Even in the Quietest Moments...

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Even in the Quietest Moments...
Supertramp - Even in the Quietest Moments.jpg
Studio album by
Released3 April 1977
RecordedNovember 1976 – January 1977
StudioCaribou Ranch, Nederland, Colorado, and Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles
GenreProgressive rock
Length43:27
LabelA&M
ProducerSupertramp
Supertramp chronology
Crisis? What Crisis?
(1975)
Even in the Quietest Moments...
(1977)
Breakfast in America
(1979)
Singles from Even in the Quietest Moments...
  1. "Give a Little Bit"
    Released: 27 May 1977
  2. "Babaji"
    Released: 11 November 1977

Even in the Quietest Moments... is the fifth album by the English rock band Supertramp, released in April 1977. It was recorded mainly at Caribou Ranch Studios in Colorado with overdubs, vocals, and mixing completed at The Record Plant in Los Angeles. This was Supertramp's first album to use engineer Peter Henderson, who would work with the band for their next three albums as well.

Even in the Quietest Moments… reached number 16 on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart in 1977 and within a few months of release became Supertramp's first Gold (500,000 copies or more) selling album in the US. In addition, "Give a Little Bit" became a US Top 20 single and reached number 29 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] While "Give a Little Bit" was the big hit, both "Fool's Overture" and the title track also got a fair amount of FM album-rock play.

In 1978, Even in the Quietest Moments… was ranked 63rd in The World Critic Lists, which recognised the 200 greatest albums of all time as voted for by notable rock critics and DJs.[2]

Background and recording[edit]

Though all the songs are credited as being written jointly by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, Davies wrote "Lover Boy", "Downstream", and "From Now On" by himself, and Hodgson in turn wrote "Give a Little Bit", "Even in the Quietest Moments", "Babaji", and "Fool's Overture" unaided.[3]

Davies said of "Lover Boy" that "I was inspired by advertisements in men's magazines telling you how to pick up women. You know, you send away for it and it's guaranteed not to fail. If you haven't slept with at least five women in two weeks, you can get your money back." Bob Siebenberg recounted that "Rick had been working on 'Lover Boy' for quite a while and finally came up with the long middle section. I just heard that as a really slow, really solid sort of beat, just to give the song dynamics underneath it all, because the song itself is really powerful and it needed something really solid underneath it."[3]

Most of "Even in the Quietest Moments" was written during the sound check for a show at the Tivoli Gardens (in Copenhagen). Davies and Hodgson worked out the various parts of the song with Hodgson using an Oberheim and a Solina string synthesiser and Davies at the drum kit.[4] Davies commented on the music: "It starts off in a very standard melody thing and then it notches onto a sort of one chord progression or perhaps we should call it a digression. It's a thing where there's hundreds of sounds coming in and going out, a whole collage thing."[3] Hodgson said of the lyrics: "It's kind of a dual love song – it could be to a girl or it could be to God."[3] Gary Graff of Billboard rated "Even in the Quietest Moments" as Supertramp's 4th best song.[5]

"Downstream" is performed solely by Davies on vocal and piano, which were recorded together in one take. Siebenberg has described the song as his favourite on the album "because it's so personal and so pure."[3]

Graff rated "From Now On" as Supertramp's 8th best song, highlighting John Helliwell’s saxophone soloand the call-and-response singalong at the end.[5]

"Fool's Overture" had the working title of "The String Machine Epic", and according to John Helliwell: "It came primarily from a few melodies Roger worked out on the string machine thing we use on stage."[3] Hodgson stated the song's lyrics are essentially meaningless, explaining: "I like being vague and yet saying enough to set people's imaginations running riot."[3] Written and sung by guitarist/keyboardist Roger Hodgson - who took five years to compose it -[6] the song is a collage of progressive instrumentation and sound samples. First are excerpts of Winston Churchill's famous 4 June 1940 House of Commons speech regarding Britain's involvement in World War II ("Never Surrender"), followed by sounds of police cars and bells from London's Big Ben clock tower. The flageolet-sounding instrument plays an excerpt from Gustav Holst's "Venus", from his orchestral suite The Planets.[7] There is also a reading of the first verse of William Blake's poem "And did those feet in ancient time" (more commonly known as "Jerusalem"), ended by a short sample of the band's song "Dreamer".[7] Ultimate Classic Rock critic Nick DeRiso rated it as Supertramp's 7th best song."[7]

Artwork[edit]

The front cover is a photo of an actual snow-covered piano and bench with a scenic mountain peak backdrop—an actual, but gutted, grand piano was brought to the Eldora Mountain Resort (a ski area near Caribou Ranch Studios)—which was left overnight and photographed after a fresh snow.[8] The sheet music on the piano, though titled "Fool's Overture", is actually "The Star-Spangled Banner".

