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Supertramp - Crime Of The Century CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.31 | 1438 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 124

'Crime Of The Century' is the third studio album of Supertramp and was released in 1974. It's the first Supertramp's album to feature its classic line up and was co-produced by Ken Scott, an English experienced record producer and recording engineer, who previously worked with other famous artists and bands like David Bowie and The Beatles.

The line up on 'Crime Of The Century' is Roger Hodgson (vocals, guitar, keyboards and pianos), Rick Davies (vocals, keyboards and harmonica), John Anthony Helliwell (vocals, saxophones and clarinets), Dougie Thompson (bass) and Bob Siebenberg (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Christine Helliwell, Vicky Siebenberg and Scott Gornham (backing vocals) on 'Hide In Your Shell', an unaccredited and unknown street musician (musical saw) on 'Hide In Your Shell' and Ken Scott (water gong) on 'Crime Of The Century'.

While not properly a conceptual album, there is much recursion and referencing among the tracks. Lyrically, many of these tracks deal with themes of youth, isolation, loneliness and mental stability, leaving many to initially compare the group to Pink Floyd. So, we have education with 'School', dream with 'Dreamer', love with 'Rudy', shyness with 'Hide In Your Shell' or authority with the title track. However, the musicianship and style of Supertramp is obviously distinct, which has become evident over the past four decades. Every track is instantly recognizable as Supertramp, and the album, as a whole, runs together perfectly well, as we can expect from all the greatest albums.

'Crime Of The Century' has eight tracks. All songs were written by Hodgson and Davies. The first track 'School' has lead vocals by Hodgson and Davies. It's an amazing and fantastic song to open the album. I always loved this song, and as far as I can remember this was the first song I heard from the group. For me, it's one of the best songs composed by this fantastic duo. The second track 'Bloody Well Right' has lead vocals by Davies. It's the second song of the album released as a single, after 'Dreamer'. For the type of music of Supertramp, we may say this track is almost a hard rock song with a little funky rhythm. Despite be a very good song, this isn't one of my favourite songs on the album. The third track 'Hide In Your Shell' has lead vocals by Hodgson. This is without any doubt one of the highest points of the album, and consequently, it's one of my favourite songs too. This song is a real masterpiece of the melodic progressive rock with a supreme musical melodic structure. It's one of the best progressive melodic songs ever made. The fourth track 'Asylum' has lead vocals by Davies and Hodgson. It's an interesting and nice melodic song mostly performed on piano. It's a song very well composed with good orchestration, but like 'Bloody Well Right', isn't also one of my favourite songs on the album. The fifth track 'Dreamer' has lead vocals by Hodgson and Davies. It's the song chosen to be the hit single of 'Crime Of The Century'. It's an irresistible melodic song that became a big hit, reaching the top of the charts. Its impact was so big that we can say that 'Dreamer' was one of the most popular singles made by any progressive band. It only can be compared with 'Money' of Pink Floyd. It's the pop touching on the album. The sixth track 'Rudy' has lead vocals by Davies and Hodgson. It's another great song and it's the lengthiest too. It's one of the most progressive, sophisticated and elaborated songs on the album. It has rhythm changes and instrumental breaks, which makes of it a fantastic progressive track. The seventh track, 'If Everyone Was Listening' has lead vocals by Hodgson. It's probably the most melodic and beautiful song on the album. It has a light and easy listening tune and beautiful vocal harmonies. The orchestration is also really beautiful. It's the living proof that it's possible compose very beautiful songs with great quality. The eighth track is the title track, 'Crime Of The Century'. It has lead vocals by Davies. It's the song which closes the album, perfectly. This is another highlight on the album and it's also one of my favourite songs. For many, this is also its best track. It's the magnum opus of the album. It's a wonderful song with an orchestration completely divine. This is one of the best final tracks I've ever listen on any album. What a song!

Conclusion: As I said before, 'Crime Of The Century' was my first introduction to Supertramp. It's a great progressive melodic album where many of the songs have some complex structures with strong melodies. 'Crime Of The Century' is without any doubt one of the most progressive albums of the group and it's also one of their best musical workings. It's one of the landmarks of the 70's and is among some of the best progressive studio albums ever made. The sound of 'Crime Of The Century' just takes you into another world. It's one of the few albums I know that perfectly combines catchy songwriting with the epic darkness of the progressive rock music. I don't think any of Supertramp's other albums come anywhere close to this. I love some of their other stuff too, but there is just something special about this album. It isn't simply a progressive rock album. It's a piece of art. This is really why I like progressive rock music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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