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Roger Hodgson

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Roger Hodgson Hai Hai album cover
1.88 | 69 ratings | 11 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Right Place (4:05)
2. My Magazine (4:39)
3. London (4:11)
4. You Make Me Love You (5:08)
5. Hai Hai (5:28)
6. Who's Afraid? (4:57)
7. Desert Love (5:26)
8. Land Ho (4:06)
9. House on the Corner (5:21)
10. Puppet Dance (5:16)

Total Time 48:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Hodgson / lead & backing vocals, electric (1,2,4,5,8,10) & 12-string (7) guitars, piano (1,6), synth (1,6,10), keyboards (3-5,7-9), synth bass (1,4,7), Synclavier drums (5), composer, co-producer

- Anni McCann / backing vocals (1,3-5,8-10)
- Willie Hines / backing vocals (2)
- Brad Lang / backing vocals (2)
- Claire Diament / backing vocals (3)
- Dan Huff / guitar (1,3,5-10)
- Ken Allardyce / harmonica (1,5), rhythm guitar (3), backing vocals (3,8)
- Robbie Buchanan / synth (1,4,6,10), keyboards (2,3,5,9), synth bass (5), Rhodes (6)
- David Paich / Hammond & synth (2)
- Mikail Graham / DX7 synth solo (3)
- Larry Williams / saxophone (3,9), programming (7)
- Marc Russo / saxophone (8)
- Nathan East / bass (3,6,9,10)
- Leland Sklar / bass (8)
- Joseph Pomfret / drums (1,4,6-8)
- Jeff Porcaro / drums (2-4,6,9)
- Omar Hakim / drums (1)
- Bruce Albertine / Synclavier drums (5)
- Albhy Galuten / Synclavier drums (5)
- Carlos Vega / drums (7,8)
- Lenny Castro / percussion
- Steve Porcaro / programming (2)
- Eric Persing / programming (4-6)
- Rhett Lawrence / Fairlight programming (5,8,10)

Releases information

Artwork: SteeleWorks

CD A&M Records ‎- CD5112/DX 1685 (1987, US)

LP A&M Records ‎- AMA 5112 (1987, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ROGER HODGSON Hai Hai ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (22%)

ROGER HODGSON Hai Hai reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars Yikes Yikes

1.5 stars tops. As Supertramp was to make a dismal album (Free As A Bird) the following year, Roger Hodgson showed them how to do it, but his former group chose to outdo him in that department and clearly won and lost at the same time. If those two albums had to be merged to make one album, this might not even have been an album of some quality, but it is so plainly clear that they (Rick and Roger) needed each other and more than 20 years later, they still haven't realized it.

Largely forgettable tunes from a man that seemed to be doing this album out of contractual reasons (it was three years since Storm), the inspiration on this album seems absent. More importantly Hodgson had by now given in and produced an album with the typical 80's sonic flaws, like that horrible drumming, courtesy of Porcaro. Haï is an ultra-pop album in the typical 80's mode, even though when considering that atrocious decade's overall output, this album isn't faring all that bad, because much much worse had been released. In the meantime, Hodgson's songwriting is now a far cry from his 70's heydays, it's no use to look for something coming up to the heel-height of a Hide in Your Shell or a Child of Vision. Just average pop tunes that even him don't seem to really believe in, but it could be the fault of the era's mediocrity. Some tracks are even reminiscent of tad less atrocious Duran Duran, like the no-less ambiguously named Haï Haï. The rock-bottom of Roger's career must be that awful Land Ho, again a try at these wanker melodies he's given us to stuff ourselves with.

By the end of the album (if you ever manage to reach it), you'll no doubt be suffering of ear damage, and in case your eardrums survived the torture, no doubt you sanity hasn't. Indeed, if there were still some good tracks on the Eye of The Storm, in this one, you can scrape up and come up with next to nothing interesting from the proghead's point of view. But in this second round matchup, when both factions came out with half-baked efforts, Roger's seems a tad less awful, and if one day, he was to re-record the album without those 80's crap flaws, no wonder Haï would get better recognition. In the meantime, Roger evened the score, the damage was now done, but at least Rick's shadow was gone by now.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars One or two songs shine like ' You make me love you' and ' Hai Hai'. The rest is awful. You have been warned. Maybe Roger Hodgson felt the freedom of leaving Supertramp and the personality clashes with Rick Davies were too much but he must look back on his Supertramp years with a lot of pride. Why did it go quite so wrong?
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars No No!

Having given us the excellent "In the eye of the storm" as his debut solo offering, hopes were high that the follow up would be another fine post-Supertramp album. Hodgson had been instrumental in guiding Supertramp to some fine progressive rock moments, and these had continued on that first album.

Unfortunately, with "Hai Hai", he lost the plot completely and came up with a thoroughly disappointing album. Hodgson himself now admits that when the album was released he was "very confused and disconnected from the music industry". He took well meaning, but ultimately misguided, advice from his record company and manager to attempt to create another hit single, in the hope of re-establishing him as a major solo artist.

Hodgson also cites the use of high profile session musicians, who quickly inflated the cost of making the album, as having a detrimental effect. He later said that those musicians imposed their personalities on the recording, to the virtual exclusion of his own. Even Roger now says he does not like the album.

So what is it which makes "Hai Hai" so disappointing? Well, it was recorded at Hodgson's studios in California, but the first single to be taken from it ("London") by Roger's own admission reflected his "yearning for England". The 10 songs are all single length, with little development, and basic instrumentation. All the progressive magic which had made "In the eye of the storm" so appealing has been unceremoniously dumped by the wayside, to be replaced by funky beats and puerile lyrics ("I wish I was in London, I really miss the rain, I wish I was in England, I really miss the Queen").

