What's up with Gerry?

I've never quite comprehended the phenomenon of the One Hit Wonder. Well, perhaps the nauseating ones. How kind of the Mccartney/Wonder duet not to inflict another Ebony and Ivory on us. Isn't it fortunate the Joe Dolce was crushed by a fan stampede before he could pen another Shaddup You Face. What is hard to understand is how an artist can produce something amazing and then fade back into obscurity. Like a shooting star, everything they had manifested in a single flash of glory; and then it was gone. 

The Netflix show Sense 8 recently resurrected one of the great One Hit Wonders; 4 Non Blondes' What's Up. I won't inflict the Sense 8 karaoke version on you but it is worth revisiting Linda Perry's incredibly characterful voice on the original, despite her fondness for silly hats that persisted for the duration of the band. Thankfully, that was only about ten minutes. 

What's Up must also be one of the most covered/butchered songs in  history. While I have yet to hear a better version than the Linda Perry original, this attempt by São Paulo band Almanac makes up for in passion what it lacks in refinement.  

I will end this post with one of my favorite OHW's. Well, ok, technically more than one but the Best Of CD I own never gets pat the first track: Baker Street. Gerry Rafferty not only created a haunting, thought provoking masterpiece but also provided a palette for the guitar of Hugh Burns and that incredible, iconic sax solo of the late Raphael Ravenscroft. Ravenscroft himself was haunted by the fact that his solo (regarded as the most easily recognisable sax solo of all time) was played on a sax that was out of tune; a perfectionist indeed but if one listens carefully.... Gerry Rafferty's own life was a tragic spiral into alcoholism and early death. I first heard this song during a particularly difficult part of my childhood and it really had a big impact on me; so much so that I couldn't listen to it for many decades. Now, it is once again one of my favorite songs.

William Crampton