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Supertramp The Very Best of Supertramp album cover
3.43 | 50 ratings | 9 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. School (5:35)
2. Goodbye Stranger (5:48)
3. The Logical Song (4:10)
4. Bloody Well Right (4:33)
5. Breakfast in America (2:41)
6. Rudy (7:18)
7. Take the Long Way Home (5:03)
8. Crime of the Century (5:32)
9. Dreamer (3:31)
10. Ain't Nobody but Me (5:07)
11. Hide in Your Shell (6:48)
12. From Now On (6:17)
13. Give a Little Bit (4:09)
14. It's Raining Again (4:23)
15. Cannonball (7:38)

Total Time 78:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Hodgson / vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Bob C. Benberg / drums & percussion
- Dougie Thomson / bass
- John Anthony Helliwell / wind instruments, vocals
- Richard Davies / vocals, keyboards

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SUPERTRAMP The Very Best of Supertramp ratings distribution

(50 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SUPERTRAMP The Very Best of Supertramp reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars In other words, "Crime of the century"

The very best of Supertramp offers exactly what it says on the cover, in the form of a well filled CD. Their most successful period starting from "Crime of the Century" through to "Famous last words" supplies the bulk of the tracks, many of which were released as singles.

No less than six of the eight tracks from COTC appear here. The tracks do not however appear in chronological order, so unfortunately the COTC tracks are dispersed. This in turn means that the title track from COTC does not appear as the final track on the selection, a compiler's error in my opinion.

In general terms, the tracks selected cannot be faulted, as they represent a good combination of the band's most successful singles, and most accessible album tracks.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Yes this is a better compilation from Supertramp offering ' School' as a peace token from the previous ' Autobiography' debacle.It pretty much sums up Supertramp to 1985, however for me Supertramp's strength lay in studio work and all these compilations leave me uninspired.
Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Though only being a collection of their greatest hits, this compilation was my fist taste of this wonderful band. I was only a kid back when I first heard it but I really enjoyed the melodies and hooks in the music, and I still do. Even today, Supertramp remains my favorite band, though for progheads I'll rather recommend "Crime of the Century" as your first Supertramp album considering that one is perhaps their most suitable for the average prog listener rather than a compilation featuring their greatest hits. Luckily, even their "hits" are really good musically, but really, this one only scores a three star rating, though I have to add another star because of its nostalgic importance to me.
Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In my mind, Supertramp belongs in a sort of prog-pop category alongside the Alan Parsons Project, Ambrosia, Klaatu and 10CC. My listening experience with this group is actually quite strange. I grew up with taped copies of its two most popular albums Crime Of The Century and Breakfast In America, but a decade ago I was given both volumes of this Best Of series on CD. Since between them the volumes had virtually every track off these albums, I've never got around to buying any of the individual Supertramp albums and I'm quite content to let things stay that way.

Over the years Roger Hodgson, Rick Davies and friends have recorded a fair number of unforgettable creative pop songs and most of them are here on this first volume. Supertramp was successful enough that most regular radio listeners should be familiar with the group's tight playing and distinctive songwriting that relies more on clever changes of direction rather than instrumental prowess.

The material for this compilation ignores Supertramp's first two albums (recorded with a different label now doubt) and focuses on Crime Of The Century (six songs) and Breakfast In America (four cuts, all of which were hit singles, if I'm not mistaken). The other prime era Supertramp albums, Crisis? What Crisis? and Even In The Quietest Moments, are given short shrift with three tracks between them, and there's also a track each from Famous Last Words and the post-Hodgson album Brother Where You Bound?

While it does not necessarily contain Supertramp's most progressive moments, the music on here is virtually flawless. School evolves beyond its spaghetti Western harmonica intro into a fantastic, compelling yet consise prog tale. Goodbye Stranger's got an unforgettable propulsive chorus The Logical Song is perhaps the quintessential Supertramp composition ... it's so damn clever! Bloody Well Right has some excellent electric piano that suddenly bursts into one of their hardest rocking tunes (that's despite a borderline "wussy" chorus!). Rudy is another piece that follows the same route. The first couple of minutes of this track could even be a Billy Joel song, yet halfway through it becomes one of the group's best rockers! Crime Of The Century (the track) is arguably Supertramp's finest compostion ever. An impassioned slow-moving rocker with a momumental fade-out that is scintillating and incredibly moving for reasons I can't even begin to describe (I wonder if I'm the only person who thinks that Supertramp's sound on the Crime Of The Century album foreshadows Pink Floyd's on The Wall ... sounds like heresy to some, I'm sure!).

