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Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel
Album: Stealers WheelReleased: 1972Charted:
Also known simply as "Stuck In The Middle," this Stealers Wheel classic was co-written by the group's guitarist Gerry Rafferty and keyboard player Joe Egan.
In his obituary of Rafferty for the January 5, 2011 issue of the Daily Telegraph, Martin Chilton said of this song that it was "Written as a parody of Bob Dylan's paranoia, it ridiculed a music industry cocktail party, with the lyrics:
Clowns to the left of me
jokers to the right
here I am, stuck in the middle with you.
To Rafferty's utter disbelief his parody, composed as little more than a joke but with a catchy Pop arrangement, struck gold, selling more than a million copies. The song reached a new generation of listeners when Quentin Tarantino used it in the notorious ear-slicing scene in his 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs."
Commenting to the BBC shortly after Rafferty's death, music industry pundit Paul Gambaccini echoed Chilton's sentiments about the song. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England)
This was the group's first album. After two more albums, Rafferty went on to a solo career and had a hit with "Baker Street
." He was replaced by Luther Grosvenor from the band Spooky Tooth.
This played a big part in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs, where a sadistic character played by Michael Madsen tunes in a radio station that begins playing this song, then proceeds to mutilate a police officer he is holding hostage. Tarantino recalled to Rolling Stone his use of this song: "That was one of those things where I thought [the song] would work really well, and [during] auditions, I told the actors that I wanted them to do the torture scene, and I'm gonna use 'Stuck in the Middle With You,' but they could pick anything they wanted, they didn't have to use that song. And a couple people picked another one, but almost everyone came in with 'Stuck in the Middle With You,' and they were saying that they tried to come up with something else, but that's the one. The first time somebody actually did the torture scene to that song, the guy didn't even have a great audition, but it was like watching the movie. I was thinking, 'Oh my God, this is gonna be awesome!'"
This was produced by the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They wrote many hit songs, including "Hound Dog
" and "On Broadway."
In 2001 former Eternal singer Louise had a #4 hit in the UK with her cover version.