Sunday, May 6, 2007


@ Wiki
Supertramp is a British art rock and pop band that had a series of top-selling albums in the 1970s and 1980s.

Their early music included ambitious concept albums, but they are best known for their later, somewhat Beatlesque pop songs, including "Dreamer", "Goodbye Stranger", "Give a Little Bit" and "The Logical Song". Despite chart success, the band never attained superstardom in the UK (although they did in Canada, the United States and the rest of Europe). It was remarked at the height of their popularity that Supertramp was the best-selling group in the world whose members could walk down any street and not be recognised.

Original members
* Rick Davies - vocals, piano, harmonica, keyboards
* Roger Hodgson - vocals, piano, guitars, keyboards
* Richard Palmer - vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, balalaika
* Robert Millar - percussion, harmonica

Later members
* Frank Farrell - backing vocal, bass, piano, accordion
* Kevin Currie - percussion
* Dave Winthrop - vocals, flute, saxophone
* Dougie Thomson - bass
* Bob Siebenberg - drums, percussion
* John Helliwell - saxophone, woodwinds, backing vocal, keyboards, melodica
* Mark Hart - vocals, keyboard, guitar
* Cliff Hugo - bass
* Lee Thornburg - backing vocals, trombone, trumpet
* Carl Verheyen - guitar
* Tom Walsh - percussion
* Jesse Siebenberg - backing vocals, percussion

Backed by a Dutch millionaire named Stanley August Miesegaes, vocalist and pianist Rick Davies (born Richard Davies, July 22, 1944 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England) used newspaper advertising in Melody Maker to recruit an early version of the band in August 1969, an effort which recruited vocalist/guitarist and keyboardist Roger Hodgson (born Charles Roger Pomfret Hodgson, March 21, 1950 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England). Other members of this embryonic Supertramp group included Richard Palmer (guitar, balalaika, vocals) (born Richard W Palmer-James, 11 June 1947, in Bournemouth, Dorset) and Robert Millar (percussion, harmonica) (born 2 February 1950). Initially, Roger Hodgson sang and played bass guitar (and on the side, guitar, cello and flageolet). The band was called Daddy from August 1969 to January 1970,when the band became Supertramp.

The first album Supertramp was released in July 1970. Although it was very interesting musically,it proved a commercial disappointment. Richard Palmer abruptly quit six months after the album's release and Robert Millar suffered a nervous breakdown shortly afterwards. For the next album, Frank Farrell (bass) (born c 1947 in Birmingham Warwickshire), Kevin Currie (percussion) (born in Liverpool, Lancashire) and Dave Winthrop (flute and saxophone) (born 27 November 1948, in New Jersey, USA) replaced Millar and Palmer, Roger Hodgson switched to guitar and recorded the new album Indelibly Stamped, released in June 1971. It featured rocking Beatlesque tunes, a more commercial approach and eye-catching cover artwork. Supertramp had established themselves as a "cult" band. Sales, however, failed to improve and sold even more poorly than their debut. In early 1972 Miesegaes withdrew his support from the band after paying off debts. All members gradually quit except Hodgson and Davies.

Initial Success and Commercial Breakthrough
In late 1972, after being persuaded to carry on, Davies and Hodgson went on an extensive search for replacements, which first brought aboard Dougie Thomson (born Douglas Campbell Thomson, March 24, 1951 in Rutherglen, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland) (bass), who played with the band almost a year before auditions resumed to complete the line-up. In 1973, auditions restarted and brought in Bob Siebenberg (born Robert Layne Siebenberg, October 31, 1949 in Glendale, California, USA, drums, and often credited as Bob C. Benberg), and John Helliwell (born John Anthony Helliwell, February 15, 1945 in Todmorden, Yorkshire, England) (saxophone, other woodwinds, occasional keyboards, backing vocals), joining original members Davies and Hodgson and the newly brought in Thomson, completing the line-up that would create the group's defining albums. Hodgson would also begin playing keyboards in the band in addition to guitar, usually acoustic and electric pianos on his own compositions. His heavy-handed piano method would become a staple in the band, as heard on "Dreamer," "The Logical Song," "Take the Long Way Home," and many others, and would earn him the nickname "hammerheads" in the band. The classic Supertramp keyboard is a Wurlitzer electric piano with its unmistakable bright sound and biting distortion when played hard.

Crime of the Century (album), released in September 1974, began the group's run of critical and commercial successes, hitting number four in Britain, supported by the top-10 single "Dreamer". Its B-side "Bloody Well Right" hit the US Top 40 in May 1975. Siebenberg would later note that he thought the band hit its artistic peak on this, their third album, though their greatest commercial success would come later.

The band continued with Crisis? What Crisis? released in November (1975). It achieved good though not overwhelming commercial success. Even in the Quietest Moments, released in April (1977) spawned their hit single Give a Little Bit. During this period, the band eventually relocated to the United States and moved steadily from the progressive styles of their early albums towards a more song-oriented pop sound.

