This time I’m going back to see why Supertramp’s “ Breakfast in America” was their last huge success.
History so far. The band, whose lead singer and front man, main author was Roger Hodgson, is still on the road, making new music in the studio and tours, with similar line-ups to the one of the super album released in 1979. It is certified that without Hodgson the vibes changed, in and around the band.
My memories. Back then, I was a little kid and I wasn’t interested much in rock music, although radio and TV we had at home aired the first clips and non-Italian songs: I sometimes could hear something appealing, but my childhood toys were others. I heard the title track few years later at school, during an English lesson. Its lyric, actually was used for few mornings to teach us grammar and English terms: this is how Supertramp entered my life and became appealing. The album grew big and it became a classic. I heard the rest of the album bit by bit, songs after song, in the rest of my teenage. I have to say the clips didn’t influence on my following the band, I just kept loving the songs, as they are very radio-friendly. Supertramp was one of the bands who didn’t appeal me as sex symbols and the media of the early 80’s didn’t use the band members’ faces to launch and build up their imagery: they never played that role (on me): to me, they are a group of talented guys who performed interesting prog – rock.
In this case, everybody recognized the front man was the main author of their songs, their lead vocalist, their “face” for a long time and it was profitable, the story tells us so far. I guess success is very hard to manage and to share when it happens to a band: it would be amazing if any band member were a multi-tasking guy, that is able to write lyrics and to play more than one instrument, but that’s difficult, too and it would create tensions inside the group, with or without success. Rarely, so far in the recording industry I’ve seen things going smooth ever in the bands, not to mention the labels put pressure on the bands… this much in any decade. The balance between the musicians who play what one band member writes is naturally fragile, given the sensitivity of all musicians.
DD TV xx