Free as a Bird (album)

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Free as a Bird
Supertramp - Free As a Bird.jpg
Studio album by Supertramp
Released 13 October 1987
Recorded 1986
Genre Pop, dance-pop, rock
Length 44:17
Label A&M
Producer Rick Davies, Tom Lord-Alge, Supertramp
Supertramp chronology
The Autobiography of Supertramp
(1986)
Free as a Bird
(1987)
Live '88
(1988)

Free as a Bird is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Supertramp, released in 1987.

The album was a turn of direction of sorts, with most of the songs stepping back from their progressive rock sound, employing synthesised dance beats and rhythms. Chief songwriter Rick Davies later recalled, "Free as a Bird was an experiment to try and be modern and build it up with computers and drum machines and have people come in one by one, which makes you lose the band spirit a little bit."[1]

Overview[edit]

The album was the first Supertramp album to feature contributions from guitarist/vocalist Mark Hart. He would later become a full-fledged member of the group.

Despite the fact that "I'm Beggin' You" was a club chart-topping hit[2] and Free as a Bird's title cut was a minor hit, the album did not do well peaking at No. 101, making it the first Supertramp album since 1971's Indelibly Stamped not to crack Billboard's Top 100 on the album charts.

The band disbanded after the tour in support of the album and would not reconvene until 1997. They did so without bassist Dougie Thomson.

Originally, the vinyl album featured four colour variants – blue (pictured), green, yellow and pink. The bird in the picture was a cut-out.

A remastered CD version of the album was released on 30 July 2002 on A&M Records. The remastered CD comes with all of the original album artwork, lyrics and credits.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[3]

Allmusic's brief retrospective review dismissed the album as "a colorless and tuneless collection of prog rock meandering".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Rick Davies, except where noted.
Lead vocals by Rick Davies, except where noted.

  1. "It's Alright" – 5:01
  2. "Not the Moment" – 4:37
  3. "It Doesn't Matter" – 4:53
  4. "Where I Stand" (Davies, Mark Hart) – 3:42
    • Lead vocals: Rick Davies and Mark Hart
  5. "Free as a Bird" – 4:25
  6. "I'm Beggin' You" – 5:30
  7. "You Never Can Tell with Friends" – 4:19
  8. "Thing for You" – 4:00
  9. "An Awful Thing to Waste" – 7:50

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
  • Mark Hart – guitar, keyboards, vocals, background vocals
  • Marty Walsh – guitar, background vocals
  • Lee Thornburg – trumpet, brass
  • Nick Lane – brass
  • Scott Page – brass
  • Lon Price – brass
  • David Woodford – brass
  • Steve Reid – percussion
  • Linda Foot – background vocals
  • Lise Miller – background vocals
  • Evan Rogers – background vocals
  • Karyn White – background vocals

Production[edit]

  • Producers: Rick Davies, Tom Lord-Alge, Supertramp
  • Engineer: Norman Hall
  • Assistant engineers: Bob Loftus, Jeff Lorenzen
  • Mixing: Tom Lord-Alge
  • Mastering on original LP: Bob Ludwig
  • Remastering: Greg Calbi, Jay Messina
  • Art direction: Richard Frankel
  • Design: Richard Frankel
  • Photography: Raul Vega
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]

Singles[edit]

Charts – Billboard (North America)[20]

Year Single Chart Position
1987 "I'm Beggin' You" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 1
1988 Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 48
Adult Contemporary 42

Official Charts (United Kingdom)[11]

Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Free as a Bird" UK Singles Chart 95

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bollenberg, John "Bobo" (26 June 2000). Interview with Rick Davies, John Helliwell, Jack Douglass, and Georges Ohayon, ProgressiveWorld.net.
  2. ^ "I'm Beggin' You" chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b Free as a Bird (album) at AllMusic
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  5. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 47, No. 9" (PHP). RPM. 5 December 1987. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Supertramp – Free as a Bird" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 1 June 2013. Note: user must select 'Supertramp' from drop-down.
  8. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  9. ^ "swedishcharts.com Supertramp – Free as a Bird" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Supertramp – Free as a Bird – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Supertramp > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "allmusic ((( Free as a Bird > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Album Search: Supertramp – Free as a Bird" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1987 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Supertramp – Free as a Bird". Music Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "French album certifications – Supertramp – Free as a Bird" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  Select SUPERTRAMP and click OK
  17. ^ "Les Albums Or". Infodisc.fr (in French). Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979–1990". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. 
  19. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Supertramp; 'Free as a Bird')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Cannonball" chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved 26 July 2011.