The Logical Song

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"The Logical Song"
The Logical Song actual single cover.JPG
Single by Supertramp
from the album Breakfast in America
B-side "Just Another Nervous Wreck"
Released April 1979
Genre Progressive pop[1]
Length 4:11
Label A&M
Producer(s) Supertramp, Peter Henderson
Supertramp singles chronology
"From Now On"
"The Logical Song"
"Breakfast in America"
Music sample

"The Logical Song" is a song by the English rock band Supertramp. The song was released as the lead single from their sixth studio album, Breakfast in America (1979), in March 1979 by A&M Records.

"The Logical Song" is Supertramp's biggest chart hit in both the United States, South Africa, and their native United Kingdom and is amongst their most widely recognised radio hits.[2][not in citation given] Roger Hodgson composed the song from an autobiographical point of view, from his experience of being sent away to boarding school for ten years.[3] It won the 1979 Ivor Novello Award for "Best Song Musically and Lyrically".[4]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"The Logical Song" was mostly penned by Roger Hodgson; Rick Davies wrote the vocal harmony on the second chorus.[5] The song makes use of keyboards, castanets, and an instrumental section.[2] Among the contemporary sound effects in this song are the 'tackled' sound from a Mattel electronic football game[5] and the Trouble "Pop-o-matic" bubble – both popular at the time this song was released.

The lyrics are a condemnation of an education system focused on categorical jargon as opposed to knowledge and sensitivity.[6] The lyrics are notable for their use of consonance, with a repetition of the '-ical/ -able' endings of multiple adjectives.

Critical reception[edit]

Rolling Stone called the song a "small masterpiece" praising the "hot sax" and Hodgson's "wry humor".[6] The magazine also made comparisons between Hodgson and Ray Davies from The Kinks.[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song was a hit on its original release, reaching number 7 in the United Kingdom and number 6 in the United States.[2][7][8] The song also spent two weeks at number 1 on the Canadian RPM Singles Chart, was the top song of the year, and was certified Platinum in Canada.[9][10] It stayed for three months on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1979.[2]


  • Roger Hodgson – lead and backing vocals, Wurlitzer electric piano, electric and 12-string acoustic guitars
  • Rick Davies – Elka and Oberheim synthesisers, Hammond organ, Hohner Clavinet with wah-wah, backing vocal
  • John Helliwell – alto saxophone, siren whistle, backing vocal, intro breathing
  • Bob Siebenberg – drums, castanets, timbales, cowbell
  • Dougie Thomson – bass

Charts and certifications[edit]