Singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty died today of liver failure brought on by alcoholism. He was 63.
Rafferty’s final years were difficult ones. He caused alarm in the summer of 2008 when he left a London hospital where he was being treated for liver problems and was not heard from for nearly six months.
Nevertheless, Rafferty is best remembered for two songs. In 1972, as one half of the Scottish folk-rock duo Stealers Wheel, Rafferty scored a hit with “Stuck in the Middle.” This song gained a new lease on life two decades later after its inclusion in the Quentin Tarentino movie Reservoir Dogs.
But Rafferty reached the pinnacle of his success as a solo artist in 1978 with the release of his multi-platinum selling album City to City. This album produced two hit singles, “Baker Street” and “Right Down the Line.” While “Right Down the Line” has become something of a lost classic, “Baker Street” endures as one of the greatest rock n’ roll songs ever recorded. “Baker Street” stood out as an island of introspection in a sea of mindless boogie during the disco era. The combination of Rafferty’s understated vocals and that alto saxophone solo have ensured “Baker Street” will stand the test of time.
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