In 1971 I was at secondary school when a late and very dear friend, Keith Murray, loaned his copy of Rafferty's new album 'Can I have My Money Back' to me. I was no stranger to Rafferty's music having been a fan of his previous work with Billy Connoly, when they had performed together on a couple of albums as the duet The Humblebums. Songs such as Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway and Rick Rack, as passionate and beautiful as they were, seemed condemned to remain within the esoteric confines of only those who appreciated Scottish/Irish folk music. However, upon listening to this 'new album' it was wholly obvious from the very first track that Rafferty had thrown off his self imposed shackles and by the end of the album no-one who listened could doubt that Rafferty would have to be regarded as a serious and talented singer songwriter. Unfortunately at this time Rafferty did not have a sufficiently high enough profile nor did Transatlantic label have the pedigree to attract the necessary and so richly deserved radio play. And so, this album was unjustifiably confined to a state of semi-obscurity.
History shows that within a relatively short period Rafferty was to achieve the audience he so richly deserved, initially as a member of Stealers Wheel and thereafter and perhaps more properly as a solo singer songwriter.
But to all those Rafferty fans, indeed to all music lovers, who haven't heard this album and for those would like to find out where it all came together for the first time then this album is a must, literally a no-brainer. Highlights for me today are the rip roaring 'New Street Blues', the gorgeous 'Mary Skeffington', the laconic 'Didn't I'. Tomorrow it could be any combination of the remaining tracks. Simply a great original album performed with the minimum of production deception for the maximum listening pleasure.