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Supertramp

Supertramp followed an unusual path to commercial success in the 1970s, fusing the stylistic ambition and instrumental dexterity of progressive rock with the wit and tuneful melodies of British pop, and the results made them one of the most popular British acts of the '70s and ‘80s, topping the charts and filling arenas around the world at a time when their style of music was supposed to have fallen out of fashion.

Supertramp was formed in 1969 by pianist and vocalist Rick Davies. Davies had been a member of a group called the Joint, who had found a financial backer in Dutch millionaire Stanley August Miesegaes; Miesegaes had grown disenchanted with the Joint, but saw promise in Davies, and he offered to bankroll a new band if Davies wanted to launch a fresh project. Davies placed an ad in the British music weekly Melody Maker, and recruited guitarist Richard Palmer, percussionist Robert Millar, and vocalist/bassist Roger Hodgson. Davies initially dubbed the new band Daddy, but to avoid comparison with a number of other paternally named acts, he changed their billing to Supertramp, taking the name from a book by Welsh author William Henry Davies.

In 1970, Supertramp signed a deal with A&M Records, and their debut album was released later the same year. Dominated by extended prog-based compositions, the album didn't win a large audience, and Supertramp's lineup shifted, as Richard Palmer and Robert Millar left the group, Hodgson moved from bass to guitar, and bassist Frank Farrell, percussionist Kevin Currie, and Dave Winthrop on flue and sax joined the act. The new edition of Supertramp released the album Indelibly Stamped in 1971, but it fared little better in the marketplace than the debut, and Miesegaes cut off his funding of the group. Left to their own devices, Supertramp came close to collapse as most of the group's members moved on, but Davies and Hodgson put together a new version of the group -- Davies on piano and vocals, Hodgson on guitar, electric piano, and vocals, Dougie Thomson on bass, Bob C. Benberg on drums and percussion, and John Anthony Helliwell on sax, woodwinds, and keyboards. This edition of Supertramp boasted a more concise and pop-oriented sound than the band that recorded the first two albums, and 1974's Crime of the Century became Supertramp's commercial breakthrough, spawning the singles "Dreamer" and "Bloody Well Right." 1975's Crisis? What Crisis? didn't fare quite as well commercially, but 1977's Even in the Quietest Moments earned the band another hit single in "Give a Little Bit," and Supertramp's steady road work earned them a reputation as an impressive live act.

1979's Breakfast in America elevated Supertramp to true superstar status; three of its songs ("Goodbye Stranger," "Take the Long Way Home," and "The Logical Song") would became Top 20 hits, and the album went to number one on the Billboard charts, selling four million copies in the United States and reaching platinum status in Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Supertramp followed the success of Breakfast in America with a live album, 1980's Paris, but it wasn't until 1982 that the group released a new studio LP, Famous Last Words, and in a sense the title was prophetic -- the working relationship between Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson had become contentious, and in 1983, Hodgson, the lead vocalist on the band's biggest hits, left to pursue a solo career. With Davies taking the lead, Supertramp released Brother Where You Bound in 1985, which found the band easing back on their pop side and exploring their progressive influences; the album also featured guest appearances from Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. 1987's Free as a Bird found Supertramp experimenting with synthesizers and electronic dance music, but after a world tour in support of the album, Davies quietly retired the band.

In 1996, Davies re-assembled Supertramp for a concert tour; the new lineup featured Davies, John Anthony Helliwell, guitarist Mark Hart (who had toured with the band in support of Free as a Bird), and percussionist Jesse Siebenberg. The new Supertramp went into the studio after the tour, and Some Things Never Change was released in 1997. More touring followed, which was documented on the album Live 1997. Another studio set, Slow Motion, appeared in 2002. In 2010, Supertramp regrouped for a world tour to celebrate their fortieth anniversary, but while rumors suggested Hodgson might rejoin the band for the occasion, both he and Davies issued statements saying they were not likely to ever work together again, and Hodgson mounted a solo tour concurrently with Supertramp's anniversary celebration. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

