Sunday Music – Baker Street

Posted on Sun 11/19/2017 by

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Today’s music video is Baker Street and the song is performed here by the Scottish singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by dkrisek

It’s an odd thing how a song becomes so readily recognisable for just one thing, even though the song is a really good one, even without that one thing about it that makes it so distinctive. Such is the case with this song Baker Street written and made into a monster hit by Gerry Rafferty. That song is so famous for the haunting saxophone, played by Raphael Ravenscroft.

Gerry Rafferty already had a relatively long career before he released this song in 1978. The earlier career was with a band called Stealers Wheel, where Rafferty teamed up with Joe Egan , and they had a smash hit with the song Stuck In The Middle. That band was active for just three years, from 1972 till 1978, and during that time, they produced three albums. In 1975, the main duo in the band Gerry and Joe split acrimoniously, and, this, coupled to some problems with the recording company, because of that split, saw a number of legal issues, and because of that Gerry Rafferty could not, and did not record any new material. He had a good income because of the credits from his work with the band, so he just sat out of the music scene for three years.

Once all those issues were resolve, Gerry Rafferty brought out a new solo album of all new material, and that album was the immensely successful City to City, and the song lifted from that album or a Single release was that iconic song Baker Street. That song shot up the charts, not only in the UK, but also in the U.S. as well. and in a number of other Countries. It topped the National Charts in the US, and made it to Number 3 in his home, the UK, and it was also Number One here in Australia.

What made the song such a hugely recognisable is that amazing solo on the Saxophone. This was played by Raphael Ravenscroft, who, at the time was an unheralded part time session musician called in to do this one part for this one song. He was actually paid the standard rate for session players for the work he did, a minute amount of money by comparison as part of a song that made Gerry Rafferty millions in royalties. The song went platinum in the U.S. and many times Gold in the UK.

The video clip I have featured here is of the longer version of the song, from the album, and a shorter version was released as the Single to comply with the times set for radio airplay at the time.

The inspiration for the song is an actual street in London. Rafferty was staying at this flat owned by a friend as he commuted by train fro his home in Scotland to London for meetings with lawyers during the break up of Stealers Wheel. In a way, it was also the inspiration for the title of the album, as he would catch the train from Edinburgh to London so many times during those three years, hence City To City.

That session musician, Raphael Ravenscroft went on to appear on a number of albums after playing on this song. He played for Pink Floyd on their last album before Roger Waters left that band, and that album was The Final Cut.

Gerry Rafferty had a further hit from the same album, Right Down The Line, and another Top Ten Hit from his next album Night Owl.

He had a problem with alcohol abuse that plagued him for the rest of his career, but this one song makes Gerry Rafferty such a big name in popular music from the 1970s.

I do have an album of his former band, Stealers Wheel in my own collection of LPs, and that is their second album Ferguslie Park, and I got hold of that album on the back of the wonderful song Star, and that is the second song I have featured in the clip below. This video clip is just the studio version of the song, far and away the best version, as some live videos of this song are pretty average, hence just the one image shown during the clip, and that image is that pretty strange album cover.

Gerry Rafferty passed away in 2011, but this song of his, Baker Street, will always be so readily recognisable and it will be one that will live on long into the future.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Calv

Posted in: Music, Videos