Stuck in the Middle with You

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"Stuck in the Middle with You"
Single by Stealers Wheel
from the album Stealers Wheel
B-side "Jose"
Released 1972
Recorded Apple Studio, London
Genre Folk rock, country rock, soft rock[1]
Length 3:23
Label A&M
Producer(s) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

"Stuck in the Middle with You"[2][3][4] (sometimes known as "Stuck in the Middle"[5]) is a song written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan and originally performed by their band Stealers Wheel. The song was inspired by a real occasion when the record company and producers were conducting business across Rafferty and Egan at a restaurant table.


"Stuck in the Middle" was released on Stealers Wheel's 1972 self-titled debut album.[6] Gerry Rafferty provided the lead vocals, with Joe Egan singing harmony. The song was conceived initially by the band members as a parody of Bob Dylan's distinctive lyrical style and paranoia. The band was surprised by the single's chart success.[7] The single sold over one million copies, eventually peaking in 1973 at #6 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and #8 in the UK Singles Chart. It was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.[8]

Music video[edit]

The video portrays the band performing in a corner of large, empty building. Their performance is intercut with shots of Joe Egan (who is miming to the by then-departed Gerry Rafferty's vocal track) at a banquet table with a number of garishly dressed and made-up supper guests, including an actual clown, who continually squeeze him out whenever he tries to take food from the table. Eventually the other band members appear, driving off the strange characters so that Egan can sit down at last.

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.[9] 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!' "[10]

This scene is parodied in The Simpsons episode "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious", where Itchy and Scratchy (replacing Mr. Blonde and Marvin Nash, respectively) re-enact this scene, even with the same song.

Another parody of this scene can be found in Bob's Burgers's second season episode "Moody Foodie". In this episode, a fellow restaurateur of Bob's "tortures" a bound food critic with a "wet willy" for giving bad reviews to the town's restaurants (hence the title of the episode).

A cover of the song by Grace Potter is used as the theme song for the Netflix original series Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

A cover version by former Eternal member, Louise, reached no.4 in the UK in 2001.

A version of the song was performed by blind guitarist Jeff Healey.

American baroque pop band San Fermin performed a version of the song in July 2015 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.[11]


  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. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 675. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 527. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Stealers Wheel sleeve image
  5. ^ Stealers Wheel: Music
  6. ^ Gracenote: Album > Stealers Wheel - Stealers Wheel :[1]
  7. ^ Chilton, Martin, "Gerry Rafferty and his songs of alienation", Daily Telegraph, 5 January 2011
  8. ^ Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era (ISBN 9780670034567): Ken Emerson
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Modell, Josh (28 July 2015). "San Fermin covers Stealers Wheel". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 

External links[edit]