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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Very Best Of Supertramp
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160 of 165 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Supertramp was definitely an anomaly in the late 70's musical landscape. They were really too pop to be considered rock, too rock to be considered pure pop, too mainstream to be considered progressive, too quirky and avant garde to be considered mainstream, not quirky and avant garde enough to be considered new wave or punk. And like any great band with a signature sound, they experienced their peak popularity at a time when they were TOTALLY out of place with the predominant music of the time (disco). Now that over 20 years has passed since "Breakfast In America", we can conveniently classify them as "classic rock", but they definitely defied categorization in their heyday. Listening to the tracks from "Crime of the Century", you can definitely sense a jazz and R&B influence woven into their take on progressive rock that made them stand out from the more arty and guitar rock trappings of bands like Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson. Their style evolved over the course of several albums to become something purely their own, a sound which thankfully was never ripped off by a slew of wannabes. One reviewer of BIA classified their sound as almost "carnival-like", which makes sense even though it's not a conventional description. But then few things about Supertramp were convenitional. From the vocals of Roger Hodgson (the nasal-y voiced one) to the viscous sax of John Halliwel, to the jazzy-staccato electric piano work of Rick Davies (also their other lead vocalist - the deeper voiced one), this was a band that had several distinct trademarks.
This collection does indeed copy the running order of the previous best-of "Classics Vol. 9", but ups the ante three different ways:
(1) It adds the track "School"
(2) It digitally remasters all the songs ("Take The Long Way Home" in particular sounds absolutely pristine)
(3) it includes the full-length versions of all songs.
The anemic "Classics Vol 9" included shamelessly edited versions of "Take The Long Way Home" (the intro is what really made the tune cool) and "Goodbye Stranger", which upset me so much I immediately carted it off to the second-hand CD store. I bet on the fact that a better compilation would come along eventually, and my wish came true. There's hardly a hit missing here. If you're a fan of 70's rock, your collection is incomplete without "The Very Best of Supertramp"
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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2004
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
CONSUMER ALERT: A prior review by Terrence J Reardon claimed that this compilatation has the full length versions of the songs. THIS IS NOT TRUE ON ALL VERSIONS, that is there are at least TWO BEST OF's on the market. I purchase a copy from E-Shops on Amazon and received a South American printing. The tracks are the same as on the the 25th Anniversary classics edition. Goodbye Stranger still has a whole verse missing and the outro is dramaticly shorter. Same is true on Take The Long Way Home as the end fades out much too soon. All the other tracks run the same time as the albums they originally appear on. Only the US printing seems to have the full length versions. Both printings include includes School, a good track but you wouldn't miss it. If you don't have any Supertramp recordings, then you should defenitely get this (you really should have "Crime Of The Century" and "Breakfast In America" anyway as they should be heard in their entirety, truly classics). If you have the 25th A&M Anniversary copy of Supertramp Classic, then it's worth replacing. Just make sure you're getting the right version of The Very Best Of Supertramp. If the timing on "Goodbye Stranger" is under five minutes, then it's the bad one (It should run 5:40). "Cannonball" should be over 7 minutes too.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Very Best of Volume 1 and 2 are not chronologically sequential. Volume 2 which came out later is a suppliment to volume 1. Between the two you get the bulk of certain albums.
To begin with neither album features anything from the groups largely ignored first two albums, Supertramp 1970 and Indelibly Stamped 1971.
Volume 1 features six of the eight songs on Crime of the Century 1974 while a seventh appears on Volume 2. The only thing not featured is 'Asylum'. [7/8]
Only one song from Crisis? What Crisis? 1975 was put on volume 1. Volume 2 meanwhile has two tracks of the ten songs on the album. A cassette version of volume 1 also included Sister Moonshine, but this is not on either CD. Despite only featuring three songs, Crisis is still as good an album as the other heavilly featured ones of this decade. Aside from 'Sister', the other major overlooked track is 'Another Man's Woman'. [3/10]
Even in the Quietest Moments 1977 is represent by two tracks on Vol 1 and four on volume, leaving only 'Lover Boy' of the seven tracks excluded. [6/7]
Of the 10 tracks on Breakfast in America 1979 four are featured on volume 1 and another three on volume two. Of the leftovers the greatest omission is 'Child of Vision' - which is unfortunate. [7/10]
Volume 1 featured only one track out of the nine from Famous Last Words 1982. Volume 2, meanwhile features three. Of the remaining five, the main one that sticks out as being overlooked is 'Crazy'. [4/9]
Only volume 1 features a track (out of six) from the first post-Rgoer Hodson album, Brother Where You Bound 1985. This is not a particularly great album, though 'Still in Love' would have been a good addition. [1/6]
Likewise, only volume 2 features a track from the medicore Free As a Bird 1987 (which was also on the tape version of Volume 1). Another song out of the nine they could have considered was 'It's Alright'. [1/9]
Given the date of their release the Very Best ofs feature nothing from either Some Things Never Change 1997 or Slow Motion 2002.
So basically with these two best ofs you are getting virtually all of two albums, most of a third, half of another and just token selections from three others. You may prefer to just get the albums for the stuff you aren't getting on the less featured ones and get the others anyway since you'd be pretty much getting the whole albums on the Very Best ofs.
All in all, save a few overlooked tracks, the two volume together give a very generous representation of Supertramp's 74-82 work.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
My God. Supertramp. How could I have missed out on this and so much classic rock, having to instead be subjected to the sonic nightmares of today? Ok enough melodrama, this hits album is greatness. Crime of the century is definitely Supertramps best, followed by Breakfast in america. Appropriately a great # of songs from both albums are here, including my favorites: The logical song, Bloody well right, Take thel ong way home, Crime of the century, Dreamer, and Hide in your shell. They can only be called masterpieces. pop perfection if you will. However on a critical note, the lyrics just dont fit the music. The music is catchy, happy, melodic. The lyrics dark and often brooding and apocalyptic. Still, dont let that sway you, this album is very lcose to musical perfection in my humble little 21 yearo ld opinion.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album is near perfect. It's loaded with hits and is very fun to just sit back and listen to. I bought it for some key songs, such as "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song" which gets lots of radio play. Ever since I got it I can't stop listening to it, its just an all around great CD. Supertramp's music is both unique in the melody and vocals alike, and none of their songs are annoying and tiresome like many other artist out there. But one thing you have to take into consideration with a greatest hits album is how the tracks are put together. That is why I gave this a 4 out of 5. I would have mixed the tracks differently, I thought "Goodbye Stranger" should have been closer to the end and maybe "Breakfast in America" should have been one of the fronts. But that stuff isn't that important, and it doesn't really take away from the CD at all. In closing, this compliation was very pleasing and a delight to listen to.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
OK sampler. I tended to favor their earlier material and associate their later stuff as a bit too slick, too pop-like and written to score for the top 40 crowd. They didn't "sell out" it just made good business sense after they demonstrated their ability to deliver stellar, cutting edge material for its day that still holds its own. Their Crime of the Century and Crisis? What Crisis? LP's (CD's) were by far the best experience for my ears. You can't go wrong with this "Best of." However,if you want the full treatment and the continuity of their two masterpiece albums, get the two mentioned above instead of or in addition to "The Best of". I can only hope that the production values of the CD versions of these LP's are superior. The LP's suffered from incredibly poor dynamics and were very flat for such potent material.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Let me start with the basics.

