Music / Supertramp

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Supertramp_7154.jpg
The classic lineup, circa 1979. Left to right: Bob Siebenberg, Rick Davies, John Helliwell, Dougie Thompson, Roger Hodgson.

Supertramp is a British Progressive Rock band, that was big in the 70s and 80s, with such songs as "The Logical Song", "Breakfast in America", and "Take The Long Way Home", all three of which appeared on what is considered their greatest album, Breakfast in America. Their most well-known members are singers and multi-instrumentalists Roger Hodgson (who left in 1983) and Rick Davies (still in the band).

Current members:
  • Rick Davies Vocals, keyboards, harmonica, composition, saxophone
  • John Helliwell Vocals, woodwinds, keyboards, synthesisers
  • Bob Siebenberg – Drums, percussion
  • Carl Verheyen Guitars, percussion, backing vocals
  • Cliff Hugo Bass
  • Lee Thornburg Trombone, trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Jesse Siebenberg Percussion, vocals, guitar, keyboards
  • Gabe Dixon Keyboards, tambourine, vocals
  • Cassie Miller Background vocals

Former members:
  • Roger Hodgson Vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, cello, flute, composition
  • Dougie Thomson Bass, backing vocals
  • Mark Hart Vocals, keyboards, guitar
  • Tom Walsh Percussion
  • Kevin Currie Percussion
  • Richard Palmer-James Vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, balalaikanote 
  • Robert Millar Percussion, harmonica
  • Dave Winthrop Woodwinds, vocals
  • Frank Farrell bass, keyboards, backing vocals

Studio albums to date:
  • Supertramp (1970)
  • Indelibly Stamped (1971)
  • Crime of the Century (1974)
  • Crisis? What Crisis? (1975)
  • Even in the Quietest Moments... (1977)
  • Breakfast in America (1979)
  • ...Famous Last Words... (1982)
  • Brother Where You Bound (1985)
  • Free as a Bird (1987)
  • Some Things Never Change (1997)
  • Slow Motion (2002)

Live albums to date:
  • Paris (1980)
  • Live '88 (1988)
  • It Was the Best of Times (1999)
  • Is Everybody Listening? (2001)
  • 70-10 Tour (2010)

Compilation albums to date:
  • The Autobiography (1986)note 
  • The Very Best of Supertramp (1990)
  • The Very Best of Supertramp 2 (1992)
  • Retrospectacle (2005)

They provide examples of:

