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OT: Supertramp
Posted by: BrianJones1969 ()
Date: March 16, 2010 10:41

Who remembers Supertramp? They are best known for the 1974 album "Crime of the Century" and, more importantly, for "Breakfast in America," which topped the U.S. charts for a few weeks during the spring of 1979. Their sound was often encompassed by the use of the Wurlitzer electric piano.

Their most far-reaching U.S. hit single was "The Logical Song," which made #6 in June 1979.

The group was started in 1969 by Wiltshire-born keyboardist/singer Rick Davies and was managed by a Dutch magnate named Stanley A. Miesegaes (aka "Sam" ). The name of the band was taken from the 1908 novel The Autobiography of a Super-tramp by W. H. Davies (no relation to Rick). Davies placed an ad in the Melody Maker magazine to gain recruits to join his group; Portsmouth resident Roger Hodgson (guitar, keyboards and vocals) was one of them to answer to the submission.

Supertramp's self-titled debut album was released in July 1970 (it wasn't released in the U.S. until October 1977, when A&M brought it here in response to the group's ultimate success). Songs to try out are "Surely" and "Try Again," the latter of which Hodgson is featured on the flageolet (a flute instrument; Hodgson also played cello on a few other songs). The group's next release was Indelibly Stamped, released in June 1971. The album had Rick Davies singing lead for the first time, a suggestion made by Roger Hodgson (who played both guitar and bass on the first album). None of these albums were strong sellers and their manager quit.

In the years 1972-73, Davies and Hodgson tried recruiting various "permanent" musicians to play with them (Richard Palmer-James was on their debut album and also co-wrote and sang with Davies and Hodgson as well as playing various instruments, Bob Millar was featured on drums, and Indelibly Stamped included Frank Farrell on bass guitar, Kevin Currie on drums and Dave Winthrop on woodwinds) ; these included Scots bassist Dougie Thomson, woodwindsman John Anthony Helliwell and American drummer Bob Siebenberg. It was this lineup that most people had known, which lasted until 1983 when Hodgson quit the group to spend more time with his family. The lineup released a non-album single "Land Ho/Summer Romance" in early 1974 in the U.K. only (the A-side was re-recorded in 1975 for a possible release on Crisis? What Crisis?).

Hodgson was the group's notable songwriter during the peak for it was his written material that often charted higher ("Dreamer," "Give a Little Bit," "The Logical Song," "Take the Long Way Home" and "It's Raining Again" ), although Davies had a few charting hits of his own, such as "Bloody Well Right" (#35, May 1975) and "Goodbye Stranger" (#15, September 1979).

Crime of the Century, released in the fall of 1974, was the band's breakthrough release, as it had such hits like "Bloody Well Right" and "Dreamer." Almost all of the eight songs from this album were live favorites, including the bookending tracks "School" and the title song "Crime of the Century." This was followed in 1975 by Crisis? What Crisis? which didn't do quite as well; notable songs included Hodgson's "Lady" (its single backed with a non-album B-side "You Started Laughing" written by Rick Davies which is most commonly found as a live version from 1979) and "Sister Moonshine" and Davies's "Ain't Nobody But Me."

Even in the Quietest Moments was the group's first album to reach the Top 20 (#16 U.S.); its lead single "Give a Little Bit" accomplished the same feat singles-chartwise, reaching #15 U.S. in August 1977. Other noted fan favorites included "From Now On," the title song and the 13-minute "Fool's Overture."

1979's Breakfast in America was the album that most defined the group's success, reaching #1 in various countries. Unfortunately though the two songwriters were at odds during production of the album; Davies didn't want "Breakfast in America" the song (in which Hodgson initially wrote back in 1968) on the album, nor did he want it to be the title of the album (he favored either "Working Title" or "Hello Stranger" ).

The unexpected success of this album produced a live effort, Paris, released in the fall of 1980, which included the charting version of "Dreamer" that went to #15 U.S. in November of that year. The only U.S. single release of "Breakfast in America" was spawned from this album, going to just #62 in December 1980.

Roger Hodgson's final release with Supertramp was 1982's Famous Last Words, which was capped off by the single "It's Raining Again" (#11 U.S.). The other notable songs on the album included the closing track "Don't Leave Me Now," and Rick Davies's "My Kind of Lady" (#26 U.S., March 1983). Heart's two sisterly members, Ann and Nancy Wilson, sang backing vocals on the songs "Put on Your Old Brown Shoes" and "C'est le Bon."

Supertramp's first release without Roger Hodgson was 1985's Brother Where You Bound, which included songs such as "Cannonball," "Better Days" and the epic title track. This was followed up in 1987 with Free as a Bird, its noted songs being the title track and "I'm Beggin' You."

Roger Hodgson was perhaps best known outside of Supertramp for his 1984 debut solo release, In the Eye of the Storm, which contained the songs "Sleeping with the Enemy" and "In Jeopardy." His second solo release was Hai Hai from 1987, which contained a new version of "Land Ho."

Edited 12 time(s). Last edit at 2011-11-23 15:51 by BrianJones1969.

