Nick Vujicic is a preacher, a motivational speaker and the director of Life Without Limbs, an organization for the physically disabled.
Life Without Limbs
The Life Without Limbs organization, which Vujicic founded in 2005, is aimed at giving people living with no limbs motivation and inspiration for their lives. This is done by giving speeches worldwide about Christian faith and the impact that faith in God can have to help the world.
Skillz Rap Up 2009 + Lyrics + Video
Skillz Rap Up 2009 – 2009 in review
Shaquan Lewis, AKA Mad Skillz, Ryan-Skillzy, The Dell or Skillz, is an American rapper.
SKills Rap Up 2009 Lrics:
The “09 Rap Up
Ugh Check It Yo Yo
I’m bout to put this thing again “09 is outta here,
2010 is in the building, it’s time for a new year.
Your boy skillz is back on it’s grind let’s run it back and
recap 2009, DC starts off in conversation cuz we was in yo town
for your inauguration we froze are asses off ,it wasn’t just me
it was a small price to pay too see history Biggies movie
came out and got shine, Ne-Yo and Jim Jones got scrappin up
in loui Voutton, tvs went digital, the goverments lame; ya’ll bought
them boxes? to me this shit still looks the same and i don’t care about
the fate, of John and Kate you feel sorry for anybody it
should be the plus eight, having seven siblings can’t be calm,
but ill take twenty of them before i take one octomom, 50 and
Rick Ross that’s a new level of beefin, Lebron got dunked on
and he ain’t want use to see it, the news of chris
and rihanna broke in the streets, T-Pain got on the golf
cart and broke some teeth, Tiny and Toya got a show? thats crazy
Tiny you gonna have a second season (Yea Baby),Run DMC they
got their own street, and Jo-Jo got caught trying to spark that
leaf, man the game is bananas for playing Hip-Hop, Me and Jazzy Jeff got
kicked out of Kansas, Rick Ross shades was phony and fake, enter
a newcomer by the name of Drake, the industry
gotta get it in gear, cuz it’s bad when a mixtape
is really the album of the year, and his vid wasn’t bad
but i was made at them breast i never had(breast i never had),
Eminem and Mariah, sounded better and we all took this
new thing called twitter where you can follow peeps just
to see what they say and if you want to you can follow
me @SkillzVA, Bernie Madoff he was playing fro keeps
and Amber Rose became famous without having to speak, Black Eye Peas
rolled deep, they blacked perez hilton and made him pee in the middle of the
street, Lil Wayne did it big he said he wanted to F**** every girl in
the world and i think he did it, Chris Brown now that’s my guy but
how he do an interview and all yall notice is the bowtie?
the media went hard, Chris you want us to forget just
tells what really happend in the car, Rihanna she kept quiet
untill she had an album to sell but we still ain’t buy it, Mike Vick
and A.I back in action and we were shot by the loss of Mr. Michael Jackson,
i never thought that star would fall to the ground Mike was huge the
news shut the internet down, through your music you live long
my friend but we know we will never see talent like you again, i
gotta man up cuz even i was a fan of… The Real Houswives of Atlanta,
I love kakndys song, but that Kim?
(Thats A Dirty Low Down Monkey With A Weave On).
Tardy for the party brought some joy but never left the
ground just like the Ballon Boy, and to the parents
im gonna say why-lie! you name him falcon, but that ain’t mean he can fly,
far as R&B goes Trey Songz the guy, and im a grown man but im scared
of Lady Gaga, Drake’s knee kept saying hey bruh just sit, and
Kanye snatched the mic from Taylor Swift then the world couldn’t stand
them(I’m really happy for you ima let you finish)(Im let you finish)
man i think he planned that, the goverment yea they think they slick what happend to
Clash & Clankers, thats shit came and went, The Hangover was funny as hell and so
are the rappers who couldn’t get their asses outta jail, Jay-Z went on Oprah
and hit # 1 and she gave out alot of chicken but she ain’t give him none, and
H1N1 is causing drama and we waz all shaking are heads and Lil Mama
like, why was you on stage? nobody gave you a cue, and with a head that big you should
have thought that through, Nicki Minaj gave female MCs some help,
but if she signed your boob u should be ashamed of yourself, and
Whitney Houston got back to working
kids came up with this thing called jerkin; where you take dance and rap
and combine them two, news flash comon son that ain’t nuttin new,
Nas and Kelis they couldn’t get that thing back, diddy holla at
me if you want that ring back, Jamie he blamed on the alchol and
maybe that’s what made Jay-Lo fall, Health care got passed and that’s whats good,
the idiot of the year Tiger Woods(Its Uh, Its Tiger..)
