Monday, January 12, 2015

Roger Hodgson - Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)

Any discussion of Roger Hodgson has to begin with his time in Supertramp, as he co-fronted the band (with Rick Davies) from its 1969 founding until 1983.  Over time, he began to feel less comfortable in the band (a sadly common occurrence) and this seems to have been exacerbated by his move to Northern California in 1981 (the remainder of Supertramp was based in LA).  As a result, Hodgson left Supertramp in 1983 to spend more time with his family.

However, Hodgson continued to write and record (with the aid of a home studio) and in 1984 he released his first solo album -- In the Eye of the Storm.  While the album garnered favorable reviews, it did not perform well, reaching #46 on the album charts, while "Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)" only hit #48 on the singles charts.  It is likely that the fading popularity of art rock and the lack of name recognition combined to hurt sales.

Three years later, Hodgson's second solo LP was released (Hai Hai), but it performed even worse than its predecessor.  Compounding the issue, Hodgson fell and broke both wrists, which prevented him from touring.  He then seems to have semi-retired from the industry for a time, although he has performed more in recent years (he did release a third solo album in 2000, as well).

In spite of the lack of commercial success, "Had a Dream" sounds like a classic Supertramp song to my ear (in a very good way).  The upbeat song and progressive, quirky lyrics lend themselves to the video, including the juxtapositioning of marching bands and military parades.  We view the song and video as something of a forgotten classic.