Much of the gleam of the golden era of the 70s behemoths comes from the knowledge that so much of it is unrepeatable. Along with Pink Floyd with Roger Waters and Genesis with Peter Gabriel, you simply can’t see Supertramp ever doing a full Fleetwood Mac.
Since Roger Hodgson (the helium pop genius one) left the band in ’83, numerous attempts – by fans or band – to re-form their classic 70s line-up have been thwarted. So we cherish relics like Live In Paris ‘79, recorded on the tour for their pop masterpiece – and that year’s biggest-selling album worldwide – Breakfast In America, which captures these inspired cornballs at their unified melodic peak.
It’s heart-warming to hear Hodgson and his oddly matched and now estranged co-songwriter Rick Davies (the growly emotive-epic one) swapping falsetto harmonies on Take The Long Way Home and serial-shagger’s anthem Goodbye Stranger. And it’s glorious to witness their solid 70s canvas of arch British pomp pop – Give A Little Bit, Dreamer, A Soapbox Opera, a funk-heavy take on Another Man’s Woman that sounds remixed by Shaft – adorned with the vivid synth-pop curlicues of The Logical Song, Breakfast In America’s romantically up-trading title track and Child Of Vision’s euphoric lift-off.
Hodgson’s tender ballads (Two Of Us, Even In The Quietest Moments) enchant, Davies’s evocative mood pieces (Rudy, Crime Of The Century) enthral, and if Asylum or Fool’s Overture drag on, the accompanying live DVD boasts dancers dressed as Superman, Miss Piggy and Charlie Chaplin as a distraction. It leaves us all dreamers, but we’ll always have …Paris.