Roger, FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

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 Hai Hai by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1987
1.80 | 45 ratings

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Hai Hai
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by rupert

2 stars You have questions about this album because you're disappointed ? Let me try to give you an answer...

First thing - it was the 80s, dear friends. And as the 80s came closer to the 90s, a lot of the "spirit" of the old days that had made musicians like Roger ( by then, as a very important member of Supertramp, of course ) become major artists for many of us, was no longer alive. Some say it was due to the artists that, for commercial reasons, had turned away from significant qualities, as f.e. so many of us blame Phil Collins to have led Genesis into an embarrassing demise that sounded like a betrayal of almost anything the band was loved and admired for until Peter Gabriel and, even more obvious to me, Steve Hackett left the band. It's all too easy ( and, perhaps, a bit unfair ) to judge things this way, I must say here. Every creative man does rely on inspiration, and therefore HAS to remain open for the feel of the times and the people around him, else he was bound to make his output his headstone instead of a sign of LIFE.

The 80s, in many ways, tended to present a more superficial feel to most of us. And we had to move on - and this is what Roger ( and Phil especially WITH Genesis, cause it wasn't only him, once and for all ! ) did here. Most of the music was based on achieving certain emotional effects rather than the good old values of composing and writing. Do not mistake this for a mere sell-out, who ever is writing songs can tell you that their output can not be any more than their personal feelings - being influenced ( INSPIRED ! ) by whatever is around them and, by the time, is leaving an impression - allow it to be. And I remember well that there was a special feel at the time that many of us did share, this resulting in attempts to capture and share it in terms of energy that was determined to be felt when we started performing. The "mistake" was simply that we then perhaps neglected ( and sacrificed ) too much of what was special and valuable at long term for the "kick of the moment". It was a time in which, think of the Punk-Movement, we tended to break down certain values in order to build something new, we did not see a point in just building up and up on what we already had achieved cause we felt the need to sound more fresh and alive. Again, you may say, this was only meant to jump on a bandwagon and "stay up to date" in order to sell, but this is simply not true. I have felt that PUNK had an important message at its time, and I'm sure that Roger - as well as many other musicians - felt the same, though none of us wanted to become untrue to our framework. The message was: "Hey you there ! It's a bore, can't you see it ? You're stuck in sheer self-indulgence by presenting your abilities to play and doing the things you've grown comfortable with over and over again, but there's a lack of spark and it became a tedious affair. Get up from your ass... this is music and music ought to sound alive and fresh, you've lost the connection to what is more important than all your technical abilities !"

Listen to "Famous last Words". No matter how much you may like it, and no matter how good it is - in retrospect, especially - all those accusations weren't that far from the truth. In 1979, somehow being sheltered from whatever had happened in the UK, Supertramp sounded alive and fresh even on an album as polished as "Breakfast" is. By 1983, the concept was a little worn, and "Famous last Words", in spite of all its qualities, sounded tired and a step backwards - or even more. I'm sure that Roger felt the same about it. I'm sure his quest that led to his departure from Supertramp was a quest for new excitement, he wanted to feel and deliver the spark again that he saw more evident in "Crisis" ( and "Even in the quietest Moments", still, I think ) than on "Breakfast" and its successor, cause the making of those had more of a direct approach and therefore felt better ( although they weren't necessarily better ). He could not see how to move on in that framework, he wanted to regain that spark and even get a grip on something new... and, as I said in my review to Supertramp's "Slow Motion", Rick Davies is a conservative man.

This means nothing less than "Hai Hai" ( as well as "Abacab" has to be seen for Genesis ) was a sign of the artist's serious willingness for progression and not stagnation or regression !

The biggest problem with this album ( apart from this and other than Abacap ) is... the artist did not exactly know ( figure out ) where he wanted to go yet, and instead of giving him the time and faith to do right by himself and develop the product to his full satisfaction, the record company ( A & M's Jerry Moss, in particular ) stepped in, worried of a commercial let-down. Roger, open-minded as he is, tried to satisfy those requests and lost control over the final product underway. Do not underestimate the pressures from record-companies, please. "In the Eye of the Storm" did not sell badly, but Roger had to prove a lot since he was only one single person now and didn't even have the established name of "Supertramp" to his advance/favour. He gave way to the pressures long before "Hai Hai" could have become the album it was supposed to be. You dig it: One more compromise, and, in this case, a compromise too much.

