Supertramp's Breakfast In America released March 29th 1979
By the end of the 1970's, Supertramp had released 5 albums. Though they had become successful in various countries – notably France, where it's the largest selling English album ever, and in Canada, specifically Montreal where the band had been darlings for many years – they still really hadn't cracked the lucrative US market.
On their first 5 albums, Supertramp offered glimpses of pop rock genius with songs like Give A Little Bit and Dreamer, but generally wrote songs with prog rock tendencies, perhaps even self indulgent. But with 2 songwriters behind the band, Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, Supertramp could deliver classic tracks played to perfection.
When the band gathered in Los Angeles in 1978 to produce Breakfast in America, Hodgson and Davies had seemingly made a point of writing mostly shorter, more concise songs designed for mass appeal. The album cover featuring a shot of New York and “Libby” the waitress in a pose reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty was undoubtedly designed for the US market.
Breakfast In America delivered Supertramp's biggest hits (The Logical Song and Breakfast in America both reaching the top 10 all over the world, including the USA), along with Goodbye Stranger and Take The Long Way Home enjoying considerable success as well. To top it off, the album reached #1 in several countries and won 2 Grammy Awards for the band (Best Album Package and Best Engineered Non Classical, also nominated for Album of the Year). But many of the songs here fall flat as well.
Having said this, many people consider this Supertramp's high water mark (personally, i much preferred Crime of the Century). Judging by sales of the album – over 18 million worldwide – i must be wrong.
Mike Lang is a longtime rock radio personality and really loves to give his opinion on music. Follow Mike on Twitter @theemikelang