Even though “Crime of the Century” isn’t the best album British pop/rock outfit Supertramp ever made — for my money, that honor goes to 1979 masterpiece “Breakfast in America” — the 1974 gem is the record that put the band on the map after several years of searching for their big break. In honor of the album’s 40th anniversary, “Crime of the Century” gets the deluxe treatment with this stellar two-disc reissue.
Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson were coming into their own as songwriters on “Crime of the Century” and the chemistry with bandmates John Helliwell, Bob Siebenberg and Dougie Thomason was palpable. It was an exciting time for a band clearly on the cusp of international stardom.
Disc 1 is a remastered version of the original eight-track album — featuring classic Supertramp cuts “Bloody Well Right,” “Hide in Your Shell,” “Dreamer,” “Rudy” and the title track — and holds up remarkably well all these years later.
The real find, however, is Disc 2, a 13-track live album recorded during a 1975 appearance at London’s famed Hammersmith Odeon. Supertramp play “Crime of the Century” in its entirety and deliver early versions of “Sister Moonshine,” “Just a Normal Day,” “Another Man’s Woman” and “Lady” — songs that form the backbone of 1975 LP “Crisis? What Crisis?” This one’s definitely worth the upgrade. (Jeffrey Sisk)