Supertramp
Crime of the Century


5.0
classic

Review

by e210013 USER (121 Reviews)
April 4th, 2017 | 52 replies


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is probably one of the less loved prog albums of all time. However, this is simply one of the best prog albums ever.

“Crime Of The Century” is the third studio album of Supertramp and was released in 1974. The line up on the album is Roger Hodgson, Rick Davies, John Anthony Helliwell, Dougie Thomson and Bob Siebenberg.


The first self titled Supertramp’s album was released in 1970, to no public or critical acclaim, the rest of the band are either fired, have a nervous breakdown, or jump from the ship. A second album was recorded “Indelibly Stamped”, in 1971, which if anything fared even worse than its predecessor. Both of these albums feature rather aimless songs featuring meandering solos and indifferent lyrics instantly forgettable. After the tour to promote, “Indelibly Stamped”, the three new recruits to the band are all fired leaving just the duo of Davies and Hodgson again. At this point, Stanley “Sam” August Miesegaes, the Dutch millionaire who was the financial support of the group, separates from the band.

Then, Davies and Hodgson bravely keep going recruiting new musicians, the saxophonist Helliwell, the drummer Siebenberg and perhaps the most important of all, Thomson, which came in on bass and also took over the business management of the band. At this point the band are gigging day to day to survive whilst writing new material for the proposed new album. In November of 1973 the band are moved to a farm in Somerset, England to work on the new material for the next album. The album was recorded at various English studio audios. The third album of Supertramp had the full weight of the A&M publicity machine behind them, coupled with some ground breaking and prestigious live concerts. Then the band becomes overnight sensations. The first single of the album “Dreamer”, was to peak at Number 13 in the British charts followed by the album itself which was in the Top Five by Christmas of that year.

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 great albums.

The album starts with the haunting slow harmonica intro of the opening track “School”. It’s an amazing and fantastic song to open the album, one of their best, which lyrically touches the same subject matter which Hodgson will master later with “The Logical Song”. “Bloody Well Right” gives us the Supertramp’s first incorporation of their usual piano time signature. This song has the feel of a totally unique and groovy track that soon became one of the most popular songs of the album and would remain the band’s signature song for years to come. “Hide In Your Shell” is one of the best overall songs on the album, with perfect structure, dynamics, and just the right amount of effects at the right moments. It’s divided into four sections perfectly orchestrated and with the chorus of the singers it hits a fantastic climax. “Asylum” is a very beautiful progressive ballad with excellent lyrics that turns into a full-on dramatic rocker in the last two minutes. “Dreamer”, which starts off as a kind of childish tune with Hodgson’s vocals, soon the track grows and only ends up having a full arrangement around the end. It’s a simple track that manages to shine. While “Dreamer” seems to scoff at the wide-eyed optimist, “Rudy” takes the opposite approach of life wasted waiting for opportunity. It’s like a mini epic song which moves through sections of jazz, rock, and prog on its journey. This is really a great track. “If Everyone Was Listening” is a striking melancholic tone thanks yet again mostly to the piano. Although instruments like the saxophone also give out remarkable performances. The title track concludes the album as it starts with quick lyrical motif identifying some unknown evil force before going into methodical music sections with no further commentary. At the end you can even hear the harmonica line from “School”. This is really another great track.


Conclusion: “Crime Of The Century” is probably one of the most unknown progressive albums that can be called truly amazing. The sound of this album 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. 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. Supertramp isn’t one of my favourite bands but this is one my favourite albums of all time. This album isn’t for just anyone. You need to have an open mind, and an appreciation for music that isn’t the norm. At the same time though, it isn’t an “out-of-whack” progressive album, it’s a work of art. This is really why I like progressive rock music.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Almost one year has passed since the last review about this album was published here. It wasn't my intention to review this album so soon. But, one year ago, I decided review it in the next months. Why? Because someone said , I think he was SirLord, that this album deserved a review of 5.0. And he was right. This is one of the less beloved albums from the greatest prog albums ever made. It always was very well received but never had the true recognition it deserve, which is, be recognized as one of the best albums ever made, prog or non-prog.

So, since as almost an year has passed and I had already prepared this review for some while, I think it's now time to do this. It's time to published my thoughts about this album.

I think this review will pleased especially SirLord. If I'm not wrong, he is one of the greatest fans of this allbum. If my memory does not betray me, I think this is even his favourite album, or something like that.

Your comments are welcome, as usual.

