” Baker Street” is by Gerry Rafferty ( Gerald “Gerry” Rafferty ), the Scottish singer-songwriter from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
The song was written by Gerry Rafferty with production for the single by Gerry and Hugh Murphy.
” Baker Street” was released by record label United Artists as a single on the 3rd of February 1978 and taken as the lead single from Gerry’s 1978 Billboard 200 Chart topping album, City to City.
Gerry Rafferty was a former member of Scottish folk band Stealers Wheel. In 1975 the group split, and due to a legal dispute, Gerry was not allowed to release any new material for three years.
The dispute finally ended in 1978 and Gerry set about recording a new solo album. Working with producer Hugh Murphy a new collection of fresh material was completed. It was to include a song with one of the most famous sax solo’s in music history, namely ” Baker Street”.
The song was named after Baker Street in the City of Westminster, London in the United Kingdom. The most famous resident of the street is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes who lived at 221B Baker Street, an address created for the story.
Gerry regularly travelled between his home near the Scottish city of Glasgow to London. In London, he often stayed at a friend’s flat in Baker Street.
Gerry summed up the whole affair when he said ” 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 the guitar there through the night “.
In a 1993 interview with Billboard magazine, producer Hugh Murphy said that he and Gerry had to beg United Artists to release ” Baker Street” as a single. He added that ” They actually said it was too good for the public “.
The most memorable part of the song is the sax solo, performed by Raphael Ravenscroft. Raphael was a session musician and was in brought in to record the sax solo, and the part led to what was later known as ” “the ‘Baker Street’ phenomenon “, sales of saxophones surged, and their use in mainstream pop music and tv advertising increased.
Along with the fame of playing the most famous sax solo, an urban myth circulated. It was claimed that Raphael Ravenscroft received no payment for his part of the song.
He received a cheque for £27 which bounced, which was framed and hung on a wall of his solicitor. The story was denied by Raphael during an interview with presenter Simon Mayo on the British radio station Radio 2.
The song proved to be a commercial success for Gerry despite United Artists reservations. In the United States, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number two, a position it held for six weeks. It spent a total of twenty weeks on the chart and was only kept from the top spot by Andy Gibb’s single ” Shadow Dancing “.
In the United Kingdom, the song charted on the 18th of February 1978 and peaked at number three. It spent eight weeks in the Top Ten and a total of sixteen weeks on the UK chart.
” Baker Street” is today still a favourite song and played regularly on radio around the world. In October 2010 it passed five million plays Globally.
The song earns £80,000 per year in royalties, Gerry Rafferty said he could live off that alone. In 1992 British pop group made a dance version of the song which Gerry hated. However, the cover did earn him one and a half Million pounds.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: 2
UK Highest Chart Position: 3
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 1, Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 4, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 9, Canada Top Singles (RPM) 1, Germany (Official German Charts) 3, Ireland (IRMA) 3, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 9, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 4, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 2
Official Website: Gerryrafferty.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/OfficialGerryRaffertyPage
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/GerryRaffertyMale Artists baker streetgerry raffertygerry rafferty baker street