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|
|Genre||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 number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. It also became an international hit, reaching number 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 band was surprised by the single's chart success. The single sold over one million copies, eventually peaking at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 8 in the UK, and number 2 in Canada.
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.
- Gerry Rafferty - guitar, lead vocals
- Joe Egan - keyboards, lead vocals
- Paul Pilnick - lead guitar
- Tony Williams - bass
- Rod Coombes - drums
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 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!' "
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 an episode 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.
An episode of Supernatural is titled "Stuck in the Middle (With You)," in which the characters re-enact a scene from Reservoir Dogs.
A disco cover version by Louise was a chart hit in 2001.
In "I Am the Future," the season finale of Happy!, Happy re-enacts the scene from Reservoir Dogs by tickling another imaginary friend while the song is playing to find out why and where Very Bad Santa is.
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."
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- Reynolds, Simon (7 January 2013). "Quentin Tarantino's music moments: 'Stuck in the Middle', David Bowie". Digital Spy. National Magazine Company Ltd. Retrieved 7 April 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 (21 August 2009). "Quentin Tarantino on Five Key Soundtrack Picks, From "Reservoir Dogs" to "Inglourious Basterds"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 April 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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