could you say fail? would elses name is Tiger? why would you leave your name on the voicemail?
he changed the game i suppose, who would though he was putting 18 holes
T.I. came home after 7 months… i can’t watch Moniques show because
she yells too much, and we mourned this year,i got to say every other day.. somebody passed away
Mr. Magic, Roc Raida, My Man Baatin, Darian, And My Friend A-M
it was a very sad year to say the least,
so to everybody we lost.. rest in peace
Shaquan Lewis, AKA Mad Skillz, Ryan-Skillzy, The Dell or Skillz
Skillz was born in Detroit, Michigan), but at a young age made Richmond, Virginia his home. He first made a name for himself by finishing in second place (Losing to Mc Supernatural) in a national freestyle competition in 1992, which resulted in a recording contract with Atlantic Records. Skillz’ Atlantic debut, From Where???, and its single, “The Nod Factor”, were released in 1996, but sank without a trace. In the late-1990s, he allied himself with fellow Virginia natives Missy Elliott, Timbaland, and The Neptunes. He made appearances on Timbaland’s albums Tim’s Bio in 1998, and Indecent Proposal in 2001; Timbaland made plans to sign Skillz to the Blackhand label he was developing; however, the label failed to materialize. He along with Danja Mowf, Lonnie B, and Kalonji, members of Skillz’ Supafriendz collective, also appeared on a remix of Aaliyah’s hit single “Are You That Somebody” in 1998.
More recently (2000) Skillz is known for his tell all single “Ghostwriter”. Within this single, he names (but edits) artists for which he has written hit singles. It has alluding lines such as ‘I’m a ghostwriter, I’m the cat that you don’t see/I write hits for rappers you like and charge ‘em a fee’. Un-edited versions of the track have not surfaced but Skillz is known to do a live performance in which he includes the names. In one live performance he mentions P. Diddy, Foxy Brown, Mase, Will Smith and Jermaine Dupri. One artist who openly admits Skillz has written hits for him is P. Diddy. Skillz has also made a remix with Southern Texas rapper Lil’ Flip for the song “Dem Boyz” which has also been “Screwed and Chopped”.
Skillz eventually got a deal with Rawkus, where he recorded his 2002 LP I Ain’t Mad No More, the title of which commemorated the official change of his MC moniker from “Mad Skillz” to just “Skillz”. The afore mentioned LP was never officially released in the U.S., however, during the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour in 2003 he sold some bootleg versions of this CD. The CD was re-packaged without several tracks as “Confessions Of A Ghostwriter” in 2005. A Supafriends LP, Supavision, and another solo LP. A client for the Mama’s Boys management company which also includes Musiq, Skillz has been a featured artist at okayplayer.com, run by Questlove of The Roots. Since the year 2002 Skillz has done a year end “Rap-Up” song that encapsulates the events of the prior 12 months. These have been well-received among fans.
I try to keep you informed as much as possible with the latest and greatest news in the Social Networking World, Search Engines, and with anything new and interesting with the Internet. The information posted at Twitter mostly points back to here.. Be sure and Bookmark this site.
The House Of The Rising Sun Video with Lyrics
Once again I wanted to dust off an old classic that is catchy. I particularly like the organ solo in this song. This song is by “The Animals” with Eric Burdon as the lead singer. Eric Victor Burdon (born 11 May 1941; Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne) is best known as a founding member and vocalist of The Animals, a rock band formed in Newcastle, England, his multi-racial funk rock band War and his aggressive stage performance.
