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Music / Crime of the Century

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"I'm just as sane as anyone, it's just a game I play for fun."

"Now they're planning the crime of the century.
Well what would it be?
Read all about their schemes and adventuring.
Yes, it's well worth the fee."

Crime of the Century is the third album by British rock band Supertramp, released in 13 September 1974 through A&M Records. After the failure of their first two albums, Supertramp broke up, with Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson seeking new members as they record for the first half of 1974. The resulting album was a resounding commercial and critical breakthrough for the band, reaching the top five album sales charts in the UK, Germany and Canada while reaching Gold certification in the United States by 1977. It was also through this album that the classic lineup with then-new members Dougie Thomson, Bob Siebenberg and John Helliwell was established, with the three remaining until the first breakup in 1988.

Supported by the singles "Dreamer" and "Bloody Well Right".



Side one
  1. "School" (5:35)
  2. "Bloody Well Right" (4:32)
  3. "Hide in Your Shell" (6:49)
  4. "Asylum" (6:45)

Side two

  1. "Dreamer" (3:31)
  2. "Rudy" (7:17)
  3. "If Everyone is Listening" (4:04)
  4. "Crime of the Century" (5:36)

Principal members

  • Rick Davies - vocals, piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ, harmonica, Moog synthesizer, Elka Rhapsody 610 synthesizer
  • John Helliwell - saxophone, clarinet, backing vocals, glass harp and celesta
  • Roger Hodgson - vocals, guitars, piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano
  • Bob Siebenberg - drums, percussion
  • Dougie Thomson - bass


Well can you put your tropes in your head? Oh no:

  • Assimilation Academy: "School", which is the trope's page quote.
    "I can see you in the morning when you go to school
    Don't forget your books, you know you've got to learn the golden rule
    Teacher tells you stop your play and get on with your work
    and be like Johnny — too good, don't you know he never shirks
    He's coming along."
  • Because I Said So: "School" even provides the page quote.
    "Don't do this, and don't Do that
    What are they trying to do?
    Make a good boy of you
    Do they know where it's at?
    Don't criticize, they're old and wise!
    Do as they tell you to
    Don't want the devil to
    Come and put out your eyes"
  • Book Ends: The harmonica solo can be heard at the start of "School" and towards the instrumental ending of "Crime of the Century".
  • 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.
  • Captivity Harmonica: The intro to "School" invokes this.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: On the original Lyrics sheet insert, Roger Hodgson's vocals are colored white, and Rick Davies' yellow.
  • Concept Album: The uniting theme being insanity, or the dark side of society. However, Roger Hodgson says that other than a deliberate connection between "School" and the first line of "Bloody Well Right", there was never any intention to link any of the songs, and any reading of it as a concept album is strictly the listener's.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The eponymous character in "Rudy" tried to gain control of his life, and then towards the end of the song, as if that was all a dream:
    Now he's just come out the movie-
    Numb of all the pain.
    Sad, but in a while he'll soon be
    Back on his train.
  • Epic Rocking: "Hide in Your Shell", "Asylum" and "Rudy" all are above six minutes.
  • Go Among Mad People: The narrator in "Asylum" protests against being called insane do nothing for him, as he is sent to an asylum, and by the end of the song, he believes he's dying.
  • 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".
  • Mad Dreamer: The subject of "Dreamer" seems to dream a lot without acting on it, initially trying to put his hands in his head in thought, before winding up putting his head in his hands as if in disappointment. Said dreamer was told to "work it out someday" at the start of the bridge.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Asylum"
    Don't arrange to have me sent to no asylum.
    I'm just as sane as anyone.
    It's just a game I play for fun...
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The subject of "Dreamer" can't seem to realize the extent of his dreams, that he's called out by the narrator leading up to the bridge.
  • Train Song: The eponymous character in "Rudy" is taking a train to nowhere after seemingly wasting a good deal of his life.
  • You Are Not Alone: "Hide In Your Shell" is one of the more encouraging songs in Supertramp's output, with the chorus encouraging the subject to stop being a shut in.
    Don't let the tears linger on inside now,
    Cos it's sure time you gained control.
    If I can help you
    If I can help you
    If I can help you,
    Please let me know.