Supertramp – Bloody Well Right

Supertramp was one of those bands I’ve never known much about. They did have songs I liked and this is one of them. This song peaked at #35 in the Billboard 100 in 1975. “Bloody Well Right” was their first charting hit in America but it failed to chart in the UK.

Supertramp had 10 songs total in the Billboard 100 and 2 top ten hits. It was included on the 1974 album Crime of the Century, “Bloody Well Right” became one of Supertramp’s signature songs.

From Songfacts

“Bloody Well Right” was Supertramp’s first charting hit in the US, while it failed to chart in the UK. One theory on why the song didn’t chart in their UK homeland has it that Brits were still offended by the adjective “bloody” in 1975. These days it is considered a mild expletive at best all around the world.

Written by Supertramp leaders Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, Davies sings lead on this one. The song deals with youthful confusion, class warfare, and forced conformity in the British school system (kind of like Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall (part II)”). This anti-establishment take was a theme of the album.

The song has a unique structure, with a 51-second piano solo at the start that meanders around, playing the “Locomotive Breath” trick of starting out vaguely recognizable and giving people plenty of time to guess who and which song this is before the more familiar parts kick in. Then a grinding power guitar riff thunders by, making you think this is going to be heavy metal. Nope, guess again – the light piano and suddenly chipper lyrics on the chorus take us back to pop rock.

“Bloody Well Right” is actually an answer song to the previous song on the album, “School.” Crime of the Century is a concept album that tells the story of Rudy. In “School,” Rudy has lamented that the education system in England is teaching conformity above education (boy, Rudy, you should see America). In “Bloody Well Right” he joins a gang believing them to be the organized resistance that he longs for; instead, they’re basically apathetic punks who mock him for his higher aspirations. It’s not that Rudy’s wrong, it’s that Rudy is galvanized by something that is common knowledge to everyone else. Hello, Occupy Wall Street? We have your theme song!

Bloody Well Right

So you think your schooling’s phony
I guess it’s hard not to agree
You say it all depends on money
And who is in your family tree

Right, you’re bloody well right
You know you got a right to say
Right, you’re bloody well right
You know you got a right to say

Ha-ha you’re bloody well right
You know you’re right to say
Yeah-yeah you’re bloody well right
You know you’re right to say
Me, I don’t care anyway!

Write your problems down in detail
Take them to a higher place
You’ve had your cry, no, I should say wail
In the meantime hush your face
Right, quite right, you’re bloody well right

Right, you’re bloody well right
You know you got a right to say
Right, you’re bloody well right
You know you got a right to say

 

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

26 thoughts on “Supertramp – Bloody Well Right”

  1. At that time there was a vast gulf between the singles and album charts. I can clearly remember it being played on something like The Old Grey Whistle Test and the sax player looking camera saying ‘Quite right’. Dreamer was the breakout song here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Was the “Bloody” part one of the reasons it didn’t break as big there?

      The last thing I remember from them big was “It’s Raining Again”…. It’s too bad Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies can’t get along with each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It may have received less airplay because of the title. There was only BBC Radio 1 and a few commercial stations then. The radio stations were very prudish (a year or so later Sex Pistols songs were deemed offensive even if they were ironic). Then again, the people who would have bought it may have got it on the album.
        Just looking at my ratings on Foobar, apart from the Crime songs, I’ve only scored the wonderfully over the top ‘Fools Overture’ in the ‘play often’ category.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was wondering about that. Pirate radio was gone by then I believe…or close to it.
        I listened to that a few months ago.

        Like

      3. Most of the pirates went in 1967 . Although I was only 5½ I can distinctly remember when the government jammed the signals.
        One ship did survive though – Radio Caroline. This broadcast in international waters. The first ship sunk and they got another one with the backing of some US religious group advocating ‘Loving Awareness’. It could only be received in SE England and would play rock. They would be the ones playing Supertramp, Zep, Purple and always ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’
        The second ship also sunk. Like the dance band on the Titanic, they carried on playing as it went down.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Pete Townshend has said without Pirate radio the Who’s career would not have been the same.

        “The second ship also sunk. Like the dance band on the Titanic, they carried on playing as it went down.”
        That is great

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s crazy to know they found this song offensive. Anyway, very interesting. I loved Breakfast In America, was that the follow up to this album, and did they title the album to somehow connect that they charted in the U.S. and not in the U.K.?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got me wondering… I found this…

      “We chose the title because it was a fun title. It suited the fun feeling of the album.” Due to the title and the explicit satirising of American culture in the cover and three of the songs (“Gone Hollywood”, “Breakfast in America” and “Child of Vision”), many listeners interpreted the album as a satire of the United States. Supertramp’s members have all insisted that the repeated references to US culture are purely coincidental and that no such thematic satire was intended. Hodgson has described the misconception as a parallel to how Crime of the Century (1974) is often misinterpreted as being a concept album.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’m not a Supertramp expert, but ‘Crisis, What Crisis?’ (hit song – Lady), Even In The Quietest Moments (hit song ‘Give a Little Bit) were inbetween.
      The cover of an earlier album Indelibly Stamped (no hits as far I remember) was deemed offensive as it showed the heavily tattoo’d naked torso of a woman.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Are the Buffalo-Toronto Bills playing? LOL. Like the Super bowl for commercials…ksome years for the halftime show too though Maroon 5 … might be time for a nap about then!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m wondering if it worked because there was the juxtapositioning of high and low vocals. Allowed distinctive ‘call and response’ sequences such as at the end of Rudy.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This got caught in my spam folder… I like a few of them… ” I may be driven to violence” YEP! That is me on any Phil Collins song.

      Like

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