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I'm A Sax Fiend! Top 10 Saxophones in Rock

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Forum Member Auricauricle has a great post on the 10 best saxophone moments in rock and roll.

The saxophone, and horns in general, are can turn a simple song into something full of magic, it can also turn a great song or album into utter crap if done wrong.  The saxophone is a make or break instrument and rock musicians/producers are gambling with a songs life when using one.

I don’t full agree with everything on the list but my preferred music style is a bit different that Auricauricle.Auricauricle has picked a list that abstains from promoting the cheesy sax solo in early 80s music such as Huey Lewis and the News and other such lack luster pop rock songs.Read the list, enjoy, comment and add your own top 10.

- audioreview


After considered study I have come up with this list of what, in my humble opinion, comprises some of the best saxophone solos in rock and roll history. I have no doubt that folks with more educated and refined ears than mine will amend the list, but this is what I have come up with so far. A few comments describing rationales for their inclusion is also provided, for those wet-behind-the-ears youngsters who aren’t aware of their presence as well as for the rest of you who value my opinion so highly (ahem).

10). Walk on the Wild Side. Classic and much revered number performed by Mr. Lou Reed and produced by David Bowie, Walk on the Wild Side’s sax solo was performed by Ronnie Ross, a Calcutta India native who tutored Bowie who went on to play the instrument on many of his best albums. The sax in this piece is sparse but succinctly beautiful, capturing all the decadence and greasy light-show freakiness that is what the song is all about.

9). One Year of Love. Queen’s ultimate love ballad. With Freddie Mercury crooning smooth as silk, Steve Gregory’s saxophone is close behind, soaking up every word and pouring out every ounce of passion. Gregory’s instrument dances in slow turns and sure steps. Beautiful, just beautiful!

8). New York State of Mind. Performed by Mark Rivera, whose sultry, urban sound deftly and able accompanies Billy Joel’s singular New York voice. Listen to the reed buzzing and close your eyes: the taxis, the hot dog stands, the steam pouring out the man-hole covers. Truly, Rivera knows everything about a New York state of mind!

7). Born to Run. Whenever Bruce Springsteen’s name comes up, this song is not far behind. The song rocks, and Clarence Clemons, along with Bruce and the rest of the E-Street bring the house and everything near it down with grand, polished and hearty form. Clemons is a powerful and accomplished performer, no mean feat for a main man on Springsteen’s line-up.

6). Your Latest Trick. Mark Knopfler took Michael Brecker’s smooth and sultry saxophone up on Brothers in Arms, an album that made adoring fans ecstatic and made true believers of those who appreciated Dire Straits’ talent but seldom recognized their raw and well-informed ability. Brecker’s saxophone is played pure and dark indigo, giving this album great weight, depth and soul.

for the top 5 click here – on audioreview forums

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  • slowmotion says:

    Wesley McGoogan on the Hazel O’Connor allbum \ Breaking Glass\?
    His solo on \Will you\ simply can’t be beaten. Never, never, never, IMVVHO. Please listen to it. I think you might agree.

  • Rob says:

    Sax is often overlooked as a Rock instrument. Fact is, the sax is a great instrument that instantly adds energy to rock, alternative and progressive forms in between.

    Thanks for the article.

    http://saxophonestuff.com

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