Stealers Wheel – The A&M Years review
If you ever watched that scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs – in which Michael Madsen’s Mr Blonde character tortures a cop as he makes neat terpsichorean moves to the strains of Stealers Wheel’s 1973 hit Stuck In The Middle With You – and thought you could do with more music like that, then this set is one for you.
It’s the three albums they made for A&M – Stealers Wheel (1972), Ferguslie Park (1974) and Right Or Wrong (1975) – by the early 70s Scottish pop/folk-rock band whose most famous member, Gerry Rafferty, had a worldwide smash in 1978 with Baker Street.
“To be honest, there isn’t much here to match the handclapping delights of Stuck… or the sax-fuelled smoothness of Baker Street, but there is plenty of merit, especially on the debut album.” – Paul Lester
I Get By is a Faces-ish rocker and You Put Something Better Inside Me is Beatlesque, but the best two tracks aren’t folky or rocky at all, they’re groovy, even funky: Outside Looking In has the smooth gait and white soul shuffle of fellow Scots the Average White Band, while Johnny’s Song appears to have stepped off the soundtrack of a period blaxploitation flick. Bonus tracks featured include songs recorded at the band’s first In Concert for Radio 1, where they supported Rab Noakes and Lindisfarne.