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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

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Love em. Its logical!!
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Breakfast in America!
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dragonlady60 8 8
VERY AMAZING.GROU P . AND SONGS!!!
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Cool
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love supertramp!
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milosdad
There's a certain quality about their music that takes you back to, hopefully, a great time. Even in the Quietest moments is a great record. Every song beautiful or fun.
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Queen I want to break free
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Tht me mums car doe
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Summer of '79 jumping on my Orange Sting-Ray with the banana seat, and heading to Tower Records to pick up this album. I know what your thinking... Yes, I had a girlfriend!! !
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I love Breakfast in America
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Even in the Quietest Moments- fantastic song by a fantastic band ...
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johnmargie6
Give it to me...I love breakfast... . . .
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maevans62
Breakfast in America....o n e of my all-time favorite albums, and Take the Long Way Home one of my all-time favorite songs. Brings back great memories from high school. Ahhhh.....go o d times!
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maevans62
Breakfast in America....o n e of my all-time favorite albums, and Take the Long Way Home one of my favorite songs. Brings back great memories from high school. Ahhhh.....go o d times!
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Great song!
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lasiter803
Take the Long Way Home
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We sould share loving all
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Very unique music but brings back memories. Good times!!!
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eraksmith
crime of the century is the best
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Had the Breakfast in America Lp & 8-track! Brings me right back to my senior year in high school. Great times indeed!
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Goodbye stranger, it's been nice, hope you find your Paradise. :: )
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I REMEMBER licorice pizza
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!
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Breakfast in America is the best1
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TAKE YOU BACK OR WHAT
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Middle school days.
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georgehobbs1 9 5 5
I have met the Reaper ..
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Supertramp Breakfast in America!!!!!
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jpfordguy
You know, someone tried to remake Give a Little Bit, but it is NOWHERE as good as the original. When you realize that, you then realize how good this group was at their peak..
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dutchdoor65
Love this
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Great song
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america
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breakfast in amarica
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cmoss291
Love supertramp
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I agree
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Some wild good times to this music. Miss being young.
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Aileen Marcus I don't k
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Love this song so much
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Old memories sitting in the corner Drug store I mean a RX Pharmacy. It had a soda n ice cream bar! N a jukebox! Yes that's right a jukebox! N u could get 6 songs for a quarter!
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Lyrics??
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Famous Last Words indeed. I was at the very last show Supertramp did in America at Irvine Meadows CA. And Roger's last words at that show was that he had, ...recorded with these guys far too long to ever NOT record with them again. Well, that did not and like this bio says will not ever happen :-/
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GREATST BANDS. OF ALL TIME! MADE. A CHANGE. IN THE 70,S LIKE AL STEWART! ,! YEAR. OF THE CAT. BRING OUT THE SAXAPHONE!
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Saw Rodger last year at Mountain Winery in Saratoga CA I first saw ST and Heart together in Buffalo NY 1986, It was incredible!
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Wow, you're lucky Steven! I really wish I were born like 30 years earlier.
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steven.ressl e r
Saw these guys in June 1977, Tower Theater in Phillie. For sure, the most talented group of musicians on one stage I've ever seen. Sound was incredible, as was the show. Even in the Quietest Moments Tour. - One of my all time favorite bands...
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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.
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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.
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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
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lasiter1
Grew up listening to Supertramp, Awesome!
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