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Supertramp - Supertramp CD (album) cover

SUPERTRAMP

Supertramp

 

Crossover Prog

3.46 | 214 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

cedo
4 stars I still can remember when Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" in the year of "The Wall" hit radio stations. Some already knew for their three 1974-1977 albums, but most of people were asking "Hey, what's this?", "Who are they?", "Where are they coming from?", and a little by little on the wave of their popularity, their previous albums started to be of interest. But that search, limited by choice of albums that were reissued by record companies, was ending on time scale somewhere in 1974 like nothing existed before that year concerning Supertramp. The band was planetary known, a double live was released, and everything was fine. But something was strange. What about a couple of albums from the very beginning of 70's. They were listed in a discography, but nobody had it, and nobody knew almost nothing of them. Even compilations were avoiding them. Maybe they're like first two Moody Blues' albums, of no importance to progressive world, or something like that. And the years were passing by, and I collected all of their albums 'round the glory days.

And then one day, some 25 years later, I saw CD with strange looking reddish flower or cabbage face below the word "Supertramp". Hm, thought to myself, one more compilation aimed to pull out a last coin from pockets of poor fans. Looked at the songs, how strange, didn't know a single one. Year? 1977! That's impossible! Lineup? Davies, Hodgson, Palmer, Millar. And some shy 1972 copyright. Ha! That's it. The year is wrong! The First. Numero Uno. The debut album. Since it was on sale, bought it, put it in a CD player, and . "when the music's over" I stood in wonder, deeply touched with its beauty. Something like that existed all those years, forgotten and hidden from the ears of most of collectors. What a shame! But one gentleman long ago said "We're only in it for the money". No profit, no records, no music.

Well, thanks to CD technology, almost everything on Earth is now reachable, one way or another. So is this jewel from 1970. The best and most progressive album from Supertramp. The album starts with less the minute long acoustic guitar and piano song sketch with gentle vocal, and some 45 minutes later ends with the same sketch developed into 3 minutes song. Between the two there are a lot of musical ideas perfectly performed and shaped. Music relies mostly on keyboards, with excellent bass, percussions and guitar support, together with unique Roger Hodgson singing, often started with haunting flageolet. Songs have not standard stanza and refrain structure, there are a lot of interplays between instruments, and vocals fits nicely. The former A side of the LP brilliantly ends with short hopeful "Home again" coming flawlessly from desperate "Maybe I'm a beggar" (listening to it always reminds me that three years later some other guys similarly wanted to be back ".home, home again." after finding out one day that ".ten years have got behind." and being ".shorter of breath and one day closer to death."). Most of songs are between 4 and 6 minutes, never letting to cross the limits of band's capabilities. Only one is 12 minutes long, mighty "Try again". It starts with nice spooky melody, and incorporates same pattern with clever changing of instruments and tempo, styles, solos, including even real rock guitar solo and sound experiment before its end. Really strong!

".and I am not like other birds of prey.". Later Supertramp's records are more commercial, so this one I recommend highly to progressive rock listeners. Its four stars shine like southern cross (though I never saw it)!

cedo | 4/5 |

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