Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" album is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a re-release Dec. 9.

"Crime of the Century," which was first released in September 1974, includes Roger Hodgson's song, "Dreamer," which became the band's first international runaway hit.

It drove the album, which hit the top of the Billboard charts and also included hit singles "School," "Hide in Your Shell" and "If Everyone Was Listening."

"Crime of the Century" features the cream of Rick Davies' and Hodgson's songwriting, marrying the sweetness of Hodgson's "Dreamer" with the grit of Davies' similarly-beloved "Bloody Well Right."

Along with "In School," "Rudy" and the title track, the album helped the band -- Davies, Hodgson, John Helliwell, Bob Siebenberg and Dougie Thomson -- define what would become known as adult-oriented rock (AOR).

The 40th anniversary edition being released in December includes the classic original album, remastered by Ray Staff at Air Studios. A second disc features their 1975 Hammersmith Odeon concert, mixed from the original tapes by their original on-the-night engineer Ken Scott, capturing the band on the verge of stardom with "Crime of the Century" and also previewing tracks from the then unreleased follow-up, "Crisis?"

"I'm fortunate to have written songs that have become hits without ever trying to write one," Hodgson said. "I've never sat down and said, 'OK I'm going to write a hit song.' Inspiration comes in many different ways. Usually it comes when I get out of the way losing myself in the sound of the instrument I am playing – it's almost like being in a meditative state.

"With 'Dreamer,' the inspiration was born out of excitement and just erupted out of me. Looking back, it was quite serendipitous that as a young songwriter with so many dreams I had my first hit with a song named 'Dreamer.' It was certainly a thrill to hear it being played all over the radio."

Another of Hodgson's philosophical musings, "If Everyone Was Listening," reaches back to William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" adage of "all the world's a stage, and all the men are merely players" for its allegorical inspiration.

Supertramp last toured in 2011, but Hodgson is headed out on an eight-date, seven-city tour in the U.S. and Canada kicking off tonight in Wabash, Ind., with a performance Thursday at MotorCityCasino Hotel in Detroit.

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