Sunday, June 14, 2015

Gerry Rafferty: Baker Street (1978)

Gerry Rafferty sings “Baker Street” (1978), a song first released as a single on February 3, 1978, and is on the album, City to City. There is a mournful sound to the song; an explanation can be found on Wikipedia:
Named after the London street of the same name, the song was included on Rafferty's second solo album, City to City, which was Rafferty's first release after the resolution of legal problems surrounding the formal break-up of his old band, Stealers Wheel, in 1975. In the intervening three years, Rafferty had been unable to release any material because of disputes about the band's remaining contractual recording obligations.[4]
Rafferty wrote the song during a period when he was trying to extricate himself from his Stealers Wheel contracts; he was regularly travelling between his family home near Glasgow and London, where he often stayed at a friend's flat in Baker Street. As Rafferty put it, "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."[5]
The resolution of Rafferty's legal and financial frustrations accounted for the exhilaration of the song's last verse: "When you wake up it's a new morning/ The sun is shining, it's a new morning/ You're going, you're going home."[6] Rafferty's daughter Martha has said that the book that inspired the song more than any other was Colin Wilson's The Outsider. Rafferty was reading the book, which explores ideas of alienation and of creativity, born out of a longing to be connected, at this time of travelling between Glasgow and London.[7]
Feelings of alienation and the desire to feel connected in a meaningful way are as common today as they were 40 years ago; this should not come as a surprise, given these are universal emotions and desires of humanity. Much of the creative arts is the painting of individual emotions on the canvas of the global village.