70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on 26 October 2005
Supertramp rarely get the credit that they deserve. But listening to this anthology you realise just what a great band they were and how they transcend the need to be cool or fashionable. 'Dreamer', 'The Logical Song', 'Give a Little Bit' are all perfectly formed pop songs, but they are only part of the story of a band who did their own thing and, with the cyclical nature of the publics tastes, I'm hoping their time will come again, and a few more people will admit that they made a fantastic contribution to music.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2006
It's just about impossible to find fault with this collection of Supertramp's best known tracks, either on a value or completeist basis, and it is certainly a better package than earlier attempts at a "Best of..."
The label "soft-rock" has been slapped on them largely as a result of the tendancy of their later albums to be made up of three or four minute US radio-friendly pop/rock material. Fans of the band at their peak, creatively and melodically, will say that the three albums "Crime of the Century / Crisis What Crisis / Even In The Quietest Moments", from which most of CD1 is made up, were definitely not soft rock (they will, in fact, probably argue that you should leave this release alone and buy the three individual CDs, and turn the volume up loud when you play them).
Rick Davies supervised the compilation and all the tracks have been digitally remastered. Comparing them with the vinyl originals does reveal a slight loss of edge and clarity but most people won't notice. Overall it's an excellent review of one of Britain's (yes, they were British) best rock bands of the late 1970s.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2006
The way Supertramp has been depicted in recent years gives an indication that they were some sort of embarrassment in pop music history. Case in point is Homer Simpson's affection of the group. This compilation proves that though Supertramp did have some art-rock tendencies, they produced some great tunes.
This compilation is very complete; basically anything Supertramp did of any worth, with the possible exception of Hide in Your Shell, is here. Personally I would have preferred the live version of Dreamer that became a hit in the US, but overall, the song selection is perfect. The six tunes from Breakfast in America are for example the obvious choices from that album.
The music is, well, mostly good in mine opinion. There are a few tracks I don't care that much about, especially post It's Raining Again. I did, however, re-discover some ones again. Special mention goes to Take the Long Way Home, with its majestic opening and incredible harmonies. The craft of the production is faultless, these guys and the studio were a match made in heaven. Most music produced today, 30 years later, lacks the great production in most aspects as Supertramp did in their heyday. Despite being studio wizards, the creative aspect of making music enjoyable was yet in place. Listen to Goodbye Stranger, with the organ intro, the drums added and the snapping sound into the second verse. Give a Little Bit on the other hand is pure bright guitars driving the song.
I have another Supertramp collection called Classics - 25th A&M Anniversary. That compilation has some edited tracks which appear here in their full length editions. The sound quality is also vastly better on this new compilation, as if a carpet was put over the speaker whilst listening to the old version. The inner booklet is also fine on this compilation which can't be said about the Classics compilation.
To sum it up, this is a fantastic compilation and although some tracks are not my cup of tea, they all deserve being included on a Supertramp anthology. The sound re-mastering is great with full length tracks. This is the one CD for most Supertramp fans, excluding the most hard core ones, to buy.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2005
Supertramp have never left the playlists on some US FM stations, and if you listen to this collection, it's easy to understand why. Like Steely Dan, they combine intelligent lyrics with excellent musicianship, and merit repeated listenings. They haven't always received critical acclaim, but hopefully this re-release, which includes all their greatest songs, will put that right. The critics aren't often right anyway. Take a listen and make your own mind up.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Supertramp were in some ways an enigma. Clearly capable of listenable pop songs, they also chose to deliver weighty and occasionally pompous tracks worthy of the prog rock era.
More to the point, they were capable of catchy, exciting and memorable songs with an edge but chose on occasions to repeat lazy 50s pastiche ballads which certainly does appeal to the soft rock/MoR community, even if that was not their natural home. When inspired, as on the Crime of the Century and Breakfast in America albums, Supertramp were capable of producing an amazingly high and consistent standard of music.
This collection provides examples of both, though it suffers slightly from the usual greatest hits syndrome, whereby tracks are selected because somebody deems them to be essential, not because they are the best (we might otherwise have had Hide in Your Shell and Asylum from CotC!) Make allowances for some so-so early work and the fact that the later material is lacking something after Roger Hodgson had gone solo (whatever became of his career?), and what is left?
