The album containing the song may have been released in 1978, but this song will always remain me of that time period and it was definitely 1977. I too had always thought that this was mostly about a woman who moved to the big city and found out it was empty.
I truly believe this song is life-changing..for everyone , but for myself and many others. I think you will find that the baker street referred to is in fact a street in Dundee Scotland.
According to American Top 40, the piece was written by Rafferty to have all electric guitars for the solos.
Unfortunately the guitar player ran about 90 minutes late for the studio session the day they planned to mix the opening instrumental tracks and the bridges to the stanzas that Rafferty performs.
Don't necessarily believe a specific woman is involved, just a wistful song about being lost, discontented and possibly suicidal. I read something that Gerry was staying with some friend of his who lived on Baker Street or right off of it so then I guess now I see the second verse as being autobiographical (which would explain why the person would say "where have you been?
Unfortunately, my 16 year old friend couldn't find his way out of the morose and depression he was experiencing. " and that the new day dawning is resolution on his legal issues with the record label. This song was on the soundtrack of my youth, and I especially remember hearing it on the radio over those years on the long bus ride to school each morning.