A great carnival-like album
Darren S. Wools | minneapolis | 09/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"although being supertramp's most commercially successful album (#1 in uk & US), breakfast in america is also very intellectual & musically aggressive. By the time they recorded this album, hogdson & davies were at odds about the material & album name. As each of them shared arranging, writing, & lead vocal duties, they were beginning to want more control. Davies did not like the song breakfast in america or the name of the album. Davies liked working title or hello stranger as album title & wanted to leave BIA off the album. Obviously there was a consensus & hodgson won the battle. That's music... it not only challenges the listener but the artists as well. as they look for their role in the band with ideas & control, a great piece of art is produced through argument & consensus. The album is much more pop oriented with 4/4 patterns than previous albums but still retains aspects of their symphonic/progressive rock roots. The album opens with gone hollywood & reveals strong high-octave backing vocals by hodgson which remains the trend throughout. The song contains the tempo changing & heavy piano playing characteristic of the previous tramp efforts. The logical song follows & uses a rock/jazz electric organ/piano which would remain a staple in the album as well. Hodgson's vocals are incredible here showing an edgier & more aggressive singing style. Goodbye stranger is my favorite davies song besides school & has a great organic groove accompanied by more hodgson vocals. Breakfast in america follows & has unique carnival-like sound that has great vocals as well. Then the epic take the long way home starts with its eerie synth srings & more carnival-like stuff. 2 overlooked songs are nervous wreck & child of vision as they possess the same power-charged vocals & heavy keyboards. Although less progressive the album is quite consistent & almost conceptual with pessimistic social undertones which was a common theme in the late 70s in music (rush/genesis/elp/queen). Supertramp also mimics pink floyd in a way with their alternating vocals within songs. It is also very ahead of its time from a production standpoint. Also clarinet became a rock 'n roll instrument after this thanx to helliwell. Sibenberg's drumming is also quite aggressive & inventive. The drumming, though, is partially harmed by the low tuned toms which produces a muffled sound. All in all a great album that closes the seventies & welcomes the 80s."
Quite a delicious "breakfast!"
Bill Board | God's Wrath, Ohio | 12/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though, in 1979, I was a sort of full-time musician; and I guess I believed my guitar player when he told me that the Who had had to change their name to "Supertramp" after that disasterous concert. Thankfully, "Goodbye Stranger" and "The Logical Song" surpassed most of everything else that was released in 1979 (yeah..."Bad Girls"..."The Wall"..."The Long Run"...even Mick Taylor's long-awaited solo album...you know, YOU were there...) And to a you-know-what-besotted 25 y/o musician, I learned of the veracity of the old adage, "You can always tell a good album by its cover" after gazing at the "Breakfast" album cover with an..."enhanced" set of eyes. It HAD to be good, and I wasn't wrong. Between gigs in Atlanta and Mississippi, my band spent the rest of that summer giggling at the cover and trying to learn "Goodbye Stranger." Great music here, folks, and this is probably where Supertramp peaked. They'd shortly lose guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist-extraordinare Roger Hodgson to general ennui and "bad vibes." And after seeing that gent with Ringo in 2001, I realized how important he'd been to the Supertramp sound. Be that as it may, "Breakfast" was where Hodgson and other keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Rick Davies were in perfect synchronization. And that factor, along with the beneficial contributions of reeds player John Halliwell, bassist Dougie Thompson, and drummer Bob Seibenberg, made "Breakast In America" THE album of 1979. Oh and BTW, be sure to read reviewer Alan Caylow's appraisal of "Breakfast" (above) - and if you can ever access the story where Supertramp and Procol Harum shared a gig, and only Procol's Chris Copping and Supertramp's Seibenberg actually showed up, and the two of them actually almost pulled the gig off, playing all the instruments - read it: it's hilarious, and it shows why Rock and Roll was so much more..."prolific" then as compared to anything post-1980. Enjoy yourself!"
First album ever bought is also a fave at age 42? Odd but tr
Scout | Providence, RI | 12/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So, I dug this outta my mp3 collection and it's grown on me so much I've been obsessively listening to it for weeks. Then I realized this mp3 "album" is actually the first real record album I ever bought, way back in 1979 when I was 13. I played it to death back then. And with everything changed in my life, so much in between, it's still really enjoyable. That's pretty cool so thought I'd toss up a review. Give it a try, apparently it's never too late for this one."