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Supertramp - Famous Last Words CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.20 | 344 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
1 stars Famous First Dowhfall

As with other groups before and after them, the stratospheric success of their BIA album and its grueling promotional tours brought some friction between the songwriters/creators. Most likely spawned by the hit-making count, now heavily favoring Roger, and the choice of singles brought forward to the public, this album was definitely not a worthy successor to BIA, either saleswise or artistically. Prophetically-titled Famous Last Words, it sounds like it was probably (I'm extrapolating, here) the last Supertramp album, until Davies decided to keep going, once Hodgson was leaving for a solo career. It didn't look like it at the time, but the situation would eventually grow to immense almost-Floydian proportions, as the Waters/Gilmour feud hasn't much to envy the Hodgson/Davies one. Surprisingly enough, the guest list is including the Wilson sisters of Heart fame.

A rather poor album, graced with an almost-prophetic tightrope artwork, this album was also the first try at Supertramp dealing with the videoclip fad and the two or three examples they produced for MTV exposure only dealt them a lack of credibility among many core fans, if not alienation. It didn't help either that the main "hit" It's Raining Again was another whiny/wanker Hodgson melody, like the BIA t/t, Give, Lady and Dreamer, and this time the equally-atrocious C'est Le Bon is in the same area, so that makes two of them. But Davies' attempt at commercial tracks was close to ridicule ? My Kind Of Lady is a bad doo-wop unwilling pastiche (help Frank Zappa ;o)))) and Brown Shoes a clumsy attempt at rock'n roll.

Even the last two numbers can't save this one from sinking, although they are much better than the rest of the album, they only manage to remind you of other albums and makes this one even more horrendous. Indeed, the 6-mins+ Davies-penned Waiting So Long is one of the only track of this album that would find space (as a filler) on any of their previous albums (bar Stamped, of course), but it has its charms, including a certain moodiness (reminding a bit Asylum) and enough musical passages (among which a Hodgson wailing guitar solo) and drama to please progheads. And the Hodgson-penned Don't Leave Me Now (why did you, Roger?) is also a worthy closer (not sure this album deserved one, though), even if it doesn't match its predecessor, but its melancholic ending is pleasant enough.

I suppose that those dumb MTV videoclips did not help me in not-liking this album, despite the last two tracks. Don't get me wrong, this album is not as bad as I might seem to hint at, but compared to previous works, it sucks the bone. Unlike those, this one is depressingly average, which made me get rid of the album quick. No wonder something drastic would happen after such a mediocre album.

Sean Trane | 1/5 |


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