Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gerry Rafferty - City To City (1978)

NUMBER ONE ALBUMS, 1976-85 WEEK* (MAY 5-11, 2014)

This is the album that finally knocked the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack from the #1 spot.  If all that was on this CD was Baker Street, it would be worth the price of admission.  But in addition to that classic, we're treated to a whole buffet of well-written folkish soft rock selections.  Sort of a cross between Paul McCartney and Jackson Browne.  Rafferty has a great voice and he (along with Hugh Murphy) produced and sequenced this album perfectly.  My only beef would be the depressing lyrical content, but I can choose not to pay that any attention.  Raffery's biggest selling and most popular album, I'm now adding these tracks to the soft rock rotation.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (1 week, July 8, 1978)
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #2

Tracks:  I didn't own this on vinyl, but if I had, I'm betting side one would have been played more than side two.  Not that the side two is bad, but the first side is that strong. Obviously Baker Street is my favorite track; the only track I'll skip is Whatever's Written In Your Heart.  Nothing rocks as hard as Baker Street and that's okay with this soft rock kid.  It was nice to rediscover Home And Dry (#28 pop, #26 AC) which I had completely forgotten until now.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  Baker Street doesn't take me to London, but rather takes me right back to the summer following 6th grade in a big hurry.  Hot, dry summer in the Texas desert.  In addition to that, I'm getting a strange vision of a little Honda Civic CVCC hatchback, which is strange because my family didn't own one.

*Two weeks ago on another blog (My Favorite Decade, 1976-1985), I asked myself if I owned all of the #1 albums from that particular decade. It turned out that I wasn't anywhere close to owning them all and, embarrassed, went on a CD shopping spree to rectify the situation.  With most of these #1 albums, I am hearing them complete for the first time this week.

1 comment:

  1. When City To City hit the top of the album chart in July 1978, the lead single "Baker Street" was enjoying the third week of a six week stay at #2 on the Hot 100. The entire six weeks was spent beneath this song.

    "Baker Street", the 45, was mastered at a slightly faster speed than the album. When I first heard the full length album version, I thought it was the one that had been mastered improperly, as it sounded slower. Didn't realize until I read an interview with Rafferty that the album was mastered properly and it was the single that had been fiddled with.

    Wanna hear the difference yourself?

    Play the 4:08 single edit version and watch elapsed time - the soaring saxaphone comes in at about the :23 mark.

    Now play the 6:09 album version - the sax comes sautering in around :25 mark.

    There are notable cover versions of "Baker Street" by Foo Fighters (1998), Waylon Jennings (1987) and Maynard Ferguson (1978).

    The second U.S. single culled from City To City was "Right Down The Line" and it debuted on Hot 100 the week of August 12, 1978 at #79. Two weeks later, it climbed into the Top 40 on its way to a #12 peak. Over on the Easy Listening chart, the song went right up the line to #1.

    In 2012, Bonnie Raitt released a gorgeous, pulsing cover of "Right Down The Line" from her Grammy winning album Slipstream.