The 3rd 7" in the Rocket From The Crypt UK tour set was sold at the band's December 3rd (which is my birthday, by the way) 2013 show in Glasgow. For this 7" they chose to cover the song "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty. I have to admit, that name and the song title didn't really jar any memories. Even when I put the Rocket From The Crypt version on the turntable, I wasn't sure that I had heard this song before. However, I looked up the original right before writing this review and it all came flooding back to me. Ugh this song. The cheese-ball saxophone is the sort of thing 1970's nightmares were built on. I'm sure the main reason I know it is from infomercials for bad compilation albums I saw as a kid.
I will say that the Rocket From The Crypt version manages to pay homage to this pretty terrible song, but elevate it to something worthy of Rocket. They speed up the the song for starters and while that horn riff still has the flavor of the theme song of a 1970's cop show,it's much more powerful and loud than the original. The verse is also brightened up quite a bit. Rather than retreat into minimalist whispering like the original. Rocket keeps it rocking and turns the verse into something that actually reminds me of the Night Marchers song "Roll On" a bit. Also, I'm pretty positive that nowhere in the original does Gerry Raffery shout "Jackin' off on Baker Street."
Despite the original being one of those terrifying songs of the past, I actually really like the Rocket From The Crypt version. It's pretty remarkable how they can keep the basic theme of the original and turn it into something so much better. I guess that's why they're the best band in the world.
Rocket From The Crypt - Baker Street:
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street: