Ear Nuggets: When The Guitar Takes Over At 4:48 Into “Baker Street”

It is MY opinion that “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty is one of, if not THE greatest pop song featuring a saxophone ever made. I picked it as my favorite sax song of all-time in my “Top 10 Favorite Sax Songs” and whenever I hear it I am mesmerized. As a matter of fact, I’m not the only person who thinks that it’s simply awesome. According to Wkipedia, the bastion of useless knowledge, the saxophone solo in “Baker Street” actually led to “a jump in saxophone sales, and a noticeable increase in the use of the instrument in mainstream pop music and TV advertising.” Now I dunno about all that, but the article then goes on to say that originally the sax solo was written for a guitar and that the guitarist wasn’t available to work at the time of the recording. So saxophonist Raphael Ravenscroft offered to play the solo using his instrument instead and voila! An instant classic!

But as much as I love the sax throughout this song, I would be amiss if I didn’t tell you that there is a moment in it that always gets my blood pumping and my fingers strumming and it always makes me wanna rock out. We all know that moment…and it’s the guitar solo late at the end of the song. Now there are various versions of “Baker Street”, so the one that I am listening to right this second clocks in at 6:09. At 4:48 into the song, Hugh Burns takes the stage and rips into a solo that still gives me chills to this day. Considering I’ve been listening to this song since 1978, that’s pretty amazing. Don’t get me wrong, the sax is my favorite instrument and Ravenscroft’s whispering solo is one of the greatest hooks of my lifetime, but Burns’ solo takes this track to new heights and gives it that extra kick. And I LOVE it! Check it out…here’s Gerry Rafferty singing about the famous street in London and helping me forget about everything with “Baker Street.”

Oh…and in THIS version…the solo happens at 3:30 into it. Just so ya know…although it’s hard to miss…

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