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Simply the Worst: #9 Baker Street

The next installment in our series on the most maddeningly rubbish records ever made looks at a Smooth Radio staple;

Blame for bad things is not so easily apportioned as one might think. You may feel you have acted in a perfectly reasonable manner, but when looking back at it later, you’ll realise that you played a significant part in events unfolding in the manner that they did. As Homer Simpson put it ‘it takes two to lie; one to lie and one to listen.’

Similarly, a song’s ubiquity is not solely the fault of it’s creator. Take Gerry Rafferty’s 70’s trundler ‘Baker Street’. Taken on it’s own, it is what it is – a bland, fairly pointless piece of formica-smooth 70s dullness.  But thanks to the British public being more supine than an upturned millipede and accepting any old shit that’s thrown at us, it’s never been off the radio for 30 years.

It is pretty much accepted that the BBC have played ‘Baker Street’ more times than they have the National Anthem in that period. Radio One (pre-Bannister) and Radio Two (ever since) seem to believe that the nation will lapse into frightened inertia if we don’t hear that plastic saxophone sweep at least onc a day. But why? It’s an awful song. Those dire lyrics reeking of superficial worldliness but instead as empty as an Irish World Cup dream. That production sheen which somehow manages to make it even shinier. That fucking saxophone.

Rafferty made a lot of money from it, and well done, and was then set for life when Reservoir Dogs turned another nothing song from that era – the equally rubbish ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ – into a wedding favourite. He is what he was, a sort of Gordon Lightfoot-lite, but has achieved an immortality of sorts with his two elevator muzak classics. Fair play to him, but to any reading station controller; enough already.


3 Responses

  1. Every few years the saxophone threatens to become relevant to modern music. But it never lasts.

  2. I like it, so fark you!

  3. It must be an age thing. And by that I mean senility.

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