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Gerry Rafferty on Baker Street

Getty Images / Redferns / Rob Verhorst

Gerry Rafferty on Baker Street

It was one year ago today when Gerry Rafferty died. As a solo artist, Rafferty was a bit of a one-hit wonder. True, he had success with his band Stealers Wheel, and their song "Stuck in the Middle With You" is a classic rock favorite, achieving even more prominence after it was used in an unforgettable scene of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. On his own, Rafferty released eleven albums, many of which – especially his earlier outputs – were critically acclaimed. He charted a handful of moderately successful singles from these albums, hitting his greatest groove between 1978 and 1980.

But there's one song that springs to mind when we think of Gerry Rafferty. And if a singer is going to be a one-hit wonder, he may as well do it with a song that's as wonderful as Rafferty's one hit is. "Baker Street" is an atmospheric masterpiece, from the haunting first flute notes, to one of the best sax riffs in all of rock music, to Rafferty's smooth delivery of the weary, yearning lyrics.

Gerry Rafferty never sought fame – in fact, he shunned the spotlight and railed against the shallowness of the music industry. But when a talent like his produces a song like "Baker Street," it's hard for the public to grant the artist's wish for quiet obscurity. The song was a hit, and it will remain a classic.