Supertramp
…Famous Last Words…


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (112 Reviews)
April 29th, 2016 | 42 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Famous Last Words”, remains to me a great album. It represents the ending of one of the finest songwriting collaborations of all time.

“...Famous Last Words...” is the seventh studio album of Supertramp and was released in 1982. The line up on the album is Roger Hodgson, Rick Davies, John Helliwell, Dougie Thomson and Bob Siebenberg.


Supertramp was born in 1969. After their first two albums, which passed unnoticed, “Supertramp” and “Indelibly Stamped”, the group reinvented their character and career with their third album “Crime Of The Century”. The album was dominated with the harmonic complexity of sounds of the contemporary progressive rock. The arrangements' linchpins were the double keyboards of Davies and Hodgson and Helliwell’s winds. The portentous “Crime Of The Century”, showed the progressive rock ambition. After all this progressive ambition, the group arrived with their next fourth album “Crisis" What Crisis"”. Their next fifth album, “Even In The Quietest Moments”, released after the group had moved to California counts as one of their greatest masterpieces. “Breakfast In America” represents the landing of the progression that took off in 1974, thanks to listenable refrains and tightly crafted arrangements well treated with the minimal detail. “Breakfast In America”, in the course of 20 years, would sell about 18 million copies worldwide. Then, it appears their seventh studio album “...Famous Last Words...”. After it, Hodgson left the group and embarked on a solo career. Davies would never get over his departure.

The last studio collaboration by the Supertramp's original singer and songwriter team, of Davies and Hodgson, is a fine album which is unfairly criticised as not delivering the same quality as their previous four classic productions. This criticism is however not warranted for a variety of reasons. It’s a fine album where almost every single song worth to be listen. The main point which makes this album a classic is the meaningful if melancholic lyrics which put both, Roger and Rick, amongst some of the greatest rock lyricists of all time. Anyway, the album was written under difficult circumstances. It was written at the height of the personal tension between Roger and Rick. For the first time, they wrote and recorded their own songs in separate studios without any face to face collaboration. However, Roger has always claimed that this was always the case and he gave songwriting credit to Rick for many of the songs he had written over the years by himself. So, this was a typical “under pressure” follow up album to the chart topping “Breakfast In America”. Anyway, despite it has a pop focus style, it still remains a fine album with a classic rock edge where the lyrics are amongst the greatest Supertramp’s lyrics, as profound and meaningful as rock lyrics can ever get.

About the tracks, “Crazy” is a typical Supertramp’s song that represents perfectly well their unique and unmistakable sound. “Put On Your Old Brown Shoes” is a song clearly influenced by jazz and blues. I think it doesn’t work so well and represents my less favourite track on the album. “It’s Raining Again” is a pop song, the most commercial track on the album. I confess that I like the song and I think that it’s a perfect example how to make a pop commercial song with good quality. “Bonnie” is one of the highlights on the album. This is a great love song, one of the best composed by Davies, I think. “Know Who You Are” is a song, sad and beautiful, made by the hand of Hodgson. I think that only he can write songs like this. It’s a song with great melody performed by a great sensitive singer alone with his acoustic guitar. “My Kind Of Lady” is a love ballad well sung by Davies, who harmonizes his natural voice with a falsetto vocal. It’s a tribute to the 50’s, one of the best musical moments of Davies. “C’Est Le Bon” is a classic Roger’s song that stood the test of time. It’s well arranged with a catchy melody and good lyrics. “Waiting So Long” is well arranged, very progressive and with fantastic musical performances. The epic development of the song can be connected with their great classics. “Don’t Leave Me Now” closes the album in a great style. It’s a sad song with pessimistic lyrics about solitude and fear of loneliness. It has a strange title considering it's sung by Hodgson, the one who was leaving.


Conclusion: I think Supertramp effectively is able to be counted among the rock's greatest bands, even though they are certainly not among the best known. They really made some awesome albums, especially “Crime Of The Century” which is, in my humble opinion, one of the best albums ever. Unfortunately, in 1982, Hodgson decided to leave the band and ending with one of the best duo collaborations, as composers. For me, this was the final Supertramp's album that would sound like a true Supertramp's album, though the remaining members would put together one more interesting effort, “Brother Where You Bound”, before falling into pieces. There are a few classics here. It has almost all the ingredients that made of Supertramp a great band, one of the most creative, one of the most respected and one of the most successful in the progressive rock music. I highly recommend this album to all Supertramp and classic rock fans.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
April 29th 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Your comments are very well received, as usual.

TwigTW
April 29th 2016


3709 Comments


Sorry to say, I do not hold this album in as high esteem as you. The only songs that made a lasting impression on me are "It's Raining Again" and "C'est le Bon". I will admit that I haven't played it in a long time--since I bought it--so I guess it's time I gave it another spin to see how I feel now . . . Also, I didn't realize that they wrote the songs separately on this one. That explains a lot.

Digging: Beth Gibbons and The Polish National Radio Orchestra - Gorecki Symphony No. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Song

e210013
April 29th 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No problem, man. You aren't alone with your feelings. On the contrary, I know that I'm in the minority. Anyway, this is what I think. I really think that this is the last truly classic Supertramp's work.

Thanks man and cheers.



MrSirLordGentleman
April 29th 2016


12402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review man, album is just "ok" for me though

Jethro42
April 29th 2016


15674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hodgson departure was fatal for Supertramp, agreed. He wrote the big majority of their great songs, and he was all before Davies, the Supertramp' voice and soul.

