Record #420: Gerry Rafferty – City to City (1978)

With a musical moment like that sax solo on “Baker Street,” all this album has to do to be great is not suck.

It does a little more than that.

City to City starts off with an Irish pennywhistle choir before launching into the morose folk doom of “The Ark,” filled with dark piano chords and midtempo ruminations on leaving everything behind.
It’s a great start to a great album. But when that saxophone brings “Baker Street” roaring in, all bets are off.

Throughout the disc, Gerry takes his band from spacey folk-rock (“Baker Street”), rail-roadin’ country rock (“City to City”), tender soft rock (“Stealin’ Time”), Dixieland ragtime (“Mattie’s Rag), and tender Gospel (“Whatever’s Written on Your Heart”). And while nothing is nearly exciting as “Baker Street,” the rest of the album isn’t left to die in its shadow. And with a single like that, that’s more than you ask for.

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