Occasionally, tracks like "You make me love you" throw up a reasonably melody, but even here it is squandered beside an over repetitive chorus and a chronic lack of adventure. "Desert love" is another case in point, a song which has the potential to be developed into something passionate and memorable, but which is allowed to drift along for a few minutes without truly getting started, then simply fade away. Lyrically, "House on the corner" is the only track with any real depth, but the insightful nature of the words is at odds with the flippant, jaunty melody. "Puppet dance" is the only other track of any merit at all, being a reasonable abbreviation of Supertramp's "Hide in your shell". Things really plumb the depths on the title track, which uses every pop cliché in the book, and still sounds awful. The track has an 80's Genesis plastic synth beat and lyrics which would embarrass a child.

In all, a very disappointing affair, geared exclusively towards the pop market, but even in that environment it was sub-standard.

Interesting footnote 1. It seems the album was jinxed from the start. Just before it was released, Hodgson fell off a ladder, breaking both his wrists and incurring minor concussion.

Interesting footnote 2. My copy of the LP was bought from a second hand store. The price started at £5.50, and reduced in 50p decrements until I finally bought it for 50p!

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I never quite understood why this album always gets so horribly low ratings. Except for a few weaker songs, this album is in fact very good, with songs like "Desert Love" and the title track being one of Hodgson's best works. Of course, the pop influences are not easy to ignore, but at least it's good and well constructed pop, not such teenage bubblegum pop which was mostly the case for late 80's pop/rock albums. The instruments are well played and Hodgson's voice is present in is usualy Supertramp fashion.

You can still hear a hint of Supertramp influences here, though not as present as on "In The Eye of The Storm", notably in the acoustic parts and, of course, Hodgson's keyboard playing. Regular Progressive Rock fans will most likely hat this, but if you like Supertramp/Hodgson's more poppy songs and are a bit open-minded at the same time, you'll see that this album have qualities too, though not as strong maybe.

Should be given a try if you liked "In The Eye of The Storm". A very good release overall, at least in my huble opinion! I'll give this one 3.5/5.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars This was a very difficult album to review. When an artist that you profoundly respect, records such a work, to describe it and rate it will inevitably lead to some major disappointment.

How could such a musical genius write such poor songs? I don't understand. The major problem with this album is that almost all songs sound miserable. Some sub-par AOR (''My Magazine'') or pop tunes with no flair nor texture (''You Make Me Love You''). And what to think about this weak reggae song (''London'') and the avoidable synth pop ''Who's Afraid''?

There is really no need to do a track by track review, since this uniform work offers little to write home about. This type of record is best avoided IMO. If not, it is best forgettable after a couple of spins.

I doubt that lots of people will be willing to repeat the experience on and on. At least it is not my case. There is only one rating possible unfortunately: one star. Sorry Roger, but you did it.

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.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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: Land Ho (4:06)

*** star songs: Right Place (4:05) You Make Me Love You (5:08) Hai Hai (5:28) Who's Afraid? (4:57) Desert Love (5:26) House On The Corner (5:21) Puppet Dance (5:16)

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

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars 1987 was a bad year for the left over remnants of Supertramp as Rick Davies released the awful "Free as a Bird" (under the Supertramp moniker that he continued to keep alive) and Roger Hodgson released the uninspired pop of "Hai Hai". The previous albums both artists released close to the same time ("Brother Where You Bound" and "In the Eye of the Storm") were pretty decent and would have made quite an amazing album if the two previously co-leaders of Supertramp had stayed together, and it seemed as if the two artist might be able to be respectable on their own. But, 1987 proved that this was a false hope as this time, both albums would be releases that should be forgotten.

"Hai Hai" follows Hodgson's previous album by continuing on the pop path, but leaving out any indication that much of his previous music at least followed some progressive practices. This album was a half-hearted attempt to go completely commercial. This time there were no long tracks and any of them were playable on the radio, for the most part. Hodgson could have at least tried to make a decent pop album by giving it some heart, but instead, he leaves it out. Sure, the album starts out with some nice bright pop with the first three songs; "Right Place", "My Magazine", and the reggae- influenced "London" tries to find a foot hold in the synth-laden pop of the 80's, and just about gets there, but, all hope is lost when you reach the completely washed-out, assembly-line pop sound of "You Make Me Love You". It seems that Hodgson can't redeem the album after this point, and the rest of the songs just don't seem to create any excitement becoming quite pointless and uninteresting. Not even "Land Ho", a leftover song from the Supertramp days, written by both Hodgson and Davies, can't save this.

Since I had been a long-time Supertramp fan, I was very disappointed after hearing this album the first time. Even after hearing it several times, it fails to make any impression on me, even in a pop-music sense. Hodgson just didn't seem to be sold on these tracks much either. There was no tour for this album either, as Hodgson was involved in an accident a week after it was released, that left him unable to use his hands for quite some time. After this point, I lost all interest in his solo career and didn't take any time to hear any of his following albums for quite some time. I did keep some interest in Rick Davies' Supertramp, but not a lot of hope. However, at least they were able to release one decent album many years later, however Hodgson has failed to impress on his own after this point, as much as I hate to say that. It has been a sad loss to what had been a respectable career previous to this album.

Latest members reviews

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 togeth ... (read more)

Report this review (#890658) | Posted by Uncool | Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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 memb ... (read more)

Report this review (#610394) | Posted by rupert | Sunday, January 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I cannot believe my ears when I hear this. Support when Roger Hodgson was with Supertramp, it made the nice progressive model of rock of art in the music. In Hai Hai, it is like a group of music of baby with hello hello the whoopies! Not one of these songs could probably be considered in the king ... (read more)

Report this review (#78350) | Posted by drain-o | Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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