“It’s true. I only started thinking of Supertramp as Stupidtramp after about their fifth album. Because they were actually pretty darned good for a while through the mid 1970s with 1975’s Crisis What Crisis? a standout because it really didn’t get overplayed, and the cover was a gem, and songs like Another Man’s Woman showing a genuinely strong band that could really work the dynamics, even show a little soul.” (Philip Random)
Spirit never did all the great things that were expected of them in the beginning. Emerging from from the haze of southern Californian at the moment when EVERYTHING was coming in psychedelic colours, with a teenage guitar player named Randy California who was so hot Jimi Hendrix made no secret that he wanted him in The Experience – how could they not someday rule the world? Probably something to do with drugs and the general excesses of the time. Fresh Garbage, which comes from their first album, speaks of environmental concerns and suggests all kinds of groovy, pop smart possibilities. Led Zeppelin covered it before all those other problems.
Because there had to be at least one Three Dog Night track on this list. Might as well go with a mostly forgotten, comparatively minor hit about how humanity just keeps destroying the planet, one city, one neighbourhood, one family at a time. Because much as the official hype might tell us that the early 1970s were all about your Led Zeppelins and Elton Johns and David Bowies, the airwaves would have been awfully bare without the hit machine who took their name from a pre-central heating turn of phrase for a very cold night.
“Jarvis Street Revue stumbled out of Thunder Bay, Ontario in the late 1960s, not that many noticed. I certainly didn’t. But a song as long and weird and serious as the title track of their only album Mr. Oil Man was always going to find me, I figure. The environment is f***ed and The Man is to blame. Same as it ever was, and here we all still are. I don’t know if that’s cause for hope or despair. Probably a little of both.” (Philip Random)