Sunday, September 12, 2010

Don't ask any questions, you won't get an answer

Here is another in a series of songs that appeared on 45rpm in a radically different version from that on the LP. At the time of their breakout hit Stuck In the Middle With You in 1972, Stealers Wheel went through a massive personnel transformation. First off, one of the primary songwriters - Gerry Rafferty - had already left the band. A replacement came in so that the band could tour to take advantage of their radio hit. Then Rafferty came back, all ancillary members left, leaving only Rafferty and the other songwriter - Joe Egan - to soldier on. They release Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine as their next single.

The song has a wonderful loping tempo, Beatlesque duo harmonies, perfect little guitar/sitar interjections, and a killer faux-raga interlude with lovely harmonies. As excellent as this song is - and mark my words, it is a nearly perfect single (see my top 100 list for criteria) - it did not catch on with the public and was never released on a followup LP. Meanwhile Rafferty and Egan put out a second LP with a completely different rendition of the song. Slow, plodding, and missing all of those little flourishes that made the single so wonderful. To this day the single version has never been released on CD.

Moving through the city, making all the rounds
Trying different places, didn't like the faces (oh no, oh no)
Rollin' in the gutter, throwin' up my pride
Belly full of whiskey, was it hard to swallow (oh no, oh no)

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