Stealers Wheel is one of those folk rock bands that just won’t settle in the past. Back in the mid 70’s two young Scottish school mates Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan forged their talents to produce the original Stealers Wheel signatory sound. It was a raw edged country rock mix made up essentially of vocals, acoustic guitar and digital piano. The duo added harmonica, kazoo and woodblock for their single ‘Star’ that as to shine a light on their time as Stealers Wheel. ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ was another 3-minute wonder from this dewy-eyed twosome and although the band did eventually split and reform to is present state – there will always be that respectful nod to the original two; namely Rafferty and Egan.
Stealers Wheel Unhinged
‘Reservoir Dogs’ used ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ in the crime film of 1992. The scene of a tortured policeman by Mr Blonde is laced with unwitting snatches of the folk-rock track as the victim is taunted by an unhinged criminal:
‘’Well I don’t know why I came here tonight. I got the feeling that somethin’ aint right’’ etc
Stuck In The Past?
Acoustic guitar starts the introduction accompanied by bass, drums and hand claps. An acoustic guitar played horizontally and with a bottle neck to give a Hawaiian twist adds a new dimension. Further Reggae-style off-beats played on electric guitar and digital piano suggest future innovations from Stealers Wheels.
Star’s In Their Eyes
This story-telling ‘Star’ track of ’74 houses lots of hidden extras with its churning guitar cycle, stomping digital piano that turns into a magical middle eight, bluesy harmonica, misplaced kazoo rasps and duded woodblock sound.
C D C
‘’Ah tell me, Ah tell me’’
This Simon and Garfunkel/Dylan crossover is blatant in its vision of the future with its syrupy-sung harmonies that peak at the refrain and would sound just so in a children’s TV programme;
G Bm D Em C G
‘’So they made you a star, now you’re heads in a cloud’’ etc
Meanwhile, Stealers Wheels were never stuck in the middle – their aim was always higher.