The English rock group, Supertramp, were formed in 1969 and had a string of hit albums and singles in the 1970s and 80s. Most of their songs were written by Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies. The band had a distinctive sound that often featured Hodgson’s exceptional vocal range accompanied by Wurlitzer keyboards. Here are some of their best songs.
10. It’s Raining Again
It’s Raining Again was a hit for the band in 1982 and came from their Famous Last Words album. The upbeat song was written by Roger Hodgson and includes an old British nursery rhyme, ‘It’s Raining, It’s Pouring.’ The accompanying video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was much-played on MTV.
9. Give A Little Bit
Give a Little Bit appeared on the 1977 album, Even in the Quietest Moments. The song featured 12-string acoustic guitars and a Hohner Clavinet. A cover version was a hit for the Goo Goo Dolls in 2005, and the song has appeared in many adverts, films and charitable appeals. It was one of Princess Diana’s favourite songs.
8. Fool’s Overture
While Supertramp had great pop success, their roots were in 1970s ‘progressive rock,’ an experimental form of instrumental music. Fool’s Overture, from the 1977 album, Even in the Quietest Moments, is an 11-minute extravaganza that includes classical music, poetry and even a Winston Churchill speech.
Cannonball was the band’s last chart hit, reaching number 28 in the US in 1985. The song is about a bitter breakup. It was taken from their Brother Where You Bound album, and was recorded without Roger Hodgson, who had left the band in 1983. The song was written by Rich Davies, who also took lead vocals.
6. Take the Long Way Home
The last of the four hit singles from the band’s hugely successful Breakfast in America album, Take the Long Way Home was released in 1979. It reached number one in the UK charts and number 10 in the USA. The lyrics are about a man who wants to delay going home as he is ‘the joke of the neighbourhood.’
5. Goodbye Stranger
Goodbye Stranger is another song taken from Breakfast in America. It was written by Rick Davies, who sings lead and plays Wurlitzer electric piano and organ, with Hodgson on backup vocals. The song is about one-night stands and has a light, pop feel. The song reached 15 in the American charts 1979 and has since featured in several films and TV shows.
4. Breakfast in America
Breakfast in America was written by Roger Hodgson as a teenager, and tells of a boy dreaming of visiting America. It was released in 1979 and was the title track to the album of the same name, which became the band’s biggest selling album.
3. Bloody Well Right
Bloody Well Right was taken from the album Crime of the Century and was the band’s first US hit single. It was not released as a single in the UK, where it was the B-side to Dreamer. The song starts with a distinctive electric piano solo. It was sung by Rick Davies, with lyrics that, like The Logical Song, dealt with the way the British education system forces children to conform.
Dreamer was released in 1974 and taken from the album Crime of the Century. It was the band’s first hit single, reaching 13 in the UK charts. A live version was released as a single in 1980, which had chart success in the USA and Canada. Roger Hodgson had written the song shortly after leaving school.
1. The Logical Song
The Logical Song was the band’s biggest hit single of all time and spent many months in the charts. It was taken from their 1979 Breakfast in America album, and had lyrics about the education system crushing creativity. It won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song of the Year. In 2002 it was covered by the German dance band Scooter, whose techno version was a best-selling hit.