This trend reached its zenith on their most popular album, Breakfast in America in March (1979), which reached Number 3 in the UK and Number 1 in the United States and spawned four successful singles, "The Logical Song", "Take the Long Way Home", "Goodbye Stranger" and "Breakfast in America". The album has since sold over 18 million copies worldwide.

The run of successes was capped with 1980's Paris, a 2-LP live album, in which the band stated its goal of improving on the studio versions of their songs. Interestingly, instead of focusing on songs from the hugely successful Breakfast in America, it included nearly every song from Crime of the Century, another testament to the importance of that album in the group's development.

Later Career
Hodgson and Davies' differing singing and songwriting styles provided these albums with an interesting counterpoint, contrasting Davies' determined blues-rockers and songs of broken relationships ("Another Man's Woman", "From Now On", "Goodbye Stranger") with Hodgson's wistful introspection ("Dreamer", "School", "Fool's Overture", "The Logical Song"), but Hodgson felt constrained by the arrangement and left the band after the tour for their next album, ...Famous Last Words... (1982) which contained the Top 20 hit "It's Raining Again" and the Top 40 hit "My Kind of Lady". In a recent interview of his Take the Long Way Home tour, Hodgson stated that the reason why he left Supertramp was because he had started a family and he wanted to see his children to grow up and he wanted to commit to that.

Having left the band in 1983 Hodgson began a solo career, his biggest hit "Had A Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)" coming from his first solo album In the Eye of the Storm, in 1984.

The Davies-led Supertramp soldiered on, releasing Brother Where You Bound the same year. This included a Top 30 hit single, "Cannonball", along with the title track, a 16-minute exposition on Cold War themes highlighted by guitar solos from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. The album reached #21 on the US charts. 1987's Free as a Bird included more straightforward Davies rockers, including "I'm Beggin' You", which reached Number 1 on the US dance charts, a curious accomplishment for an "art rock" band.

After 1987's tour, Thomson left the band due to a disagreement with Davies about the use of Hodgson-penned songs during live performances. One of the conditions of allowing Davies to continue with the name Supertramp was that no Hodgson songs would be performed. Hodgson was dismayed to attend a concert and find that the band was performing songs such as "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song." These songs were usually sung by Crowded House's Mark Hart (Hodgson's replacement on stage), and the Scottish bass player was against this move. When Supertramp reunited in 1997, Thomson declined an invitation to return and eventually quit playing for good.

In 1993, Davies approached Hodgson in an effort to bring him back to the band, but this attempt failed. In interviews published on his and other fan forums, Hodgson later claimed he had been more than willing to rejoin Supertramp, but only if Davies's wife, Susan, abstained from interfering in band affairs. Sue Davies was A&R at A&M (in charge of welcoming the band and helping them settle) when Supertramp moved to Los Angeles in the mid-70s, and, as the romance between Davies and her blossomed, she quit A&M and started managing the band. Having to fight two Davieses instead of one increased Hodgson's frustrations, and prompted his departure. Davies declined to exclude his wife from his professional affairs, and Hodgson never heard from him again.

In 1997 Davies re-formed Supertramp with former members Helliwell, Siebenberg, and Hart and several new musicians. The result was Some Things Never Change, a polished effort which echoed the earlier Supertramp sound. Ironically, that same year saw the release of Rites of Passage, Roger Hodgson's first solo album since Hai Hai in 1986. Rites of Passage (Hodgson album) was a live album featuring both new works from Roger as well as three Supertramp songs ("Take the Long Way Home", "The Logical Song" and "Give a Little Bit").

In an ironic reversal two years later, the reformed Supertramp released a live album, It Was The Best Of Times while Roger released a studio album Open The Door.

Early 2002 saw the release of another album by Davies and the reformed Supertramp, Slow Motion (sold direct in North America). Another attempt to reunite the band, including Hodgson, fell apart in 2005.

Rick Davies has since left California and resides in Long Island (East Hampton).

In the past few years Roger Hodgson has donated Give A Little Bit to raise funds for Tsunami Relief efforts and other causes. It's been used by the Red Cross, United Way, the Make a Wish Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey show requested the use of Give A Little Bit as part of their ”Gift of Giving Back Program.“

2006 was a busy year for Roger Hodgson. Throughout the summer of 2006, he has been touring Europe (France, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany), as well as the US (St. Paul, MN) and Canada (fall 2006) and his DVD "Take The Long Way Home – Live In Montreal" has gone Platinum and to the #1 spot in Canada, in its first 7 weeks of release.

He has also been asked to mentor Canadian Idol’s Top 7 contestants, alongside Dennis DeYoung (a founding member of the group Styx).

In March 2006 Roger Hodgson was honored for his song Give A Little Bit at the 23rd Annual ASCAP awards in Los Angeles. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers gave the award in acknowledgment of the song being one of the 50 most played songs of 2005.