Burdon was lead singer of The Animals, formed during 1962 in Newcastle, England. They combined electric blues with rock and were one of the leading bands of the “British Invasion”. Along with The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, and The Kinks, the group helped to introduce the world to British music and fashion. Burdon’s powerful voice can be heard in The Animals singles “The House of the Rising Sun”, ” Sky Pilot”, “Monterey”, “I’m Crying”, “Boom Boom”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “Bring It On Home to Me”, “Baby Let Me Take You Home”, “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, and “See See Rider”.
The Animals – The Rising Sun – Video
There is a house in New Orleans
They call the ‘Rising Sun’
And it’s been the ruin of many a young poor boy
And, God, I know I’m one
My mother was a tailor
Sewed my new blue jeans
My father was a gamblin’ man
Down in New Orleans
Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk
And the only time he’s satisfied
Is when he’s on a drunk
Oh, Mother tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun
I got one foot on the platform
And the other foot on the train
I’m going back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain
Well there is a house in New Orleans
They call the ‘Rising Sun’
And its been the ruin of many a young poor boy
And God, I know I’m one
A-Team the Movie
A-Team the Movie in theaters 2010
Ok, so by now you figured out that Im a big dork.. lol
But I can’t help it. I am a fan of the 80′s hit show the A-Team. The movie is to hit the theaters June 11th 2010 and will be staring: Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson as the A-Team. Also some of the other highlighted actors / actresses include a stunning cast with Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Dirk Benedict, and Omari Hardwick. I along with thousands of others are looking forward to this movie which pays credit to an iconic TV Series “the A-Team”. This is one of those movies that the producers and directors are going to have to do well or face a herd of angry critics. Personally I think they will portray this TV series in an up-to-date way with a much needed make-over. And with Jessica Biel in it what could go wrong? lol… I love you Jessica – be sure to leave a comment if you read this! (Wishing hopefully for her comment).
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Michael Brandt – screenplay
Stephen J. Cannell – characters
Derek Haas – screenplay
Skip Woods – screenplay
Release Date:11 June 2010 (USA) more
Plot:A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed.
Genre: Action | Adventure | Comedy more
|Bradley Cooper||…||Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck|
|Liam Neeson||…||Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith|
|Sharlto Copley||…||Capt. ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock|
|Jessica Biel||…||Lt. Sosa|
|Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson||…||Sgt. Bosco ‘B.A.’ Baracus|
|Gerald McRaney||…||General Morrison|
|Omari Hardwick||…||Chop Shop J|
|C. Ernst Harth||…||Gilbert|
|Raj Lal||…||Private Silyman|
|Neil Schell||…||Army Meddac Hospital XO|
|Jacob Blair||…||Lynch Goon #1 (uncredited)|
|Katie Boskovich||…||Sophie (uncredited)|
|Simon Chin||…||Heavy Set (uncredited)|
|Victor Formosa||…||Nick (uncredited)|
|Tom MacNeill||…||Norwegian tourist (uncredited)|
|Jimmy Ortega||…||Captor #2 (uncredited)|
|William C. Vaughan||…||PFC #2 (uncredited)|
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A-Team Trailer 2010
A-Team Movie Trailer 2010
A-Team Official Movie Trailer (2010)
Most popular songs of 2009
Below you will find a YouTube video that is a Mashup of the 25 most popular songs of 2009
United State of Pop 2009 (Blame It on the Pop)
A Mashup of the Top 25 Hits of 2009, according to Billboard as created by DJ Earworm. You may download the mp3 at:
I was greatly impressed by this mix. It’s probably one of if not the best and most complex mashup I have ever heard and seen. The collection of most popular songs of 2009 have come together making a collaboration but more have made a completely new song. GREAT JOB and my hat goes off to DJ Earworm!
