This is a review of the remastered edition. I emphasise that, because in the past I have viewed remastered editions as simply another way for record companies to make money. This time though - and this goes for all the Supertramp remastered editions - the difference in sound quality is profound. All I can say is: Wow!
`Crime of the Century' dates from 1974 when the group were a kind of Anglo-American Genesis. It opens with the harmonica wail of `School', a protest song of a kind that seems almost to have completely disappeared in today's world. It ends with those words of ironic condescension from teacher to pupil, "You're coming along".
Intelligent lyrics are to be found in all of the other tracks too, the protests and the hopes of the 1970s. The sound quality is so good that we can make out in the song `Rudy' the tannoy system at Paddington Station, calling out the train "to Bristol Temple Meads from Platform Two". This song also exemplifies the clever arrangements that the band employed, where the central section of the song has a rhythm like a train ride. Another example would be the last three minutes of the title track, which features purely instrumental music that sounds like a soundtrack to a heist movie.
Unfortunately, Rick Davies's singing is not as clear as Roger Hodgson's. We can hear every word that the latter sings without the need for a songsheet. Roger has a beautiful and deceptive weak voice, as fragile as the subjects of which he sings. As for the music, much of the rhythm is surprisingly keyboard-led with the drums simply augmenting. I like all the songs very much, apart from `Bloody Well Right' (which is OK), and `Dreamer' (which is brilliant).