If you had any sort of mainstream musical awareness in the late seventies, you know the song "Baker Street". That soaring, muscular sax sound was all over the radio for a long time, captivating listeners for years. Even today it remains one of the most beloved songs of that decade.
The strength of that one song made it seem like Rafferty would be a one-hit wonder. Luckily that was not the case. The album that "Baker Street" came from, City To City, spawned two more hits: "Right Down the Line" and "Home and Dry". Neither even came close to the former's popularity, but they are both great songs.
As much as I liked all of those songs back in the day, though, I never bought the album. That finally changed a few years ago when, during one of my many bargain vinyl bin searches, I found the LP. As you may already know, I have no problem buying an old LP for a buck, digitizing it, cleaning it up, and adding it to my music library. Such was the case here.
What I wasn't prepared for, however, was how great the album is. I liked all three of the aforementioned songs, but I had no idea that the rest of them were so good! The songwriting is not terribly sophisticated (and I mean that in the best way), but it is sincere and tremendously catchy. Best of all are the harmonies. That was his secret weapon. And again--they aren't terribly sophisticated, but they are gorgeous. He really knew what he was doing there.
I've listened to a few of his other albums since, and while each has good songs, none have as many--or ones that are as good--as City To City. It may not be a masterpiece, but it comes awfully close.