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Rafferty, Gerry - 1978 City To City


ARTIST: Rafferty, Gerry
ALBUM: City To City
LABEL: United Artists
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: Reissue List


LINEUP: Gerry Rafferty - lead and backing vocals, guitar, production * Andy Fairweather-Low, Hugh Burns, Jerry Donahue, Micky Moody, Nigel Jenkins - guitar * Gary Taylor - bass, backing vocals * Tommy Eyre - piano, organ, keyboards * Raphael Ravenscroft - sax * Brian Cole - steel guitar, dobro * Graham Preskett - strings, mandolin, fiddle * Henry Spinetti - drums * Glen Le Fleur - tambourine, drums, percussion * Paul Jones - harmonica * Willy Ray - accordion * Hugh Murphy - trombone, production * Barbara Dickson, Joanna Carlin, John McBurnie, Rab Noakes, Roger Brown, Vivian McAuliff - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Ark * 02 Baker Street * 03 Right Down The Line * 04 City To City * 05 Stealin' Time * 06 Mattie's Rag * 07 Whatever's Written In Your Heart * 08 Home And Dry * 09 Island * 10 Waiting For The Day

WEBLINKS: Wikipedia Page

It was probably one of the sleeper albums of 1978. I remember the songs on the radio like it was yesterday. I owned a crystal set Radio, powered by a large 9 volt battery. Not the smaller condensed batteries you can buy nowadays, but this was a big clunker of a thing. As a result, I could tune into stations all across the country, and even into some stations in Australia and throughout the Pacific Islands no less! During that time, some of Gerry Rafferty's songs were common place on radio, especially during 1978, and tracks off this record. This was the Scotsman's second solo LP (his first was in 1971), however he did find minor fame with the band Stealers Wheel which operated between 1972 and 1975, and was formed by fellow solo artist Joe Egan and himself. Remember the song 'Stuck In The Middle With You'?

The Songs
However it would be this album which kickstarted Rafferty's solo career, and songs such as 'Baker Street' and 'Right Down The Line' are staples of classic rock radio, even to this day. Elsewhere, 'The Ark' opens the album, and has a seafaring angle to it. Something like what contemporary Al Stewart would do, and is a mild introduction to the album. Rafferty's superb voice is apparent from the outset. The title-track 'City To City' starts out with a hoe-down intro, and soon gallops along at a lively pace amid the rural influences. 'Stealin' Time' is a bit too mild for my tastes, so too 'Whatever's Written In Your Heart', which has a partial gospel feel. The tropical flavoured 'Island' is aptly named. You know, with Rupert Holmes singing about Pina Coladas and Mike Nesmith singing about Rio, these guys must've been on to something! Thankfully, the album doesn't finish with a whimper. 'Home And Dry' and 'Waiting For The Day' gets us over the finish line with the sails in full billow.

In Summary
Gerry did release a solid back-catalog of material, but I only have this one and 'Snakes And Ladders' (from 1980). There's enough there to look further, and that is something I intend to do, now that this review is up. Rafferty passed away in 2011, but leaves behind a treasure trove of music for all of us classic rockers to investigate.

Gerry Rafferty - 1978 Baker Street

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#1 | Eric on January 06 2018 20:03:18
Even though it was overplayed, I thought the production on Baker Street was excellent and part of the reason why it stood out. I remember reading in Circus and elsewhere several times that Steve Perry cited Baker Street as one of his favorite songs.
#2 | bpdp3 on January 07 2018 05:29:50
I'm pretty sure "home and dry" was played as a single here on US radio in addition to the other two. These songs were "AM gold" in the sincerest sense of the term.
Although I'm more of an 80's guy, the whole singer-songwriter genre of the 70's really produced some gems, Gerry Rafferty's work here no exception. Guys like Stephen bishop, Andrew gold, etc etc that just had nice clean voices and a way of coming up with good songs and instrumentation.
#3 | super80boy on January 07 2018 19:51:52
‘Right Down The Line’ is an exquisite song, one that I will never get tired of and the sole reason I jumped all over this vinyl when I saw it in a local record store a few years back. From the first time I remember hearing it on the radio when I was 10, it’s continued to sound timeless ever since. The deeper cuts – ‘Mattie’s Rag’, ‘Waiting For The Day’ and the title track are all solid offerings and make this album a well-balanced affair. The only misfire is the long winded slow roller ‘Whatever’s Written In Your Heart’. The third and less talked about album single ‘Home And Dry’ is a quality song complete with a catchy as heck melody. The album jacket artwork is very eye-catching and well done.

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