August 6, 2012
I don’t normally pay a whole lot of attention to news about tribute or cover albums, but when I heard that there was a new tribute album in the works to honor the musical phenomenon that was Supertramp, it made me sit up and take notice. Not only because Supertramp was one of my favorite bands of all time, but also because of the names of the musicians who are set to lend their talents to the project.
An impressive lineup of classic rock legends have assembled to record some of Supertramp’s most recognizable hits. Coming out of groups such as Yes, The Doors, Asia, The Zombies, and Toto, this musical team obviously has high regard for the group that brought the world hits such as “Give A Little Bit” and “Dreamer” – songs that just about everyone has heard at one time another, in a commercial, movie soundtrack or on the radio.
The new album aptly titled Songs of The Century (An All-Star Tribute To Supertramp) includes these timeless tracks as they were performed by artists including Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Tony Kaye, Peter Banks and Billy Sherwood who are all current or former members of Yes. Also included are Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow/Deep Purple fame, Robby Krieger of The Doors, John Wetton and Geoff Downes of Asia, Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Starship, Steve Porcaro of Toto and Rod Argent of The Zombies.
The whole idea was cooked up by Sherwood, who sounds like a long-time Supertramp fan as he talked about his inspiration to put the project in motion.
“Supertramp is a great band. They’ve written so many hits that you can’t even count them all,” Sherwood said. He’ll get no argument from me. I often sit in amazement for hours after queuing up a few albums’ worth of Supertramp and wonder how they came up with so many great songs.
My impression of Supertramp is also influenced by my experience when I saw them live in Boston sometime back around the early 1980’s. I’ve waxed nostalgic about that show before and declared that it was the best-sounding concert I have ever attended. Something – by the way – that has not changed since. To this day I wonder how they pulled it off.
Sadly, Supertramp’s two primary songwriters, Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson went their separate ways a short while after that amazing show. Even after Hodgson’s departure in 1983, the group continued on and released at least one more album that I personally consider to be “classic Supertramp,” 1985’s Brother Where You Bound.
In 1997, the group released Some Things Never Change, and although it doesn’t quite measure up to earlier albums, it’s one that I actually do like and listen to along with all the other Supertramp albums I have.
Although the idea was bandied about a few times since the split in 1983, Davies and Hodgson never did get back together and it seems unlikely that they ever will. Davies has continued on with the Supertramp name while Hodgson soldiers on as a solo artist, performing many Supertramp hits for loyal fans while touring.
The new tribute album, which is set for an August 14th release includes the following Supertramp hits:
1. Breakfast In America – John Wetton, Larry Fast
2. Take The Long Way Home – John Wesley
3. The Logical Song – Mickey Thomas, Steve Morse, Tony Kaye
4. Give A Little Bit – Richard Page, Peter Banks
5. It’s Raining Again – Colin Moulding, Geoff Downes
6. Crime Of The Century – Billy Sherwood, Rick Wakeman, Tony Levin
7. Dreamer – Annie Haslam, David Sancious
8. Goodbye Stranger – Billy Sherwood, Gary Green, Jordan Rudess
9. Rudy – Roye Albrighton, Steve Porcaro
10. Bloody Well Right – Joe Lynn Turner, Dave Kerzner
11. School – Rod Argent, Robby Krieger
The album also includes an original bonus track called “Let The World Revolve” by Chris Squire and Tony Kaye.