Supertramp – Crime Of The Century (1974/1987)

Supertramp - Crime Of The Century (1987)
Artist: Supertramp
Album: Crime Of The Century
Genre: Crossover Prog
Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Year Of Release: 1974/1987
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)

Tracklist:
1. School (5:35)
2. Bloody Well Right (4:26)
3. Hide in Your Shell (6:52)
4. Asylum (6:30)
5. Dreamer (3:19)
6. Rudy (7:07)
7. If Everyone Was Listening (4:05)
8. Crime of the Century (5:20)

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Personnel:
– Richard Davies / lead & backing vocals, keyboards, harmonica
– Roger Hodgson / lead & backing vocals, guitar, pianos
– John Anthony Helliwell / saxophones, clarinets, backing vocals
– Dougie Thomson / bass
– Bob Siebenberg / drums, percussion

With:
– Christine Helliwell / backing vocals (3)
– Scott Gorham / backing vocals (3)
– Vicky Siebenberg / backing vocals (3)
– Anonymous street musician / saw (3)
– Ken Scott / water gong (8)
– Richard Hewson / string arrangements

Supertramp came into their own on their third album, 1974’s Crime of the Century, as their lineup gelled but, more importantly, so did their sound. The group still betrayed a heavy Pink Floyd influence, particularly in its expansive art rock arrangements graced by saxophones, but Supertramp isn’t nearly as spooky as Floyd — they’re snarky collegiate elitists, an art rock variation on Steely Dan or perhaps a less difficult 10cc, filled with cutting jokes and allusions, best heard on “Bloody Well Right.” This streak would later flourish on Breakfast in America, but it’s present enough to give them their own character. Also present is a slight sentimental streak and a heavy fondness for pop, heard on “Dreamer,” a soaring piece of art pop that became their first big hit. That and “Bloody Well Right” are the concise pop moments on the record; the rest of Crime of the Century is atmospheric like Dark Side of the Moon, but with a lighter feel and a Beatles bent. At times the album floats off into its own world, with an effect more tedious than hypnotic, but it’s still a huge leap forward for the group and their most consistent album outside of that 1979 masterwork, Breakfast in America.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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