"How does a band follow up a mega-smash album? Simple: they just follow it up. 1979's "Breakfast In America" was such a gargantuan success all over the place for Supertramp, that, after the world tour in support of the album, the band took some well-deserved rest for a couple of years before re-grouping for their next disc. However, one of the band's key members, singer/songwriter Roger Hodgson, wasn't so sure about his future with the group, and the next album, 1982's "Famous Last Words," would be his last album with the band (hence the title?). As Hodgson's swan song with the group, "Famous Last Words" certainly has an element of sadness attached to it, and although the album did not signal the end of Supertramp, it did signal the end of an era. It was nowhere near as commercially successful as "Breakfast In America" (how could it have been?), but "Famous Last Words" is still an excellent, heartfelt album filled with the high quality mix of pop, jazz, & rock that this great band are famous for. Hodgson's opener, "Crazy," is a great piano-thumper, while co-leader Rick Davies' "Put On Your Old Brown Shoes" is an excellent shuffler to clap along to. Hodgson's "It's Raining Again" is a very nice, uplifting song (and a Top 20 hit single), and "Bonnie" is a great showcase number for Davies. Next up is Hodgson's haunting, achingly beautiful "Know Who You Are," one of the very best songs he has ever written. If this gorgeous number doesn't bring a tear to your eye, then there must be something wrong with you. Davies then picks things up with the great 50's fun of "My Kind Of Lady," followed by Hodgson's majestic "C'est Le Bon" (featuring Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart on background vocals), and finally, for a powerful one-two punch of dramatic Supertramp rock, there's the double-header of Davies' "Waiting So Long," and Hodgson's grand finale---and, judging by the lyrics, his farewell to the band---"Don't Leave Me Now."After the tour for "Famous Last Words," Roger Hodgson left Supertramp, apparently because he & Davies could no longer agree on the band's musical direction (Hodgson wanted the group to stay more pop, Davies wanted the group to be more jazzy). Since then, Rick Davies continues to helm Supertramp on his own, and the band has since recorded four great albums, starting with 1985's "Brother Where You Bound," and continues to tour. Hodgson has also recorded four fine solo albums since his departure from the group, and he recently went on tour with Ringo Starr, so both camps are doing just fine. While Hodgson may not be interested in returning to Supertramp (and he has said as such), we can be grateful of the terrific music he did make with the band---seven albums worth, in fact, as well as the live double-album, "Paris." "Famous Last Words" is a fond farewell to Roger Hodgson, and a lovely album to close out his time with Supertramp. A definite must-buy. :-)"
C. A. Armstrong | Perth, WA | 04/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember first playing ...Famous Last Words..., around the pool table one cold, dark night at boarding school as a teenager. I clearly recall my initial thoughts, that Put on your old brown shoes was the only Supertramp track that I didn't like, out of every track of every album to date. A good few listens later, it became one of my favourite tracks of one of my all time favourite albums. This album is simply brilliant, with the last two songs, Waiting so long, and the prophetic Don't leave me now finishing off a complete masterpiece with total awe. I literally come out in goose bumps as I turn up the volume to appreciate, particularly these last two tracks, it to their full glory. If Roger Hodgson had to leave Supertramp, as he unfortunately did, he could not have left on a higher note."
You Won't Regret Owning This, Supertramp's Last Classic . .
Jan Gronewold | Midwest | 02/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though "Famous Last Words" came out after Breakfast in America, with similarities in commercial pop songs like "It's Raining again", it features classics that no one should miss, such as "Know Who You Are, C'est Le Bon, Don't Leave Me Now". This is Supertramp's last album that belongs into the "Best" category, along with "Supertramp, Crime of the Century, Even in the Quietest Moments, Crisis What Crisis, and Breakfast in America"."
Supertramp is Melodious
Jennifer L. Nelsen | Sweetwater, Texas | 02/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not too many bands come through with their originality and talent like Supertramp can. And I will always remember this band's unique flare for mellowing me whenever I need to rethink a hard day. Their music plays on even after the cd player is done and we are left with a profound - yet comfortable silence. I would love to see them in concert just once -- outside where the earth and sky surround Supertramp's fine musicians. I'm sure they have ties with nature and all it's surprises. Jennifer"
Last true "Supertramp" album
Peter E Meade | Lansing, MI United States | 08/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After this album, co-lead vocalist & songwriter Roger Hodgson left the band and Supertramp went on for at least 3 more albums without him, though they'd lost the magic Roger brought to the mix. The songwriting and the vocals are split almost equally between Hodgson and Rick Davies on this one and they play off each other well. Beautifully produced, with some masterful 12 and 16 string guitar playing by Hodgson that simply shimmers.
A must for Supertramp fans and not a bad introduction for anyone not familiar with their tuneful, often miscategorized sound."