Supertramp: “Give A Little Bit” (1977)

A little bit of their fifth album goes a long way, nearly topping the charts in the Netherlands.

Kronomyth 5.1: A bit of all right.

I’m on record as not being a huge fan of Even in the Quietest Moments, partly because it sounded like Supertramp’s two songwriters, Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, had split up and nobody told the group. Although the songs were still credited to Davies and Hodgson, Give a Little Bit is essentially a Hodgson solo song with the band along for the ride. In fact, it sounds more like the work of Cat Stevens than Supertramp, which isn’t a bad thing by any means.

Downstream is Davies by his lonesome, singing and playing piano. Like the A side, it’s a love song, with Davies enjoying a bit of downtime in a boat with his love. Of minor interest, an edited version of “Give A Little Bit” was used for the international singles; a case of giving a little bit less, I suppose. So far as I can tell, they just shortened the intro and snipped out 20 seconds or so of fat from the middle. The sax solo from John Helliwell remains intact on both versions.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Give A Little Bit (Rick Davies/Roger Hodgson) (4:07)*
B1. Downstream (Rick Davies/Roger Hodgson) (4:00)

*UK, Australian and Dutch pressings feature the edited A side with a runtime between 3:20 and 3:32.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in May 1977 in the UK (A&M, AMS 7293), the US (A&M, 1938-S), Argentina (A&M, 1563), Australia (A&M, K-7694) and the Netherlands (A&M, AMS-5465) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #15 on the US charts (charted on June 4, 1977 for 18 weeks), #29 on the UK charts (charted on June 25, 1977 for 7 weeks) and #4 on the South African charts (charted in August 1977 for 13 weeks).

  1. Re-issued on 7-inch single in the US (A&M Memories, AM-8606).
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in the US (A&M Forget Me Nots, 8606-S).

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