Crisis? What Crisis?

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Crisis? What Crisis?
Supertramp - Crisis.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 November 1975 (1975-11-29)
RecordedSummer 1975
Studio
GenreProgressive rock
Length47:24
LabelA&M
ProducerKen Scott, Supertramp
Supertramp chronology
Crime of the Century
(1974)
Crisis? What Crisis?
(1975)
Even in the Quietest Moments...
(1977)
Singles from Crisis? What Crisis?
  1. "Lady"
    Released: 21 November 1975 [1]
  2. "Ain't Nobody but Me"
    Released: 23 April 1976 [2]

Crisis? What Crisis? is the fourth album by the English rock band Supertramp, released in 1975. It was recorded in Los Angeles and London – Supertramp's first album to have recording done in the US.

A remastered CD version of the album was released on 11 June 2002 on A&M Records. The remaster features the original artwork and credits plus lyrics to all of the songs, which the original release lacked.

Record Mirror included Crisis? What Crisis? on its end-of-year list for 1975, recognising the best albums of the year.[3]

Background and recording[edit]

Having achieved commercial success with Crime of the Century (1974), the pressure was on for Supertramp to deliver a followup, and the record company pushed them to begin work as soon as the touring for Crime of the Century was finished. While touring the west coast of North America, Supertramp unintentionally gained extra time: Hodgson injured his hand, forcing the band to cancel the rest of the tour and leaving them with nothing better to do than work on the album.[4] Despite this, the band still had no time to rehearse for the album, and much like Indelibly Stamped (1971), songwriters Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson had no vision for a completed album worked out.[4] Furthermore, the band's busy touring schedule had left no time for writing songs, and so they entered A&M's Los Angeles recording studios with only leftover songs from Crime of the Century (or even earlier) for material.[4] Due to shortage of material, production had to be halted at one point so that Davies and Hodgson could write two new songs, one of which was "Ain't Nobody But Me".[4]

Ultimate Classic Rock critic Nick DeRiso suggested that the melody of "Sister Moonshine" planted the seeds for Supertramp's later song "Give a Little Bit," which became one of their biggest hits.[5]

Four of the songs ("Sister Moonshine", "Another Man's Woman", "Lady", and "Just a Normal Day") were performed live before the tracks were recorded and released, as documented on the BBC recorded performance of the band playing at The Hammersmith Odeon in London in March 1975 and were included on the 2001 live release Is Everybody Listening?.

Hodgson was unhappy with the album, describing it as a rushed job with none of the cohesion of Crime of the Century.[6] Bassist Dougie Thomson concurred: "We thought that the Crisis album was a little bit disjointed and the band as a whole at that time didn't really like the album."

In the mid-1980s, however, Roger Hodgson called it his favorite Supertramp album.[7]

Artwork[edit]

Both the title and the concept of the cover were conceived by Davies, as John Helliwell recounted: "It was Rick that came up with the name Crisis? What Crisis? and one day, when we were sitting around Scorpio Studio, he came in with this sketch of a guy in a deck chair under an umbrella with all this chaos going on around him."[4] It appears he was inspired by Yves Robert's Alexandre le bienheureux.[8] "Crisis? What Crisis?" is a line in the film The Day of the Jackal (1973).[9] The phrase was used as a headline in The Sun newspaper during the Winter of Discontent in 1979 to convey a popular impression of the UK government at the time, attributed to then Prime Minister James Callaghan but denied by him.[10] Hodgson stated that the title "came to mean more to us as a title than it did to other people because it was really a crisis album. We learnt how not to make an album, coming right off the road and going into the studio. We really didn’t enjoy making it and in the end it was kind of a patch up job."[11] Artist Paul Wakefield returned after his work in Crime of the Century, photographing the backgrounds at the Welsh mining valleys, which were later composited with a model shot in the studio afterwards.[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[13]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[14]
The Great Rock Discography6/10[15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[16]
Sputnikmusic4/5[17]

Rolling Stone panned the album in their brief review, ridiculing the lyrics in particular.[18]

AllMusic commended the album in its retrospective review, praising Rick Davies's keyboard work, Roger Hodgson's vocals, and John Helliwell's saxophone. They especially noted the emotionally powerful songwriting, which they felt gave the album a "warm personality and charmingly subtle mood."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson.

Side one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Easy Does It"Hodgson2:19
2."Sister Moonshine"Hodgson5:15
3."Ain't Nobody but Me"Davies5:14
4."A Soapbox Opera"Hodgson4:54
5."Another Man's Woman"Davies6:15
Side two
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
6."Lady"Hodgson5:26
7."Poor Boy"Davies5:07
8."Just a Normal Day"Davies/Hodgson4:02
9."The Meaning"Hodgson5:23
10."Two of Us"Hodgson3:26
Total length:47:23

Personnel[edit]

Supertramp

Production[edit]

  • Ken Scott - producer
  • Supertramp - producers
  • Greg Calbi - remastering
  • Jay Messina - remastering
  • John Jansen - assistant
  • Ed Thacker - assistant
  • Richard Anthony Hewson - arranger
  • Fabio Nicoli - cover design
  • Paul Wakefield - cover design
  • Dick Ward - cover design

2002 A&M reissue The 2002 A&M Records reissue was mastered from the original master tapes by Greg Calbi and Jay Messina at Sterling Sound, New York, 2002. The reissue was supervised by Bill Levenson with art direction by Vartan and design by Mike Diehl, with production coordination by Beth Stempel.

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[30] Gold 20,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[31] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[32] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[33] Gold 250,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Supertramp singles".
  2. ^ "Supertramp singles".
  3. ^ End Of Year List. Record Mirror. 1975. Archived at rocklistmusic.co.uk
  4. ^ a b c d e Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. pp. 84–93. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7.
  5. ^ DeRiso, Nick. "Top 10 Supertramp Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  6. ^ (2009). 30th Anniversary Supertramp Feature, In the Studio.
  7. ^ Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7.
  8. ^ "'Philippe Noiret in a deck chair under an umbrella with all this chaos going on around him.'".
  9. ^ The line is spoken during pillow talk about 55 minutes into the film by Denise, played by Olga Georges-Picot.
  10. ^ "'Crisis? What crisis?'". news.bbc.co.uk. 12 November 2000. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  11. ^ Mabel, Matt. "Personality crisis, what personality crisis?" Sounds, April 9, 1977.
  12. ^ "ACHOF Featured Album Cover Artist Portfolio – Paul Wakefield". 12 December 2014.
  13. ^ a b Crisis? What Crisis? at AllMusic
  14. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. 7 (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 857. ISBN 0195313739.
  15. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2002). "Supertramp". The Great Rock Discography. The National Academies. ISBN 1-84195-312-1.
  16. ^ Sheffield, Rob; et al. (2004). Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 797. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  17. ^ Album review, Sputnikmusic.
  18. ^ Altman, Billy (29 January 1976). Album review, Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4078a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Supertramp – Crisis? What Crisis?" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Charts.nz – Supertramp – Crisis? What Crisis?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Supertramp – Crisis? What Crisis?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Supertramp – Crisis? What Crisis?". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  26. ^ "Supertramp Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  27. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1976". RPM. 8 January 1977. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  28. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1976 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1977 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Supertramp Hits America For Tour" (PDF). Cash Box. 21 February 1976. p. 47. Retrieved 21 November 2021 – via World Radio History.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Supertramp – Crisis". Music Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  32. ^ "French album certifications – Supertramp – Crisis, What Crisis" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Supertramp; 'Crisis? What Crisis?')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 1 June 2012.