♫ Baker Street ♫ (Redux)

This is a redux, but with a bit of additional information that I either didn’t have or was too lazy to include the first time I played it!

Baker Street is a song written and recorded by Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty.

According to SongFacts …

The song was the Scottish singer’s first release after the resolution of legal problems surrounding the acrimonious breakup of his band Stealers Wheel in 1975. In the intervening three years, Rafferty had been unable to release any material due to disputes about the band’s remaining contractual recording obligations, and his friend’s Baker Street flat was a convenient place to stay as he tried to extricate himself from his Stealers Wheel contracts. Rafferty explained to Martin Chilton at the Daily Telegraph: “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.”

Raphael Ravenscroft played the sax solo. Rafferty wrote the song with an instrumental break, but didn’t have a specific instrument in mind. Hugh Murphy, who produced the track, suggested a saxophone, so they brought in Ravenscroft to play it. Ravenscroft has played on records by Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Abba, Alvin Lee and many others.

The long-running financial advice radio show/podcast The Dave Ramsey Show uses “Baker Street” as its opening theme. Why? Because the song was popular when Ramsey graduated high school, and it got stuck in his head.

Released as a single in 1978, it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it held that position for six weeks, behind Andy Gibb’s smash Shadow Dancing. Additionally, it hit #1 in Canada, #3 in the United Kingdom, #1 in Australia, #1 in South Africa, and the top 10 in the Netherlands. Rafferty received the 1978 Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. But perhaps the best part of the song, in my tone-deaf opinion, is the saxophone riff by Raphael Ravenscroft.

According to one story, Ravenscroft received only £27, and that check bounced, while Rafferty earned £80,000 per annum until his death in 2011. However, the bouncing check story was later denied by Ravenscroft.  

Baker Street
Gerry Rafferty

Winding 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 taken 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 trying, you’re trying now

Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy
But you’re crying, you’re crying now

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 buying 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 moving
You know he’s never gonna stop moving
‘Cause he’s rolling, he’s the rolling stone
And when you wake up, it’s a new morning
The sun is shining, it’s a new morning
And you’re going, you’re going home

Songwriters: Gerald Rafferty
Baker Street lyrics © BMG Rights Management

21 thoughts on “♫ Baker Street ♫ (Redux)

    • I should have mentioned who played the sax … just didn’t think about it! What a coincidence that you were thinking of the song this morning! I’m glad you enjoyed the music! Hugs ‘n cheers, Michael!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The saxophone is probably my favourite instrument, but it is so underused in rock music. Granted, jt is hard to sing around a sax, but this song shows how voice and instrument can meld.
    When I was in Paris for a few days in 1986, I think it was, I was staying in a hotel on the banks of the Seine. Every morning budding musicians would come to the banks to practise their art. There were a couple of competing sax players within hearing distance of my hotel room. It was a glorious two days, but I was running out of money. I wish I could have stayed longer…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Perhaps that’s why I love jazz and blues music more than rock, and don’t like hard rock at all.

      Paris in ’86, eh? I didn’t miss you by much … I was there on business for a week in ’92. That’s a cool memory about the musicians playing on the banks of the Seine every morning!


      • I thought so too. The first morning I took a walk and ended up in the Tulieries where I thought I would have breakfast. Instead I had a glass of orange juice for $20US, and watched the tourists. It wasn’t even fresh orange juice. The Louvre wasn’t open yet (too early) so I walked back along the other bank (not sure which was left or right) ans sat and listened to the sax player. That part was free.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I was lucky … my room and all meals were paid for by my company, so the trip cost me nothing except a few souvenirs to bring back. I fell in love with the city, though, and would have loved to live there, I think!


      • The Collectors, a Canadian band from the 60s, had a sax player. They produced two albums, The Collectors, and Grass and Wild Stdawberries. I loved their music. I still l8sten to them quite often.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ♫ Baker Street ♫ (Redux) | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. Jill, I was in Atlanta when this song hit it big. There is a Baker Street, as most cities have. So, I would find myself humming it when I drove it. The song has a great saxophone lead-in. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Classic hit song, one of my favourites. I have all of his solo albums going back to the one he released after The Humblebums broke up and before he and Joe Egan formed Stealer’s Wheel. The video is marked as ‘not available’ but I’ve heard the song a few times before 😉

    Liked by 4 people

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