Album #314 – Crime of the Century

Album #314

I have a confession to make: I LOVE Supertramp. I always have and always will. I know, the cynics and music snobs will throw their noses up in the air. But, Supertramp’s harmonies and sound is unmistakable. It is pure pop music in the same realm as Elton John and Todd Rundgren. They started out as a progressive rock band in 1969 and were financed by a Dutch Millionaire. Then, the band split up after their second album in 1971. Many have said that the sounds on this album were progressive rock in nature. I consider Crime of the Century to not only be an amazing concept album but, progressive rock with a pop edge. Many critics have also said that this is Supertramp’s finest album and I happen to agree. It made them huge in the UK and the US and it features the huge hits: Dreamer and Bloody Well Right. But, some of Supertramp’s earliest success was here in Canada especially in Quebec. Montreal radio station CHOM-FM was probably the first radio station in North America to play their music. I remember hearing an interview with Roger Hodgson where he said that they owe a huge debt to Canada, and Montreal in particular, for launching their career. Crime of the Century was also this band’s first album to feature the classic line-up of Hodgson, Rick Davies, Saxaphonist John Helliwell, Bassist Dougie Thomson and Drummer Bod Siebenberg (who is coincidentally the only American in the group). This line-up lasted until 1984. They sure made some amazing music together. The baritone voice of Davies and the tenor voice of Hodgson are distinctive and set Supertramp apart from other bands of this era. They also were much more successful in the US that their native UK during the rest of their career. But, that did not stop them. Each song is as powerful and exciting as the previous. Their is not a bad track on here. Ken Scott’s production also adds to the album and he would end up producing the rest of the group’s output until Hodgson left in 1984. It is a shame though that this album is the only one by Supertramp on the list. Breakfast from America was equally as good and was just as successful in the US and UK. The first Supertramp songs that I heard were actually from that album. None the less, Crime of the Century is a classic album and I am proud to say I own a copy in my collection. Other highlights include: School (my best friend’s favourite Supertramp song), Asylum, Rudy, If Everyone Was Listening and Crime of the Century. Overall, I give Crime of the Century 5 out of 5.

Next:  I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight by Richard and Linda Thompson

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