There’s no doubt, at least in my mind, that Supertramp is a great band. From the precise production, to the variation between two lead vocalists, to the heavy use of the classic Fender-Rhodes electric piano, they’re just plain fun to listen to. And certainly, their biggest selling album was Breakfast in America, which is a great album.
But before Breakfast, they had some albums that in my opinion were also excellent. Even in the Quietest Moments, which contains “Give a Little Bit”, is great, especially the title song, which wasn’t really a hit, but if you’ve never heard it, give it a listen. It’ll blow you away!
But I have to say that the best Supertramp album I’ve ever heard is Crime of the Century, which came out about five years before Breakfast. (And yes, I own it on cassette! I’ve transferred it from the cassette to MP3, but there’s no way I’m going to replace everything I have that’s on non-digital media!)
Even more-so than Breakfast, Crime is real progressive rock. It opens with “School”, which in true concept-album fashion, segues seamlessly into “Bloody Well Right”. Another song that most people would know is “Dreamer”. But pretty much all the songs on Crime are winners. “Asylum” and “Hide in Your Shell” are masterfully written and produced. I’ve seen Supertramp in concert and they performed the epic “Rudy” along with an excellent video. And the title song is a great closer.
Crime really shows off the difference between the voices of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. They each get their turn in just the right spots. And it definitely rocks a little harder than albums that came after.
Of course, I’ve never listened to Crisis? What Crisis? That’s actually my favorite title and album cover of theirs. Now I’ll have to give that one a spin.