"If you had had more time..."

>> Monday, September 27, 2010

I don't know if it makes sense to say that a band that had as many hits and was as ubiquitous on the radio in the '70s as Supertramp was can be underrated. But it sort of feels like they get dismissed, notwithstanding the odd old hit popping up in the occasional movie soundtrack or whatever; it sort of seems they get written off somehow as a cheesy '70s pop band when what they were doing was writing great pop earworms that had stiletto lyrics when you actually listened to what they were saying. The Supertramp worldview was angsty and sarcastic, vicious and snarky, misanthropic in the way only a jaded, disillusioned romantic whose heart has been smashed into the mud with a large hammer can be misanthropic.

And the clarinet solos were boss.

In the early '80s, Supertramp's brain trust, Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies apparently had some kind of hideous falling-out. Hodgson went out on a unremarkable solo career and Davies plodded along with the remaining bandmates under the Supertramp moniker but it wasn't the same and it's easy to forget--perhaps preferable to forget--that the band didn't actually, technically break up. 1982's ...Famous Last Words... wasn't Supertramp's last album, but it might as well have been.

Anyway, it makes it hard to find a Supertramp video or live performance to share. What you're getting today is Hodgson solo, performing "Take The Long Way Home." If you don't own Breakfast In America already, you ought to: the first-side triptych consisting of "The Logical Song", "Goodbye Stranger" and "Breakfast In America" is one of those perfect-pop sequences that only happen sometimes even on great records, and then there's "Long Way Home" kicking off the second side.

Oh, and one more thing: if your CD collection is missing Breakfast and you're looking to rectify the deficit, you might want to know that the band's 1974 release, Crime Of The Century, is a better album. Hey, getting 'em both puts you a little closer to that Free Super Saver shipping from Amazon, no? Just pointing that out.


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