It's about time for a comprehensive Supertramp collection, right? Bloody well right! 15 tracks, including Take the Long Way Home; The Logical Song; Bloody Well Right; Give a Little Bit; It's Raining Again; Dreamer; Goodbye Stranger; Crime of the Century; School; From Now On; Cannonball; Rudy; Breakfast in America; Ain't Nobody but Me , and Hide in Your Shell .
In the midst of the late 1970s punk/new wave revolution, England's Supertramp tore a page from the Genesis
playbook, suffusing their previously overwrought prog-rock influences and bittersweet hippie optimism gone sour with muscular pop hooks. They eventually became one of the world's foremost rock acts--and later a rich source for contemporary TV commercial music. But while Supertramp peaked quickly, they nonetheless spawned at least two bona fide classic albums--Crime of the Century
and Breakfast in America
--and a slate of FM radio staples, all of which are included on this near 80-minute anthology. Fully three-quarters of Crime
is represented, and rightly so. That 1974 album both stripped down and reinvented the band's sound, centering it around the songs of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, pulsing electric piano chords, and distinctively reedy vocals on tense, spare songs like "Bloody Well Right" and "Dreamer." But by the time of the multiplatinum Breakfast
, they had refined their edgy prog sensibility to virtual extinction with well-crafted pop hits like "The Logical Song" and "Take the Long Way Home." This well-chosen collection spans a decade, but focuses intently on the five great years that cemented Supertramp's reputation. --Jerry McCulley