Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street

Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street

‘Baker Street’ is a song written and performed by Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty. It won the 1979 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically and achieved high chart positions in the UK, US and elsewhere. The arrangement is known for its saxophone riff.

Named after Baker Street in London, the song was included on Rafferty's second solo album, City to City (1978), which was his first release after the resolution of legal problems surrounding the 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.

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 Scottish family home in Paisley and London, where he recalled often staying at a friend's flat in Baker Street: "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."

Gerry Rafferty

The resolution of Rafferty's legal and financial frustrations may have accounted for the exhilaration of the song's final 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.” Rafferty's daughter Martha suggested in 2012 that he could also have taken inspiration from a book he was reading while he was travelling between the two cities, Colin Wilson's The Outsider (1956), which explored ideas of alienation and creativity and a longing to be connected.

Released as a single in 1978, ‘Baker Street’ reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 2 for six consecutive weeks in the US. It reached number one in Cash Box and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 where it held its Billboard position for six weeks, kept out of the number one spot by Andy Gibb's ‘Shadow Dancing’ (although this was later disputed). The song spent four weeks at number one in Canada, reached number one in Australia, and made it into the top 10 in the Netherlands. In October 2010, ‘Baker Street’ was recognised by BMI for surpassing five million performances worldwide.

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Label – United Artists
Songwriter – Gerry Rafferty
Producers – Hugh Murphy, Gerry Rafferty


[Instrumental Intro]
[Verse 1]
Windin' 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
This city desert makes you feel so cold
It's got so many people but it's got no soul
And it's taking you so long to find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything
You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you're tryin', you're tryin' now
Another year and then you'd be happy
Just one more year and then you'd be happy
But you're cryin', you're cryin' now
[Instrumental Chorus]
[Verse 2]
Way down the street there's a light in his place
He opens the door he's got that look on his face
And he asks you where you've been
You tell him who you've seen and you talk about anything
He's got this dream about buyin' some land
He's gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he'll settle down, in some quiet little town
And forget about everything
But you know he'll always keep movin'
You know he's never gonna stop movin'
'Cause he's rollin', he's the rollin' stone
And when you wake up, it's a new mornin'
The sun is shinin', it's a new mornin'
And you're goin', you're goin' home
[Instrumental Chorus]
[Guitar Solo]
[Instrumental Chorus]
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