Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home

Sixth grade…in sixth grade this album and the songs on it was huge.

Co-credited to bandleaders Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, but written solely by Hodgson. They had a Lennon/McCartney song writing relationship that would credit both no matter if one person wrote it.

The song peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 and #4 in Canada in 1979. Breakfast in America peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, New Zealand, and #3 in New Zealand.

It was written shortly before Supertramp went in the studio to record the Breakfast In America album, Roger Hodgson said the song was a last minute addition.

According to Producer Peter Henderson the album took 9 months to record. The reason for this is because there was no There were no click tracks and or splicing of the backing tracks. They all played the backing tracks live in the studio. The result was a fresh sounding album that was a massive hit.

The band refused a $5 million offer from the Greyhound company to use this song in bus commercials.

Roger Hobson: I’m talking about not wanting to go home to the wife, take the long way home to the wife because she treats you like part of the furniture, but there’s a deeper level to the song, too. I really believe we all want to find our home, find that place in us where we feel at home, and to me, home is in the heart and that is really, when we are in touch with our heart and we’re living our life from our heart, then we do feel like we found our home.

From Songfacts

At the press meeting when Breakfast In America was presented, Roger Hodgson explained that this song is about a guy who thinks he’s really cool (“So you think you’re a romeo, playing a part in a picture show”), but it seems that he’s the only one who thinks that. This implies that our hero avoids getting home because when he’s on the road he has a few more moments of being alone with his dreams, and in his dreams he’s a superstar.

It was another angle on the question that ran deep inside me, which is, ‘Where’s my home? Where’s peace?’ It felt like I was taking a long way to find it.”

More lyric analysis:

“But there are times that he feels he’s part of the scenery, all the greenery is comin’ down” – It seems that in real life he’s “the joke of the neighborhood” (“why should you care if you’re feeling good” is him trying to rationalize) and his wife “seems to this that he’s a part of the furniture.” In real life he “never sees what he wants to see.”

“When he’s up on the stage, it’s so unbelievable, unforgettable, how they adore him. And then his wife seems to think he’s losing his sanity… Does it feel that you life’s become a catastrophe? Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy.” – This is the phase of our lives when we accept the fact that we’ll never be what we wanted and become ordinary, we take it very hard, but we grow into it.

“He looks through the years and see what he could have been, what might have been, if he’d had more time.” – Time is always to blame when we want to do something, but don’t. This guy always wanted to be someone, but he got stuck taking the long way home so now it’s even difficult for him being ordinary: “So, when the day comes to settle down, Who’s to blame if you’re not around? You took the long way home.” 

Roger Hodgson’s debut solo DVD was titled Take the Long Way Home, Live in Montreal. It was released in Canada in 2006, where it went to #1 and sold over a million copies. The DVD was released worldwide in 2007 and is Gold in France.

“Take The Long Way Home” has endured as a favorite: it was chosen as the #5 favorite song in Mojo magazine’s readers’ poll in 2006.

Take The Long Way Home

So you think you’re a Romeo
Playing a part in a picture-show
Take the long way home
Take the long way home

‘Cause you’re the joke of the neighborhood
Why should you care if you’re feeling good
Take the long way home
Take the long way home

But there are times that you feel you’re part of the scenery
All the greenery is comin’ down, boy
And then your wife seems to think you’re part of the furniture
Oh, it’s peculiar, she used to be so nice

When lonely days turn to lonely nights
You take a trip to the city lights
And take the long way home
Take the long way home

You never see what you want to see
Forever playing to the gallery
You take the long way home
Take the long way home

And when you’re up on the stage, it’s so unbelievable,
Oh unforgettable, how they adore you,
But then your wife seems to think you’re losing your sanity,
Oh, calamity, is there no way out, oh yeah
Ooh, take it, take it out
Take it, take it out
Oh yeah

Does it feel that your life’s become a catastrophe?
Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy
When you look through the years and see what you could have been
Oh, what you might have been,
If you’d had more time

So, when the day comes to settle down,
Who’s to blame if you’re not around?
You took the long way home
You took the long way home
Took the long way home
You took the long way home
You took the long way home, so long
You took the long way home
You took the long way home, uh yeah
You took the long way home

Long way home
Long way home
Long way home
Long way home
Long way home
Long way home

Supertramp – It’s Raining Again

I heard this song in Jr High and couldn’t help but like it. It has a very good melody and is a really good pop song.

The song was written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson and was on the album Famous Last Words in 1982. The album peaked at #5 in the Billboard album charts, #1 in Canada, and #6 in the UK in 1982.

The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100, #4 in Canada, and #26 in the UK

At the end of the song they repeat a nursery rhyme called “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”.

Roger Hodgson: I wrote It’s Raining Again on a day when I was feeling sad because I’d lost a friend. I was in England looking outside the window and it was pouring rain and literally, the song came to me. I started playing these chords on this pump organ and I just started singing It’s Raining Again.

The first version of it was much slower and more melancholy and then when I recorded it with Supertramp I decided to increase the tempo and it was more upbeat. So it’s another of my songs with a sad lyric set to up upbeat melody.

The five members of Supertramp all appear in the video. At the beginning, John Helliwell is a street musician playing an alto saxophone. Before the first chorus, Dougie Thomson appears as the bus driver (this was the last filmed video where Thomson would appear with his then trademark moustache and beard). Hodgson plays the guitar-playing bus passenger. Lastly, Rick Davies and Bob Siebenberg play the two pickup truck rednecks.

It’s Raining Again

It’s raining again
Oh no, my love’s at an end.
Oh no, it’s raining again
and you know it’s hard to pretend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Too bad I’m losing a friend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Oh will my heart ever mend.
Oh no, it’s raining again
You’re old enough some people say
To read the signs and walk away
It’s only time that heals the pain
And makes the sun come out again
It’s raining again
Oh no, my love’s at an end.
Oh no, it’s raining again
Too bad I’m losing a friend.

C’mon you little fighter
No need to get uptighter
C’mon you little fighter
And get back up again
Oh get back up again
Fill your heart again…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Raining_Again

Supertramp – The Logical Song

In 1979 the album Breakfast In America was huge. The album had 4 singles in the Billboard 100. The Logical Song was the lead single. It peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #7 in the UK, and #13 in New Zealand in 1979.

Breakfast In America peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, and #3 in the UK…and won 2 Grammys.

This was a very personal song for Roger Hodgson would work on the song during soundchecks, and completed it long before bringing it to the band. The lyrics were based on his experience of being sent away to boarding school for ten years.

To accentuate the “d-d-digital” line in the lyrics, the band borrowed a Mattel handheld electronic football game from an engineer named Richard Digby-Smith, who was working next door. This device provided an unusual sounding, layered bleep. The specific sound occurs near the end of the song just after Hodgson sings the word “digital.” The sound itself indicated a player had lost control of the football.

Beeslife

Roger Hodgson: “I had actually finished the words and the arrangement six months before I proposed it to the band for the album… I didn’t think anyone would like it. Interestingly enough this song has the distinction of being one of the most quoted lyrics in schools.”

 

From Songfacts

The lyrics are about how the innocence and wonder of childhood can quickly give way to worry and cynicism as children are taught to be responsible adults. It makes the point that logic can restrict creativity and passion. Supertramp keyboard player Roger Hodgson, who wrote this song and sang the lead vocals, said in our 2012 interview: “I think it was very relevant when I wrote it, and actually I think it’s even more relevant today. It’s very basically saying that what they teach us in schools is all very fine, but what about what they don’t teach us in schools that creates so much confusion in our being. I mean, they don’t really prepare us for life in terms of teaching us who we are on the inside. They teach us how to function on the outside and to be very intellectual, but they don’t tell us how to act with our intuition or our heart or really give us a real plausible explanation of what life’s about. There’s a huge hole in the education. I remember leaving school at 19, I was totally confused. That song really came out of my confusion, which came down to a basic question: please tell me who I am. I felt very lost. I had to educate myself in that way, and that’s why California was very good for me to kind of re-educate myself, if you like.

But it’s interesting that that song, I hear it all the time, it’s quoted in schools so much. I’ve been told it’s the most-quoted song in school. That may be because it has so many words in it that people like to spell. But I think it also poses that question, and maybe stimulates something with students. I hope so.” (Here’s our full interview with Roger Hodgson.)

Like the Lennon/McCartney partnership, most of Supertramp’s songs are credited to their lead singers Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, although in many cases one writer was entirely responsible for the song. “The Logical Song” was written by Hodgson, but it shares some themes with a song Davies wrote on Supertramp’s 1974 album Crime of the Century called “School.” Speaking of the connection in 1979 at a time when the songwriters were at odds, Davies said to Melody Maker: “‘School’ was a device, in some ways. I don’t know whether Roger would be able to associate too much with that, although I can see the connection with ‘Logical Song.’ Roger went straight from public school to a rock group, so his personal experience is a bit limited in that area. He’s very public school.”

Hodgson often writes songs by singing over his keyboard riffs. He’ll try different words and phrases to get ideas for his lyrics, which is how the title of this song came about. Said Hodgson: “From singing absolute nonsense, a line will pop up that suddenly makes sense, then another one, and so on. I was doing that when the word ‘logical’, came into my head and I thought, ‘That’s an interesting word’.”

Like another famous song from 1979, “Another Brick In The Wall (part II),” this song rails against English schooling. “What’s missing at school is for me the loudest thing,” Hodgson said. “We are taught to function outwardly, but we are not taught who we are inwardly, and what really the true purpose of life is. The natural awe and wonder, the thirst and enthusiasm and joy of life that young children have, it gets lost. It gets beaten out of them in a way.”

In 1980, Hodgson won the Ivor Novello Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, who named “The Logical Song” the best song both musically and lyrically of that year.

The German dance music band Scooter did a techno version of “The Logical Song,” which was wildly popular across Europe and hit #2 in the UK. It has been certified gold by the BPI, selling over 400,000 copies and was the 15th best selling single of 2002.

In 2004, a Supertramp tribute band called Logicaltramp formed in the UK. Supertramp members John Helliwell and Roger Hodgson have given the band favorable reviews, and Helliwell has joined them on stage. >>

At a concert appearance, Roger Hodgson said of this song: “I was sent to boarding school for ten years and I definitely emerged from that experience with a lot of questions, like What the hell happened to me? What is life about? And why a lot of the things I had been told didn’t make any sense. ‘Logical Song’ was really a light hearted way of saying something pretty deep. Which is they told me how to conform, to be presentable, to be acceptable and everything but they didn’t tell me who I am or why I m here. So, it s a very profound message and I think it really resonated with a lot of people when it came out.”

The Logical Song

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily
Oh joyfully, playfully watching me
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible
Logical, oh responsible, practical
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable
Oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical

There are times when all the world’s asleep
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
Please tell me who I am

I said, watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical
Liberal, oh fanatical, criminal
Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re acceptable
Respectable, oh presentable, a vegetable
Oh, take it take it yeah

But at night, when all the world’s asleep
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man
Won’t you please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
Please tell me who I am, who I am, who I am, who I am
‘Cause I was feeling so logical
D-d-digital
One, two, three, five
Oh, oh, oh, oh
It’s getting unbelievable

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

 

Supertramp – Give a Little Bit

This is an extremely catchy song by Supertramp off of the album Even in the Quietest Moments… This was before their classic Breakfast In America. The song was inspired by “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.

The song peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100, #29 in the UK, and #8  in Canada in 1977.

The song was credited to Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies but Roger Hodgson wrote it. Roger Hodgson’s quote. “The song itself is such a pure, simple message that I think is really especially even more powerful today when the world has even more problems and it’s even more difficult sometimes to be compassionate and caring because we’ve got to put up all these barriers to survive; that it’s a song that really inspires people to give a little bit, not give a lot, just give a little bit and see how it feels and show that you care, and I know for me, every time I play it in concert, there’s something about that song.
I look out and people just start smiling straight away and sometimes they hug each other and they start singing with me. It’s a very unifying song with a beautiful, simple message that I’m very proud of and really enjoy playing today.”

From Songfacts.

Supertramp singer/guitarist Roger Hodgson wrote this song when he was a teenager, but didn’t record it until much later. It was about five years between when he wrote the song and when he brought it to the band. When we spoke with Hodgson in 2012, he explained: “I think it’s a great song. I didn’t realize it was when I first wrote it. It actually took me six years before I even brought it to the band. But I wrote it I think around 1970. That time, the late ’60s, early ’70s, was a very idealistic time, one of hope, a lot of peace and love and the dream of the ’60s was still very alive and maturing if you like. 

That song has really taken on a life of its own, and I think it’s even more relevant today than when I wrote it. Because we really are needing to value love in a much deeper way, and also we’re needing to care. The song is basically saying: just show you care. You know, reach out and show you care. So in concert, it’s the perfect show closer because what I try to do in my show over two hours is unify the audience and unify all of us. So that at the end, when everyone stands up for ‘Give A Little Bit,’ they’re open and ready to open their hearts and sing at the top of their lungs and go away with a smile on their face. And that song really does, it has a very pure energy. The moment I start, people just start smiling. It’s amazing.”

Give A Little Bit

Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
Give a little bit
I’ll give a little bit of my love to you
There’s so much that we need to share
Send a smile and show you care

I’ll give a little bit
I’ll give a little bit of my life for you
So give a little bit
Give a little bit of your time to me
See the man with the lonely eyes
Take his hand, you’ll be surprised

Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
I’ll give a little bit of my life for you
Now’s the time that we need to share
So find yourself, we’re on our way back home

Going home
Don’t you need to feel at home
Oh yeah, we gotta sing