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Thread: Supertramp - Supertramp

  1. #1

    Supertramp - Supertramp

    Let me begin with saying that I really don't care much about Supertramp the band. I consider them a good, rock band with some proggy, artistic touches here and there and some great songs. Like School for example, one of the most beautiful, moving rock songs of all time for me.

    But I love their first album so much! I acquired this quite young, when discovering prog, and played it to death. I love the playing, the jazzy feeling, the melodies, the meaningful lyrics, the gorgeous vocals and harmonies, the harmonica. Is it prog? Hell yes! It's 1970 and every single characteristic one can attribute to the term progressive is already there. Listen to Try Again for instance.

    But, perhaps more importantly, it is a great collection of very well written rock songs.

    I am looking at Gnosis, and the overall rating is rather poor, just a bit above 9. Any other fans of this great American album? Maybe re-listen and re-appraise?

  2. #2
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Not really but I consider Crime a 10 out of 10 album.
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  3. #3
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    American?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    American?
    If you consider a band American on the basis of its non-writer drummer being American. (Who hadn't yet joined when they recorded the 1st album so the band was 100% British anyway !)
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  5. #5
    (not his real name) no.nine's Avatar
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    I love the first album. It has a pleasant, breezy proggy feeling about it. And I've always believed that "Nothing to Show" had the potential to be a hit single, with some judicious editing and of course, proper promotion. I also love later Supertramp up until, and including, Brother Where You Bound, but the debut is unique in their discography. And IMO it's also the most "prog" of the bunch.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    American?
    Holy Cow! I am so embarrassed! I was absolutely certain all these years that they were from US. And still don't really believe it, their sound seems so much NorthAmerican too me. Even the accent of the singing, I am no native speaker, but I don't hear anything British in it.

    I humbly apologize, it is a great British album then!

  7. #7
    It's a marvellous album of so-called vintage progressive or even "post-psychedelic" rock - IMO. I always had a thing for it, even though I came to the 'tramps by way of the usual stuff - Breakfast, Crime and Quietest. Granted there are some solid pomp-pop/adult-rock on the latter three, I feel about them as I do about, say, ELO; fine or even good but never really excellent.

    And I suppose, 'objectively' speaking - neither is their debut. Yet I cherish it. The adolescent stamina of sheer adventure vs. naivité, the overwhelming charm of attempts to reach higher than realistically possible, the very spirit of artistic innocence confronted with a pure-of-heart pretention. I mean, that jam in the middle of "It's a Long Road" - was there ever anything even remotely as joyful in their later output? Yeah, "Dreamer" and "Raining Again" or whatever - but the very force of that joy was gone by then. And "Try Again" - the supremely simple yet ecstatic guitar theme interlude - it takes a vision of youth to achieve something like that!

    It was never a heralded piece of work among "folks". Still I cherish it.
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  8. #8
    This album was very much in the “proto-prog” movement of the time, with a folk-rock base and influences from Procol Harum and King Crimson (the latter mainly surfacing on the epic “Try Again,” obviously they had listened to “Moonchild”). It actually reminds me, stylistically, of bands like Cressida and Arcadium, with a similar melancholic style. It’s given distinction via Roger Hodgson’s inimitable singing voice and unusually prominent use of flageolet (folk whistle). As near as I can tell (correct me if I’m wrong, folks), the last time Roger used his was on “Sister Moonshine” off of Crisis? What Crisis?.

    Unique things about this album: the excessive use of Hammond from Rick Davies (who seems to take a back seat to Hodgson and Palmer songwriting-wise, here, you can only really hear his voice in the background on “Nothing to Show”) and Richard Palmer’s singing on “Maybe I’m a Beggar.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Holy Cow! I am so embarrassed! I was absolutely certain all these years that they were from US. And still don't really believe it, their sound seems so much NorthAmerican too me. Even the accent of the singing, I am no native speaker, but I don't hear anything British in it.
    I used to know somebody who thought they were Canadian because their first two albums came out in Canada before they were released here. I imagine that’s just because Canada is a Commonwealth country and the USA isn’t.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Unique things about this album: the excessive use of Hammond from Rick Davies (who seems to take a back seat to Hodgson and Palmer songwriting-wise, here, you can only really hear his voice in the background on “Nothing to Show”) and Richard Palmer’s singing on “Maybe I’m a Beggar.”
    Just a small correction here. According to Richard Palmer, all the songs were written by Rick Davies, then Roger Hodgson added the vocal melodies and Richard Palmer only wrote the lyrics. Oh, and Rick also sings lead on "Shadow Song".

