SUPERTRAMP Interviews year 1974

SUPERTRAMP Interviews year 1974



Hard-Up Heroes with the Hilton Connection

New Musical Express
November 2, 1974
by Fred Dellar

If you'd been foolish enough to mention a new album to Supertramp just over a year ago, you'd have been greeted with looks that suggested you ran away and played with a bottle of cyanide.

Money was still something you played Monopoly with and the band was so down it seemed just a matter of announcing the split and looking for the next set of circumstances.

But, somewhere along the way they decided to make a single and mix it at Trident. There, producer Ken Scott heard the band and liked what they did. So they bent his ear towards the large amount of material they'd piled up on their homely Sony (no, they couldn't afford a Reox like everyone else) and Scott became so intrigues that he began to work up a kind of Eddie Offord-Yes relationship with the group and decided to lead them on their quest for their personal Holy Grail - an album that would gain them acceptance.

So off they all went to the Who studio to up down some basic tracks, later returning to Trident for overdubs and thence to Scorpio where they did the final mix - all of which too around five months.

"Ken's really become part of the band," claims keyboardman and founder-member Richard Davies. "But he's such a perfectionist that when he tries for a drum sound we all walk out and leave bob Benberg (the band's drummer) and him to it. If we come back a couple of hours later they'll still be working it all out".

Even the sound effects on the album - 'Crime of the Century' (reviewed last week) had to be really authentic. When he wanted the sound of children's voices, Scott went down to his daughter's school and recorded the holocaust at going-home time. Another evening he could be found recording buskers in London's West End which on another occasion he and Supertramp made their way to Paddington where, amid the train-spotter, they recorded the station announcements for a track called "Rudy".

Scott, who won a large number of plaudits for his work with Bowie, is currently involved in a project with Billy Cobham. But he's already planning another album with Supertramp. Y'see the band claim they didn't put all their best material on the new album: "We just used some of the songs that fitted okay", says guitarist Roger Hodgson, "and some of the strongest material is yet to come - we've had a lot of time in which to write during the past couple of years."

But now the band are back to earning a little bread once more and they've dedicated their album, which A & M released a couple of weeks ago, to a guy called Sam - a guy who once decided that a small portion of his million would find a worthwhile investment in the talents of Supertramp. Now there's a story.

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