TwigTW
April 4th 2017


3821 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This is one of those rare albums where every song has taken a turn being my favorite. It deserved a 5 star review--good job!

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Absolutely. Thanks dude.

TheIntruder
April 4th 2017


427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely this is their best effort. A classic or almost. Nice review. Have a pos.

MO
April 4th 2017


22756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that t/t

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Definitely a classic. Thanks Intruder.

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for your participation Mo.

TwigTW
April 4th 2017


3821 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

It wasn't a flop in the US, but it's surprising how it didn't really catch on here (the way it did in Europe) until people went back and 'discovered' it after Even In The Quietest Moments and Breakfast in America became so popular.

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, it's true. It happened maybe because it was their first great album that succeed, in relation to their first two flops. Maybe people was distracted with it, in those times. After all, they weren't an American band or a British very well know band, at the time.

Jethro42
April 4th 2017


15960 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is the very first prog album I was introduced to by my friends in the mid 70s, a time where I stopped listening to my parents' commercial radio music. Prog music was brought to me by friends' older brothers. So I started to listen to all the 70s classic prog bands, starting with that Supertramp' masterpiece. I tend to prefer the warmth of Hodgson's compos, but here, Davies (that is a rather cold character) penned as many great compos as Hodgson did. Also, I wish ''If Everyone Was Listening'' (by Hodgson) was as strong as the other tracks. It's not bad. Just not as catchy as the others. It's a classic album all the same.

Very good review, my friend. Bravo for your 60th review.

Divaman
April 4th 2017


4306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have to admit, these guys have always been one of my least favorite prog rock groups. Maybe it's time to give them another listen.

Digging: Barns Courtney - 404

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Jethro

This is also one of my first prog albums which was presented to me by my school friends, I think in 1975. However, I'm not sure if this was my first contact with the band or if it was "Crisis? What Crisis? Anyway, this album was very important for my musical education, this is for sure.

As happen with you, and I think we have talked already about it one time, I also tend to prefer the warmth of Hodgson's compositions, despite the high quality of the compositions signed by Davies. Still and anyway, I always considered the duo of Hodgson and Davies as one of the best duo of composers of prog ever.

About ''If Everyone Was Listening'', I agree with you. But still, despite be a very simple song, is very beautiful and very catchy. I never had any kind of problem with it. However, I can't say the same with "Dreamer". I was so massacred with the frequence that the song passed on the radio stations in my coutry, at the time, that for many years I could listened to it, anymore. Anyway, many years have passed and now I made the peace with that song. Now, I can see that we are in presence of a great song. Maybe too much commercial but still is a great song. Anyway, as Jem Godfrey of Frost* said once: "It's much more difficult to write pop hits than most people think. You have to get to the point as quickly and as effectively as possible. When you can tell people something inspiring in three minutes, using a wonderful melody and wrapping it in great production, then you've got a hit. I don't see why it can't be the same with prog".

Thanks bro. It's very nice to celebrate my 60th review. In 10 years, maybe I'm here celebrating my 400 or 500 review. Ah, Ah, Ah,...

CompostCompote
April 4th 2017


1022 Comments


Band loses six points for having a name that reminded to call Patrick's mom.

Jethro42
April 4th 2017


15960 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Divaman; Band is so easy to enjoy, I'm surprised, bro. Since you rated Breakfast at a 4, I would (re)visit Crime, Crisis and Even in the Quietest Moments. And if ever you're still hungry, try the very radio friendly Famous Last Words.

MrSirLordGentleman
April 4th 2017


12745 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

fuck yeah



favorite album ever



great job dude

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Diva

But they shouldn't be. I'm sure it's time to change your opinion. It's never too late. Ah, Ah, Ah,...

Now seriously. The guys are really great, especially this album and "Even In The Quietest Moments" deseve be checked with an open mind. I think you realy must pay more attention to these two albums. They represent a different face of prog, but still great, anyway.

Thanks, dude.

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ SirLord

Thanks, bro. I was sure that you would be very happy with a review of 5.0 for this album. Consider it as a personal offer to you. Ah, Ah, Ah,...

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Jethro

By the way. Did you know already the solo album of Hodgson, "In The Eye Of The Storm"? According with your ratings it seems you don't know it yet. Personally, I like the album very much. I think we can say that it can be considered a kind of a lost Supertramp's album.

Jethro42
April 4th 2017


15960 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I lost my comment, damn...

e210013
April 4th 2017


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No problem, man. Do it again. Ah, Ah, Ah,...



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