Supertramp - Supertramp (1970)

Interesting. This isn't like the later SUPERTRAMP that we all know, with their famous hits and the big production. This 1970 debut album was their least produced album, and has more of that production quality of many lesser known prog rock albums that existed at the time. This album was released on A&M Records, but originally never received an American release. In 1978, this, and their following album ("Indelibly Stamped") finally received an American release, but what's strange is both of them had 1972 copyrights. Huh? Apparently A&M Records here in America didn't do enough research to give the two albums their proper 1970 and 1971 copyrights. While Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies are here, the rest of the band was different from their later stuff. Richard Palmer-James, future KING CRIMSON ( Larks-era) lyricist was in the band for this album, as well as Bob Millar. Roger Hodgson still had his trademark high pitch voiced on this album, but Rick Davies was still quite unrecognizable, pretty much sticking to keyboards and backing vocals.

The album is rather bewildering to me: prog epics that get messed up somewhere down the road like "Maybe I'm a Beggar" and "Try Again". These are songs that the band needed to brush up their prog knowhow before venturing in to that territory. There's some ballads like "Aubade", "Words Unspoken" and "Shadow Song". "Aubade" is OK, "Words Unspoken" and "Shadow Song" grew on me. I can live without that reprise of "Surely" that ends the album, demonstrating some of the more undesirable traits of the album. "It's a Long Road" is definately one of my favorites here. The electric piano is used here, but Davies had yet to play in the style of "Dreamer" or "Logical Song" on this album. "Nothing to Show" is a rocking song where Davies does the vocals, but unlike say, "Bloody Well Right" or "Goodbye Stranger" (or even "Your Poppa Don't Mind" off their following album), his voice is still unrecognizable.

This album is basically SUPERTRAMP in their infancy. It's no doubt they were a product of a Dutch millionaire rock fan who funded them during their early days. It really doesn't deserve the trashing many rock critics gave it (and many SUPERTRAMP fans, finding out this album don't have songs like "Dreamer", "Take the Long Way Home", "The Logical Song", etc.). Still, a pretty interesting album. - Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)

Track Listings

Side 1
1. Surely (0:30)
2. It's A Long Road (5:26)
3. Aubade (0:48)
4. And I am not Like other birds of Prey (4:28)
5. Words Unspoken (3:58)
6. Maybe I'm A Beggar (6:48)
7. Home Again (1:14)
Side 2
8. Nothing To Show (4:55)
9. Shadow Song (4:20)
10. Try Again (12:03)
11. Surely (3:08)

Total Time: 47:50

- Richard Davies / organ, piano, electric piano, harmonica, vocals
- Roger Hodgson / bass, flageolet, acoustic guitar, cello, vocals
- Richard Palmer / electric guitar, acoustic guitar, Balalaika, vocals
- Bob Millar / percussion, harmonica
Releases information

LP A&M Records (UK) AMLS981 (1970)
CD A&M Records (DE) 3931492 (1997)
CD Universal Records (DE) 3931492 (2002)


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