This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010, as well as, the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their lists, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. “RS: Song XXX” means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #245: The Logical Song by Supertramp.
When I was growing up in the mid-1970s, “Supertramp” was one of the biggest groups in the whole world. Starting with the song, “Dreamer” from the album, “Crime of the Century” and on up through “Give a Little Bit” and “Fool’s Overture” from “Even in the Quietest Moments”, to their super album, “Breakfast in America” with hits like, “Take the Long Way Home”, “Goodbye Stranger”, “Breakfast in America” and “The Logical Song” and ending with, “Its Raining Again” from “Famous Last Words”, Supertramp sold tens of millions of records, were awarded multiple Gold and Platinum records and earned several Grammy Awards, too. Their sound was distinctive; in the sense that a Supertramp song always tended to sound like a Supertramp song, if that makes sense. They were born in the traditions of Prog. Rock (like “Yes”, early “Genesis” and, even, our own, “Rush”) but, it was when they transitioned toward Pop that Supertramp really made their mark.
“The Logical Song” was Supertramp’s highest charting single. It was written by singer/guitarist, Roger Hodgson. He and Rick Davies wrote and arranged all of Supertramp’s songs but, they did so separately. In this case, Hodgson wrote a song about his own experiences as a child; contrasting the beauty and freedom of his early childhood days with the regimentation that awaited him once he was sent to Boarding School. Part of the reason Hodgson and Davies wrote separately is because of the differences in their life experiences. Hodgson was a “private school” boy, whereas, Davies came from a working class background. On the surface, that shouldn’t matter much but, in England in the 1960s and 70s, class structure was a very real thing and the richness or quality of your life experiences could vary dramatically depending upon your social status. So, the bitter truth was that, despite their compatibility as performers, Hodgson and Davies just really didn’t have all that much in common and, as a result, they were always more bandmates than actual friends. Luckily for us all, they both managed to write some of the most popular songs of their era and we are the better for that.
“Breakfast in America”, the band’s biggest album has often been thought to be a critique of America. But, both men have commented that writing a critique was never their intention. They said that the album was simply meant to be fun and light and showcase some of their own reactions, as “Englishmen” to life in America.
The song, “The Logical Song” is often compared to another famous “anti-education” sounding song, “Another Brick in the Wall” by “Pink Floyd”. In both songs, the regimentation of the English school system is taken to task. But, Hodgson pointed out that, “The Logical Song” focuses more of the humanistic side of our being. He said that he feels there must be a better way to raise children and help them with their journey to adulthood. Childhood, Hodgson states, is filled with imagination and creativity and wonder and discovery. Yet, teenage life is often filled with anxiety and awkwardness and then, adulthood, tends to be when one finds themselves examining their life choices and wondering how they ended up as they have and what they might possibly do to rekindle that life filled with wonder and magic.
As a father and as a teacher, I always believed in the power of creativity and imagination for children. I worked hard to shield my students and my daughters from the often harsh realities that make up the adult world. Kids should be allowed to be kids for as long as they possibly can. “The Logical Song” by Supertramp echoes those sentiments as it describes Hodgson’s journey from creative freedom to having that same creativity stifled and then, having to cry out, “Tell me who I am?!” because he doesn’t recognize himself anymore now that he is an adult. While his journey may not have been all that he had hoped for, I am thankful that he had the courage to share his story with us all. I will do likewise and share this song with you, as well. Without further delay, here is, “The Logical Song” by Supertramp. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “The Logical Song” by Supertramp, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Supertramp, can be found here.
Thanks, as always, to KEXP for playing the greatest music of all-time. The link to their website can be found here.