- The Black Eyed Peas – BOOM BOOM POW
- Lady Gaga – POKER FACE
- Lady Gaga Featuring Colby O’Donis – JUST DANCE
- The Black Eyed Peas – I GOTTA FEELING
- Taylor Swift – LOVE STORY
- Flo Rida – RIGHT ROUND
- Jason Mraz – I’M YOURS
- Beyonce – SINGLE LADIES (PUT A RING ON IT)
- Kanye West – HEARTLESS
- The All-American Rejects – GIVES YOU HELL
- Taylor Swift – YOU BELONG WITH ME
- T.I. Featuring Justin Timberlake – DEAD AND GONE
- The Fray – YOU FOUND ME
- Kings Of Leon – USE SOMEBODY
- Keri Hilson Featuring Kanye West & Ne-Yo – KNOCK YOU DOWN
- Jamie Foxx Featuring T-Pain – BLAME IT
- Pitbull – I KNOW YOU WANT ME (CALLE OCHO)
- T.I. Featuring Rihanna – LIVE YOUR LIFE
- Soulja Boy Tell ‘em Featuring Sammie – KISS ME THRU THE PHONE
- Jay Sean Featuring Lil Wayne – DOWN
- Miley Cyrus – THE CLIMB
- Drake – BEST I EVER HAD
- Kelly Clarkson – MY LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU
- Beyonce – HALO
- Katy Perry – HOT N COLD
Most popular songs
I hope you enjoyed this little tribute to the top 25 billboard / most popular songs of 2009.
Lil Red Riding Hood – Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs
Every once in a while I will get a ‘oldy but a goldy’ stuck in my head. Looks like today is one of those days. Here is a older song that you might hear every now anad again; Li’l Red Riding Hood by the ‘Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs’ from 1966. The video that is shown below was done by a college student and is the not the original video that was distributes with the song.
The song is built around the Grimm Brothers’ “Little Red Riding Hood” folk tale, adapted by ending before the grandmother makes her entrance, and explicitly using the ambiguity of modern English between “wolf”, the carnivore, and “wolf”, a man with concealed sexual intentions. The singer remarks on “what big eyes” and “what full lips” Red has, and eventually on “what a big heart” he himself has. An added element is that he says (presumably aside, to the song’s audience) that he is disguised in a “sheep suit” until he can demonstrate his good intentions, but he seems to be having a hard time suppressing his wolf call in favor of the baa-ing of a sheep. One of its signature lines is “you’re everything that a big bad wolf could want”.
“Li’l Red Riding Hood,” by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs (1966) From their album “Li’l Red Riding Hood” Lyrics written by Ronald Blackwell. Betty Boop footage from “Dizzy Red Riding Hood” (1931)
The song whose lyrics are described just above is widely attributed to Ronald Blackwell. There seems to be no controversy (although various titles are occasionally used) that one with a similar title was earlier written and recorded by the Big Bopper, and released as “Little Red Riding Hood” (N.b: with “little” spelled out) late in 1958 as the B-side of his second hit. The searchable sites with its complete lyrics as text seem to constitute no more than a handful, but a recording, purported to be of his voice and thus presumably as being authoritative as to lyrics, exists online.
Though related in concept to the later Blackwell song, these differ in
1. conflating into one the wolves of Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs (and implying he is on good terms with the pigs)
2. having the singer call himself both the Big Bopper and the Big Bad Wolf
3. encountering Red from outside her locked door, where he knocks seeking entrance
4. being apparently franker, in saying “you’re the swingin’est and that’s no lie”, and insisting on being let in promptly lest the rest of the household return first
5. foregoing mentioning any fairy-tale-wolfish characteristics or behavior except a Three-Pigs-wolfish threat to blow the house down (unless one regards cackling laughter as counting).
However, at least one site, which ignores the Bopper-recorded lyrics in listing his work, attributes the Blackwell/Pharoahs lyrics to the Big Bopper.
Who’s that I see walkin’ in these woods?
Why, it’s Little Red Riding Hood.
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood,
You sure are looking good.
You’re everything a big bad wolf could want.
Listen to me.
Little Red Riding Hood
I don’t think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone.
From the video editor: This was for a school project we were suppose to make a video using I-movie(yuck) and my laptop (the school gives us) doesn’t have much music sooooo I did Sam the Sham and the pharoh’s Little red riding hood with the WB cartoon little red hot riding hood
Recently I was sent a link to see a YouTube video of an acapella group called “Straight No Chaser” singing a new and interesting version of “The 12 days of Christmas”. Its a great and exciting new rendition of the song, hope you like it.
