“Baker Street” is the second track from Scottish singer Gerry Rafferty’s 1978 album “City to City”, and debatably his most well-known song.
The song is named after a street in London and was part of Rafferty’s second solo album “City to City”, which was his first release after a bout of legal issues surrounding the break-up of his old band, “Stealers Wheel” in 1975. In those three years, Rafferty was unable to release any of his own material due to the dispute about the band’s remaining contractual recording obligations. Rafferty wrote the track while he was trying to exit the band’s contract, and he was travelling between London and Paisley while writing the track. While he was in London, Rafferty spent a lot of time in his friend’s flat in Baker Street. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph in 2011, Rafferty spoke about the track: “…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.” However, the track is most known for its infamous saxophone riff, which was played by Raphael Ravenscroft.
The music video was uploaded to Gerry Rafferty’s YouTube channel on the 28th January 2011. It features Rafferty singing the track with a band, intertwined with videos of what appears to be London and perhaps Baker Street – however, the shots are not extremely clear. As of November 2019, the video has over 11.7 million views and over 100,000 likes.
Release Date: 3rd February 1978
Songwriter: Gerry Rafferty
Producer/s: Hugh Murphy & Gerry Rafferty
Label: United Artists
Music Video Upload Date: 28th January 2011
Chart Rankings, Certifications, Accolades & Awards: In its year of release, “Baker Street” hit the peak chart positions across the globe: #1 in Australia, the US Cash Box chart, South Africa and Canada, while charting at #4 in Austria, Canada, New Zealand and the US Billboard “Easy Listening” chart; #3 in Ireland, the UK and Germany; #2 in Switzerland and in the US Billboard Hot 100, and lastly, #9 in Belgium and Netherlands. The track is recognised by the BMI for surpassing five million performances worldwide, and has also been given Gold certification on two different occasions. In 1978, Rafferty was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for “Best Song Musically and Lyrically.”
The lyrics to “Baker Street” can be viewed here: LINK