SP 5004 In The Eye of the Storm
Produced by Roger Hodgson
Released on 1984
US CHART POSITION #46
Find it at GEMM
SP 5004 cover  

R oger Hodgson left Supertramp to make this mildly Orwellian album, which sounds like his former band affected by Pink Floyd’s pessimism and paranoia. It’s an ambitious record, Hodgson handling everything from writing and playing to production, but better to save your appetite for Breakfast than this bitter entry. Hopefully, you’ll already own most of Supertramp’s albums before venturing into these waters, and for those fans this may indeed be smooth sailing. Yet the opening moments, clearly inviting comparison to Pink Floyd, set my expectations for a concept album that never arrived. “Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy)” is a logical launching point for an anti-war album, but the remaining songs point to a more general malaise borne from modern life. “In Jeopardy” wonders “where is the golden age,” while “Give Me Love, Give Me Life” looks for hope in a better tomorrow. The appeal of Supertramp, so it seemed to me, was their ability to match upbeat melodies with downbeat observations. That happens on “Hooked On A Problem” (which would have been my choice for the single), but otherwise In The Eye of the Storm takes itself seriously. That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, leading to a nice ballad (“Lovers In The Wind”) and an atmospheric closer “Only Because of You.” But it could have been a better album if Hodgson had been able to step away from his creation and add the requisite dramatic touches: additional sound effects, better separation of the instruments in the mix, more instrumental passages. Someone did a very good job of promotion at A&M, because this album (and the single “Had A Dream”) managed to tap into Supertramp’s US fan base despite the fact that Hodgson was hardly a household name. He leveraged the opportunity by producing an ambitious, impressive album that goes well beyond the scope of most DIY efforts. Ultimately, it’s not a case of what Hodgson would do without Supertramp but what he could do without them.

SP 5004 back cover SP 5004 lyric sleeve
SP 5004 back cover SP 5004 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. HAD A DREAM (SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY)    8:49
  2. IN JEOPARDY    5:59
  3. LOVERS IN THE WIND    4:11
  4. HOOKED ON A PROBLEM    5:10
  5. GIVE ME LOVE, GIVE ME LIFE    7:33
  6. I'M NOT AFRAID    7:03
  7. ONLY BECAUSE OF YOU    8:40

    All songs written and arranged by Roger Hodgson

CREDITS

ROGER HODGSON -- all instruments and voices (except those listed below obviously), cover concept
KEN ALLARDYCE -- harmonica on track 6, additional vocals on tracks 2,3,5, assistant recording engineer, assistant mixing engineer
MICHAEL SHRIEVE -- drums on tracks 1,2,5,6,7
Clair Diament -- female voice on track 7
Jimmy Johnson -- fretless bass on tracks 3,7
Scott Page -- saxophones on track 4
Scott Litt -- recording engineer
James Farber -- recording engineer, mixing engineer
Richard Frankel and Chuck Beeson -- art direction
David Coleman -- design and photo composite
Charles Reilly -- photography
Timothy Eames -- globe model
Cliff Boule -- storm enhancement art

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1984 A&M LP/CD/CS AMA/AMC 5004 lyric sleeve
US/CAN 1984 A&M LP/CD/CS SP 5004 lyric sleeve
AUS'L 1984 A&M LP RML 53147 lyric sleeve
BRA 1984 A&M LP 170088  
NET 1984 A&M LP AMLX 65004 lyric sleeve
UK 1998 Universal CD 395004 digital remaster

 

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