    Great album, by the way!
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  10. #10
    Trevor Rabin has put up a website where you can purchase a box set of his solo albums minus Jacaranda and Live in L.A. for the low, low price of $134. And as a bonus, you get the demos of his work with Roger Hodgson.

    Details here:
    http://www.yesfans.com/showthread.php?87107-New-online-store-for-Trevor-through-Gonzo-Music-Glue&p=2892001#post2892001

  11. #11
    There was a strange video on YouTube of the pre-first album lineup (Palmer on guitar/vocals, Davies keyboards, Hodgson bass, Keith Baker later of Uriah Heep on drums) doing a cover of "All Along The Watchtower." It disappeared quickly (as all Supertramp/Hodgson videos on YouTube seemed to) but maybe someone here knows how to access it.

  12. #12
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    I saw them on the Crisis? What Crisis? tour in 1976, and they put on a great concert, parts of which I can still recall. I have their self-titled first album, but I will have to give it another listen to refresh my memory. I wouldn't have bought it if it was bad.
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  13. #13
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  14. #14
    It's charming in a naive sort of way, but nowhere near as good as say, the "Even In The Quietest Moments" album imo.

  15. #15
    The Supertramp debut differs from their later, polished art-rock/pop output. That's the point here. It's different.

    Different.
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  16. #16
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    It has been ages since I last heared their debut but I remember quite liking it. Different then what came later but still somehow recognizable as Supertramp.

    That cannot be said about the follow up, Indelibly stamped. If there is one album that completely sticks out, thats the one. I remember finding it incredibly boring.

  17. #17
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no.nine View Post
    I love the first album. It has a pleasant, breezy proggy feeling about it. And I've always believed that "Nothing to Show" had the potential to be a hit single, with some judicious editing and of course, proper promotion. I also love later Supertramp up until, and including, Brother Where You Bound, but the debut is unique in their discography. And IMO it's also the most "prog" of the bunch.
    Their debut stands in my top 3, tied with Brother and only preceded by Crime... But I only really gave the album a chance in the mid-90's. I had first tried that second cruddy Stamped album in the late 70's and was so turned off by it, that it was almost two decades before I tried their debut.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    And I suppose, 'objectively' speaking - neither is their debut. Yet I cherish it. The adolescent stamina of sheer adventure vs. naivité, the overwhelming charm of attempts to reach higher than realistically possible, the very spirit of artistic innocence confronted with a pure-of-heart pretention. I mean, that jam in the middle of "It's a Long Road" - was there ever anything even remotely as joyful in their later output? Yeah, "Dreamer" and "Raining Again" or whatever - but the very force of that joy was gone by then. And "Try Again" - the supremely simple yet ecstatic guitar theme interlude - it takes a vision of youth to achieve something like that!
    ever'thang about it is great

    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Unique things about this album: the excessive use of Hammond from Rick Davies (who seems to take a back seat to Hodgson and Palmer songwriting-wise, here, you can only really hear his voice in the background on “Nothing to Show”) and Richard Palmer’s singing on “Maybe I’m a Beggar.”
    wouldn't call the use of hammond excessive in any band, and certainly not in Supertramp.

    I used to know somebody who thought they were Canadian because their first two albums came out in Canada before they were released here. I imagine that’s just because Canada is a Commonwealth country and the USA isn’t.
    Well Canada did seem to be the first on the ball about Supertramp (I bought COTC on the second day it was released at the record shop right next to my school. I knew nothing of the music but ad to have it because of the fantastic artwork. But nobody knew of those first two albums before Crime came out.