  • And That's Terrible: From "Crime of the Century"
    So roll up and see
    How they rape the Universe
  • Assimilation Academy: "School", which is the page quote.
  • Because I Said So: "School" even provides the page quote.
  • Big Applesauce: The cover for Breakfast in America is NYC with boxes as buildings and a waitress as the Statue of Liberty.
  • Book Ends: Crime of the Century opens and ends with the harmonica solo of "School", and their debut album features one version of the song "Surely" at each end.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Deconstructed with "Dreamer", as the person in the song continues to dream on instead on acting on his thoughts. Thus wasting his life while doing nothing noteworthy.
  • But Now I Must Go: "Goodbye Stranger".
  • Captivity Harmonica: "School".
  • The Casanova: "Lover Boy".
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: On the original Lyrics sheet insert for Crime of the Century (the album), Roger Hodgson's vocals are colored white, and Rick Davies' yellow.
  • Contemptible Cover: Indelibly Stamped
    • For those who don't want to look (or are at work), it's the arms and chest of a heavily tattooed naked woman.
  • Concept Album: Crime of The Century. Its uniting theme being insanity, or the dark side of society.
  • Despair Event Horizon: "If Everyone Was Listening", "Lord Is It Mine", arguably "Rudy".
  • Epic Rocking: They have some roots in progressive rock, so it's not surprising. The most well-known is the 11-minute long "Fool's Overture".
    • Brother Where You Bound's title track takes up most of side two.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Lover Boy" and "Fool's Overture," which fades out right before the singing starts.
  • Genre Shift: They started out as a Prog Rock band, but as time went on, they became more poppy, culminating in their extremely poppy Breakfast in America.
    • And still later, "I'm Beggin' You" reached #1 on the US dance charts.
  • Go Among Mad People: "Asylum"
  • Greasy Spoon: The diner in the back cover of Breakfast In America, based on a real life diner the band ate at across the street from the studio they recorded the album at.
  • Growing Up Sucks: "The Logical Song"
  • Hates Small Talk: "Casual Conversations"
  • Here We Go Again: Hey, hey, hah-oh, lah-la, hey-hey. Give a little bit. Give a little bit of your love to me...
  • Homage: "My Kind of Lady" was done in a style of 50's rock/doo-wop bands. The video really amplifies the style.
  • Horrible Hollywood: "Gone Hollywood".
  • Humans Are Bastards: The song "Crime Of The Century" is either this or a group jumping the Moral Event Horizon (Raping the universe besides being difficult, would obviously cross that line) depending on how you interpret the fact that behind the masks "there's you and there's me".
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: The page quote is from "The Logical Song".
  • I Have Many Names: The American drummer Bob Siebenberg spelled his name "Bob C. Benberg" on the band's 1970s albums to avoid tipping off the U.K. immigration authorities that he'd overstayed his visa working with the band.
  • Last Note Nightmare: "If Everyone Was Listening" ends with foreboding strings. Also, the Fake-Out Fade-Out in "Lover Boy" is very abrupt.
    • Subverted with "Asylum", which ends with a faint cuckoo noise.
  • Long Runner Line Up: From the revamp to Hodgson's exit was 11 years with the same band.
  • Loss of Identity: "The Logical Song", again.
    Please, please tell me what we've learned
    I know it sounds absurd
    Please tell me who I am
  • Mad Dreamer: "Dreamer", obviously
  • Non-Appearing Title: "The Logical Song", "Breakfast In America", "Gone Hollywood", "A Soapbox Opera", "Fool's Overture", "Downstream", "Just Another Nervous Wreck".
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: "Goodbye Stranger"
  • One-Woman Wail: The wordless vocal melody at the end of "Don't Leave Me Now", sung by Clair Diament. She would add a longer, more complicated line in a similar manner on Roger Hodgson's ballad "Only Because Of You" from his In The Eye Of The Storm solo debut two years later.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "Even In The Quietest Moments" has the singer asking this question at the end of the song.
  • Parody of Evolution: Brother Where You Bound
  • Please Don't Leave Me: "Don't Leave Me Now"
  • Plucky Comic Relief: John Helliwell often serve as this during their concerts. For example in the Paris album, he was talking about enjoying some French cuisine, before listing off some Italian dishes instead and realizing the mix-up.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Bob Siebenberg composed the soundtrack to Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon.
  • Red Scare: "Brother Where You Bound", complete with excerpts from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Refrain from Assuming: "Breakfast In America" is not "Take a Look at My Girlfriend".
  • Rhymes on a Dime: "The Logical Song," again.
  • Rhyming with Itself: "Breakfast In America" rhymes girlfriend with girlfriend.
  • Rockstar Song: "Take the Long Way Home"
  • Sanity Slippage Song: Asylum
  • Scatting: Roger Hodgson had a tendency to do this in many of the songs.
  • '70s Hair: Davies and Hodgson, to this very day.
  • Silly Love Songs: A couple, such as "Oh! Darling!", "Give A Little Bit", and "Downstream".
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: "Dreamer"
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Many of their songs head straight for the cynical end of the scale, and never look back.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Hodgson is a tenor, while Davies has a deep voice.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Fool's Overture" has a short clip of Winston Churchill's famous "We shall fight on the beaches" speech.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Originally Davies, as Hodgson and Palmer-James were the stronger vocalists and handled almost all the lead parts on their debut. When Palmer-James left, Davies took over the position of second vocalist, but Indelibly Stamped still features one song sung by neither (Dave Winthrop on "Potter", the last song with neither Hodgson nor Davies on lead until after Hodgson's departure).
  • Take That: Word of God says that "Casual Conversations" and "Child of Vision" are take thats to Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies respectively (and written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, respectively).
  • The Band Minus the Face: Supertramp minus Roger Hodgson.
  • The Man: A common theme in their music, especially their more cynical songs, such as "School", and "The Logical Song".
  • The Something Song: "The Logical Song"
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Nevermind three chords, Rick Davies wrote "Cannonball" on one chord, just because he wanted to see if he could.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Originally Hodgson/Palmer-James, then Hodgson/Davies, and then Davies/Hart, and with the first two, there exist many songs where they tag in several times per song.
  • When She Smiles: "Know Who You Are"
    "When you smile we can see the sun"
  • You Are Not Alone: "Hide In Your Shell."

You're comin' along!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Music/Supertramp