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Supertramp - Paris CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.66 | 211 ratings

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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 album serves. The original albums are still widely available, as are various compilations. An enjoyable, well recorded album, but far from essential.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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