“Paris Pavilion, 29 November 1979,” began David Margereson’s liner note inside the gatefold sleeve. “This tour has been a hard one – 108 shows so far. The crew has been incredible, as always. Humour and sense of purpose, those old Supertramp standbys, have prevailed despite the severe testing.” The record contained inside that sleeve was recorded on that day: their double live album Paris.
The show on that night in Paris took place in front of 8,000 admiring Supertramp fans, with the band’s commercial stock at an all-time high. The Breakfast In America album had been released in March of that year and sold by the million, generating the major hits ‘The Logical Song’ and ‘Take The Long Way Home’ and going on to two Grammy Awards, albeit not the glamorous ones (Best Recording Package, for that gatefold sleeve, and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical).
So it was that with that album giving the already long-running British outfit to a wider audience worldwide than ever, Supertramp hit the endless road. Their French fans were buying Breakfast in such phenomenal numbers that it is now said to be the bestselling non-French language album in history there. There was nowhere more suitable to record a live album.
Paris contained some of those songs from the current studio record, being performed live for the first time on this tour, including the two big hits as well as the title track. But it was also a showcase for much-loved songs In their catalogue, including ‘Dreamer,’ ‘Bloody Well Right’ and ‘Crime Of The Century.’ The album went gold in the US and UK, and indeed the live version of ‘Dreamer’ became a No. 15 single in the States.
Margereson’s sleeve note observed that this new French triumph was a far cry from the group’s first visit to Paris. “Only eight people paid to get in,” he recalled, “and Pascal our promoter has just had the courage to tell us that he bought six of them!”
Purchase Paris here.
Follow the official Supertramp Best Of playlist.