Top 10 Supertramp Songs

Supertramp Songs

Photo: 21stCenturyGreenstuff at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Supertramp Songs list takes a look at some of Supertramp’s most well known songs and forgotten gems. The band originated out of London in 1969. They were originally known as a progressive rock band as their earlier albums were more progressive in nature as opposed to the change of direction the band took with their late seventies releases. Regardless of categorization, the band Supertramp has attained one of the most loyal followings in classic rock history.

Supertramp’s first album, entitled Supertramp, was released in 1970. At the time, the band consisted of Richard Davies, Roger Hodgson, Richard Palmer, and Robert Millar. One year later, the band released their second album entitled Indelibly Stamped. Most of the songs on the album were composed by Richard Davies Roger Hodgson.

The band’s musical direction started to shift on their third album. In 1974, Supertramp released the album Crime of the Century—the progressive overtones of their music shifted towards a more album-oriented pop-rock style. Nonetheless, there still was a progressive air to the music. Many critics and fans have hailed the album as one of the band’s best albums. On the record, the bass and drum duties were performed by new members Dougie Thomson on bass guitar and Bob C. Benberg on drums.

In 1975, Supertramp followed up their fabulous album Crime of the Century with the record Crisis? What Crisis? The album originally had been viewed as a disappointment by critics, fans and even members of the band. However, over time it has become a favorite of almost everyone. Two years later, Supertramp would release the great album Even in the Quietest MomentsThe album featured the huge hit song “Give A Little Bit,” which helped fuel sales for the album making it Supertramp’s first Gold record.

The album that put Supertramp in the homes and cars of music fans around the world was released in 1979. The album entitled Breakfast in America was a hit-making machine for the band. The album also won Supertramp two Grammy Awards. It is by far Supertramp’s biggest-selling album of all time.

After the incredible success of Breakfast In America, the band took almost three years before releasing their next record entitled …Famous Last Words… The album would become Roger Hodgson’s swan song with the band at the time, as he left the group after the album was released. Roger Hodgson would never record another album with Supertramp again.

Supertramp returned in 1985, minus Roger Hodgson, with the album Brother Where You Bound. The album featured a 16-minute track entitled “Brother Where You Bound,” in which Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour performed the guitar solos. The album also had a top 30 hit with the song “Cannonball.”

In 1987, the band released the disappointing album Free as a BirdBilled as an experimental album in dance and electronica, the album failed miserably from a commercial standpoint. The band toured in the wake of the album and actually angered audiences by omitting all the Roger Hodgson songs. Inevitably, those decisions led to the end of Supertramp for the time being.

Tens years after the band had broken up, Supertramp returned in 1997 with the album Some Things Never Change. Rick Davies and Mark Hart wrote all the songs on the record. The band’s final studio album, entitled Slow Motion, was released in 2000.

# 10 – You Win, I Lose

“You Win, I Lose,” is the only song on our Top 10 Supertramp songs to feature the band without Roger Hodgson. While we feel many better Supertramp songs could have been on this list, from a historical perspective, we thought it was important to showcase how the band sounded without Roger Hodgson. The song “You Win, I Lose” was released on the album Some Things Never Change in 1997.

# 9 – Rosie Had Everything Planned

“Rosie Had Everything Planned,” is probably the least known Supertramp song on this list. However, it has always been one of our favorite Supertramp songs and shows a different side of the band. Below is Roger Hodgson’s beautiful solo performance of the song.

# 8 – Just A Normal Day

This great song was released on the Crisis? What Crisis? album. While “Sister Moonshine,” was the hit on the album, “Just A Normal Day,” was always our favorite. How could it not be with that great duet between Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson? Listen to that amazingly beautiful sax solo by the fabulous John Anthony Helliwell.

# 7 – Hide In Your Shell

Continuing our list of top 10 Supertramp songs, we turn to the great progressive pop track “Hide In Your Shell.” “Hide In Your Shell” is a poignant track from Supertramp’s 1974 album Crime of the Century. It is one of the album’s more reflective pieces, featuring Roger Hodgson’s tender vocals and thoughtful lyrics.

# 6 – Goodbye Stranger

The remaining six Supertramp songs on this list are easily the band’s most popular songs. This is fantastic music that we are hoping continues to be discovered by new generations of music fans. It’s the main reason we compose these lists.

“Goodbye Stranger” is a classic track by Supertramp from their critically and commercially successful album Breakfast in America, released in 1979. The song, written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, features an upbeat tempo, a memorable piano riff, and a distinctive electric guitar solo that has made it one of Supertramp’s most recognized tunes. The song’s lyrics deal with themes of change and moving on, which some have speculated may reflect personal experiences of the band members.

Supertramp produced the album with the help of engineer Peter Henderson. The recording sessions for Breakfast in America took place at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, California. “Goodbye Stranger” showcases the dual talents of Supertramp’s main songwriters, with Hodgson on guitar and Davies on keyboards and lead vocals, complemented by Dougie Thomson on bass, Bob Siebenberg on drums, and John Helliwell on saxophone. Their collective efforts resulted in a song that balances pop accessibility with progressive rock’s complexity.

Upon release, “Goodbye Stranger” reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a staple of the band’s live performances.

# 5 – Take The Long Way Home

1979 was an exciting year for music. New Wave, Punk, dance, and classic rock all competing for airplay. Bands like Blondie, The Ramones, and The Cars, competed against the classic album releases by Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, and AC/DC. Right in the middle of all of that was Supertramp kicking butt. What a year!

