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City To City - Gerry Rafferty
Member Name: The_Aardvark
City To City - Gerry Rafferty
Date: 10/05/04, updated on 23/09/04 (181 review reads)
Advantages: Good songs, Well written, Well played
Before I go any further I think I should declare that I am a very big fan of Gerry Rafferty and own many of his albums. I think he is underrated, both as a musician and as a writer.
Anyway ? here?s my review of ?City to City.? Billed by many as Gerry?s fist solo album, that was, in fact, in 1971. Called ?Can I Have My Money Back?, it was released after Gerry had stopped being in the ?Humblebums? (with Billy Connolly) and started being in ?Stealers Wheel?(with Joe Egan). So, ?City to City? is, in fact, Gerry?s second solo album and the first thing you notice about it is the cover. It?s a striking piece of original artwork by John Patrick Byrne, a successful Scottish artist whose work had also adorned the front cover of a Beatles album ? ?Beatles Ballads.? For me, this painting of Gerry and his guitar sets the scene for the album.
And so to the music. The album starts with:
Harking back to Gerry?s folk roots, this song starts with a combination of fiddles and flute and then turns into a good medium-paced rock song about setting out on a journey. A nice appetiser for what?s to follow, this song features backing vocals by Barbara Dickson.
The song Gerry is famous for. Full of atmosphere, thanks to the amazing saxophone sound, this was his major hit and it was well-deserved. Also contains a great guitar solo!
Right Down The Line
If Baker Street has a haunting saxophone melody, then this song has a haunting guitar melody. It?s novel use of percussion keeps the song moving along and the lyrics speak of a trustworthy love and lasting relationship. Similar in sentiment to ?You?re my Best Friend? by Queen, this is a really nice song and I like it.
City To City
Set at the pace of a steam train, with train noises to match, this is a great little rocker that speaks of a long overnight journey. Worth mentioning that Paul Jones (ex Manfred Mann) plays harmoni
ca on this track, ably imitating the noise of the train whistle.
In my opinion, one of Gerry?s best ever songs. This is a fabulous gentle, lilting melody about relaxing and doing nothing. Conjures up thoughts of the rocking chair on the porch or the deck chair on the beach. A truly wonderful track.
Nice fast-paced ditty full of brass and strings and with a great clarinet riff. This appears to be about a rock star who?s been on the road and comes home with a present for his daughter, who he hasn?t seen for a while. Could be about Gerry?s own daughter, Martha (perhaps Mattie is a nickname?).
Whatever?s Written In Your Heart
Another one of my favourites. This track is 90% vocal with stunning harmonies provided by Gerry himself, Barbara Dickson, and Joanna Carlin. This is one of those songs that sends shivers down my spine. Magnificent.
Home And Dry
Nice rocker with a good feel to it, this is another one about a journey (this time on a plane). He?s obviously pleased to be home again and the upbeat tempo reflects this.
Another one with a bit of a lilt to it, this track is pleasant enough but, I must confess, it?s my least favourite song on the album.
Waiting For The Day
Great ending for a great album. Another one with a rocky feel to it. Do you remember Andy Fairweather-Low? Well he plays guitar on this track. Glad I told you that, aren?t you?
Overall this album has some wonderful songs and a great atmosphere. The musicians sound like they really enjoyed making it. Definitely worth £10 of anyone?s money, which is probably all you?ll have to spend if you can find it.