It's simply unfinished, on every ( musical ) degree, but it satisfies that certain feel that seemed to make it suitable to the times. And it had quite some "big names" ( for the "insiders" ) featured in the personel/credit-section, supposed to sell it as a "meeting of first class musicians", another sign of faith being not given to the artist himself - but to a "first class production". And, be sure, the feel that I am talking about, it really was in it, and this was what made Roger finally agree to put it out that way... I suppose. You may think I'm talking bollocks, don't you ? But I have proof, maybe the best proof there may be... because: At the time the album came out, I must have inherited and therefore shared this feel. I thought it was great, and not only me. Several Songs, including "My Magazine" and "London", were "DJed" in my favourite Rock-Disco ( ! Not a fashion-one ! ) at that time and the DJ, who became a friend of mine ( and sadly died way too early some years ago ) felt just as excited about it as I did. We thought it was a Smash ! It wasn't. It failed to sell. And me... I failed on buying it because I didn't have the money - it was top of my list - and very soon afterwards suffered from a severe nervous breakdown that had me cold for quite some time. During that time - the worst of music I could have listened to was the music that aimed at certain emotional effects I used to get my "Kicks" out of for maybe too long... including this one.

I had to get back to the values myself, if you like. And, many years afterwards, buying this CD made me wonder what it was that I liked so much way back then. Immature - in too many parts. And that's what it stayed while "Brother where you bound", since I had won my nerves back, maintained its momentum. The simple truth is: There aren't enough of decent compositions on this one, though I still have a soft spot for "London" ( well, that's just a fun-song, no more, and I don't think that "Lady" is any better only because it's being more complicated, sorry ) and "Desert Love".

Apart from "Puppet Dance" ( a gem ) the material is of no higher standard, even "Land Ho" fails to make an impression, though ( preferably in its original form - with Supertramp... lol ) it's not so bad. The feel has gone and the album remains kind of a stinker, and be sure that RH himself is not too proud of it.

I haven't bought any other album of him yet ( except the far superior "Eye of the Storm", of course ), but that - again - is due to ( lack of ) money, not lack of interest. I saw the man live in concert ( because I had been gifted the ticket ) last year and it was absolutely marvellous.

This album is not, of course. It's a bare 2 star. But I hope that I have helped you understand why. If not... well, I can live with that. And Roger can, too. He's a great artist and in many ways he's better than ever. And you can't blame him for having been open-minded, or can you ? You may even recognise his real progressive approach in a failure like "Hai Hai", but then again... not too much, and for sure, nothing like "progressive ROCK MUSIC". Only progression as an artist... as his driving force, interrupted by pressure and then... goodbye for a long, long time, cause you all know that A&M dropped the artist after one flop only. That's business. That's record-companies. And be sure, Jerry Moss is one of the good people in the business, so better not blame him either ( Roger himself, you can read it in the booklet, has THANKED him for his support... a "support" that wasn't really supportive but this was to be seen later for all of us are human beings and human beings are bound to make mistakes ). C'est la vie, not C'est le bon, more than often, believe me !

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 In The Eye Of The Storm by HODGSON, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.37 | 71 ratings

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In The Eye Of The Storm
Roger Hodgson Prog Related

Review by rupert

3 stars "In the Eye of the Storm", Roger Hodgson's solo-debut, came out a short time before his former band-mates released "Brother where you bound", it had even been finished quite a while before, and so. sorry that I'm playing the "correcting teacher's role", it was neither an "answer" to Supertramp nor had it to live up to anything else but Roger's own song-writing standard, it has to be seen and judged independently - while Supertramp had, at least, to live up to this one cause it simply was first of the two.

Some of you you may prefer "Brother where you bound". Honestly, I preferred both of the albums to "Famous last words" then, and both were able to please me a lot in spite of some things that could have been better... and I'm not keen to choose between them. In terms of "Prog-Rock" Roger may have brought us the lesser album, right, he didn't have David Gilmour nor an epic as complex as "Brother" on his one, and it was him, singing and performing his songs, in the foreground solely, though the musicians who accompanied him did well... it was really a "Solo-Album" ( other than perhaps "Hai Hai" ) and serves well to show us two things:

1. ) What, in its essence, Roger really contributed to the band he was in before and

2. ) What was missing now, without the other 4.

