Top positive review
34 of 35 people found this helpful
on 8 April 2005
The third album in that timeless four album run from this band (1974-79) when they could do No Wrong. It opens with the timeless classic 'Give A Little Bit' and had the rest of the album stayed at this level we would probably be talking about the greatest album of all time. It doesn't....quite. But the dip in quality is pretty minimal. Only the second track leaves something to be desired. 'Lover Boy' is not exactly bad Supertramp but in this company it sinks pretty much without trace. The title track is Roger Hodgson at his mysterious spiritual best. You are never sure which God he is singing to, but it hardly seems to matter. It is an immensely moving song. 'Downstream' is one of Rick Davies' best piano ballads. Wonderful chords, and a great lyric. Heartfelt and to use that word again....moving. 'Babaji' finds Roger again in happy mood and the melody is outstanding. It perhaps goes on a minute too long to be classified as a Supertramp classic, but that first minute....is nothing short of fantastic. 'From Now On' is one of Rick Davies' three best ever songs in my opinion. It is utterly brilliant. It's a shame that no live version can match the studio original as it positvely cries out for thousands of fans to chant those great lines 'Guess I'll always have to be....living in a fantasy.' Which they never did for some reason. The piano playing and musicianship here is of course as usual of the highest quality. Then the finale 'Fool's Overture' is so brilliant that one is again simply lost for words. This song has a wonderfully melodic and beautiful verse and then crescendos into a wonderful climax of tuneful keyboards and quite brilliant backing vocals. Listening to this track you are quite entitled to think this band were indeed touched by a Great Power. There is also a wonderful reference to the Blue Meanies, those infamous Anti-Music baddies from the Beatles film 'Yellow Submarine'. But ah! Those opening lines: 'Hist-o-ry recalls how great the fall can be'.....Quite brilliant.
As is this entire album bar one track. And that's a pretty good percentage. The follow up to this would be the stupendous 'Breakfast In America' album (1979). But here on this album they shine pretty damn brightly.