Friday 06 March, 2015 by Uncle Spike
This is Gerry Rafferty back in 1978 with his famous Baker Street track from the platinum selling album, ‘City to city’. This track became iconic for it’s superb saxaphone solo by Raphael Ravenscroft, although there are various urban myths as to who actually performed…
The song featured a prominent eight-bar saxophone riff played as a break between verses, by Raphael Ravenscroft.
Rafferty claimed that he wrote the hook with the original intention that it be sung. Ravenscroft remembered things differently, saying that he was presented with a song that contained “several gaps”. “In fact, most of what I played was an old blues riff,” stated Ravenscroft. “If you’re asking me: ‘Did Gerry hand me a piece of music to play?’ then no, he didn’t.”
Ravenscroft, a session musician, was in the studio to record a brief soprano saxophone part and suggested that he record the break using the alto saxophone he had in his car. The part led to what became known as “the ‘Baker Street’ phenomenon”, a resurgence in the sales of saxophones and their use in mainstream pop music and television advertising.
For me, it takes me back to a CD I kept for my weekly travels between Dorset and Yorkshire around 1995-1998. Every Sunday afternoon, and very late on a Friday night, I would drive some 300 miles (480 km) up and down the motorways of England in a hire car provided by work – the life of a secondee. Anyway, this was one of the most favoured tracks that I recall from a compilation set I carried in my case 🙂
I hope you enjoy this latest flashback from my Tunes I Love series.