Breakfast in America: Number 207 of Guinness' All Time Top 1000 Albums

Breakfast in America
Studio album: Supertramp
Released: March 29, 1979
Genre: Pop, art rock, soft rock

Breakfast in America, Supertramp's sixth LP, is their biggest-selling. It spent six weeks atop Billboard's Top 200 Albums Chart and sold over 20 million copies; the biggest-selling prog album of all time after Dark Side Of The Moon

It spawned four US Billboard hit singles: "The Logical Song,""Goodbye Stranger," "Take the Long Way Home," and "Breakfast in America." Bob C. Benberg, the drummer for Supertramp, has said, "We think artistically we hit our peak with "Crime of the Century," and commercially with "Breakfast in America."

In 1980, the record won Grammy Awards for Best Album Package and Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording. In 1987, The World Critics List's Joel Whitburn ranked Breakfast in America the fourth greatest album of all time. The Guinness All Time Top 1000 Albums' 1994 edition voted it number 207 of the all-time greatest rock and pop albums. Q magazine, recognizing music critics' distaste for the band, ranked Breakfast in America second on its "Records it's OK to Love" list in 2006.

The Logical Song (March 1979)

The Logical Song
Single: Supertramp
Album: Breakfast in America
B-side: Just Another Nervous Wreck
Released: March 1979
Genre: Progressive pop, pop rock
Songwriter: Roger Hodgson

"The Logical Song" was the lead single from Breakfast in America. Written by Roger Hodgson, it became Supertramp's biggest hit. It charted at Number 7 in the UK and Number 6 on the US Billboard. In 1980, Hodgson won the Ivor Novello Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters for it.

Like Rick Davies' "School" from their Crime of the Century album and Pink Floyds' "Another Brick In The Wall (part II)," this song rails against English schooling. The verse condemns an education system focused on categorical jargon as opposed to knowledge and sensitivity. The lyrics were personal for him.  At a concert appearance, Hodgson said of this song:

"I was sent to boarding school for ten years and I definitely emerged from that experience with a lot of questions, like What the hell happened to me? What is life about? And why a lot of the things I had been told didn't make any sense. 'Logical Song' was really a light-hearted way of saying something pretty deep. Which is they told me how to conform, to be presentable, to be acceptable and everything but they didn't tell me who I am or why I m here."

Goodbye Stranger (July 1979)

Goodbye Stranger
Single: Supertramp
Album: Breakfast in America
B-side: Even in the Quietest Moments
Released: July 1979 (US)
October 12,1979 (UK)
Genre: Progressive rock, pop
Songwriter: Rick Davies

"Goodbye Stranger" was written by Rick Davies. Despite limited success in the UK, it was a Top 20 hit in the United States, reaching number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Brett Milano of U Discover Music ranked Roger Hodgson's guitar solo at the end of the song number 98 of the 100 all-time greatest. 

"Goodbye Stranger" is about the freedom of one-night stands. Some lyrics may refer to marijuana, specifically the line "Goodbye Mary, Goodbye Jane." Marijuana is often called "Mary Jane." In this context, the singer is giving up pot. Rick Davies sang lead on this track; Roger Hodgson sang backup and played guitar. 

Take the Long Way Home (October 1979)

Take the Long Way Home
Single: Supertramp
B-side: From Now On
Released: October 1979 (US)
Genre: Progressive rock, pop
Songwriter: Roger Hodgson

"Take the Long Way Home" is the third single released from Breakfast in America. It reached number 10 on the U.S. charts. 

At the press conference for Breakfast in America's release, Roger Hodgson explained the song is about a guy who thinks he's really cool but no one else shares that opinion. He avoids getting home because on the road he's alone with his dreams and in them, he's a superstar. He said the song operates on two levels.

"I'm talking about not wanting to go home to the wife, take the long way home to the wife because she treats you like part of the furniture, but there's a deeper level to the song, too. I really believe we all want to find our home, find that place in us where we feel at home, and to me, home is in the heart and that is really when we are in touch with our heart and we're living our life from our heart, then we do feel like we found our home. It was another angle on the question that ran deep inside me, which is, 'Where's my home? Where's peace?' It felt like I was taking a long way to find it."

Breakfast in America (June 1979)

Breakfast in America
Single: Supertramp
Album: Breakfast in America
B-side: Gone Hollywood
Released: June 1979
Genre: Progressive rock
Songwriters: Rick Davies, Roger Hodgson

The title track to Breakfast in America was a top-ten hit in the UK when it was released, but it didn't chart in the US. In 1981 a live version of the song reached Number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Hodgson penned "Breakfast in America" in his late teens while living in England. It's about a British kid who dreams of going to America and becoming famous.  In a 2012 interview with Songfacts Hodgson said:  

"The line 'playing my jokes upon you,' I think that kind of sums up the song. It was just mind chatter. Just writing down ideas as they came - fun thoughts all strung together. And I do remember the Beatles had just gone to America, and I was pretty impressed with that. That definitely stimulated my dream of wanting to go to America." 


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