Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Supertramp Breakfast In America (1979)


To me this was always one of the most introverted albums about so much happening. Its one part catchy and one part thematic. It combined everything Supertramp had at that time and not only made them a good rock band but a very strong progressive rock band that defied everything people tried to label them.

Although they had very strong releases from previous albums, “Breakfast” would sadly prove to be the last for Supertramp within the turmoil band conflicts. However at the turn of the 1980’s this would be a great opening soundtrack for a generation.

Lyrics and Singing: This is one the most self-reflectioned albums ever recorded. The songs were like mini movies and they come off not only strong lyrical wise but musically as well. Its dark and brooding but the opening “Gone Hollywood” showed a band disillusioned with corporations and the not so idyllic lifestyle of nomadic rock stars.

“The Logical Song” is one of the most memorable tracks off the album being written by Roger Hodgson. Its a everyday coming of age story for every young person. Its pretty deep about the loss of naivety and belief in a young person’s life only to see the cruel reality. Ever the truth in such strong words. “Goodbye Stranger” is another one of those character studies you see in a movie but this time its a powerful song.

Davies seemed to rival his songwriting partner on this album and it really shows because I really dug into this album well. From what Hodgson says the title track “Breakfast in America” was written many years before the band even recorded. He said it went through many changes before the final attempt was recorded on here being in its masterpiece. Its full of hooks and catchy lyrics well worth the admission.

“Oh Darling” and “Casual Conversations” were more pop oriented ballads written by Davies and balances the album out nicely with the more introverted songs. Its nice to hear some lighter subjects and not always about the character in mind or what’s in your head kinda songs. For me the personal favs were “Take The Long Way Home” and “Lord Is It Mine” both seem to echo about something deep inside of us. Its borderline spiritual and at the same time nothing more than a complex song about who we are and the need to search within ourselves for something, anything.

Sometimes I come home from work and throw this album on and skip to these 2 songs. I guess relating to the words and songs people write make others think about the simple things and life and the difficult things are what we hope are just a passing phase.

Anyhow back to the article, Rick Davies also rivals his partner again with his composition “Just Another Nervous Wreck”. It seems almost self-biographical in it tells about the rise and fall (about to fall) of the band and Davies’ friendship with Hodgson didn’t seem to go well. Finally we get the closing track “Child Of Vision” and its part jazzy and part pop rock. Something about this final track alone makes you know that the band was coming to an end.

Its brooding and dark but at the same time offer a final glimpse of what the band was capable of. I like it but there’s a lot to think about when something good comes to an end. I don’t know why this album is almost forgotten but its an important reminder for most of us who still think and interact with other people. From what I see I don’t think most people ever sit down and self-reflect or ponder about what life is about.

This is a great album by Supertramp and its also the last of the classic ones to feature Roger Hodgson before he left the band in 1983. The songs aren’t as thematic as “Crime Of The Century” but they still hold their weight on some self reflecting lyrics. I’d say its on par with “Even In The Quietest” but more radio friendly and commercial than “Crisis What Crisis”. I wouldn’t change a thing about this album because the band worked hard to leave a substantial piece of work behind.

This is the one where you put the cassette tape in turn up loud on a bad day stare at the sky at night.

April 3, 2013 - Posted by | Supertramp Breakfast In America |

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