Commercial Marketing (label)
08 December 2014 (released)
08 December 2014
In the last decade there's been a fashion to name the likes of 10CC and Supertramp as influences, after a period when they were firmly in the cliche 'guilty pleasure' category. The likes of The Feeling have been among those to champion the sound of prog-rock mixed with pop. But don't let that put you off. Supertramp at their peak, led the way with a more accessible and tuneful progressive rock, that the likes of early Genesis didn't match.
Crime of the Century is the sound of the band at the top of their game -- and it was the record that launched them to global recognition. Thanks to the UK hit Dreamer the album reached number four in the charts, while in the States the single Bloody Well Right put Supertramp firmly on the map.
It is often the case that band's find they are at their most creative when tensions within are at their highest and that's the case here. Writers Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson were beginning to struggle with each other's methods, and the co-credits here are very similar to the later Beatles Lennon-McCartney co-writes. That is to say, they worked mostly alone.
Released in 1974, Crime of the Century is now regarded as a leader in what eventually became ‘Adult Oriented Rock’ (AOR). 40 years on, its qualities have not faded. The opening School is a classy slice of progressive pop, underlining how the band had finally managed to hone their skills, forged on the first two albums. Asylum's edgier feel is beautifully rounded off by a raindrop piano. As with many artists from this genre and generation, not a note is out of place - exemplified by the superb climax of the title track. It always keeps just the right side of indulgent - not something all progressive rock bands managed.
This 40th Anniversary edition contains the classic original album, remastered by Ray Staff at Air Studios, and a second disc features their 1975 Hammersmith Odeon concert. The 2-CD package comes with a 24-page booklet of photographs, and a new essay written by Phil Alexander, Editor-in-Chief of Mojo Magazine. There is also a heavyweight vinyl edition.