80’s Sax Solos
The popular music of the 1980’s carried with it a powerful legacy for us saxophone players.
Unlike the pop music of today, much of which is sampled, sequenced, and looped, the music of the 80’s made frequent use of the saxophone solo. Classic solos on songs such as “Careless Whisper,” “I Can’t Go for That,” and “Caribbean Queen” helped to plant the saxophone smack-dab into the musical mainstream.
Of course, some of these solos were downright lame, but there were a few gems such as Michael Brecker’s solo on Donald Fagan’s ballad, “Maxine.”
But let’s face it – most of these solos fell into the “downright lame” category.
For those of us saxfolk who can appreciate the pop sax solos of 80’s, I’ve come across a website – or rather, a web-page just for you. On this page, you’ll find an exhaustive list of that decade’s signature solos, each solo complete with audio sample, letter grade, brief commentary, and a variety of grading criteria such as “Vibrato Overuse,” “Middle School Level,” and “Good Continuity” to name just a few.
July 25, 2011 @ 7:23 am
1. Crack in time – Calvin Harris
2. Sad Cafe – The Eagles
3. All my Life – Phil Collins
4. House on the Hill – Audience
5. You aint smiling – Audience
6. Urgent – Foreigner
7. Bad to the bone – George Thorogood
8. Celtic Swing – van Morrison
9. Die Trying – Dave Matthews Band
July 25, 2011 @ 12:39 pm
Wow, truth be told, many of these are unfamiliar, but the Urgent solo is a great example of rock and roll sax for sure.
Thanks so much for your list – keep on rockin’!
July 26, 2011 @ 12:35 am
You are welcome. I made a SAX TRAX compilation CD
for myself, of the 16 best sax recordings I could find.
July 26, 2011 @ 8:03 am
Wow, sounds cool. Must be quite a journey to listen to all of those in a row. :-)
October 24, 2011 @ 3:29 pm
where can I listen to Crack in time from Calvin Harris ? I have been searching for and I have not been succeed yet.
October 24, 2011 @ 3:32 pm
Hmm, I actually wouldn’t know myself. I tried my hand at a video search on Google, but unfortunately no results.
Wish I could be of more help!
October 25, 2011 @ 3:23 am
Hum, I think there is an error on the artist name. The artist is CALVIN RUSSELL.
October 25, 2011 @ 9:25 am
Is this what you’re talking about? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfrfz7MPXAc
October 30, 2011 @ 6:35 am
Hello again Doron. Yes.
And let me make my suggestion, and this is definitively Calvin Harris, with the song rain.
October 30, 2011 @ 6:35 am
Forgot to link it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jscd9utzNHs
October 30, 2011 @ 12:52 pm
Ahh, OK, so definitely not an 80’s sax solo. But pretty darn good compared to most improvised solos in dance music. Thanks for sharing!
Dan E. Doran
March 20, 2017 @ 10:31 am
Wasn’t Glen Frye’s ‘ “(Are You Gonna Stay with) The One You Love” from the 80’s?. Lot’s of sax on that one.