Supertramp - Famous Last Words

Supertramp – Famous Last Words

90 / 100

Make no mistake, ‘Famous Last Words’ is nothing short of classic Supertramp but something was definitely missing.

Written by: Eric

ARTIST: Supertramp
ALBUM: Famous Last Words
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Rick Davies – vocals, keyboards * Roger Hodgson – vocals, keyboards, guitars * John Helliwell – saxophone, keyboards * Dougie Thomson – bass * Bob Siebenberg – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Crazy * 02 Put On Your Old Brown Shoes * 03 It’s Raining Again * 04 Bonnie * 05 Know Who You Are * 06 My Kind Of Lady * 07 C’est Le Bon * 08 Waiting So Long * 09 Don’t Leave Me Now



With musical tensions growing between Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, ‘Famous Last Words’ would become self-fulfilling prophesy, with Hodgson leaving Supertramp for good after yet another world tour. In hindsight it was probably for the best.

The band had reached a commercial zenith with ‘Breakfast In America’ and from there where else could they go? The obligatory live album ‘Paris’ filled the gap between releases with the much anticipated album at hand arriving two years later selling a massive amount of copies, but something was definitely missing.

The Songs

Make no mistake, ‘Famous Last Words’ is nothing short of classic Supertramp and from the opener ‘Crazy’ the band gave listeners exactly what they wanted, but taking a deeper listen the song was really no different to half a dozen others found on earlier albums going back to ‘Crime Of The Century’ and therein lies the problem.

More or less, the band was going through the motions and the spark was starting to fizzle. Yeah, ‘It’s Raining Again’ is a pop jewel and remains one of my favourite Supertramp tunes with its child-like ‘Its Raining, it’s Pouring..’ outro while Hodgson’s meditative ‘Know Who You Are’ is sublime.

Yet ‘Bonnie’ and the minor hit single ‘My Kind Of Lady’ just sort of fly by in a wave of indifference knowing full well I’ve heard it all before. ‘C’est Le Bon’ and ‘Waited So Long’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me Now’ are a step above the Supertramp norm and more of this would have made for an innovative record, It’s just too bad they were tacked on the end.

In Summary

Alright, as much as I bitch about this album, it’s one I play often from the bands catalog despite its faults and I remember the shock I felt when I heard of Hodgson’s departure.

His solo debut ‘In the Eye Of The Storm’ is well worth the effort to track down and while Supertramp has carried on over the years with albums of varying quality, Hodgson’s tenor and song writing style have been sorely missed.

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