* The name of the band was taken from W. H. Davies' 1908 novel The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp.
* Chris McCandless used the pseudonym "Alexander Supertramp" during his fatal journey through Alaska, which is the subject matter of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
* The Logical tramps (or Logicaltramp) started in 2004 to perform as a UK tribute some of Supertramp's tunes live. John Helliwell and Roger Hodgson gave glowing endorsements to this band, where seven fans joined to play their favourite music. John Helliwell even went on stage with the band one night to play. Website:
* Roger Hodgson played in Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band In 2001.
* The instrumental part of the song "Child of Vision" is the theme music of a popular game show, "Kviskoteka", which aired in Yugoslavia throughout the 1980s and the 1990s.
* An instrumental part of the song "Fool's Overture" was the theme music to the Canadian CTV newsmagazine program W-FIVE during the 1970s and early 1980s.
* "Cupid's Chokehold" by Gym Class Heroes features Patrick Stump of the band Fall Out Boy singing the line "Take a look at my girlfriend..." from the song "Breakfast in America". Gym Class Heroes also uses some of the melody and pattern, such as the "Da Da Daa". The line was also used in the chorus for a song by J.R. Writer.
* The Jesus and Mary Chain have a song called "Supertramp" on their 1998 album Munki.
* Bob Siebenberg used the name Bob C. Benberg as an immigration dodge in Britain, because he was there illegally.
* "Crime Of The 87th Century" was the theme song for "Derrick" (a popular German Detective show in the 80s and 90s).
* In "Breakfast in America" Supertramp talks about having kippers for breakfast; "Could we have kippers for breakfast?" This is not a common American breakfast.
* In a 1979 Rolling Stone Magazine interview, Paul McCartney called them his new "favorite band".

Studio Albums
Supertramp [July 1970]
Indelibly Stamped [June 1971]
Crime of the Century [September 1974]
Crisis? What Crisis? [November 1975]
Even in the Quietest Moments [April 1977]
Breakfast in America [March 1979]
...Famous Last Words...[October 1982]
Brother Where You Bound [May 1985]
Free as a Bird [October 1987]
Some Things Never Change [June 1997]
Slow Motion [April 2002]

Other Albums
* Paris (September 1980, live)
* The Autobiography of Supertramp (October 1986) - also released in the U.S. as Classics Volume 9, as part of A&M's 25th Anniversary series.
* Live '88 (October 1988, live)
* Very Best Of (Vol. 1) (1990)
* Very Best Of (Vol. 2) (1992)
* It Was The Best Of Times (October 8 1999, live)
* Is Everybody Listening? (2001, live) - bootleg of 1975 concert also known as Dreamers
* Retrospectacle - The Supertramp Anthology (October 18 2005)

* Forever / Your Poppa Don't Mind (October 1971)
* Land Ho / Summer Romance (1974)
* Dreamer / Bloody Well Right (December 1974) (NL[81]#36)
* Dreamer / You Started Laughing (December 1974)
* Bloody Well Right / If Everyone Was Listening (April 1975) #35 US
* Lady / You Started Laughing (When I Held You In My Arms) (January 1975)
* Sister Moonshine / Ain't Nobody But Me (June 1976)
* Give a Little Bit / Downstream (May 1977) #15 US (NL[77]#2)
* Babaji / From Now On (November 1977)
* From Now On / Dreamer (November 1977)
* The Logical Song / Just Another Nervous Wreck (March 1979) #6 US (NL[79]#20)
* Breakfast in America / Gone Hollywood (June 1979) (NL[79]#16)
* Goodbye Stranger / Even In The Quietest Moments (June 1979) #15 US
* Take the Long Way Home / Rudy (October 6, 1979) #10 US
* Take the Long Way Home / From Now On (October 6, 1979)
* Dreamer [live] / From Now On [September live] (1980) #15 US
* Breakfast In America (live) / You Started Laughing (live) (November 1980) #62 US
* Dreamer (live) / You Started Laughing (live) (November 1980)
* It's Raining Again / Bonnie (October 1982) #11 US (NL[82]#6)
* Crazy (1983)
* My Kind of Lady / Know Who You Are (January 1983) #31 US
* Still in Love / No Inbetween (February 1985)
* Cannonball / Ever Open Door (April 1985) #28 US (NL[85]#35)
* Better Days / No Inbetween (September 1985)
* I'm Beggin' You / No Inbetween (October 1987)
* Free as a Bird / I'm Beggin' You [GBR] (February 1988)
* Free as a Bird / Thing For You (February 1988)
* School (Only NL[90]#33)
* You Win, I Lose (1997)
* Listen To Me Please (1997) =>>>>>>>>>>>

============ blogprock ============

Supertramp - Breakfast in America

============ blogprock ============

No comments: