Supertramp's story is not unusual. The story of rock bands that couldn't stand their success is an old one. From its formation in 1969 through the seventies, Supertramp put out a series of critically applauded albums with some of the most commercially successful singles of the decade, reaching their zenith with the 1975 monster hit, Breakfast in America.
The artistic nucleus of the band was its founders, Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. Each working individually, they composed the songs and wrote most of the lyrics. Hodgson did most of the lead singing, but Davies did his share as well. Hodgson also began playing the Wurlitzer electric piano which in some ways became the band's signature sound. Trouble was too much of a good thing, and after a 1983 tour, Hodgson left the band.
Why? The reasons are unclear. Hodgson has said that there were no personal problems with Davies, but that hasn't stopped speculation. Especially since the two made a legal agreement that they would no longer perform each others' songs. Hodgson has gone on to pursue a solo career. Davies continued with Supertramp. Neither of them has met with the same kind of success.
Now Hodgson is back with a collection of live performances of some of his greatest hits. These are songs he has said in an interview he still loves to sing. "My songs come from a very personal place inside me and they carry my beliefs and my dreams and my philosophy of life." More importantly, they are songs we still love to hear. They have been available as digital downloads on Hodgson's official web site and will soon be out on a CD. Classics Live collects dynamic performances from the singer's 2010 world tour: Brazil, Germany, Norway, Venezuela and Paris. If the album shows anything, it shows that Hodgson still has that distinctive voice that thrilled us all back in the day and the songs themselves are as alive today as they ever were.