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Supertramp - Classics, Vol. 9 CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

2.34 | 14 ratings

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3 stars Review Nš 530

"Classics, Vol. 9" is the second compilation of Supertramp and was released in 1987. This is a compilation released in the US market and it was part of A&M's 25th Anniversary series. It's the twin brother of their debut compilation "The Autobiography Of Supertramp", which was also released in the same year. It was the first greatest hits album released by the group and contains a compilation of some of the most popular songs made by the band from their studio albums "Crime Of The Century", "Even In The Quietest Moments?", "Breakfast In America", "Famous Last Words" and "Brother Where You Bound". On the original edition of the compilation with only eleven tracks no songs from "Crisis? What Crisis?" were chosen to be part of it. Still, the remastered edition of 2001 includes a song from that studio album.

The album was re-released as "The Very Best Of Supertramp", in 1990 in the US market, with digitally remastered sound and a bonus track "School". It also contains the original album versions of the songs "Goodbye Stranger" and "Cannonball", instead of the original release of the compilation which used the edited versions taken from the singles.

The cover art of "Classics, Vol. 9" shows a suit-wearing, faceless man seated in a train carriage reading a book with his own face on the front cover of the book. The view from the train carriage window shows the wall of the platform with stylised versions of the front cover art taken from three of the Supertramp's studio albums.

"Classics, Vol. 9" has fourteen tracks from the following albums: "Bloody Well Right", "Rudy", "Crime Of The Century", "Dreamer" and "Hide In Your Shell" are from "Crime Of The Century". "Ain't Nobody But Me" is from "Crisis? What Crisis?". "From Now On" and "Give A Little Bit" are from "Even In The Quietest Moments?". "Goodbye Stranger", "The Logical Song", "Breakfast In America" and "Take The Long Way Home" are from "Breakfast In America". "It's Raining Again" is from "Famous Last Words". "Cannonball" is from "Brother Where You Bound".

"Goodbye Stranger" is a song with great melody and with a good rhythm section and where the interplay between Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson's vocals is really perfect. "The Logical Song" is a typical classic Supertramp's song with wonderful harmony, great vocals and good keyboards, and with a nice final touch of the saxophone of John Helliwell. "Bloody Well Right" is a good song that, for the type of music of Supertramp, we may say this track is almost a hard rock song with a little funky rhythm. "Breakfast In America" is a classic melodic short song and a big hit on the radio stations. Personally, I've no problems with it. I really like this song. "Rudy" is one of their best, most progressive, sophisticated and elaborated songs, with many rhythm changes and some instrumental breaks. "Take The Long Way Home" was also a big hit, another top ten single. This is a great musical moment with the saxophone and the piano in evidence. "Crime Of The Century" is a magnum opus, a wonderful song with an orchestration completely divine. This is another highlight and one of my favourite songs by them. "Dreamer" is an irresistible melodic song, a big hit, reaching the top of the charts. Its impact was so huge that we can say that "Dreamer" was one of the most popular singles made by any prog band. "Ain't Nobody But Me" is a very good composition combined with piano and vocals. It's a prog song with rock and jazz influences. "Hide In Your Shell" is a masterpiece of the melodic prog rock with a supreme melodic structure. It's one of the best prog melodic songs ever made. "From Now On" is a nice and mellow ballad with some complexity and it's full of great keyboard and saxophone works. This is a great Rick Davies' song. "Give A Little Bit" is a simple and catchy song. It's a song commanded by acoustic guitar with a good and impressive saxophone work by John Helliwell. "It's Raining Again" is a typical pop song made to be released as a single. It's a perfect example how to make a good pop commercial song with good quality. "Cannonball" is a nice and enjoyable song to hear. It's a kind of a jazz song with a disco-funk style. It has a nice atmospheric ambient but it's a bit too lengthy and repetitive for my taste.

Conclusion: As I mentioned above, "Classics, Vol. 9" is the same compilation of "The Autobiography Of Supertramp". So, what I wrote on that review applies to "Classics, Vol. 9". So, "Classics, Vol. 9" is a good compilation of Supertramp. It includes some of their best tracks taken from their best studio albums. However, lacks to it any track from their eponymous debut studio album "Supertramp", which is a pity, because it's a nice album. In relation to the selection of tracks I deeply regret the incomprehensible absence of songs like "Try Again" from "Supertramp", "School" from "Crime Of The Century" and "Even In The Quietest Moment" and "Fool's Overture" from "Even In The Quietest Moments?" which are, undoubtedly, some of the best and most progressive songs from Supertramp. Probably, and again, the usual commercial criteria of the record labels prevailed over the quality, leaving out some of their lengthiest and less commercial songs. Concluding, despite "Classics, Vol. 9" be a good compilation of Supertramp with some really great songs, it's far from being enough representative of Supertramp's music, by the reasons mentioned by me.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |


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