When people talk of the greatest debut albums ever made, this one rarely if ever gets a mention but around here it's regarded as one of the very best of the greatest! Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty had stockpiled a superb collection of compositions between them (what they didn't use was held over for the excellent follow-up, Ferguslie Park) and they secured the services of the legendary Leiber & Stoller as producers- a coup by any standards. In point of fact, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller had not done much work in the folk-rock idiom before this and were thus cast as facilitators for what Egan & Rafferty wanted to accomplish in the studio. And what was achieved was nothing short of remarkable. The performances by the band were truly stunning while the singing was the stuff that dreams are made of, while the producers supplied one of the warmest & sympathetic sonic environments that I've ever heard. In short- a classic! But it wouldn't mean anything without quality songs & there's no filler here at all. Every track offers its own delights. There are 3 tracks, however, that stand out as timeless. First up, there's 'Stuck In The Middle With You'- a smash hit which found second lease of life by being used to accompany the torture scene in 'Reservoir Dogs'. The hit single had me rushing out to buy this album in 1973 & I was truly taken aback by its quality. Why so few other people bothered to check out the album from which the hit was drawn remains a mystery to me & all I can say is that they really had no idea what they were missing out on. Then there's the opening track, Joe Egan's wonderful 'Late Again', which sounds as good today as it ever did. Finally, I ought to add that 'You Put Something Better Inside Of Me' possesses a spine-tingling musical magic that I don't think time can ever diminish. Hearing it again some 36 years after making my first vinyl purchase, it gave me goosebumps. The 2 albums that followed this one were both of a very high standard but such was the brilliance of this debut that it proved to be a hard act to follow. Joe Egan later issued a couple of albums before falling off the radar screen while his erstwhile partner Rafferty became a hugely successful star when, six years later, he released 'Baker Street'. But the best of both men is to be found here. Buy it & let these songs seep into your soul, as they have done with mine. If you love what you hear it is likely to be a love for keeps.