The downside is tuneful throwaway numbers like My Kind of Lady and It's Raining Again, not to mention some early material but look harder and you'll unearth some real gems. Crime of the Century is still the prophetic masterpiece it ever was (a green song years before the term was coined?), driven by a Rick Davies piano, soaring sax from Anthony Heliwell and billowing strings. Look also at some lesser-known works - the jazz-funk of Cannonball and a magnificent extended live version of Another Man's Woman, for example. Within this lavish 2 CD set is a first-rate single CD collection fighting to get out - and that would have been worth the full 5 stars!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2007
Although this is undoubtedly an excellent compilation, just a word of warning for audiophiles - the quality of this CD (2) is not as good as as the originals and certainly not as good as the relatively recent "remastered" versions of the original albums. Buy it to play in the car, sure, but not on a really good hi-fi system.
It's worth noting that there is some uncertainty over whether or not this is a "remastered" CD at all. It certainly does not promote itself, or list itself as "remastered" but in the very small print in the CD notes it says mastered in 2005. Personally I wouldn't want to claim this was a remastered disc!
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One of the most respected bands in the history of modern music, Supertramp, now have out a double retrospective CD which spans over more than 30 years of the bands career.
Digitally remastered and compiled by the band's Rick Davies, "Retrospectacle - The Supertramp Anthology" includes not only the bands greatest and best-known recordings, but it also marks the CD debuts of two rarities: 1974 non-album single tracks "Land Ho" and "Summer Romance".
Also featured are the huge smash hit singles "The Logical Song", "Goodbye Stranger", "Take The Long Way Home", "Dreamer" and "Give A Little Bit". With "Retrospectacle - The Supertramp Anthology", the best of the entire career of Supertramp is heard for the first time in one package. There have been complilations of Supertramp before but this is easily the best.
Supertramp always had their own unique sound and this may be why these tracks have stood the test of time well.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The name of the band "Supertramp" was taken from W. H. Davies' 1908 novel "The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp".
"Mr. Davies is no propagandist of the illusions of the middle-class tramp fancier. He does not tell you that there is honor among tramps. On the contrary, he makes it clear that only by being too destitute to be worth robbing and murdering can a tramp insure himself against being robbed and murdered by his comrade on the road. The tramp is fastidious and accomplished, audacious and self- possessed; but he is free from divine exploitation and the endless discountenance of being passed by as useless by the life force that finds superselfish work for other men." Editor's review of "The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp".
From my review of "Breakfast In America", I stated that "Starting life as a British progressive rock band, Supertramp shifted gears and became a real pop band. Supertramp was formed in England in 1969 by keyboardist/vocalist Rick Davies. 1974's "Crime Of The Century" became the band's first big smash, followed by "Crisis! What Crisis?" and "Even In The Quietest Moments". 1979's "Breakfast In America" was a huge success on both sides of the Atlantic, and is considered by most people to be the band's best album." Despite chart success the band never attained stardom; it was remarked at the height of their popularity that Supertramp was the best-selling group in the world whose members could walk down any street and not be recognized.
And, now, in 2005 they have given us their "Retrospectale: The Supertramp Anthology". As Supertramp's first career retrospective, the 2-CD Retrospectacle contains a compilation of the most popular songs, live tracks and favorite album tracks from all of their albums "Supertramp", I"ndelibly Stamped", "Crime of the Century"", Crisis? What Crisis?", "Even in the Quietest Moments", ""Breakfast in America, P"aris", "Famous Last Words", "Brother Where You Bound", "Free As a Bird", "Some Things Never Change", "It Was The Best Of Times "and "Slow Motion". Also, Retrospectacle marks the first ever official appearance on a Supertramp album of the long out of print single "Land Ho" and its B-side "Summer Romance" which were the first two songs that Supertramp's classic lineup recorded. These tracks were recorded for the "Crime of the Century "album but were left off and released as a non-album single. The versions of "Land Ho" and "Summer Romance" on Retrospectacle were the 1975 re-mixes which the band intended to use on "Crisis? What Crisis?" but left off at the last minute. They are but two of the superb songs to appear. For fans of Supertramp this is the best, the very best that we could hope for. An undulating romance of the songs that we listen to over and over again in our minds and in our reality. Twenty of the songs that Supertramp recorded during their heyday. We all have our favorites and mine is "Take The Long Way Home", which to me, portrays the cycle of our life. This is one of those albums that can not be praised highly enough. It just is the best, beyond compare, capital, unparalleled,and unrivaled. Highly Recommended.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2006
Very happy to receive this album for Christmas and I wasn't disappointed. Every single song, from those I remember from my childhood to those I've never heard before, sounded absolutely great. A great collection from an all-time great band.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2006
This is a great collection of the well known (and some slightly less well known) Supertramp songs. Great value especially for a 2-disc set. You'll be singing along to the favourites, and even get a little taster of how they sound live with a nice live version of 'Another Man's Woman' and also of 'You Started Laughing'
Infectious music for many a generation, Supertramp will be enjoyed by many more as well.