By MIKE CHAIKEN
The pop world at large first took notice of British art rockers Supertramp when “Give A Little Bit” from 1977’s “Even in the Quietest Moments” turned into a breakthrough top 40 hit for the band.
Then the band’s follow up album, 1979’s “Breakfast in America,” exploded on the charts offering up a slew of hits such as “The Logical Song,” “The Long Way Home,” and “Goodbye Stranger.”
This turned the band into superstars.
But, 1974’s “Crime of the Century” was what broke the band to FM radio. In those days, FM radio wasn’t tied down to playlists or charts. And songs like “Dreamer,” “Bloody Well Right,” and “School” tickled the ears of fans who liked the “underground” progressive rock of the era.
Roger Hodgson stops in Connecticut on Nov. 8 as part of short tour, where he will be making a nod to the 40th anniversary of “Crime of the Century,” which will be released as a deluxe edition in the United States on Dec. 9.
Of the tracks on “Crime. of the Century,” Hodgson said in a Q&A provide to the press, “Dreamer” continues to resonate with young listeners… and the former lead singer of Supertramp. “I love singing and playing ‘Dreamer’ in my concerts and kids really love it too. ‘Dreamer’ is a wonderful song of celebration that brings out the dreamer in everyone,” he said.
Roger Hodgson left Supertramp in 1983. But the band is still an indelible part of Hodgson’s musical make-up.
On this tour and at the Ridgefield show, Hodgson said in the Q&A, “You will hear songs that I have written on my life journey – of course I’ll be performing all the songs people want to hear from my time with Supertramp. You can expect to hear ‘The Logical Song,’ ‘Give a Little Bit,’ ‘Dreamer,’ ‘School,’ ‘Breakfast in America,’ ‘Take the Long Way Home,’ ‘It’s Raining Again,’ ‘Fool’s Overture,’ etc., as well as some of my later material – ‘In Jeopardy,’ ‘Lovers in the Wind,’ ‘Death and a Zoo,’…and others.”
Last year when Hodgson played at the Ridgefield Playhouse, he was accompanied only by a sax player. This time, he will be performing with a full band.
“I am performing with an excellent band of four very versatile musicians,” said Hodgson in his Q&A. “They are high caliber musicians and passionate about the music.”
“Even many huge Supertramp fans are admitting that the band I have put together actually sounds better than the original, so the audience is in for a wonderful surprise,” said Hodgson in press materials.
Although Hodgson’s tour is offering a nod to the 40th anniversary of a beloved Supertramp album, and he continues to perform “his babies” – the songs he wrote for the band—Hodgson told fans not to hold out for a reunion of he classic lineup of Supertramp.
“Many fans used to ask about a possible Supertramp reunion,” said Hodgson in the Q&A. “Because I knew how much it meant to the fans, I did make an offer to Rick Davies and his agent to join the band for some special Supertramp reunion concerts in 2010, but they declined. So at this point, the time for a reunion has passed. The ship has sailed.”
Plus, Hodgson said in the Q&A, that he believes Rick has now retired.
In regard to the 40th anniversary edition of “Crime of the Century,” press materials explained it has been remastered by Ray Staff at Air Studios, and a second disc features the band’s 1975 Hammersmith Odeon concert, mixed from the original tapes by original on-the-night engineer Ken Scott. “It captures the band on the verge of stardom, showcasing all of ‘Crime,’ and also previewing tracks from the then-as-yet-unreleased follow-up, ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’”
Roger Hodgson comes to the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, Ridgefield on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 to $150. For more information, go to RidgefieldPlayhouse.org or RogerHodgson.com
By MIKE CHAIKEN