Is this a phenomenal record? Yes.
Are the major hits here? Yes.
Will you like this album? If you have heard any of the major Supertramp hits on the radio, and have liked them, then almost surely you will love this CD.

Can you get away with this being your only Supertramp album? Well, that's the rub.

I always approach a greatest hits package like this the same way. Are an artist's/band's best songs scattered across many records that contain a lot of filler or is there clearly a record or two that encompasses the most vital aspects of the band/artist.

I want the best songs, regardless of whether I've heard them on the radio. I want to understand the "essence" of an artist. for older bands, ones that might have been before my time, ones where I am kinda "going in blind", the collection or individual records question is the one I need the most help with.

So to wit, should someone buy this record or go with a couple of individual Supertramp records? After spending time with this CD and having some background with Breakfast in America in my youth, IMHO, I think the better choice with Supertramp is to go the individual records route.

I say that for two reasons, after spending some time with this CD I noted that the songs I remember and enjoy the most basically came from two records, Breakfast in America and Crime of the Century. The other songs *generally* comprise single selections from their other records. Additionally, I remember really liking Breakfast in America front to back when I was younger.

So in this case, I would recommend starting with Breakfast in America as a starter and then moving on to Crime of the Century. And then possibly deeper into their discography depending on your newfound affinity for the band. If I had to do it again, I would have gone this route.

Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 27, 2007
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
THIS IS A GOOD COMPILATION OF SUPERTRAMP MUSIC....EXCEPT... WHY NOT INCLUDE "FOOL'S OVERTURE" FROM "EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS"? IT IS A REMARKABLE WORK OF ART AND BELOVED BY MOST OF US WHO CAME OF AGE IN THE SEVENTIES. IF SOME OF YOU NEW TO SUPERTRAMP ARE EXPECTING TO "COVER" SUPERTRAMP WITH THIS CD AND HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD "FOOL'S OVERTURE", PLEASE FIND IT SOMEWHERE AND LISTEN CAREFULLY...I THINK YOU'LL BE BUYING "EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS" RIGHT AWAY...IT'S ONLY 7.98 AT AMAZON RIGHT NOW! "GIVE A LITTLE BIT" MORE, GAIN A LOT! PEACE!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Man, this is so good. . .and I claim to not even like Supertramp. Not liking Supertramp, though, is like not liking The Beach Boys or ABBA- - -anyone who claims not to like them invariably finds him or herself singing and tapping their uncontrollable toes right along with them when no one's looking and is careful never to admit it to anyone. This is a pretty intelligent compilation, too, even though it completely ignores SUPERTRAMP and INDELIBLY STAMPED, the bands first two LPs with a different lineup. That's okay, though, as they had quite a different sound on those first albums and pretty much anything from them would sound a bit jarring here. Check 'em out anyway, they're pretty good. Anyhoo, VERY BEST OF contains all (okay, both of) the big hits, of course, and some astonishingly great LP tracks as well- -yes, "Take The Long Way Home" is superlative (that beautiful harmonica intro! that sax break!), and so is "The Logical Song", but it's nice to have tracks like "School" (another great harmonica intro!), "Goodbye Stranger" and "Breakfast In America" here along with them. They were semi-hits of their own anyway, and do rate among the band's best material. It's amazing how consistent these guys were- -the compilation is hardly chronological, yet all the songs follow one another seamlessly. And while Supertramp makes no effort to hide their influences- -"Take The Long Way Home" quotes the Bee Gees, and "Goodbye Stranger" nicks Boz Scaggs' "Dina Flo" virtually note for note- -at least they are decent enough influences. My Complaint Department admonishes, however, that while what the liner notes claim is in fact true- -i.e., that "at least one representative track from each" of the band's "top-selling" albums is present- -they are a little too literal in their representation of most of the albums themselves: CRIME OF THE CENTURY is represented no less than a whopping six times and BREAKFAST IN AMERICA four (heck, the first nine songs here are from those two albums). But EVEN IN THE QUIETEST MOMENTS is represented only twice, and by what in my unhumble opinion are not even the best songs from that album. And poor little CRISIS? WHAT CRISIS, FAMOUS LAST WORDS and BROTHER WHERE YOU BOUND hobble in with only a paltry one song each. Ah well, that's what VOLUME TWO is all about, I suppose. See you there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
The Very Best of Supertramp was first released in the United States in December of 2001.
The album was originally released in 1986 in Europe as Supertramp - The Story So Far and in 1987 in the US as Supertramp Classics as part of A&M's 25th Anniversary series here in the States.
The two aforementioned collections each had 14 songs (those being the US Top 20 hit from 1979's Breakfast In America called "Goodbye Stranger", the band's first US Top 10 hit (also from Breakfast in America) called "The Logical Song", the band's first US Top 40 hit from 1974's Crime of the Century entitled "Bloody Well Right", the title cut to Breakfast In America (another US single), the epic "Rudy" (from the brilliant 1974 album Crime Of the Century), the band's last US Top 10 hit "Take The Long Way Home" (also from 1979's mammoth selling Breakfast in America), the haunting title cut to Crime Of The Century, the UK Top 20 hit from 1974 "Dreamer" (also from Crime), the great album track "Ain't Nobody But Me" (from 1975's Crisis...What Crisis), another classic album cut from Crime entitled "Hide In Your Shell", the excellent "From Now On" (from 1977's Even in the Quietest Moments...), the band's first US Top 20 hit from 1977 "Give A Little Bit", plus the US Top 20 smash from 1982's Famous Last Words called "It's Raining Again" and the band's final US Top 30 single from 1985's Brother Where You Bound entitled "Cannonball") but somewhat shoddy mastering and Goodbye Stranger, The Logical Song, Take the Long Way Home and Cannonball were all the edited single versions.
On the re-released version of Supertramp Classics with a new title, The Very Best of Supertramp (to match the rest of the world when The Story So Far was re-released in 1992 in most of the world), you get the full album versions of those tracks (at least on the US pressings of The Very Best of Supertramp) plus the song "School" (from 1974's Crime Of the Century) is added and is the new opening track of this brilliant compilation plus the remastering (done by Greg Calbi and Jay Messina) is SUPERB!
Some griped that more songs from Even in the Quietest Moments, Crisis What Crisis and Famous Last Words were left off for 3/4 of Crime and a good chunk of Breakfast in America but the second volume of this Very Best Of (which I'll get to in next review) has songs left off due to time comstraints. Some will say buying the two best ofs are inferior in the light of the 2005 released 2-CD Retrospectacle set covers everything up to 2002 (everything from Free as a Bird forward was weak).
If you don't know where to start on Supertramp, this 15 song best of (and Volume 2) are the best bet but if you either already have the albums or Retrospectacle then don't bother.
RECOMMENDED!
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