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About Supertramp

Supertramp began as an ambitious art-rock project but evolved into a pop powerhouse by the end of the ’70s. Formed in London in 1970 by singer/songwriters Richard Davies and Roger Hodgson, guitarist/songwriter Richard Palmer, and drummer Robert Millar, the band released their proggy, self-titled debut that same year to little notice. Palmer soon left, eventually becoming a lyricist for King Crimson. Davies and Hodgson convened a new lineup for 1971’s Indelibly Stamped but struggled commercially. Things changed drastically when Davies and Hodgson cleaned house once more, this time locking in the classic lineup with saxophonist John Anthony Helliwell, drummer Bob Siebenberg, and bassist Dougie Thomson. While retaining some arty elements, the band shifted toward a poppier approach on their 1974 breakthrough album, Crime of the Century, scoring hits with “Dreamer” and “Bloody Well Right” and reaching No. 4 on the UK albums chart. That transition continued over their next couple of albums, with the acoustic anthem “Give a Little Bit” scoring big in 1977 on both sides of the Atlantic. But 1979’s Breakfast In America made Supertramp international superstars, as three smash hits—the bittersweet “Take the Long Way Home,” the hooky, haunting “The Logical Song,” and the stomp-along title track—turned the record into an era-defining pop blockbuster. After 1982’s Famous Last Words, Hodgson left for a solo career, never to return, while Davies led the band onward until 1988. The band reunited (without Hodgson) a few times over the next couple of decades, releasing new albums in 1997 and 2002 that showed Davies and company’s undiminished gifts. But by the mid-2010s, Davies’ health issues appeared to mark the stopping point for Supertramp’s legacy of elegant, irresistible art pop.

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