Sax: ’80-’82

Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me – 1980

Well it’s no longer rock & roll to me. Now it’s a sax solo.

Hazel O’Connor – Will You? – 1980

This song has so much sax it should be on a webpage rating vocal solos in sax music instead. It would probably get a C there though.

Lipps Inc. – Funkytown – 1980

There’s not much to this one, but it certainly is funky. I would definitely miss this one.

Elton John – Little Jeannie – 1980

When this solo comes in, you don’t just expect it, you WANT it.

Michael Stanley Band – He Can’t Love You – 1980

If what you’re looking for is to be exposed to continuous sax solos (of love), than Michael Stanley is right: your other man probably can’t love you the way that Michael Stanley and his band can.

Roxy Music – Same Old Scene – 1980

With the weird orchestra-like hits alongside the sax and the singing, I couldn’t tell if I was playing Mario Paint or listening to a Roxy Music song. I wish it had been Mario Paint.

Quarterflash – Harden my Heart – 1981

Somehow the rest of the song was bad enough that this solo actually enhanced it. The solo’s still lame, but at least it’s short.

Hall & Oates – I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) – 1981

I can’t really go for that sax solo. (No can do)

Rick James – Super Freak – 1981

This is a great solo – too bad it’s just an afterthought.

Foreigner – Urgent – 1981

For being so urgent, they sure didn’t hurry up the solo.

Phil Collins – If Leaving Me is Easy – 1981

So smooth…so dull.

Haircut 100 – Boy Meets Girl – 1981

In the early 80′s, some bands really took pride in their sax solos. This didn’t really last.

Rolling Stones – Waiting on a Friend – 1981

Just waiting on a friend to finish playing his solo.

Michael Stanley Band – Lover – 1981

This song is about this woman who keeps going back to a “bad” guy. The bad guy is the saxophone (I think). If that’s true, I’m not sure why she didn’t have time to get away. I wasn’t even able to include all the sax parts in this clip….way too many.

George Thorogood – Bad to the Bone – 1982

If I could keep myself from cringing during the solo this one could probably climb a grade.

Men at Work – Who Can it Be Now? – 1982


Duran Duran – Rio – 1982

When I first learned to adjust the pitch of my sax by varying my jaw tightness, for awhile I enjoyed to make everything I played flat on purpose. This player somehow never got out of that phase.

Hall & Oates – Maneater – 1982

With this sax in here, these guys probably had a lot of trouble with maneaters. This would have been an A solo if it was a bit shorter. And not so flat.

Donald Fagen – Maxine – 1982

I think I was asleep by the time the solo came on. So even though the solo couldn’t completely wake me up, it was much, much less boring than the rest of the song.

Patrice Rushen – Forget Me Nots – 1982

So close to perfect – I don’t think I can make an exception and not take off points for having a solo during the fade.

Romeo Void – Never Say Never – 1982

I guess the total nonsense of this solo complements the simple, repeated themes of this song?

Roxy Music – Avalon – 1982

A great example of how to balance voices and sax. Went on a few measures too many though.

The Waitresses – I Know What Boys Like – 1982

Unless the sax is supposed to represent some sex-starved boy this singer is toying with, I really don’t get it. Also, did they forget to turn on the player’s mic before the solo started? The playing is pretty great actually, I just think it belongs somewhere else.

Fear – New York’s Alright if You Like Saxophones – 1982

A pretty terrible solo to listen to. Since the point of the song is that New York is terrible, I’m really not surprised. I’m sure it was really fun to play though. I’m giving the solo a D, but the song as a whole would get an A+ for the sax commentary.

Ray Parker Jr. – The Other Woman – 1982

The repetitive sax fills in this song were not really representative of the message, which is: in order to be happy, the singer needs to cheat on his relationship with someone spontaneous and different. Points for the duet though – that was unique.


  1. Posted January 3, 2015 at 12:27 am

    There is no such thing as a sax solo that is “too long”!!! I’m serious. More importantly, I absolutely cherish this sax + pop music database—I thought I would know every song, but there have been a bunch of songs that I had forgotten about (or had never heard before) and this is a wonderful resource. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if visitors agree/disagree with your evaluations of the sax solos, your database still serves as an excellent starting point for discussion. I’m going to listen to all the clips, goddamnit, even if it takes a few days. Bravo.

  2. Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm is the link I am referring to: Orange Juice with the album version of I can’t help myself

  3. Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Recorded in 1982 and therefore a little old fashioned. And the fading at the end is not the best. But it is a nice and quite long solo for a pop song. I hope you enjoy it. Bart

  4. alexis
    Posted February 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    do you know any website that I could get the sheet music for Who Can it be , Maneater, and Its still rock and roll to me?

    Posted December 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm


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