To Buy the album visit http://www.sncmusic.com/christmascheers
In the fall of 2008, ATCO/Atlantic Records unveiled a rather unlikely major label release. It was an album of Christmas music recorded by Straight No Chaser, a ten-member a cappella group that hadn’t sung together since their college days a decade earlier. The result was a most improbable success story and a true musical phenomenon.
Fueled by Straight No Chaser’s appearances on the Today show, ABC World News Tonight, and CNN Headline News, among others, “HOLIDAY SPIRITS” spent 14 days in the #1 slot on Amazon, and 5 days in the top spot overall on iTunes. The group’s now famous version of “The 12 Days Of Christmas” peaked in the top 10 on the Christmas radio chart and reached the top 15 at Hot AC. On their first-ever headline tour in December 2008, Straight No Chaser sold out shows across the country.
“Back in college, we started this group just for fun — no one ever thought of it as a possible career path,” says Randy Stine. “It was hard to comprehend that ten years after our last performance, we were back together recording for a major label, with an album that reached number one on iTunes, heading out on an international tour. Along with all the fun is a lot of work, but it’s a complete labor of love, and one that we never dreamed possible.”
In the year since the release of “HOLIDAY SPIRITS,” the lives of Straight No Chaser’s members have been transformed. In the wake of the album’s success, the members of the group who had been holding down full-time jobs were able to leave their day gigs to pursue SNC full-time. “Whereas before we were essentially juggling two careers, now we get to put all of our heart and energy into Straight No Chaser,” says Dan Ponce.
For the 2010 holiday season, Atlantic’s original plan had been to re-issue “HOLIDAY SPIRITS” with a couple of new bonus tracks. But when Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman heard the new songs, “he liked the direction we were going with those so much,” explains Dan, “that he said, ‘Let’s go ahead and do a whole new album.’”
The result is “CHRISTMAS CHEERS,” a fresh collection starring Straight No Chaser’s trademark vocal sound and unique musical approach. Comparing the new album with “HOLIDAY SPIRITS,” Dan notes: “The last album was a little more traditional, a little more what you might expect from an a cappella Christmas album. With the new album, we took a few more risks, and there’s definitely a comedic element that weaves through the album. We wanted to capture that aspect of our stage performance in our recordings.”
Recorded in the group’s home base of Bloomington, Indiana, “CHRISTMAS CHEERS” ranges from the hilarious “Christmas Can-Can” (with lyrics by the group’s Walter Chase) — a song which Dan says, “makes fun of ourselves and the commercialization of Christmas” — to a beautifully soulful take on “O Holy Night.” The 15-track collection also includes such holiday classics as “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Jingle Bells,” and many more. The SNC original, “Who Spiked The Egg Nog?,” was written by member Ryan Ahlwardt and Straight No Chaser’s musical director, Deke Sharon, whom Dan describes as “a brilliant writer, arranger, and producer.”
With the new album in the can, Straight No Chaser is heading out on the road for a full 56-city cross-country tour, by far their biggest trek to date. In addition, the group has already been hard at work on a new pop album for 2010. Their goal remains the same as it was back in their college days. As Randy says, “We want the audience to not miss the instruments, be surprised by what we’re doing, and in the end, appreciate the songs in a whole new way.”
* * * * * *
Here’s how “The 12 Days of Christmas,” the Internet, and one serendipitous YouTube viewing changed the course of ten unsuspecting lives.
In the fall of 1996, Indiana University student Dan Ponce hand-picked ten friends to create the campus’s first a cappella group. Ponce chose the members not only for their outstanding voices, but for their personalities. Purposefully avoiding the stereotype of the traditional college a cappella group, they treated themselves more like a local band that just happened to use their voices as their instruments.
The formula worked: it wasn’t long before they were headlining concerts, and within two years, they were touring nationally. In 1999, with college graduation looming, the members of Straight No Chaser chose their replacements — putting a plan in place to ensure that the new tradition they had created would continue on with successive generations of IU undergrads. Then, in April 2006, Indiana University decided to host a reunion concert for the original members. In honor of the event, posted clips from one of their 1998 concerts on YouTube to share with the other founding members. Suddenly, concert footage that was nearly a decade old was available to be seen by millions of people worldwide… and see it they did, in mind-blowing numbers. With no promotion, Straight No Chaser’s version of “The 12 Days Of Christmas” (interpolating Toto’s “Africa”) received more than seven million views in December of 2007 alone, becoming the hottest viral video of the season.
