|"...famous last words..."|
|Produced by Supertramp and Peter Henderson|
|Released on October 1982|
|UK CHART POSITION #6 . . . US CHART POSITION #5 . . . GOLD RECORD (1/5/83)|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution photo]
S upertramp’s inability to produce a suitable and timely followup to the smash Breakfast remains one of rock’s more memorable miscues. Instead, with the eyes of the world upon them, they released a double live album (say hello to Kansas for me in the cut-out bin) and didn’t issue any new material until three years later. Famous Last Words wasn’t what I expected to hear, amounting to a limp collection of songs that would have constituted filler for Breakfast. The exception is “It’s Raining Again,” a lightweight but likeable pop song that gets under your skin the way a good Supertramp song should. The whole album sounds tired, drained, an impression supported by the songs’ references to depression, craziness and disappointment. It may be that Supertramp were overwhelmed by their celebrity status and retreated into themselves much as Pink Floyd did with The Final Cut, creating a bitter and sometimes bracing album as atonement. Like that album, Famous Last Words should reward the patient listener, from the Genesis soundalike (circa Nursery Cryme, can’t remember the song) “Know Who You Are” to, well, I’m sure there’s something else to like about it (let’s say “C’est Le Bon” for the sake of argument). What I have trouble getting past are the generic melodies; their best songs were instantly memorable as opposed to instantly familiar: “My Kind of Lady” and “Put On Your Old Brown Shoes” are little more than genre exercises, the sort of thing that 10cc would have thrown a real wrench at. In a strange bit of wish fulfillment, Famous Last Words was the last Supertramp album that many tuned in for. Maybe they should have called their next album ...Whatever Happened To... Incidentally, as I’m a stickler for punctuation (I have no life to speak of), I have to say that the ellipses used in the title are probably incorrect, since an ellipsis usually implies missing text, and I’m not sure that anything is missing before or after “famous last words.” Missing from it, well, that’s another story.
|SP-3732 back cover||SP-3732 lyric sleeve|
RICK DAVIES -- vocals, keyboards
JOHN HELLIWELL -- saxophones, keyboards
ROGER HODGSON -- vocals, keyboards, guitars
BOB SIEBENBERG -- drums
DOUGIE THOMSON -- bass
Claire Diament -- backing vocals (9)
Richard Hewson -- string arrangements (5)
Russel Pope -- co-production, concert sound
Ann & Nancy Wilson -- backing vocals (2,7)
Peter Henderson -- engineer
Ian "Biggles" Lloyd-Bisley, Bud Wyatt -- technical wizards
Mike Doud -- cover concept, art direction & design
Norman Moore -- art direction & design
Jules Bates -- cover photography
Tom Gibson -- cover photography, sleeve photography
return to SUPERTRAMP discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US/CAN||October 1982||A&M||LP||SP-3732||lyric sleeve|
Did you know...
..."Cannonball," "Brother Where You Bound" and "Free As A Bird" were originally considered for Famous Last Words? According to Roger Hodgson: "Because the band was so splintered and the songs were too difficult to pull off, we ended up doing easier songs that didn't need the whole band--or songs that maybe one of us did. 'Know Who You Are' and 'C'est Le Bon' I did by myself. I don't think Rick even plays on them." (Source: Goldmine interview, 3/17/06)
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