Stuck in the Middle with You

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"Stuck in the Middle with You"
Stuck in the Middle with You.png
Image of Netherlands 7-inch vinyl cover
Single by Stealers Wheel
from the album Stealers Wheel
B-side"Jose"
Released27 April 1973
RecordedApple (London, England)
Genre
Length3:28
LabelA&M
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Music video
"Stuck in the Middle with You" on YouTube

"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 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.

Overview[edit]

"Stuck in the Middle with You" was released on Stealers Wheel's 1972 eponymous debut album.[2] Gerry Rafferty provided the lead vocals, with Joe Egan singing harmony. It was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.[3] Rafferty's lyrics are a dismissive tale of a music industry cocktail party written (i.e. the clowns and jokers would be all the music executives and hangers on), and performed as a parody of Bob Dylan's style (the vocal impression, subject, and styling were so similar, listeners have wrongly attributed the song to Dylan since its release).[4][5][6][7]

The band was surprised by the single's chart success.[4] 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.[8] Billboard ranked it as the No. 30 song for 1973.

The band appeared playing the song on BBC's Top of the Pops on 18 May 1973.[9]

Music video[edit]

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.[10]

Charts and certifications[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

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.[23] 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!' "[24]

The song appears in a 2020 TV commercial for IBM.[25]

The full song appeared in Season 2, episode 4 ("Stuck"), of the American Television show, 9-1-1_(TV_series).

The song is also used in the 2020 comedy movie Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and the 2022 action movie The Gray Man.

Cover versions[edit]

A cover version by Grace Potter has been used as the theme song for the Netflix series Grace and Frankie since its debut in 2015 and appears in full on the Grace and Frankie (Original Television Soundtrack).[26][27]

English singer Louise recorded a cover that was released on 27 August 2001.[28] Her version reached number four on the UK Singles Chart in September 2001.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion; Brought to You by the Makers of Mojo Magazine. Canongate. 2007. pp. 399–. ISBN 978-1-84195-973-3.
  2. ^ "Stealers Wheel - Stealers Wheel | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  3. ^ Emerson, Ken (2005). Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era. ISBN 9780670034567.
  4. ^ a b Chilton, Martin (5 January 2011). "Gerry Rafferty and his songs of alienation". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 8 January 2011.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 675. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 527. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "Stealers Wheel sleeve image" (JPG). Strawbsweb.co.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Top Of The Pops 1973". Hardprog.pagesperso-orange.fr. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  10. ^ Stuck In The Middle With You // Stealers Wheel on YouTube
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 292. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ "Stealers Wheel – Stuck In The Middle With You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Stuck In the Middle with You". Flavour of New Zealand. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  14. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Billboard's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002. ISBN 978-0898201550.
  16. ^ "Adult Contemporary Music Chart – Billboard". Billboard.com. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 5/26/73". Tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 26 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1971". Dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1973". Tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  22. ^ "British single certifications – Stealers Wheel – Stuck in the Middle with You". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "IBM Cloud Super Bowl 2020 TV Commercial, 'The Most Flexible Cloud' Song by Stealers Wheel" (Ad ID: 2661332). iSpot,tv.
  26. ^ Fraley, Jason (7 May 2021). "Grace Potter is ready to rock the Frederick Fairgrounds on Mother's Day". WTOP.
  27. ^ Video on YouTube
  28. ^ "New Releases – For Week Starting August 27, 2001: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 25 August 2001. p. 31. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  29. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 465. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.

External links[edit]