This freaked me out. This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either be kissed or asked out. If you break this chain, you will see a little girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry.
Saw them in '79 Portland, OR. The show was packed and fun and they were truly a great band in concert. The sound quality was amazing - the subwoofers vibrated in your chest and shook your clothing on Crime of the Century. I miss seeing shows of that quality.
greenbooks8
Khughes I was there! But I think it was 75 I was a junior and it was my 1st concert. Had my coat on fire by a joint had a great time. Saw them again at the Allentown Fair when even in the quietest moments came out. Wow that was great
lasiter1
Grew up listening to Supertramp, Awesome!
khughes1747
One of my first concerts ever. 1976 or 1977 @ Allentown Fairgrounds (Pennsylvani a ) . They opened with School--the stage was black and slowly the screen behind the band appeared to show the cover of Crime of the Century. Crime of the Century & Even in the Quietest Moments my fave for sure. Anyone remember Babaji?
I like cheese.
Breakfast was my fav song........ . . b o b
Crime of the Century wasn't a bad album but I hated Breakfast in America. The vocals were even more annoying than Yes and a few others who had castrato's as singers.
I wanna see them live badly
Love Supertramp.. . . . . . B r e a k f a s t in America..... . . . . I have on 8-track..... o k , , I'm looking for a cd.
Some dimwit rapper moron ruined the song "Girlfriend" . W h y can't these children write their own music(such as it is!!) and leave ours the hell alone!
so cool to see all these Supertramp fans! ....Such a awesome group of talent, saw them twice in the 70's. I never get tired of listening to them.
The Breakfast In America album is one of those iconic alums with nothing but great songs from beginning to end!
Haven't heard Supertramp in ages the Logical Song is a great one
even in the quietest moments was a genius album.Supert r a m p ' s use of woodwinds was ubercool.... . . . t h e clarinet is a lost instrument.
i agree todays music is garbage. Who can shout the loudest. My wife and I love 80's on down. Love 40's. When music was nice to listen too and did not hurt the ears and did not offend anyone
The Logical Song one of the great songs of the late 70's. Refreshing to hear a non disco song in the era of the disco era.
bschmittinge r
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GIRL SCREAMING IN THIS SONG (COMING ALONG)? RUMOR HAS IT THAT SHE WAS STABBED AT ONE OF THE CONCERTS?
all that is out there is so stupid this is good
riverman172
I loved growing up in the 70s. Classic bands making classic music. They're 3 minute time machines for me. Each decade got worse and today's " music" is sonic toilet paper. 1 ply at that. Use once and flush. Never to be seen again.
riverman172

I miss Supertramp!! ! ! ! beautiful music and smart lyrics....
pliautaud
Saw them back to back nights at Alpine Valley back in the 70's, what memories. Roger's one-handed piano solo during School blew me away. Really miss these guys.....
aquariusjeff 0
Licorice pizza
Supertramp! One of the best bands ever! Real instruments played by real musicians! I so wish they would release the complete Supertramp discography in SACD or DVD-audio!
gusdlgarza
Love this one from them
gusdlgarza
My favorite song from them
dolphin747
Saw Roger Hodgson last Saturday night. Go if you get the chance!
My most favorite Supertramp album!!!
Suoertramp great band sadly hardly any airolay anymore. The noise that passes for music these days is nauseating.
Flashbacks of being a Freshman in high school!!! Love this this band.
reminds me of Germany in the late 80's early 90's really good times
vic_dlg
Love supertramp
guycardenas
All of them were good , but I'll stay with Even in the quietest moments.
SCHOOL ME PLEASE!
Crime of the Century was in my opinion the best complete album of the 70's. Have listened to it from beginning to end many times.
Graduated High School in 1980. This album was definitely a big part of the soundtrack that year!
Love these guys!!! Maybe the best super studio band ever.
Great sound very beautiful and excellent melody.
My favorite instrument in this is the organ or piano great song
Fall back on classics once in a while for a spiritual lift !
Gonna have to get me a Supertrampst a m p . . . .
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
hyboost62
Saw them 5 times as a young man. Wow, the memories.. Just saw Roger Hodgson last summer here in Buffalo. Awesome!
first concert I ever went to... don't remember much it was first time I ever got stoned! Great show... Remember a projection of the crime of the century cover in the sky above the stage..... really cool.... or was it really good weed?....... . . . . . . .
Roger Hogsden split. The band simply was'nt the same. It happens!
Love Supertramp , but PLEASE give this song a rest.
BREAKFAST IN AMERICA-BEST OF BEST. VOLPE,f.r.c.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest friday by the love of youre life. tommorow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this in at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work.
why i am doing this idk
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