Stuck in the Middle with You
|"Stuck in the Middle With You"|
|Single by Stealers Wheel|
|from the album Stealers Wheel|
|Released||27 April 1973|
|Recorded||Apple Studio, London 1972|
|Genre||Country rock, folk rock, soft rock|
|Producer(s)||Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller|
"Stuck in the Middle with You" (sometimes known as "Stuck in the Middle") is a song written by Scottish musicians Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan and originally performed by their band Stealers Wheel.
The band performed the song on the BBC's Top of the Pops in May 1973, and the song charted at No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart. It also became an international hit, reaching No. 6 in the US Billboard Hot 100.
"Stuck in the Middle" was released on Stealers Wheel's 1972 eponymous debut album. Gerry Rafferty provided the lead vocals, with Joe Egan singing harmony. It was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Rafferty's lyrics are a dismissive tale of a music industry cocktail party written and performed as a parody of Bob Dylan's paranoia (the vocal impression, subject, and styling were so similar, listeners have wrongly attributed the song to Dylan since its release).
The band was surprised by the single's chart success. The single sold over one million copies, eventually peaking at No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, No. 8 in the UK, and No. 2 in Canada. Billboard ranked it as the No. 30 song for 1973.
The video portrays the band performing in a corner of a large, empty building. Their performance is intercut with shots of Egan, miming to a vocal track by Rafferty (who had by then left the band), at a small banquet table with a number of garishly dressed and made-up supper guests. These include an actual clown, a bespectacled bowler-hatted gent devouring spaghetti and a lavishly dressed woman eating cream cakes and grapes. The clown, who has difficulty eating a plastic chicken, continually squeezes Egan out whenever he tries to take food from the table. The guitar solo is played on a guitar played flat with an empty beer bottle used as a slide. Eventually, the other band members appear, driving off the strange characters so that Egan can sit down at last.
Charts and certifications
In popular culture
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The song is used in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 debut film Reservoir Dogs, during the scene in which the character Mr. Blonde (played by Michael Madsen) taunts and tortures bound policeman Marvin Nash (Kirk Baltz) while singing and dancing to the song. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Tarantino recalled:
"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 of 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!' "
Alternative rock band Lazlo Bane covered the song for their 2007 cover album Guilty Pleasures. Their version was used in the 2014 film Let's Be Cops in the scene parodying the one from Reservoir Dogs. It was also released on the film's soundtrack album.
An episode of Supernatural is titled "Stuck in the Middle (With You)," in which the characters re-enact a scene from Reservoir Dogs.
In "I Am the Future," the season 1 finale of Happy!, Happy re-enacts the scene from Reservoir Dogs by tickling another imaginary friend (the Sock Puppet) with one of his feathers while the song is playing to find out where Very Bad Santa (Joseph D. Reitman) is, how it happened to him, and why he kidnapped Hailey Hansen (Bryce Lorenzo).
In one episode of the show Malcolm in the Middle, Hal is shown listening to the song on a record as various events occur around him.
In one episode of the show 'That '70s Show', this song plays during the transition of the nineteenth episode of the sixth season.
In season 11, episode 8 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia titled "Charlie Catches a Leprechaun," Charlie re-enacts the scene from Reservoir Dogs in the basement while the song plays.
The song was featured in the 2004 Eddsworld episode "Edd Again."
In one episode of the show Gilmore Girls, the song is played at a Quentin Tarantino-themed party.
Juice Newton recorded a version for her 1985 album, "Old Flame."
In 1997 Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune suggested that the Sheryl Crow song "All I Wanna Do", released on her 1993 debut album Tuesday Night Music Club, was "a re-write" of "Stuck in the Middle With You."
In 2014, the duo Dawn and Hawkes and contestant Josh Murley sang it as part of The Battles in season 6 of the American series The Voice when both were in Team Adam Levine. Levine kept Dawn and Hawkes to go to next round. The song was released as "Stuck In The Middle With You (The Voice Performance)" after the broadcast on March 24, 2014.
In 2019, Josh Turner Guitar released a YouTube cover of the song “Stuck in the Middle With You”, with Turner providing vocals and bass guitar, Reina del Cid as vocalist and playing acoustic guitar, Toni Lindgren sliding on the electric guitar and Carson McKee providing percussion, backup vocals and a hidden tambourine. As of September 2020 the video has over 4 million views.
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- Reynolds, Simon (January 7, 2013). "Quentin Tarantino's music moments: 'Stuck in the Middle', David Bowie". Digital Spy. National Magazine Company Ltd. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
Alongside the bloody violence and salty dialog, Quentin Tarantino movies are often marked by ingenious juxtaposition of image and sound. Ever since Michael Madsen's razor-wielding Mr. Blonde danced to 'Stuck in the Middle With You' in Reservoir Dogs, the filmmaker has become synonymous with memorable musical montages.
- Halperin, Shirley (August 21, 2009). "Quentin Tarantino on Five Key Soundtrack Picks, From "Reservoir Dogs" to "Inglourious Basterds"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
From Pulp Fiction to Kill Bill to his latest, Inglourious Basterds (opening this weekend), Quentin Tarantino matches scene with song like a sommelier pairs just the right bottle of wine with a nice steak: perfectly. ~. So how does a cut make it from his turntable to the big screen? The revered director filled us in on his method through five key movie music cues.
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- on YouTube
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- "Stuck In The Middle With You - Cover (Feat. Reina and Toni)". August 12, 2018.