Dreamer is a nice piece with a great "dream sequence", but I do find the vocals too annoying during the chorus on this one. There's a definite twee aspect to Hodgson's singing and writing style and one can imagine a kid getting hurt in the school playground for admitting to being a Supertramp fan! Hide In Your Shell is probably my least fabourite contribution here from Crime Of The Century, even if it's just an "average" song. From Now On is another dreamy track but with more of a punch than Hide In Your Shell, and even the post-Hodgson blues-inflected rocker Cannonball isn't bad at all. I must say that the poppier moments on this collection, songs like Breakfast In America, Give A Little Bit, Take The Long Way Home and my favourite Supertramp song ever It's Raining Again (!!!), are totally enjoyable.

I'm a bit of stick in the mud with compilations in that I always prefer the songs to be in chronological order. I might also want to argue about replacing the bluesy Ain't Nobody But Me with the ethereal Even In The Quietest Moments (the track). I can imagine that most prog fans will tell you to head to the Crime Of The Century (surely Supertramp's finest) album first but I'd advise you to try this one out. It's an excellent representative collection of one of the few groups that managed to successfully marry prog and pop sensibilities. ... 72% on the MPV scale

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This is a good compilation and entry to the band if you are new to it. None of their two first albums enter into consideration for this "Best Of" which is normal due to the poor material they delivered in those ones.

On the contrary, there are six songs from "Crime..." (out of eight). Since it is one of their masterpiece it might sound normal but still, I believe it a bit exaggerated on a compilation release. While the best songs of the album are featured, I am not really sure that "Bloody Well Right" and "Crime of the Century" deserve to be on a compilation.

Surprisingly and sadly (IMO) there is only one song from "Crisis ...?" : "Ain't Nobody but Me" : even if it is a good track, I would have preferred to hear "Soapbox..." and "Lady". But this will be partially repaired in their "Second Volume".

Two songs from "Even ..." : the poppy "Give A Little Bit" and "From Now On" : no one can blame this selection 'cause I guess that "Fool's Overture" is a bit too long to fit onto a best of (but it will be also featured on their next compil).

Four from "Breakfast" : "The Logical Song" : quite normal since it was a hit single. "Goodbye Stranger"a wonderful melody, "Breakfast In America" and "Take The Long Way Home" which are two good numbers as well.

"It's Raining Again" from "Famous Lost Words" and "Cannonball" from "Brother...". close this overview. IMO, they are the weakest ones of this effort.

There are so many great songs from the 'Tramp that a "Best Of" could have easily reached a masterpiece status, but I guess that my choices are not the one of the MOR (middle of the road) potential buyer to whom this compilation was meant (anyway I bought it when I was reconstructing my musical catalogue switching from vinyl to CD). Three stars.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Nice "Best of"

Well, lately i haven`t been really inspired in writing reviews, yesterday i wrote one and it probably returned my love for writing, and i decided to go through some old albums i have and had not listened for a while, this compillation, well not only the compillation but the band itself has never been one of my favorites, actually i hardly listen to Supertramp but i wanted to listen to them once more after a big gap, so as you see i have started with the easiest way, i mean reviewing a compillation is always easy because you dont need to be deep in your remarks and comments, just talk a bit of it`s content, hghlights, up and downs or something relatively easy, like a brief introduction or something i dont know.

So i found my "The Very Best of Supertramp" album and decided to give it a listen, and to my surprise i enjoyed it , as i said above they are not close to be in my top 50 favorite bands i have always considered them as a rock-pop with a bit prog band, like Styx for example but for some strange reason i prefer Styx, anyway this album features 15 songs, i believe their most birlliant moments and well known songs are placed here, so any person who is not familiar with this band, could have a nice introduction here, i will be honest to you, i listened this album before listening to any of their studio albums.

The songs here come from in the majoity from their Crime of the Century, with songs also from Even in the Quietest Moments, Breakfast in America and Crisis what Crisis if im not wrong, it lasts more than 75 minutes, so if you like the band you can have a very pleasant hour and a quarter of music, if not, then you can skip some songs.

