Wednesday, November 09, 2005
The Kaleyard School
Always a big fan of Gerry Rafferty - more for the Glaswegian reggae of "Right Down the Line" than for "Baker Street" - I was bound for Stealers Wheel. Rafferty is part of a world of music I think of as being heard over crappy speakers at "the rec park." It includes the great and gross cigar-smoker Bob Welch, a post on him is surely just around the bend. Long before Scotland became famous for Gang of Four emulators and crumpet crumblers, there was Stealers Wheel and the mighty Nazareth (don't get me started). As I got to the end of Ken Emerson's Brill Building book Always Magic In the Air, I was taken aback when I read that Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, after abandoning the fallow field of teen pop, took on the big project of producing Stealers Wheel's first two records. "Stuck in the Middle With You" may have had all of its charm rubbed off by repeated handling, but "Inside Me" shows genetic fragments of what would go on to be heard in Teenage Fanclub. Like "Love Train," this one can make you feel a little unclean, too. "You put something better inside me."