Stealers Wheel

Stealers Wheel

Stealers Wheel was a Scottish folk/rock band formed in Paisley, Scotland in 1972 by former school friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty.


In the beginning of the 1970s, the band was considered as the British version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and, after two unsuccessful singles, came to worldwide fame with their hit "Stuck in the Middle". The track reached the top ten of the single charts in Great Britain and the US in 1973 - number 6 in the USA, number 8 in UK - and sold over one million copies worldwide. Some decades later a dance version was a September, 2001 UK Top 10 hit for Louise, with a music video that drew heavily on the original song's appearance in the sound track of "Reservoir Dogs".

The first two albums were produced by the influential American songwriters and producers Leiber & Stoller; the last, because of disagreements and managerial problems, by Mentor Williams. All three had particularly striking, slightly surrealist sleeve designs by artist John Byrne.

Although the band's self-titled debut album sold quite well, (number 50 in the US album charts) and was critically acclaimed, Stealers Wheel could not repeat this success with following releases. In 1973/1974 the two singles "Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine" (the single version is different from the version on their albums and all subsequent CDs) and "Star" would also reach the top 30 of both the UK and US charts, but only the latter track is still relatively popular today. Former Spooky Tooth member Luther Grosvenor (later of Mott the Hoople) participated in the recordings for "Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine" and replaced Rafferty who left the band for quite some time. By 1973, Coombes, Pilnick and Williams had all left en masse, Williams later went on to tour with Jethro Tull in 1978 teaming up with old acquaintances from Blackpool Ian Anderson and Barriemore Barlow.

Because Rafferty and Egan could not agree whether they should continue as a full band or duo, and because of artistic differences, there was a delay of over 18 months in the release of their third and last album. After frequent changes in the line-up, Stealers Wheel broke up in 1975, and their last album "Right Or Wrong" was released without a band to promote it. Almost two years after "Ferguslie Park" (1973), the group was hardly known and the two last single releases silently faded away in the charts.

In 1992 director Quentin Tarantino used the track "Stuck in the Middle" in the soundtrack of his debut film "Reservoir Dogs", bringing new attention to the band. All three albums have been unavailable for years, but in 2004/2005 the British independent label "Lemon Recordings" (of Cherry Red) re-released them with remastered sound and new liner-notes.

Band members

* Gerry Rafferty : Vocals, Lead Guitar (1972-1975) (born 16 April 1947, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland).
* Joe Egan : Lead Vocals, Keyboard (1972-1975) (born Joseph Egan [Seosamh MacAodhagain] ), 18 October 1946, in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
* Paul Pilnick : Lead Guitar (1972) (born 17 March 1944, in Liverpool, Lancashire, England).
* Tony Williams : Bass (1972) (born Anthony Williams, 19 August 1947, in Durham, County Durham, England).
* Ian Campell : Bass (1972) (born Ian Campbell, 17 July 1941, in Glasgow, Scotland).
* Rod Coombes : Drums (1972) (born Roderick Coomes, 15 May 1946).
* Joe Jammer : Guitar (1973-1975)
* Andrew Steele : Drums (1973-1975) (born Andrew Roy Malcolm Steele, 2 August 1941, in Hendon, North West London died 18 April 2005, in Alaska, USA).
* Gerry Taylor : Bass (1973-1975)
* Benie Holland : Guitar (1975)
* Dave Wintour : Bass (1975)
* Luther Grosvenor (Ariel Bender) : Vocals, Guitar (November 1972 - July 1973) (born Luther James Grosvenor, 23 December 1946, in Evesham, Worcestershire, England). "Further members, who did not participate in any recordings"
* Rab Noakes : Guitar, Vocals (1972) (born Robert Noakes, 13 May 1947, in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland).
* Roger Brown : Vocals (1972)
* Delisle Harper : Bass (1973) (born Delisle McKenzie Harper, 20 November 1942).


* "Stealers Wheel" (1972)
* "Ferguslie Park" (1973)
* "Right Or Wrong" (1975)
* "The Best of Stealers Wheel" (1990)

External links

*AMG name|id=wpfexq95ldde


* Martin C. Strong, "The Essential Rock Discography", 2006, Canongate, ISBN 1841958603
* "The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll", 2001, Fireside, ISBN 0743201205

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