TITLE: Crime of the Century
YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: #38 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Dreamer (#13 UK), Bloody Well Right (#35 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Crime of the Century
LINEUP: Rick Davies, Roger Hodgson, John Anthony Helliwell, Dougie Thompson, Bob Siebenberg
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Struggling prog band finds some pop chops, and a little humor, and gets a hit record that sustains a long career.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Listening to the dribs and drabs of their first two albums (on comps), Supertramp had talent. Leaders Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson had their musical ideas (always different) but in reality the band wasn’t that much different than in their hit making phase.
This one, coming out in 1974, was basically their last chance. It was their last chance for good, as their original financial backer pulled out and A&M were going to lose patience if this one stiffed. Davies and Hodgson replaced the rest of the band, improved their songwriting, and threw in some humor and hooks along with their progressive and arty pieces. There wasn’t a lot of noodling – at least not as much as before.
Some songs do linger a bit too long, but a better and more sympathetic band helped out the songwriters. This record really introduced Supertramp to the world, and over the next decade (give or take) they were one of the bastions of popular progressive rock.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The first two records aren’t streaming, and really are for uber-completists only.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with a live set.
GRADE B: The deep cuts kind of ramble along, but the well-known songs are the ones that helped their career take a leap.