In a turn of events that the spiritually inclined might describe as a “higher power” moment, Atlantic Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman happened to be among those millions of viewers. “It was completely random and totally unexpected,” says Kallman. “I was surfing YouTube to check out what was new, when I saw this brilliant, fresh, and totally compelling performance. And then I saw how many hits they were getting, and I had something of an epiphany. So I emailed Randy right away.” Randy, not surprisingly, thought it was some kind of prank. “The head of Atlantic Records emailing me at 8 a.m. New Year’s Day and saying he was interested in our group? I thought, ‘yeah, right.’” Fortunately, Randy decided to check it out anyway, and he and Dan soon found themselves having dinner with Craig in L.A. Within a few days, the entire group flew to Atlantic’s offices in New York, and a deal was in the works.
In the years since they graduated from college, the original members of Straight No Chaser had embarked on a variety of life paths — some pursuing professional careers in music and theatre, some going into other fields entirely. But suddenly presented with the unforeseen opportunity to come back together, make their major label debut, and take their music to a new level, they all agreed to seize the head-spinning moment.
The birth of Straight No Chaser’s second life is a story of talent, drive, and some very good luck indeed. It’s cause for celebration… but please don’t strike up the band.
The source of this content: http://www.sncmusic.com
Here is the Best Saxophone solo ever. It was a huge hit in the 80′s and is called ‘Baker Street’ and is by Gerry Rafferty.
This saxophone song is arguably one of the most popular songs with a saxophone solo in it.
- Born: Apr. 16, 1947 in Paisley, Scotland
- Years Musically Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
Gerry Rafferty was a popular music giant at the end of the ’70s, thanks to the song “Baker Street” and the album City to City. His career long predated that fixture of Top 40 radio, however; indeed, by the time he cut “Baker Street” Rafferty had already been a member of two successful groups, the Humblebums and Stealers Wheel. Rafferty was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1947, the son of a Scottish mother and an Irish father. His father was deaf but still enjoyed singing, mostly Irish rebel songs, and his early experience of music was a combination of Catholic hymns, traditional folk music, and ’50s pop music. By 1968, at age 21, Rafferty was a singer-guitarist and had started trying to write songs professionally, and was looking for a gig of his own. Enter Billy Connolly, late of Scottish bands like the Skillet Lickers and the Acme Brush Company. Connolly was a musician and comedian who’d found that telling jokes from the stage was as appealing an activity to him — and the audience — as making music. He’d passed through several groups looking for a niche before finally forming a duo called the Humblebums with Tim Harvey, a rock guitarist. They’d established themselves in Glasgow, and were then approached by Transatlantic, one of the more successful independent record labels in England at the time, and signed to a recording contract. After playing a show in Paisley, Rafferty approached Connolly about auditioning some of the songs he’d written. Connolly was impressed not only with the songs but with their author, and suddenly the Humblebums were a trio. They were a major success in England both on-stage and on record, but not without some strain. Connolly was the dominant personality, his jokes between the songs entertaining audiences as much as the songs themselves. Additionally, Rafferty began develop a distinctive style as a singer, guitarist and songwriter, and this eventually led to tension between him and Harvey: the latter exited in 1970, and Rafferty and Connolly continued together for two more albums, their line-up expanding to a sextet, but their relationship began to break down. The records were selling well, and the gigs were growing in prominence, including a Royal Command Performance. Connolly, however, worked himself to the point of exhaustion amid all of this activity, and when he did recover, he and Rafferty ultimately split up over the differing directions in which each was going. Rafferty had noticed that Connolly’s jokes were taking up more time in their concerts than the music he was writing. They parted company in 1971. Transatlantic didn’t want to give up one of its top money-makers, however, especially if there was a new career to be started. Rafferty cut his first solo album for the label that year. “Can I Have My Money Back?” was a melodious folk-pop album, on which Rafferty employed the vocal talents of an old school friend, Joe Egan. The LP garnered good reviews but failed to sell. Out of those sessions, however, Rafferty