Supertramp is without a doubt one of my favorite bands of all time. They have written some monster hits that truly are timeless songs. With this being said, I still believe this band is pretty underrated.
My opinion is that Supertramp is underrated in the sense that they almost are never mentioned with the greats of their time. I’m 29 years old and when people my age or younger talk about bands, they almost never know who I’m talking about when I say Supertramp. The thing is, they have definitely heard their songs as they have made hit after hit. This is a band that had writers who wrote from the heart and had multiple people who could write at a high level.
Why Are Other Bands Talked About More Often?
My gut tells me that the main reason is that they broke up, but I don’t believe this is true. Roger Hodgson, who was the lead singer and one of the main writers, left the band in 1983. However, the band continued on without and is still touring to this day without him. Now, there was a huge feud and still is because of this.
History shows that bands breaking up is actually far more common than bands staying together. Usually, the way we see this is from a clash of egos. The two main writers of Supertramp were constantly feuding and fighting over which songs should be going on the album. This lead to Roger wanting to pursue solo songs and go off on his own. Sounds very similar to Pink Floyd to me. I’m sure people can name countless other bands like this.
Why are other bands mentioned more often than Supertramp? I believe this is mainly because they have hit songs that people don’t even know are Supertramp songs. For whatever reason, other bands were talked about more and recognized and I don’t think this has anything to do with talent or even songs.
A lot of these older bands have something that is extremely hard to do. We rarely see songs from bands stick around for 5-10 years. It’s just really a hard thing to do. When you can take parts of songs from the 1970s and use them to make hits, I would consider those songs to be timeless. This was done with “Breakfast In America” and I think the remix was pretty great.
Production will always be changing, but I believe one of the key ingredients for songs to last the time of time is in the lyrics and delivery of the melodies. “Give A Little Bit” is a terrific song that I feel like could come out today and still be a gigantic hit.
Songs like, “Logical Song” question life and society and a lot of the lessons in that song can be applied to today. I feel like this is something that made this band great.
Due to copyright issues, there aren’t a lot of videos available. Here is one of Hodgson performing this song solo.
Unique Two Keyboards In Most Songs
Supertramp gives you a heavy dose of keyboards as Roger and Rick both specialize in keyboards and songwriting. Growing up I was always blown away by the parts that they would come up with. I do think that they really grew from each other as they were constantly trying to outwrite each other.
The way they would put the keyboard parts together was always in an extremely unique way. They knew when the keyboards should take the lead and when they should just be sitting in the back and allowing the vocals to shine.
With songs like, “School,” Supertramp shined in the keyboard department. They never got crazy in the rhythmic section, but it still worked just fine.
Are you a huge fan of keyboards and synthesizers? Check out this guide on popular synths used for live music.
I think Supertramp deserves to be mentioned with the greats because of their songwriting. Music is ever changing and it’s a beautiful thing. As music changes; production is the main thing that changes. Bands and producers will always be looking to dive deeper into production to find new and exciting sounds.
Hodgson went on to have some solo success, but nowhere near the success that Supertramp had. To this day, there is still a feud and they refuse to reunite and do a reunion tour. There have been a few times where it looked like it was going to happen, but when it came down to it, they backed out. Hopefully one day we see this, but time is definitely running out!
Do you think Supertramp is underrated and deserves to be mentioned more? Let me know in the comment section.