Gerry Rafferty

Can I Have My Money Back?

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The gifted Gerry Rafferty sometimes soared the staggering singer/songwriter heights of that unattainable deity, Dylan. Unfortunately, this cynical Scot also encountered a variety of corporate roadblocks (hence the title track) that continually affected his productivity. Another blatant shot at the bigwigs looms in "Sign on the Dotted Line," written with future Stealers Wheel partner Joe Egan (the duo detailed industry fatigue further in the sinister "Stuck in the Middle With You"). The limited Rafferty works that actually made it to wax remain potent years later. Song by song, Rafferty delineates life ("New Street Blues"), love ("Didn't I"), and fitness ("Mr Universe") with a classy professionalism that still retains an emotional impact, a trait unique to the '70s, and Rafferty is a consummate '70s star. This record harnesses the cosmic production presence prevalent in the latter discs of the decade, when Rafferty's commercial Renaissance arrived with City to City, but returns to earth with intrinsically fluid melodies, facile poetry, and folksy playing. Simply superlative, Can I Have My Money back is the first of too few full-lengths from a sporadic but splendid talent.

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