Selling Out

I can’t stand Supertramp. Well, that isn’t entirely true…I just can’t stand the Supertramp that most people know. You know, the “Dreamer” and “Breakfast in America” Supertramp. I mean there are a couple popular songs that are pretty decent, like “School” and “Rudy,” but for the most part the band created nothing but crap after 1970. The reason I’m going on this tirade? Supertramp is THE biggest sell out artist I know.

In 1970, there was a band called Supertramp that released a self-titled debut album that was incredible. It was a raw and unique pioneer in the relatively new genre of progressive rock. Its songs featured intelligently structured and stimulating instrumental breakdowns with powerful and driving lyrics. Now, compare this album to the band’s highly produced and often cheesy 1974 release Crime of the Century. The albums sound like they came from completely different artists. Cementing this fact is the coincidence that Crime of the Century was actually released in the United States before the 1970 debut album. When Supertramp- the album was finally released in the US in 1975, people hated it because they had grown accustomed to the band they knew from Crime of the Century. Two entirely different bands. Because that’s basically what happened. Supertramp gave into their producers and morphed into a band that wrote music that sold rather than unleashing their true musical abilities. That’s why I can’t listen to the studio bitch “Supertramp” everyone knows, because it’s not really supertramp.

Supertramp's 1970 Debut

Just look at that album cover – totally retro and definitely not aiming towards being commercially successful. I love it. In this self-titled debut, you can hear a young band pushing themselves towards new musical boundaries, leading an obscure and uncharted progressive movement along with other artists like King Crimson. It is a strange world to be sure, at times serenely subdued and at other times angry and aggressive. But most importantly, it feels right – a group working from their true roots and reveling in the music they are creating together. Sit back and enjoy a treat not many are even aware of. Highlights include “It’s a long road,” “Maybe I’m a beggar,” “Nothing to show,” and “Try Again.” It’s a unfortunate and sad story when artists sell out but at least there’s always that all-too-short period when their music was authentic right?

-Chris

DOWNLOAD THE REAL SUPERTRAMP

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