When they harmonized together, childhood friends Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan sounded like two Lennons singing through clenched teeth. With Beatlesque melodies, producing by songwriting legends Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and the Fab Four's fave engineer Geoff Emerick at the controls, Stealers Wheel's debut album, released in October of 1972, hits that sweet spot for fans of well made pop. One problem. Rafferty had already left the band by the time album came out.Then, in 1973, the band's first single, "Stuck In The Middle With You", sold a million copies and hit the Top Ten in the US and UK. Suddenly the band was in demand and Rafferty had to be convinced to rejoin the Wheel--which he described as "a fucking shambles" -- for another album.
The debut opens with "Late Again" which showcases their harmonies.
The video for "Stuck In The Middle With You" was shot after Rafferty returned to the band. The Dylanesque voices were kind of an inside joke. The song itself is about Rafferty and Egan getting caught at a table with managers ( Clowns to the left of me) and record company execs ( Jokers to the Right)
Our deep cut is "Outside Looking In", another cut that appeared on a Stealers Wheel hit compilation I bought in 1978 after Rafferty's City to City hit the top of the charts.