    Quote Originally Posted by pmrviana View Post
    Just a small correction here. According to Richard Palmer, all the songs were written by Rick Davies, then Roger Hodgson added the vocal melodies and Richard Palmer only wrote the lyrics. Oh, and Rick also sings lead on "Shadow Song".
    we had a debate on PA about this a few years back, and most would agree it was Davies (and not RP-J), though not credited on the liner notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    There was a strange video on YouTube of the pre-first album lineup (Palmer on guitar/vocals, Davies keyboards, Hodgson bass, Keith Baker later of Uriah Heep on drums) doing a cover of "All Along The Watchtower." It disappeared quickly (as all Supertramp/Hodgson videos on YouTube seemed to) but maybe someone here knows how to access it.
    MMMmhhhh!!!!... never seen it on YT. I did find it on some Russian site,

    https://vk.com/video-101936_164243546
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  18. #18
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    I am looking at Gnosis, and the overall rating is rather poor, just a bit above 9. Any other fans of this great American album? Maybe re-listen and re-appraise?
    I rated an 11. It's a fine album. I think Crime will always be their masterpiece however. In terms of the band being "American", maybe you conflated "Breakfast in America" with them being a US band?
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I think Crime will always be their masterpiece
    Prolly true, dat. While I personally still like their debut more, these are almost two disparate musical statements and Crime an impressively coherent one. They never really lived up to that promise, though. IMHO.
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  20. #20
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    The string of Crisis, Crime, and Quietest are tour de force art rock/pop music. These are truly brilliant releases. I would have loved to catch one of these tours. My first was Breakfast with Jean Luc Pointy backing up. I wouldn't change a single note on Crime. Two albums I consistently rate as perfect (as much as one can say that) are Supertramp's Crime and Electric Light Orchestra's Eldorado. I had them both as a young teen so I have played them consistently over the, eh hem, 40 years. How did I become such as old coot? I did see Supertramp several times after Breakfast, some of the passion may have been lost in the show I saw about 8-10 years ago, but these guys are consummate musicians. I've seen Roger too (last year) and he's still very talented. It's too bad the boat has sailed on a reunion tour.
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  21. #21
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    Been years since I played it. I remember finding it a good album but not as sharp as what followed, though. Like ELO, I prefer them when they were a little 'poppier', for want of a better word.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    In terms of the band being "American", maybe you conflated "Breakfast in America" with them being a US band?
    Could be, who knows? Less information back then. Because the misunderstanding happened rather early, when I was 18, and the rather silly detail is that I was never informed later about my fallacy. But still, the overall sound, the congas on It's a Long Way, I think this is much closer aesthetically to music coming from the West Coast, or stuff like early CSNY than the Cressidas that were mentioned earlier. I would even cite the first Kansas as a fellow-spirit-record.

    I would give it a 13 without a shadow of guilt, although more objectively it has to be a 12. That first side is simply gorgeous. Songs like Maybe I am a beggar, Words Unspoken, Aubade still rip my heart after all these years. There is great sensitivity there, combined with the youthful energy Richard rightly spoke of.

  23. #23
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    I have a soft spot for Supertramp in general, especially for the two records they recorded before Crime of the Century. The album discussed in this thread sparkles innocence and youth (aren't they nearly the same thing?). It is an assembly of well-crafted songs that somehow didn't get the deserved attention when released. The jams go for too long for my tastes at times, but even this "flaw" can be forgiven as it perfectly evokes the spirit of the times I guess. Interestingly enough, I might enjoy their second album, Indelibly Stamped, even more.

    Speaking of early Supertramp, prmviana mentioned to me that the Indelibly Stamped band was already playing Dreamer, which seems to fit the timeline perfectly. It seems an old YT video has even surfaced with this. Has anyone seen this?

  24. #24
    I never bought the first 2 albums until a year or so ago (because I always heard they were bad), and I surprisingly love them!! It's like finding lost early works that were never released (to me)... I think if you're expecting the highly refined sound they developed on Crime, you're missing the point. Just like the first 2 YES albums don't sound like Fragile and beyond. But, there's still plenty to enjoy there. They have a more Canterbury sound to them, like Traffic or Caravan. Less-so than the later Supertramp art-rock sound.

    I don't understand the dislike of Indelibly Stamped. I think it's the better of the two. Great jams and laid back, love to drive to work jamming out to these early gems.

  25. #25
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I don't get the first two albums at all (shrug).
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