1978, Music

City to City (1978) by Gerry Rafferty

I listened to this because it was a big record, for my podcast. That’s the only reason I listened to it. If it hadn’t sold so damn much there’s no way I would have listened to this shit three times.

You know “Baker Street” even if you don’t think you do. It has that classic cheesy ’70s, soaring saxophone refrain as both its intro and its chorus. It is one of the most ’70s things you could ever hear. If you like it, I’m sorry to say there’s nothing like it on this record. (Also, you like that song? Ugh…) If you don’t like it, the good news is that there is not much of that sax on the record. The bad news is that this album was made by people who don’t like rough edges.

Gerry Rafferty was one of the two lead singers of Stealer’s Wheel. I have been looking at pictures trying to figure out whether or not he was the lead singer of “Stuck in the Middle with You” but I can’t confirm one way or the other. I suspect he wasn’t based on looks, but the other lead singer (who looks like the guy in the video) was a keyboardist and the guy in the video is playing guitar. You can see where my confusion lies. I bring this up because the lead singer of “Stuck in the Middle with You” has an appealing, rough voice somewhere between John Lennon and Bob Dylan. That voice is not here. (That makes me think it must have been the other guy.)

Instead, the vocals on this record are as polished and smooth and slick as they could be. The rest of the record is slick too, but the vocals in particular reek of this particular era – or, rather a few years earlier – when people wanted everyone to sound smooth as if they were in a Nashville country band.

The melodies are reasonably strong. But I don’t like the lyrics and I find most of the arrangements to be horribly soft rock.

It’s not good.


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