A remastered CD version of the album with full original artwork, lyrics, and credits restored (including the inner sleeve picture of the band absent from the original CD) was released on 11 June 2002 on A&M Records in the US.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[9]
Christgau's Record GuideC+[10]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[11]
MusicHound3/5[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[13]

In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau remarked that, unlike most progressive rock, which is "pretentious background schlock that's all too hard to ignore", the album is "modest background schlock that sounds good when it slips into the ear."[10]

AllMusic gave a mixed retrospective review of the album, calling it "elegant yet mildly absurd, witty but kind of obscure," but adding that it "places a greater emphasis on melody and gentle textures than any previous Supertramp release." They criticised the album as not being "full formed," but marked "Give a Little Bit," "Lover Boy," "Fool's Overture," and "From Now On" as worthy of praise.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs credited to Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. Listed below are the actual writers, also lead singers of their songs.

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Give a Little Bit"Roger Hodgson4:08
2."Lover Boy"Rick Davies6:49
3."Even in the Quietest Moments"Hodgson6:26
4."Downstream"Davies4:00
Total length:21:23
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."Babaji"Hodgson4:51
6."From Now On"Davies6:21
7."Fool's Overture"Hodgson10:52
Total length:22:04

1997 and 2002 A&M reissue[edit]

The 1997 and 2002 A&M Records reissues were mastered from the original master tapes by Greg Calbi and Jay Messina at Sterling Sound, New York, in 1997 and 2002. The reissues were supervised by Bill Levenson with art direction by Vartan and design by Mike Diehl, with production coordination by Beth Stempel.

Personnel[edit]

Supertramp[edit]

  • Roger Hodgson – vocals, 12-string guitar (tracks 1, 3) electric guitar (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6), piano (tracks 5, 7), synthesizers (track 7), pump organ (track 7)
  • Rick Davies – vocals, piano (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7), organ (tracks 1, 3, 6), synthesizers (tracks 2, 3, 5, 7), clavinet (track 1), electric piano (track 6), melodica (track 6)
  • Dougie Thomson – bass (tracks 1-3, 5-7)
  • John Helliwell – saxophones (tracks 1, 2, 5-7), clarinets (track 3)
  • Bob Siebenberg (credited as Bob C. Benberg) – drums and percussion (tracks 1-3, 5-7)

Production[edit]

  • Supertramp – producers, orchestral arrangements
  • Peter Henderson – engineer
  • Tom Anderson – assistant engineer, remixing
  • Tom Likes – assistant engineer
  • Steve Smith – assistant engineer
  • Geoff Emerick – mixing engineer
  • Russel Pope – concert sound engineer
  • Garey Mielke – Oberheim programming
  • Michel Colombier, Supertramp – orchestral arrangements
  • Mike Doud – art direction and design
  • Bob Seidemann – photography
  • Kenneth McGowan – inner sleeve photography
  • Frank DeLuna – mastering on original LP
  • Greg Calbi – remastering
  • Jay Messina – remastering

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[31] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[32] Platinum 400,000*
Germany (BVMI)[33] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[34] 2× Gold 100,000^
Norway 20,000[35]
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[36] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[38] Gold 500,000^

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rice, Tim; Paul Gambaccini; Jonathan Rice (1995). British Hit Singles. London: Guinness Superlatives. p. 303. ISBN 0-85112-633-2.
  2. ^ The World Critic Lists. 1978. Archived at rocklistmusic.co.uk
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. pp. 119–137. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7.
  4. ^ Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. p. 111. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7.
  5. ^ a b Graff, Gary (10 October 2017). "Supertramp's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  6. ^ Statement by Roger Hodgson at the Starlite Festival in Marbella in 2015
  7. ^ a b c DeRiso, Nick. "Top 10 Supertramp Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  8. ^ Hurwitz, Matt (3 April 2018). "Classic Tracks: Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit"". Mixonline. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b Even in the Quietest Moments... at AllMusic
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. 7 (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 857. ISBN 0195313739.
  12. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel, eds. (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.[page needed]
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 5282a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments..." (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments..." (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Charts.nz – Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments...". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments...". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments...". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Supertramp Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  23. ^ "CashBox Top 100 Albums" (PDF). CashBox. Vol. XXXIX #7. United States. 2 July 1977. p. 61. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Supertramp – Even In The Quietest Moments...". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  25. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 429. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  26. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1977". RPM. 31 December 1977. Archived from the original on 5 April 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  27. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1977" (in Dutch). Archived from the original (ASP) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1977 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1977". Billboard. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. 1978. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Supertramp – Even in the Quietest Moments". Music Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  32. ^ "French album certifications – Supertramp – Even in the Quietest Moments" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 1 June 2012. Select SUPERTRAMP and click OK. 
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Supertramp; 'Even in the Quietest Moments')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  34. ^ "Supetramp Gets Gold" (PDF). Cash Box. 10 December 1977. p. 55. Retrieved 21 November 2019 – via American Radio History.
  35. ^ "From the Music Capitols of the World - Oslo" (PDF). Billboard. 4 February 1978. p. 83. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  36. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Supertramp; 'Even in the Quietest Moments')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Supertramp – Even in the Quietest Moments". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Supertramp – Even in the Quietest Moments". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 1 June 2012.