ROCK HISTORY: SUPERTRAMP – BREAKFAST IN AMERICA (1979)

Supertramp

Although English quintet Supertramp had somewhat been erroneously classified as a prog rock band – thanks mainly to the success of Crime of the Century (1974) – in fact, their style was a sophisticated blend of blues, folk and jazz pop-rock elements with an emphasis on keyboards (at which both singer-songwriters Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies were adept) and in John Helliwell (saxophone and other woodwinds), they had a secret weapon that made their sound even more distinctive. Allied to the steady work of Dougie Thomson (bass) and Bob Sienbenberg (drums), Supertramp were a force in the mid to late 70s.

Their status as one of the biggest rock bands on the planet was confirmed by the Breakfast in America LP, which would become the #1 best-selling album in 1979. The ten songs on view were brilliantly crafted to maximise the melodic impact and minimise any esoteric elements that tended to drag down some of their previous albums.

In that respect, the first half of this LP was almost perfect with five memorable songs that have stood the test of time. The rocking “Gone Hollywood”, the quirky hit “The Logical Song”, the paean of philandering “Goodbye Stranger”, the infectious Mediterranean romp “Breakfast in America” and the wanton soulful love ballad “Oh Darling”.

Add to these, the opening songs of Side Two i.e. the intense human study “Take the Long Way Home” and the prayerful “Lord, Is It Mine?” and what you get is seven of the finest music ever made in the 70s rock era.

Over 35 years later, these gems still shine through with a timelessness that will never ever fade.

DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

Supertramp will always be remembered as a crucial influence on my music making in my late teens. Formed around the nucleus of two brilliantly gifted singer-songwriters Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, this English quintet managed to come up with a successful blend of prog-rock and pop music sensibilities that resulted in two classic LPs in Crime of the Century (1974) and Breakfast in America (1979) as well as a couple of chart hit singles in “Give a Little Bit”, “It’s Raining Again” and “The Logical Song”.

You can listen to the band’s entire discography at Spotify but of course, check out my playlist for the comprehensive introduction to the delights of this iconic band. Enjoy!

…still there’s more…