My favorites are in the first half of the album "School", "The Logical Song" and "Rudy", so the second part of this best of becomes a bit boring and repetitive to me, though "Cannonball" is a very nice song, the last one here.

I will say 3 stars for me, a good compillation, it could have been better if the music were better and if i were a Supertramp`s follower, but that is not possible.

Enjoy it, anyway!

Review by Guillermo
3 stars I know that SUPERTRAMP considered their album "Crime of the Century" as their best. I don`t agree with them. For me, that album was a first step to a more defined style for the band which they didn`t find with their previous two albums recorded with two different line-ups and which are somewhat different to the music the band recorded starting with "Crime of the Century".

Being "Crime of the Century" as important for the band as they think, as other reviewers wrote, they include six songs from the eight that album has. From the rest of the tracks there are several hit singles and other popular songs among fans. But this album is like the "studio version" of their live album called "Paris": eleven of the sixteen songs which were included in "Paris" are also included in this compilation. So, in my case, I prefer to have their "Paris" album, because it serves more as a "Greatest Hits Live" album, at least until 1979. From their albums recorded between 1982 and 1985, there are only two songs: "It`s Raining Again" (from "...famous last words...", 1982) and "Cannonball" (from "Brother Where You Bound", 1985). But this compilation doesn`t include nothing from their first two albums and from their "Free as a Bird" album (which are not as bad as other persons think, in my opinion). So, this compilation is more like a "Greatest Hits package" from the classic line-up of this band, so I think that in comparison to their "Retrospectacle compilation", it is an incomplete compilation designed more for the casual listener or the fans who only want the hits or the songs the band consider as being more important from their discography.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 539

"The Very Best Of Supertramp" is the third compilation album of Supertramp and was released in 1990. This is a compilation that has some of the most popular songs made by the band from their six best and most representative albums, "Crime Of The Century" from 1974, "Crisis? What Crisis?" from 1975, "Even In The Quietest Moments?" from 1977, "Breakfast In America" from 1979, "Famous Last Words" from 1982 and "Brother Where You Bound" from 1985.

"The Very Best Of Supertramp" appears after the debut compilation of the band, "The Autobiography Of Supertramp", which was the first greatest hits album released by the group and that contains some of the most popular songs made by Supertramp, and after their second compilation "Classics, Vol. 9", which is nothing more than the version for the US market, and that it was part of A&M's 25th Anniversary series. In reality, "The Very Best Of Supertramp" is really nothing more than a new version of the two previous compilations plus an additional track. It has the same fourteen tracks presented in the same order. The difference is that "The Very Best Of Supertramp" opens with the new track, "School".

The front cover art of "The Very Best Of Supertramp" depicts the band's name in colours with the gate from the front cover of "Crime Of The Century", with the hand carrying the glass from the front cover of "Breakfast In America" and the orange umbrella from the front cover of "Crisis? What Crisis?", all put in a white background. It's beautiful, really.

"The Very Best Of Supertramp" has fifteen tracks from the following albums: "School", "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". "School" is an amazing and fantastic song with good lyrics and a very good piano solo. It's one of the best songs composed by this fantastic duo of composers. This is one of my Supertramp's favourite songs, of all time, undoubtedly. "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 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 was 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 wrote above, "The Very Best Of Supertramp" is really nothing more than a new version of the two previous compilations of the band with the same fourteen tracks presented in the same order plus an additional track. So, mostly what I wrote before when I reviewed those compilations applies to "The Very Best Of Supertramp". Thus, we are in presence of a good compilation of Supertramp that includes some of their best tracks taken from some of their best studio albums. About the selection of tracks, I miss the songs "Try Again" from "Supertramp" and "Even In The Quietest Moment" and "Fool's Overture" from "Even In The Quietest Moments?", some of their most progressive songs. Despite the addition of "School", which was great, I'm still thinking that it isn't enough representative of their music. To be more representative, you must have also their compilation "The Very Best Of Supertramp ? Volume 2".

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars Very best, Indeed! This one of the few compilations that actually has great songs through the whole disc, as well as one of the few best of compilations that is true to it's name. It has most of the songs from Crime of the Century, qualifying it a three to begin with, and the rest are great song ... (read more)

Report this review (#160112) | Posted by Draith | Tuesday, January 29, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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