Breakfast In America is one of my all-time favorite albums and this 45 was the first song released from it, making into the Top 10 in the Spring of 1979. And every time I hear this song, I think of one thing: Roy Rogers. Not the cowboy, but the restaurant named after him. We must have eaten their every week that Summer. So the memory of driving there for lunch and having this song come on the radio is forever linked in mind. As is the fact that we always ordered an apple cheese crisp for my Dad. I never ate one because it sounded disgusting. Mixing apples & cheese for dessert…what the hell is logical about that?
Roger Hodgson, the writer and singer of The Logical Song had a great way of making the insistent repetitive staccato hits of the Wurlitzer electric piano sound inviting and warm. You can’t hear those opening chords and not think of Supertramp, so signature was that sound. Also a trademark was their wry humor and sometimes bitter commentaries in their lyrics, but in this one the message was simple: when we grow up the world steals our innocence and replaces it with confusion. OK maybe it’s no so simple and brings up more questions than it answers, but it certainly something everyone can relate to. Especially in 1979 amid an impending recession, nuclear meltdowns and political unrest. And the US & England were ready to make the illogical moves of electing Reagan & Thatcher, forever changing the political landscape affecting generations to this day.
But I digress, cause this song kick ass, even before John Helliwell rips into a late 70s pre-requisite sax solo. Can you listen to a line like, “Watch what you say. They’ll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical, a criminal.” and not think about the agenda of news channels such as Fox News? In fact what government doesn’t want their constituents let alone their employees to be “acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable”? OK maybe not #2, but certainly #4. 1-2-3-5!
Special note: I love that they when they sing digital, they use the sound from the handheld Mattel Football game. I was always partial to the Soccer handheld myself.
2nd special note: A group called the Barron Knights recorded a parody of this song in 1979 called The Topical Song in which they lamented about the Oil Crisis. Topical song, yes. Good song, no.