7in released: May 24, 2024

1. I See Red
2. Fear Strikes Out
Cat No: DC913 - 7
Barcode: 781484091318
Packaging: 7in

Should the name Jim Rafferty sound
a tad familiar, he is in fact the older
brother of Gerry Rafferty, of "Baker
Street" and "Stuck In The Middle with
You" fame. As a songwriter, Jim had
signed a solo deal with Decca in the
late 70s. With Gerry in the producer's
chair, and a crack team of the several of
the same musicians whom Gerry later
recruited for his hit album City To City,
Jim produced the album Don't Talk

Back, comprising the kind of sophisti-
cated, melodic material typified, like his

brother's work, by strong emphasis on
vocal harmonies-the popular style at
end of the 1970s.

Decca went out of business con-
current with their release of Jim's

arguably superior second album,
Solid Logic, produced by Martin
Levan. Times were changing across
the music business, and Jim, always
seeking new challenges, continued to

write interesting, idiosyncratic mate-
rial. He signed a self-penned, nervy and

minimalist new work "I See Red," to Hit
& Run publishing, which was picked

up by Phil Collins for Abba star Fri-
da's solo album. The song's outsider

narrative and implied reggae rhythm,
made somewhat cartoonishly explicit
in Frida's version, also found favor
with a number of other artists, notably
Clannad, whose album Magical Ring
included their near identical version of
"I See Red," and gained chart placing

in the UK. The same song was subse-
quently covered by brother Gerry on

his Wing and A Prayer album.
The flip-side of Jim's "I See Red"
has its own cover history-"Fear Strikes
Out" first appeared on Ian Matthews'

1984 LP, Shook. Matthews, a jour-
neyman who'd once sung in Fairport

Convention alongside Judy Dyble and
Sandy Denny and later hit the charts
several times as a solo act, roots
his version firmly in Jim's ineffable
arrangement, which makes sense-but

Jim's version notches up the excite-
ment brightly, showcasing sharp guitar

and keyboard textures in the mix. And
sounding more like a hit.
Shortly after this, Jim teamed up

with producer Hugh Murphy and his

then-wife, American born singer song-
writer Betsy Cook, to form The Urbane

Planners, working out of Hugh's
Buckinghamshire studio on smart pop
singles, such as "Spirit of the Thing,"
for release on Mays Records. These
gained radio exposure in the UK, but
failed to get the kind of promotion they
deserved...possibly a little too smart
for the charts at that point.
Jim continued to write, and returned
to his earlier career as a graphic
designer, then moved to Canterbury,
where he found to his surprise that

multi instrumentalist Geoffrey Rich-
ardson of Prog-Rock outfit Caravan

lived right across the street. The two

struck up an immediate musical friend-
ship and began working on material

together at Geoffrey's studio nearby.

And to the present, where Jim's rel-
atively unheard 1982 recordings finally

make their splendidly remastered debut
on Drag City. It's a surprise and delight,
not just for Jim, but for collectors of
sublime pop songs all around the world.