The right song at the right time. Really, is there anything sweeter? Halloween, late-night, driving from the 101 Cafe down Franklin to Los Feliz, a friend, playing DJ in the front seat, followed up Elvis Costello’s “Accidents Will Happen” with Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line.” I tell you, it was the perfect hit of fake Paul McCartney.

Sure, a lot of artists have worked the Paul angle (Badfinger, Emmit Rhodes), but Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line” has that je ne sais quoi — a mixture of earnestness coupled with pulp and pap. Pure ear candy. The track was a single off the 1978 album City To City — also home to the AOR staple “Baker Street,” which is a post in and of itself.

It’s also worth noting that Rafferty, as part of Stealers Wheel, co-wrote “Stuck In The Middle With You,” arguably one of the best “fake Dylan” songs committed to tape in the ’70s. It goes without saying that, in the ’60s, my man Donovan held that title with “Catch The Wind.” Again, great tune, but may well explain why Dylan was such a dick to him in Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back.

MP3: Gerry Rafferty :: Right Down The Line
Amazon: Gerry Rafferty – City To City

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8 Responses to “The Perfect Hit of Fake Paul McCartney”

  1. awesome to finally get some info on this classic deep cut!!

  2. It might even be worth noting that Stuck In The Middle With You was recorded at Apple’s studios and engineered (maybe even produced–not sure) by Geoff Emerick. (Emerick talks about it in his book.)

  3. great track from a great alb. looking fwd to the “baker street” post, given the amazing, definitive rock sax on that track.

  4. To be fair: Didn’t McCartney actually write the Badfinger tune? So that kind of puts it in questionable territory as “fake Paul McCartney”, no? As for Rafferty, “Baker Street” is more choice than this tune, methinks.

    Extra points for Paul with joints!

  5. Paul wrote “if you want it”, but one could arguably cite many a mccartney nod in their other work.

  6. I’ve never heard Paul McCartney in Right Down The Line but the minor hit Star by Stealer’s Wheel sounds a lot like them Beatles
    Check out the video

  7. Personally, I’ve always felt “Stuck in the Middle w/ You” was the perfect faux Paul Simon song, the Dylan comparison has never even crossed my mind, though I can hear it in the vocals now when I look at it that way…

  8. I got stuck on “Right Down the Line” about a year ago. I friend of mine played it our poker game and I got hooked on it again. The album City to City knocked the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack off it’s perch at #1 on the billboard chart.

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