Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. This quintessential 70’s song is somewhat of a paradox – It is simultaneously the best and worst song existing at once; it’s relaxing with underlying a sense of urgency; manly and wussy; vadge rock’s ying to cock rocks’ yang.
Does the sax make it more badass or more annoying? Is it kickass or soothing? Irritating or relaxing? I have no idea. But it’s uneven and perfect.
I hope scientists study this aural anomaly and apply it to pop stars like Rihanna to even out the suckage with something delightful.
Enter Foo Fighters’ amazing cover.
Dave Grohl recognizes and respects the duality power of Baker Street. However, he knows that the sax part is unparalleled and wisely decides to not match it with another sax. Instead he uses a guitar for the sax part and the result is EFFING BANANAS!!!
He updates the lyrics somewhat with our despondent protagonist giving up the “crack” instead of the “booze”.
I was always thought of Rafferty’s voice to be something of audible ambian; staying at an even, mellow, calming keel. Grohl’s unique voice, however, also contains this subdued tone but he also can switch to an intense, despairing growl howl.
In the hands (and instruments) of the Foo Fighters, I think this song becomes what it was always meant to be: an intense accusation born of despondency and hopelessness. (And an awesome addition to my running playlist)