Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel (A&M, 1973)

Never has a joke made someone so rich. Stuck In the Middle With You was conceived as a Dylan parody of sorts, by Joe Egan & Gerry Rafferty. But the tune is so catchy and it’s sung so straightforward, no one got the joke. Instead it sold over million copies and hit the Top 10 in 1973. It also would have haunted Gerry for his entire life, had it been his only hit. (Instead Baker Street make him rich & depressed.)

Gerry does a great Dylan interpretation, especially when he sing lines like, fall off my chaaair. You can almost visualize Bob’s sneer as he would strain for those high notes. And how did anyone miss the clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right line as Dylanesque? Rafferty & Egan may have just ripped Dylan off and when the song became a big hit, covered their tracks by saying it was a joke.

Lyrically I can’t tell if it’s a song about a drunk that’s wondering how he’ll get down the stairs or if it’s a guy who’s hanging out with his newly successful but insufferable friend. Maybe he’s playing a raucous game of Mahjong. Either way I don’t think Dylan wrote anything this good in the 70s. Hey put down that knife…I’m entitled to my opinion.