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Supertramp - Breakfast In America CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.95 | 713 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Breakfast, lunch and diner all over the world

After the healthy sales of Moments, Supertramp decided to indeed concentrate on the North american market and was ready to go at lengths to achieve massive success, as the title and the wink New York City artwork indicates. Still with its classic line-up, this album is loaded with hits, although I think that even the group was surprised at the number of successfull 45 rpm singles they pulled out of this monster album, again mostly Hodgson's, most likely on the strength of his instantly recognizable voice. I'm sure that this Hodgson preference did unsettle the balance and ambiance in the group on the mid-term range, because Davies' tracks are at least as good, but not getting the deserved success, despite the success of Goodbye Stranger, one of the most cynical song of the group.

The All-For-America intent is blattantly expressed in the excellent and cynic Davies-penned Gone Hollywood album-opener, with its outstanding middle section. Unfortunately, this type of track gets shunned by the monstrous hits like the superb-but-overexposed soul-baring Logical Song and the wanker melody of the title track, the album's first two hits. Inbetween these mega successses Davies's Goodbye Stranger tunes does manage to pull some attention, but it is mostly due to the song's bitterness, a good guitar solo and unfortunately the awful Hodgson-sung chorus.

The flipside is of the same accabit, opening on the interesting (no more) but also mega-selling single Take The Long Way Home, followed by Hodgson's very personal and emotional Lord Is It Mine track. Rick's Nervous Wreck is another fine Davies track that got shunned by Hodgson's mega-selling hits. I've always wondered if Casual conversations shouldn't have been sung by Helliwell, though. Closing the album is the fantastic Child Of Vision tune, the only track on BIA that reminds us of the progressive slant of the group, with its awesome contrast between the Hodgson vereses a,nd the Davies chorus and the long instrumental finale. In fact, Child Of Vision is simply a stupendous track that would have not been out of place on Crime - its lyrics approach that concept.

If it wasn't the last track, Child of Vision, I would hate this album (well mostly its commercial aura). Although this vinyl has superb pop music, but outside of the scope of this site, this was a major let-down for prog fans, who after Crime and Fool's Overture, expected much more than this collection of pop songs, no matter how beautiful some could be. I still have problems about this album; because of its over-exposure at the time (although I've re-warmed to it in the last decade or so), but the most of the tracks are very Supertramp-worthy. Unavoidable in Supertramp's discography, despite its not-always disserving over-exposure, but I wouldn't call BIA essential listening.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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