and Egan put together the original line-up of Stealers Wheel, which was one of the most promising (and rewarding) pop/rock outfits of the mid-’70s. Unfortunately, Stealers Wheel’s lineup and legal history were complicated enough to keep various lawyers well paid for much of the middle of the decade. Rafferty was in the group, then out, then in again as the lineup kept shifting. Their first album was a success, the single “Stuck in the Middle with You” a huge hit, but nothing after that clicked commercially, and by 1975 the group was history. Three years of legal battles followed, sorting out problems between Rafferty and his management. Finally, in 1978, Rafferty was free to record again, and he signed to United Artists Records. That year, he cut City to City, a melodic yet strangely enigmatic album that topped the charts in America, put there by the success of the song “Baker Street.” The song itself was a masterpiece of pop production, Rafferty’s Paul McCartney-like vocals carrying a haunting central melody with a mysterious and yearning lyric, backed by a quietly thumping bass, tinkling celeste, and understated keyboard ornamentation, and then Raphael Ravenscroft’s sax, which you got a taste of in the opening bars, rises up behind some heavily amplified electric guitars. It was sophisticated ’70s pop/rock at its best (and better yet, it wasn’t disco!) and it dominated the airwaves for months in 1978, narrowly missing the number one spot in England but selling millions of copies and taking up hundreds of cumulative hours of radio time. The publisher and the record company couldn’t have been happier. Everyone concerned was thrilled, until it became clear that Rafferty — who had a reclusive and iconoclastic streak — was not going to tour America to support the album. The album, which finally reached number one, might’ve gone double-platinum and meant it (lots of records were shipped platinum in those days, only eventually to return 90-percent of those copies) had Rafferty toured. His next record, Night Owl (1979), also charted well and got good reviews, but the momentum that had driven City to City to top-selling status wasn’t there, and Snakes & Ladders (1980), his next record, didn’t sell nearly as well. Ironically, around this time, Rafferty’s brother Jim was signed to a recording contract by Decca-London, a label that wasn’t long for this world — something that Gerry would soon have to face about his own situation at United Artists. United Artists Records had seen some major hit records throughout the ’60s and ’70s, but by the end of the decade, the parent film distribution and production company was revamping all of its operations in the wake of the mass exodus of several of its top executives. The record label was one of the first things to go — running a record company was a luxury that the current UA management felt it could do without. Rafferty was practically the last major artist signed to the label, and if City to City had been a hit when the label was sold to EMI, he’d probably have been treated like visiting royalty. But by the time United Artists Records was sold to EMI around 1980, his figures weren’t showing millions of units sold anymore. His contract was merely part of a deal, and, in fact, almost none of the UA artists picked up by EMI fared well with the new company — as with many artists caught up in one of those sale-and-acquisition situations, even if Rafferty had been producing anything comparable to “Baker Street” in popularity, it’s doubtful the record would’ve gotten the push it would’ve taken to make it a hit. Sleepwalking (1982), issued on the Liberty label, ended that round of Rafferty’s public music-making activities, and he was little heard from during the mid-’80s, apart from one song contributed to the offbeat comedy Local Hero, a producer’s gig with the group the Proclaimers that yielded a Top Three single (“Letter from America”) in 1987. A year later, he released his first album in more than five years, North & South, which failed to register with the public. By that time, Transatlantic had begun exploiting his early recording activity, reissuing his early solo and Humblebums tracks on CD. On a Wing and a Prayer (1992) was similarly ignored by the public, although the critics loved it, and Over My Head (1995) was an attempt to reconsider his own past by re-thinking some Stealers Wheel-era songs. Gerry Rafferty is still remembered, two decades after it was a hit, primarily for “Baker Street” and City to City, which have been released as gold-plated audiophile CDs. And every so often, when some Stealers Wheel track gets picked up for some soundtrack (as “Stuck in the Middle with You” was for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs) or commercial, his voice and guitar also get a fresh airing.
As per the source: http://www.emusic.com/artist/Gerry-Rafferty-MP3-Download/11661997.html