I was never a fan or anything; in fact, I can recall just one song – Baker Street. But that one song – it’s one of those songs that has managed to take up so, so many neurons in my brain. Before today I had not heard the song for probably 25 or 30 years, but it’s instantly recognizable, right down to knowing exactly how the sax solo goes, nodding along with the tempo changes, and singing along with the lyrics.
Why, you ask? No idea. It’s not the song – it’s an OK ballad, but no more. It could be the classic sax solo, but more likely it just happened to be part of the soundtrack to a very impressionable part of my life (last few years of public school), much like Meatloaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell”, another (set of) song(s) I’m not a big fan of but can nevertheless remember every note of.
From the same period I remember countless songs by Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones, and on and on, but no surprise as I’ve been listening to these songs over and over for the past 30+ years. But “Baker Street”, it was not a song I had any conscious memory of, not a song I’d every go listen to, and as far as I know I do no own a copy of it. And yet, the second I clicked on that youtube link it was there, perfect recall – a long with a fuzzy-warm positive feeling. The brain is a wonderful and weird organ.
Gerry Rafferty died today in Bournemouth, of liver failure, after a long period of illness. He was 63.
(Update: I posted about cover versions of Baker Street)