I've always hesitated between rating this to a 3.5 or a 4. After re-listening to the album, I must admit that a 4 would be fitting more, since the majority of the songs are a 4 worthy or more. ''Crazy'', ''It's Raining Again'', ''Know Who You Are'', ''Waiting so Long'' and Don't Leave me Now'' stand out the most for me (and as usual, Hodgson' songs surpasses Davies ones).

Album really needed a review, and I'm glad it's you who covered it. Very well written, buddy.

Digging: The Claypool Lennon Delirium - Monolith of Phobos

BigBalls
April 29th 2016


104 Comments


I got a boner every time I read progressive in this review.

undertakerpt
April 29th 2016


1584 Comments


Nice to see this reviewed at last. Great band with a pretty solid disgoc from crime to this

Know who you are is easily the best track on here for me and one of the best Roger ever composed

Jethro42
April 29th 2016


15674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes same here, I really have a soft spot for ''Know Who You Are''. Probably followed by another from Hodgson, the last one ''Don't Leave me Now''. As the review said, it's a strange title considering the departure of Hodgson after this album.

undertakerpt
April 29th 2016


1584 Comments


Wow that is strange! I never noticed that haha!

I prey on occasion that Supertramp will do one last tour with Hodgson and Davis, sadly it looks like it's not going to happen anytime soon, and the both of them are getting on a bit.

Hide in your shell might be my personal favourite from the band. Such a magical tune.

Jethro42
April 29th 2016


15674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it would be great to see a return of Roger, but I think the tension between the two were to the point that it provoked a fatal cold. Anyway, it's hard to deal with two captains in the same boat.

Hide in your Shell is a top 3 for me, probably along with ''Fool's Overture'' and ''Crime of the Century''. They have so many win songs though.

e210013
April 30th 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ SirLord

I know that you aren't a big fan of this album as I am. But I know that you like the album too.

Anyway, this review was made, in this moment, because of you. All began when I saw your review of "Crisis? What Crisis?". I confess that I became very admired when I saw that nobody had done a review about it before. Then, I also saw that it happened the same with "Famous Last Words". As I like the album and I also know that many people dislike the album, I decided to make a review of it as early as possible. Sincerely, I really thought that it deserved a review here on Sputnik.

So, thanks dude for the idea.

Cheers.



e210013
April 30th 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Jethro

I really have the same opinion as you. Hodgson was always the voice and soul of the group.

About the rating of the album I always had the same problem as you. To me, "Crime Of The Century" is clearly a 5.0. "Crisis? What Crisis?" is clearly a 4.0. "Even In The Quietest Moments" is a 5.0 or 4.5. I gave to it 4.5. "Breakfast In America" always was a problem to me. As a more comercial album, it's perfect and we can say it was their best effort. But in terms of prog it never was my cup of coffe. So, I think it deserves 4.0. Then, we have "Famous Last Words". And for me "Famous Last Words" is better than "Brother Where You Bound", which is for me a 3.5. By the other hand, their eponymous debut is a good album, clearly a 3.0. So, 4.0 or 3.5 is for me the the only rating for it. As I think that it's better than "Brother Where You Bound", I really think that 4.0 is the most fair rating to it.

About my review, thanks dude for your compliment.

Cheers.



e210013
April 30th 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ BigBalls

Thanks, man.

e210013
April 30th 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ undertakerpt

Thanks, man. As I wrote before, definitely this album deserves a review, here.

I'm also sad as you, but I think the same. It's practically impossible to see again Hodgson and Davies together. It's really a pity. I saw Supertramp alive once in the 70's and I can ensure you that they were a great live band.



TheIntruder
May 1st 2016


409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I checked this album again and you are right. This is a great album. It has all the main principles of their great classics, great musicianship and great lyrics. Excellent review too. Pos.

e210013
May 1st 2016


2256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks mate. I'm glad that we have the same feelings and tastes about this band.

Cheers.

Jethro42
May 1st 2016


15674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just realized that post Hodgson's Supertramp have only released 4 albums, but only half of them are worth a listen: 'Brother Where You Bound' and 'Some Things Never Change', the latter is not bad, but its great moments are limited. I think it's better if listened as background music. It's very bluesy/pop oriented. The t/t of 'Brother Where You Bound' is a fantastic epic that sounds original for any Supertramp standards, and I also enjoy Cannonball. I have to relisten to the rest of the album in search of some other great tracks.

Titan
May 1st 2016


19278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review for a great album that so desperately needed it. I will always enjoy this band, even if my tastes prefer their poppier sound such as this and breakfast opposed to most of the material that came before it......album's title is also very coincidental if i must say so

Jethro42
May 1st 2016


15674 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm from the side of those who prefer Crime of the Century, Crisis and Quietest Moments, but I can see why one can prefer their 2nd generation. Breakfast, Famous Last Words and Brother Where You Bound stand the test of time very well with their pop approach, whereas the first generation songs are rather sheer progressive with a tinge of pop into them, a fusion that doesnt fit for everyone's taste.

And yes, the album title here speaks for itself.

Titan
May 1st 2016


19278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i realize you posted that (album title) in one of your comments above.....as for my preference of Supertramp records, a lot has to do with the nostalgic factor from when i was a kid......my father played a lot of their mid-era albums a lot.....the rest is history baby



on this one, the opener, c'est, and the closer are my favorites followed by waiting so long, it's raining again, and know who you are



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