“Take The Long Way Home” is a song by Supertramp that features on their 1979 album Breakfast in America. With its distinctive harmonica intro played by John Helliwell and its introspective lyrics, the song became one of the standout tracks on the album. Roger Hodgson, who sang lead vocals and played keyboard on the track, wrote the song, and it has since become one of the band’s most enduring hits, resonating with themes of disillusionment and the contemplation of one’s place in the world.

The album was produced by Supertramp with Peter Henderson assisting. The production is noted for its clarity and precision, which helped to make Breakfast in America a major commercial success. Alongside Hodgson, the track features Rick Davies on keyboards and backing vocals, Dougie Thomson on bass, Bob Siebenberg on drums, and John Helliwell on harmonica and saxophone, creating a sound that is rich and full, with a mix of rock and pop that was characteristic of Supertramp’s music.

Upon its release, “Take The Long Way Home” became a significant hit, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The success of the song contributed to Breakfast in America becoming Supertramp’s biggest-selling album.

# 4 – Bloody Well Right

“Bloody Well Right” is a spirited track from Supertramp’s critically acclaimed album Crime of the Century, released in 1974. The song immediately follows the album’s opening track and title song, providing a sharp contrast with its hard-hitting intro and punchy lyrics. It showcases the band’s knack for combining catchy melodies with a progressive rock edge and was written by the group’s co-founders, Roger Hodgson (who penned the music) and Rick Davies (who wrote the lyrics).

Supertramp produced the album alongside Ken Scott, who had a notable influence on its sound, characterized by a sophisticated blend of rock and pop with a progressive twist. The musicians on the track feature Roger Hodgson on guitar and vocals, with Rick Davies on keyboards and lead vocals, particularly shining through with his Wurlitzer electric piano solo. Dougie Thomson on bass, Bob Siebenberg (credited as Bob C. Benberg) on drums, and John Helliwell on saxophone and keyboards all contribute to the song’s dynamic and engaging arrangement.

Upon its release, “Bloody Well Right” secured Supertramp a spot in the charts, peaking at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s success was bolstered by its inclusion on Crime of the Century, which is widely regarded as one of the band’s best works, with its thematic unity and sophisticated production.  The memorable saxophone solo by Helliwell is often singled out as one of the song’s highlights, showcasing the band’s talent for incorporating jazz and blues elements into their music.

# 3 – Give A Little Bit

“Give a Little Bit” is one of Supertramp’s most beloved songs, featured on their 1977 album Even in the Quietest Moments…. Written by Roger Hodgson, the song’s lyrics promote a message of sharing and caring, reflective of the communal spirit of the 1970s. The production of Even in the Quietest Moments… was managed by Supertramp with the assistance of Ken Scott. The track features Roger Hodgson on guitar and vocals, with Rick Davies providing backing vocals and keyboards. Dougie Thomson on bass, Bob Siebenberg on drums, and John Helliwell on saxophone and backing vocals complete the lineup, creating the rich, full sound that is characteristic of the band’s music. The band’s meticulous approach to the song’s composition and arrangement results in a polished yet sincere and emotionally resonant piece.

Upon release, “Give a Little Bit” became one of Supertramp’s biggest hits, reaching the top 20 in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Its success on the charts was a testament to the song’s universal appeal and embodiment of the band’s signature style that melds progressive rock with pop sensibilities. The song’s straightforward structure and singalong chorus made it an instant radio favorite and a highlight of the band’s live performances.

# 2 – Dreamer

The Supertramp song “Dreamer,” is what many believe to be the band’s musical masterpiece. We won’t argue with that. The song “Dreamer” was released on the Crime of the Century album. The song was a top 20 hit in the United Kingdom in 1974.  The song, known for its distinctive Wurlitzer electric piano introduction and upbeat tempo, is one of the band’s most recognizable hits. It was one of the first songs the band’s co-founder, Roger Hodgson, wrote, and it provides a prominent example of the group’s characteristic blend of progressive rock and pop.

Produced by Supertramp and Ken Scott, who was known for his work with The Beatles and David Bowie, “Dreamer” showcases the band’s ability to craft songs with complex arrangements that still achieve mainstream appeal. The recording features Roger Hodgson on vocals and keyboards, with co-founder Rick Davies also providing vocals and keyboards, John Helliwell on saxophones, Dougie Thomson on bass, and Bob Siebenberg on drums. The band’s dual-keyboard setup is a significant element of the song’s texture, while Helliwell’s saxophone solo adds a jazzy flair to the bridge.

Upon its release as a single in 1974, “Dreamer” became a hit, reaching the top of the charts in Canada and peaking at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. It also appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, where it reached number 15. The song’s success was helped by its inclusion on Crime of the Century, which is often regarded as one of Supertramp’s best albums and a classic of the progressive rock genre.

# 1 – The Logical Song

The iconic Supertramp song “The Logical Song” was the band’s biggest hit of their career. The opening Wurlitzer Electric Piano riff is instantly recognizable within the first second. The sax solo in the middle of the tune has become one of rock and roll’s most excellent saxophone solos ever recorded. From a lyrical, musical, creative, and performance standpoint, this was pop music perfection. The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979.

UPDATED  NOV 7, 2023

Top 10 Supertramp Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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