Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"The Royal Mile (Sweet Darlin')" by Gerry Rafferty

Song#:  0259
Date:  07/19/1980
Debut:  88
Peak:  54
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  With Joe Egan, Rafferty had success in the early-to-mid 70s as a member of Stealers Wheel, who had a big hit with "Stuck in the Middle with You" (#6, 1973).  The Scottish duo split in 1975 and legal issues kept Rafferty from recording for a while, but he returned in a big way with his solo hit "Baker Street" (#2, 1978). He would go on to have four more Top 30 hits over the next couple of years, but as the 80s arrived his chart fortunes changed and this song would be the last one he would put on the pop chart.

ReduxReview:  This sounds a bit like a Moody Blues track. It's certainly not anything close to "Baker Street," not that it has to be, but I just don't hear it as a strong singles track. I like the tin whistle-folkish feel to the song and that it tells a story, but I'm not sure radio had much interest in something like this.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Rafferty greatly disliked the part of the music business where artists are products and are subject to being celebrities and personalities. Basically, he was not comfortable with fame even though it came as part of being a successful musician and he avoided the public eye as much as possible. It has been speculated that the pressures of fame and performing helped to fuel his alcohol addiction that plagued him most of his life. In 2008, stories surfaced that he had disappeared after checking out of the hospital where he was for liver problems. He addressed this later as being in Italy writing music and avoiding the stories of his disappearance, but that may have not been the case. Rafferty died in 2011 of liver failure.


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