Baker Street (4:06)

Cover of City To City

From City To City and 209 other releases

“Baker Street” (1978), by Gerry Rafferty, is his first released song after the lawsuits about the formal separation of the band Stealers Wheel in 1975. Rafferty supposedly was barred from the recording studio for 3 years after the band’s breakup, while disputes about the band’s remaining contractual recording obligations were being resolved. Named for a famous London thoroughfare, “Baker Street” was featured on City to City, Rafferty’s second solo album, and was published as the first of three singles, marketed primarily to Adult Contemporary radio listeners. As a single, “Baker Street” reached #3 in the United Kingdom; it was an even greater success in the United States, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

The melody’s saxophone hook (in the original version) was played by Raphael Ravenscroft, and the guitar solo was by Hugh Burns.According to the Baker Street Songfacts, Rafferty wrote the song with an instrumental break, but didn’t have a specific instrument in mind. Hugh Murphy, who produced the track, suggested a saxophone, so they brought in Ravenscroft to play it.

The original album version (in City to City) was 6:01 minutes long. The single version released in the USA lasted 4:08 minutes, with its tempo accelerated for commercial-radio time allotments. An alternative, uncut mix of “Baker Street” (in Right Down The Line: The Very Best of Gerry Rafferty) contains 30 seconds of end-material not in the original, 1978 version—with reverb emphasized and Rafferty’s singing electronically double-tracked.

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Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day, you'll drink the night away
And forget about everything

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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  • AirShaman

    I actually like this song because of Rafferty's vocals in the song, not because of the instrumental chorus.

    29 Aug 11:29am Reply
  • CT-Yankee

    Awesome song.

    25 Aug 4:27pm Reply
  • silversurfer250

    The song was the Scottish singer's first release after the resolution of legal problems surrounding the acrimonious breakup of his band Stealers Wheel in 1975. In the intervening three years, Rafferty had been unable to release any material due to disputes about the band's remaining contractual recording obligations and his friend's Baker Street flat was a convenient place to stay as he tried to extricate himself from his Stealers Wheel contracts. Rafferty explained to Martin Chilton at the Daily Telegraph: "Everybody was suing each other, so I spent a lot of time on the overnight train from Glasgow to London for meetings with lawyers. I knew a guy who lived in a little flat off Baker Street. We'd sit and chat or play guitar there through the night." http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4248

    11 Aug 9:31am Reply
  • oldjoebarry

    absolutely fantastic, R.I.P.

    10 Aug 9:39pm Reply
  • rorberyllium

    Raphael Goddamn Ravenscroft

    16 Jul 3:25am Reply
  • JOEHESTER

    such a great artist

    15 Jul 5:53pm Reply
  • marjo47

    My cousin in the US. had his music in the 80s. Loved it than , still do.

    18 Jun 3:12pm Reply
  • TheBullfrog

    Awesome! www.jackybullfrog.com

    15 Jun 9:50am Reply
  • TuneBlendR

    There was a club called Baker Street in East Toronto that featured Live talent every Thursday to Sunday -- it was just steps from my home. Saw some incredible artists there... those were the days....

    3 Jun 3:18pm Reply
  • Sulisk

    Mega

    3 Jun 3:35am Reply
  • JimiVonMicrodot

    Absolutely right Schtum

    27 May 6:32pm Reply
  • rockmetalrules

    Love this song!

    14 May 12:52am Reply
  • MrMister7

    I was young, was in the army far away from home - but I had songs like that. All time fav!! ;-)

    5 Apr 8:37am Reply
  • RussellChap

    A simple well produced song. You sometimes don't need more than that.

    28 Mar 9:46am Reply
  • MsEssendon

    Wouldn't be the same without either guitar or sax - pure bliss!

    20 Mar 7:16am Reply
  • schtum1

    Forget the sax - it's that blistering guitar solo that makes this song legendary

    18 Mar 9:28pm Reply
  • djingsken

    The sax in this one NEVER gets old. [3]

    28 Feb 11:24am Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    Timeless!

    26 Feb 8:45pm Reply
  • Zzmilezz

    Wow........ one of my fav. Just love that sound.

    18 Feb 8:08am Reply
  • cute-libertine

    I've been searching for this song for 5 years. I found it today. Finally.

    13 Feb 7:01pm Reply
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