Baker Street (4:06)

Cover of City To City

From City To City and 224 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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