Supertramp “Asylum”

“Asylum”

Crime of the Century was Supertramp’s 3rd album and gave us the big radio hits “School”, “Bloody Well Right” and “Dreamer”. If you had a real good radio station to listen to you would also here the “Crime of the Century”, “Rudy” or “Hide in You Shell” and when the DJ was in the right mood every blue moon or so you could hear “If Everyone Was Listening” or “Asylum”. The other songs might have gotten all the air play but for me the number 1 song on the album was “Asylum” with “Crime of the Century” not to far behind.
Songwriting for the group was split between Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies but throughout most of this incarnation of Supertramp both were credit as writing the songs. After Roger Hodgson left the group around 1983 they (lawyers?) sat down and created a list of every song and and who could play what in the future and not play. In case you have seen the latest form of Supertramp or Roger Hodgson solo and wondered why certain songs were not played here is the primary songwriter list. As stories go Rick and Roger didn’t get along while they were part of a group so after the split the hatred moved over to who could play what.
For Crime of the Century the record company A&M Records had the boys stay in a 17 century castle together to write and rehearse all of the songs (hence some of the titles). Asylum is the fourth song off of the album and has song writer Rick Davies doing the lead vocals. His acoustic piano for most of the song is masterful. The lyrics where he and Hodgson split the sentences is perfectly timed and makes you think that the person is talking to himself. Add in Hodgson’s electric guitar, the drum work of Bob Siebenberg the bass playing of Dougie Thomson and on saxophones John Anthony Helliwell and you have the beautiful sounds of….
“Jimmy Cream was keen, his brain was always winnin’,
I can’t keep tabs on mine, it’s really quite a joke
I see him down the road, I ask if he’d be willing
To lend me 15p – I’m dying for a smoke…”

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10 thoughts on “Supertramp “Asylum”

  1. For anyone who was or is a fan of Supertramp, you’ve got to see Roger Hodgson in concert. His voice is incredible and he hits all the high notes with ease. I saw him last month in NY and it was honestly one of the best shows I’ve seen – ever. Dreamer was a highlight for me that got everyone, including me, up and moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Richard
      Roger tends to not make it out here to the bay area. Last time he was around was 2012 and I wasn’t able to go see him. Seeing him is one of those bucket list items for me though.

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  2. Nice review, dcw! I fondly remember “Bloody Well Right” and “Dreamer” on FM radio. My younger brother was a fan of Supertramp and used to bitch about boarding school to the lyrics of “Crime of the Century.” One of my favorite songs of theirs is the title track to “Even in the Quietest Moments.” Why can’t people write songs like this today?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete
      I thought about “Quietest Moments” or “Fool’s Overture” off of the same album but went with Asylum. Quietest moments is such a great song. In regards to people not being able to write songs like this anymore my buddy tells me that I should start listening to a couple country artists. I made it about a minute between the both of them and was done

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      • Ha! Yeah, as you know I’m not a Nashville country music fan, other than Hank Senior. Way too commercial, programmed, polished. However… lately I’ve been listening to a lot of “outlaw” country, especially the Texas stuff: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, as well as a lot of John Prine. It’s not new, and it took me a while, but I’m starting to appreciate the purity of their words and music. I also like certain progressive bluegrass: Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, etc. As for people like Toby Keith, Faith Hill, and the rest of those urban, pinup cowboys/cowgirls… forget it!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Supertramp was, for me, what I call a radio band. That is, a band that I know only from their radio hits and not much else. Liked what I heard, not enough to buy them or really call myself a fan. That said, you can’t beat “Bloody Well Right,” or for that matter, a guy named Jimmy Cream.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim
      You should check out a couple other Tramp songs that didn’t get much radio play. They might not turn you into a album buyer but you might enjoy the songs. I’ll add them to the widget bar since I F$%King forgot to when I did post

      Liked by 1 person

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