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: Mr.D ()
Date: March 16, 2010 10:48

I have a great quality DVD of their final performance with Roger Hodgson in Munich on July 24, 1983!smiling smiley

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: marcovandereijk ()
Date: March 16, 2010 10:55

I remember them of course. Had a great deal of their records when I was in my student
years. Even went to a concert in Rotterdam after Roger quit the band. Although their music
was "clever", and movie images helped to make an impressive live setting, I thought their
perfection was kind of boring. It can be considered quite an effort to play your studio
recordings note by note on stage, but it's also taking away some of the tension of a live performance.

Maybe the encores they did (Hoochie Coochie Man and Don't you lie to me) were the highlights
of the evening, although even the "improvisations" by the respective bandmembers seemed
to be over rehearsed.

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: SwayStones ()
Date: March 16, 2010 11:11

Yes,I do remember Supertramp very well.
I still have some of their vinyls downstairs.

I agree withyou, marcovandereijk ,when you speak about "boring perfection" .
I liked Supertramp 's albums but found them a little too "nice" (mellow )

Without Roger Hodgson ,the sound isn't the same .I like his voice .He will make some gigs in France next September .

I am a Frenchie ,as Mick affectionately called them in the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1977 .

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: KeithNacho ()
Date: March 16, 2010 11:57

Roger Hodgson was more than the 50% of Supertramp.........the other < 50% was Rick Davies

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: Doc ()
Date: March 16, 2010 12:15

Same for me : I appreciate the music, but I ain't a super fan
Nice compositions, nice voice, great arrangements : always in my MP3 player


Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: KeithNacho ()
Date: March 16, 2010 12:22

It was part of the music of my young years, not my favourites, but part of the soundtrack of the last 70S and early 80S

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: Thommie ()
Date: March 16, 2010 15:09

Well, well...when nothing seems to happen in Stones-land, this is what we get?winking smiley
Bought some LP:s in the 70's and they were absolutely okay to listen to.
Some groups/artists you want to listen to again after 20-30 years and you still like them Yes, Crimson, Zappa and so on).
But I haven't been listening to Supertramp and I can't say I'm dying for it either...

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: March 16, 2010 15:21

I visited one of Supertramps concerts around 1975, and believe it or not, as I remember it they had 3 or 4 pianos on the stage...Supertramp had a singer with a beautiful voice

eye rolling smiley

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: T&A ()
Date: March 16, 2010 16:16

been revisiting all the supertramp albums lately - some wonderful stuff there....totally different expression of pop music than the stones, but good things come in all flavors....

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: leteyer ()
Date: March 16, 2010 17:38

Even in the quiest moments is one of my favourite albums. I don't like much the rest of their work.

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: ROLLINGSTONE ()
Date: March 16, 2010 21:44

Piece of useless trivia: My cousin Helen bought a 12 string guitar from Dougie Thomson back in 1971 which she then sold on to Midge Ure a couple of years later.

yawning smiley I know...

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: Fredluvzstones ()
Date: March 16, 2010 23:12

I have loved Supertramp since 1975. I am still holding out hope for a reunion Tour! They were a great musical group.
Fred Hardin
Pleased to meet you........

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: peter ()
Date: March 17, 2010 06:53

Most fans don't know how big Supertramp were in the small California town of Fresno...local dj Ray Appleton played their music 24/7 from the very beginning of their career..while their very successful 1979 tour finally brought them to many major venues in the USA, Supertramp packed them in for 2 sold out shows at Selland Arena in Fresno...Tower Records had an entire section of the store for their catalog for years..the Mayor of Fresno gave the 'keys to the city' to Supertramp on opening night...the band thanked Ray Appleton for his support and constant airplay in a town that would have never even bothered back in 1979 if it weren't for was amzing to be there....peter

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: marquess ()
Date: March 17, 2010 17:02

I remember them, and I still like them a lot!

They are very very popular here in Portugal: generation 30 - 50 years old

I Just boughtmin vinyl, "Crime of the Century"

Great album!!!

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: Imagine ()
Date: March 20, 2010 05:01

Not only was Roger Hodgson the voice of Supertramp, he was also their soul and heartbeat. I had the great fortune of seeing Roger, co-founder of Supertramp, in concert last year while I was on vacation in Paris. I am so glad I caught his show. He played all of his classics he solely wrote and composed such as Give a Little Bit, Dreamer, Breakfast in America, School, The Logical Song, Fool's Overture, and so many more. He also played some amazing material from his solo albums from the past few years. He doesn't need Supertramp, they need him. Today I took a look at Roger's website ( and it seems he about to start his worldwide 2010 tour. Don't miss an opportunity to see Roger live. You will be so very glad you did. If you want to see a REAL Supertramp concert, go see Roger.

Re: OT: Supertramp
Posted by: sweetcharmedlife ()
Date: March 20, 2010 06:02

Really good band. A couple of my favorites were Goodbye Stranger and the overlooked School. Which had the great line. "They tell you not to hang around and learn what life's about". Also I believe BV has mentioned that outside of the Stones. Supertramp is one of his favorite bands.

"It's just some friends of mine and they're busting down the door"

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