And Point 1, in my ears, is quite some more essential things than Point 2, so, although "Brother where you bound" had been a great achievement, it was quite a lot of what had made Supertramp the hugely successful band that it was in the 70s that was down to his songs, his playing, his singing, his energy and spirit, only to have said that.

Arranging... well, that's perhaps a field in which he came to over-estimate his role during the years of battle that had begun when Rick Davies no longer kept his word in 1988, and also perhaps one of the things that keep this album from a higher rating than the same 3 stars that I gave to "Brother". The arrangements aren't bad, but they lack a bit of variety, could have used some additional flavour to the many, many things we were familiar with already when this album came out. The production may be a bit "too much 80s" nowadays and have not aged too well on you, but I quite like the overall mood and feel of it, still, and, on the other hand, it's all of those things and more that make "In the Eye of the Storm" so highly regarded as "one of the best Supertramp-Albums" or "the missing piece" ( amongst the devoted ).

It's full of energy and genuine emotion. It's got a lot more driving sparkle than "Famous last Words" had, a freshness that Supertramp had lost and, sorry, not really regained with "Brother", read my review to that one, it explains why "Brother" nonetheless sounded better as well. This another plus-point, the spirit is alive on "In the eye of the Storm". And there's quite some excellent stuff on it, be it pop ( "In Jeopardy" ), be it grand ballad ( "Lovers in the Wind" ), or be it the symphonic climax ( with "Only because of You" ), not forget the strong opener that for once, though based on acoustic guitar, transformed the energy into a rock-song ( I'd like to call it "Pop-Rock with a prog-appeal" ). All in all, it was still a singer/songwriter-biased Pop Album, distinctively more than Supertramps', that was more one of the "Rock"-Vein but... well, you really better read my review to that one cause I'm growing tired of those comparisms now.

I wanna tell you what keeps me from giving it a higher rating although, same as with "Brother" ( SIC ! ), I like it very much and, depending on my personal condition and feel, find it adorable and worth a five-star during the afore mentioned best tracks. Cause what came to make "Hai Hai" such a disappointing, lesser effort in terms of songwriting, it already began here, though this album, still, maintained the feel of being a direct and genuine outing of the artist who hadn't lost control over the project underway. It had, in parts, lost something else - but not because the other guys of Supertramp weren't there to add it, simply because of the things that Roger had been focussed on during parts of the song-writing-process.

Roger didn't have a pattern. He wrote as he felt and went with his feelings while he wrote. And, in some ways, the energy got more important than the melody or the structure of composition ( and, yes, the arrangement ) was. It started out to be about that "feel" I was trying to have you get a grip on in my review to "Hai Hai", cause, at that time, this seemed to be more important ( in terms of creativity and progression ) than doing another "Hide in your Shell" or even "Fool's Overture". Not that Roger didn't care about melodic aspects at all, but with "Lovers in the Wind" and "Only because of you" being ( very, very beautiful and haunting ) exercises into that category, he probably thought they were enough of "slowies in the old vein" and for the rest he simply wanted to capture the feel he felt excited about. This led to "Hooked on a Problem", "Give me love, give me Life" and "I'm not afraid" to be rather simple but lively knocked out expressions of the state he was in, and, because the emotion was in there, he didn't really work them out to be good songs. Some people even think of "In Jeopardy" as a weaker one, but I don't think so if seen as a pop-song. What this pop-song has in common with the others that I can't rate that high... is the repetitive chant with the same feel as an expression, but this one had been worked out great. The others sound not only unfinished, today they even may sound uninspired, although they surely weren't. It was only... Roger did not develop their melodies and chord-structures any further soon as he "felt" them to be right.

Sign of the times, this is what I say. Given that with "Had a Dream" - although I always think this one could have used a bit more arranging as well - the album starts out great ( and with far more interesting chord-progressions than - I start hating myself, another comparism - "Cannonball" that made up for this with the arrangement ! ) and keeps the good vibe until it ends on a high note again, for the 80s, anyone could have been proud of it, and, in retrospect, Roger can still be.

It's genuinely him. Tragically he got off track afterwards, having quite some hard times to overcome until he reappeared into the limelight again many years later... spirited and alive, and, this has to be said, especially on stage, beating out whatever we could get from "Supertramp" without playing a single song from Rick, but playing one song of the Beatles that I had never heard as beautiful as this: "Across the Universe".

"In the Eye of the Storm" can sometimes make you feel as if you're flying across the universe as well. 4 stars for his fans, 3 stars for this site.

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