CSX Classic Cuts

Promotional portrait of the rock band Supertramp, circa 1981. L-R: John Helliwell, Rick Davies, Roger Hodgson, Bob Siebenberg and Dougie Thomson. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Courtesy of Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Supertramp: “Goodbye Stranger”

The Hook: Rick Davies wrote it in two pieces, which didn’t come together into one song until the band was in the recording studio.

Album: Breakfast in America

Year: 1979

Writers: Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson

Stats: Peaked at number-15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Rick Davies recalls writing “Goodbye Stranger” in a demo studio he had in the first house he and he wife, Sue, ever bought. He’s a little bit vaguer about exactly what he was thinking when he wrote it.

Supertramp singer-keyboardist Rick Davies on writing “Goodbye Stranger.” OC:…popular songs. :20

“The only thing I can remember about writing that song was it was in two bits. There was this bit where everybody’s singing, ‘Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane,’ and then I’m answering it, as it were. And I never got to put the two bits together, so I didn’t really know if it was all going to work until we did it for real in studio. So it was all kind of theory, but it seem to have worked out. It’s one of our most popular songs.”