Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home

Sixth grade…in sixth grade this album and the songs on it was huge.

Co-credited to bandleaders Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, but written solely by Hodgson. They had a Lennon/McCartney song writing relationship that would credit both no matter if one person wrote it.

The song peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 and #4 in Canada in 1979. Breakfast in America peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, New Zealand, and #3 in New Zealand.

It was written shortly before Supertramp went in the studio to record the Breakfast In America album, Roger Hodgson said the song was a last minute addition.

According to Producer Peter Henderson the album took 9 months to record. The reason for this is because there was no There were no click tracks and or splicing of the backing tracks. They all played the backing tracks live in the studio. The result was a fresh sounding album that was a massive hit.

The band refused a $5 million offer from the Greyhound company to use this song in bus commercials.

Roger Hobson: 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.

From Songfacts

At the press meeting when Breakfast In America was presented, Roger Hodgson explained that this song is about a guy who thinks he’s really cool (“So you think you’re a romeo, playing a part in a picture show”), but it seems that he’s the only one who thinks that. This implies that our hero avoids getting home because when he’s on the road he has a few more moments of being alone with his dreams, and in his dreams he’s a superstar.

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.”

More lyric analysis:

“But there are times that he feels he’s part of the scenery, all the greenery is comin’ down” – It seems that in real life he’s “the joke of the neighborhood” (“why should you care if you’re feeling good” is him trying to rationalize) and his wife “seems to this that he’s a part of the furniture.” In real life he “never sees what he wants to see.”

“When he’s up on the stage, it’s so unbelievable, unforgettable, how they adore him. And then his wife seems to think he’s losing his sanity… Does it feel that you life’s become a catastrophe? Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy.” – This is the phase of our lives when we accept the fact that we’ll never be what we wanted and become ordinary, we take it very hard, but we grow into it.

“He looks through the years and see what he could have been, what might have been, if he’d had more time.” – Time is always to blame when we want to do something, but don’t. This guy always wanted to be someone, but he got stuck taking the long way home so now it’s even difficult for him being ordinary: “So, when the day comes to settle down, Who’s to blame if you’re not around? You took the long way home.” 

Roger Hodgson’s debut solo DVD was titled Take the Long Way Home, Live in Montreal. It was released in Canada in 2006, where it went to #1 and sold over a million copies. The DVD was released worldwide in 2007 and is Gold in France.

“Take The Long Way Home” has endured as a favorite: it was chosen as the #5 favorite song in Mojo magazine’s readers’ poll in 2006.

Take The Long Way Home

So you think you’re a Romeo
Playing a part in a picture-show
Take the long way home
Take the long way home

‘Cause you’re the joke of the neighborhood
Why should you care if you’re feeling good
Take the long way home
Take the long way home

But there are times that you feel you’re part of the scenery
All the greenery is comin’ down, boy
And then your wife seems to think you’re part of the furniture
Oh, it’s peculiar, she used to be so nice

When lonely days turn to lonely nights
You take a trip to the city lights
And take the long way home
Take the long way home

You never see what you want to see
Forever playing to the gallery
You take the long way home
Take the long way home

And when you’re up on the stage, it’s so unbelievable,
Oh unforgettable, how they adore you,
But then your wife seems to think you’re losing your sanity,
Oh, calamity, is there no way out, oh yeah
Ooh, take it, take it out
Take it, take it out
Oh yeah

Does it feel that your life’s become a catastrophe?
Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy
When you look through the years and see what you could have been
Oh, what you might have been,
If you’d had more time

So, when the day comes to settle down,
Who’s to blame if you’re not around?
You took the long way home
You took the long way home
Took the long way home
You took the long way home
You took the long way home, so long
You took the long way home
You took the long way home, uh yeah
You took the long way home

Long way home
Long way home
Long way home
Long way home
Long way home
Long way home

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

38 thoughts on “Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home”

  1. i have this album- one of the few albums that could be considered prog rock that i own. i like this a lot but the album sounded dated to me the last time i listened..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t heard the complete album in a while. It took them forever to do this album… they did it all live in the studio. I’ll have to give the whole thing another listen…I do have it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of many really good tracks on that album. Funnily enough I heard “Goodbye Stranger” yesterday and thought to myself “I don’t have that album now – I need to get a copy again.” Think I will. Kudos to them for the turning down Greyhound at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, great choice. So. Damn. Good. I love the trivia you add to these. It just adds something to the nostalgia of it all. Anyway, is this your fav song from the album? I know, it’s hard to choose just one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you….It’s really hard to choose from those songs. When it came out they just kept on releasing single after single from it.

      Like

  4. I got this album on vinyl around the time of its release and wore it out. Supertramp were extremely popular in Germany. Many tunes from “Breakfast in America” were played on the radio.

    It’s been many years I’ve listened to the album. I think I still like it. This band had a really distinct piano-driven sound. BTW, pretty cool cover art!

    “It’s Raining Again” from their follow-on “…Famous Last Words…” was completely burned on the radio.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It still sounds really fresh. One of the reasons is because it was all done live in the studio. It took them forever to do this album but it was worth it.

      I was in Jr High and I love it.

      Oh Christian…just a side note. My son has been talking to a girl in Germany for around 8 months and Jen and I have talked to her also. She is coming over this summer and will see Bailey while she is here. She is from a place called Halle I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When I heard “Goodbye Stranger”, I nearly bought the album. Then I heard “The Logical Song” and didn’t. I have a lot of trouble with Hodgson’s voice. I like the way he thinks and writes but…that voice. I wanna stick ice picks in my ears. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…it’s distinctive I will say that. I like a lot of their stuff…like It’s Raining Again and others….of course that is not on this album.

      Like

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