80′s Sax solos

At some point in the 80s, popular music started incorporating saxophone solos as some kind of fad. Some of them are fine, but most of them are ridiculous to have in the songs. I have attempted to separate the quality and appropriateness of the solos from what I think of each song as a whole (I still really like most of these songs, even the ones with low grades).


  1. Kevin
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    So, have you completely abandoned the site? We haven’t heard anything from you in quite a while. Will there ever be anymore updates??

  2. Brad B
    Posted March 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Here’s another recommendation: Glenn Frey ‘True Love.’

    Gotta love the lonnnnnng pause before the sax solo kicks off.

  3. Mike Song
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

    You are an Internet HERO for putting this together. I just want you to know that. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.

  4. Perry
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Here’s one more Huey Lewis classic that I think was from the ’80′s. Trouble in Paradise. Killer sax solo starting about 2:00 into it.


  5. Johan
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Funny how this list includes so many of my favourite songs from such different genres… Perhaps it’s the sax that does it!

    Another frequently played sax solo from 1986 would be that in the theme from tv series “L.A. Law”. It even has two sax solos, counting the intro.

  6. Sami
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

    May I suggest a recent but really nice sax solo ?
    The Moldavian candidate at eurovision contest 2010. It is the shortest sax solo of all times, and yet it can run on and on for several hours…


    what do you think of that ?

  7. Posted January 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

    You are a sick, sick person. The theme song from ALF???

  8. Posted January 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Ryan!

    I liked reading and checking out the list. I’ve got to say that 1984, Careless Whisper by Wham is just brilliant and haunting…. I’m not really sure that’s a good thing though.
    Anyway, I’ll be browsing on through your website for more goodies.
    I just wanted to say hi!

  9. Stuart
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Great list, haven’t read all the comments so forgive me if someone already mentioned this, and yes, they’re both from the 70′s I know, Burt Bacharach dusty Springfield ‘the look of love’ and Pink Floyd ‘Money’

    • Wolfgang
      Posted December 2, 2012 at 7:15 am

      Thank for this great collection of fine time-pieces. Like this pretty much as a tenor sax player in a Big Band. When will you extend to 70′s and 90′s songs? Think that most readers will really appreciate it!
      Greetings from the snowy South of Germany,

  10. Mel
    Posted October 20, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Hi Ryan, thanks so much for this. I’ve been a fan for ages. Sorry if this is a repeat suggestion but how about ‘I’ve Had The Time Of My Life’ by Bill Medley @ Jennifer Warnes, from the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack?

  11. Xavier
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Late to your list. Thanks for the excellent content and organization. You and the commenters have given me some great ideas for a sax-centric playlist I’m surprising a friend with. Another excellent 80′s Branford Marsalis solo starts at about 2:40 on “Little Wing” (. . . Nothing Like the Sun) and lasts a too-short 30 seconds. It’s less jazzy than the one on “Englishman” but arguably has better continuity; the drum interlude(?) on “Englishman” seems jarring. And catch Hiram Bullock’s 1:10-long guitar solo preceding Marsalis’s (would you dare cover Jimi?).

  12. Erick
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I dont think anyone has mentioned dire straights-Romeo and Juliet (live) the 80s concert “on the night” one of the most amazing sax intros and solos….

  13. danadotcom
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Perhaps I’ve perused too quickly? But I see no mention of Wham’s “Careless Whisper”–THE iconic sax riff of the 80s! It’s the decade’s “Baker Street”. Another shining sax moment belongs to The Waitresses “Square Pegs”. That horn sounds like a jagged scribble on a sheet of paper, love it!

  14. Glenn
    Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    These 3 songs definitely contain nice Sax solos:

    “Should I See” – Frozen Ghost
    “Girl in Trouble” – Romeo Void
    “Diggin’ your Scene” – Blow Monkeys

  15. Glenn
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Another excellent Sax solo is from Frozen Ghost’s “Should I See” from I believe 1987 and “Girl in Trouble” from Romero Void.

  16. Kevin
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Don Henley- “The End of the Innocence”

    • Glenn
      Posted August 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Another excellent Sax solo was from Frozen Ghost’s “What Should I see” from I think 1987.

  17. Kingston Pike
    Posted August 11, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Elton John’s “The Club at the End of the Street” from 1989 has a good sax solo.

    Here is the Youtube link for you to investigate:


  18. V M
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Did nobody ever hear Tom Robinson – War Baby – get it on youtube.com
    this is sax at it’s best !!!

  19. Greg Smith
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

    There’s some works related to Alan Parsons here, but not the earliest. When producing Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” in 1976, Alan suggested the sax solo on the title track; a bit of out character for Al, but it worked out well. That’s the real root of this sax family tree, since it came out before and was a heavily influence on “Baker Street”.

  20. ab2121@comcast.net
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:58 am

    A great list and website. I was in college at UC Riverside in the early 80′s and had a part time job in the campus live music joint (The Barn) mixing sound for all the bands. If anyone from the Conservatives or The Sedans is reading this a big hello to you.

    Pretty much every genre of music came through at one point or anther but I miss the New Wave music and especially the fixation on having a Sax or horn section as part of the band.

    My addition to the list of Sax solo’s would be the Bronski Beat song Love and Money. Sax solo begins around 1:48 into the song and pretty much does not stop until the fadeout at 5:07.



  21. Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    You’re doing God’s work with this list. Thank you!

  22. Kevin Norton
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Sorry…wrong Supertramp song. I meant “It’s Raining Again” (1982)

  23. Kevin Norton
    Posted June 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

    “Give a Little Bit” (1982) by Supertramp. Sax solo right at the top.

  24. bj
    Posted May 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    this is important:
    Jim Steinman – Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through (1981)

  25. patricia
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band

  26. DrQuuxum
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Mel Collins’ outro on Alan Parsons Project’s “Old & Wise”.

  27. SS
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    “Human Touch” by Rick Springfield.

  28. LaSerda
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

    whats with the 90′s?


    • LaSerda
      Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:39 am

      ALL WRONG on cure for pain..WOWI

  29. Jon
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    From 1975 RHPS soundtrack, “Hot Patootie Bless My Soul” – two solos by Meatloaf @ 0:54 and 2:00


  30. Bringing Saxy Back
    Posted February 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Great list! You got Debbie Gibson’s “Only In My Dreams” but missed her #1 hit “Foolish Beat”.
    Another one for your list: “Bridge To Your Heart” by Wax.

  31. Kro
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    How is it that nobody has mentioned “Maneater” by Hall & Oates?

    • Ryan
      Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      That one was one of the very first I’ve posted. Look under 1982.

  32. Terrence
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I also forgot one Kenny G played the tenor saxophone solos on Steve Miller’s “I Want to Make the World Turn Around” on Steve’s 1986 album Living In the 20th Century. The second of three sax solos on that track from Kenny after Steve’s second guitar solo was one of the greatest things I heard. That was Kenny’s first appearance on a rock album.

  33. Terrence
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    How could you forget Supertramp. “It’s Raining Again” and “Don’t Leave Me Now” both from 1982′s …Famous Last Words… Sir John Helliwell’s tenor saxophone solos on the outro of the former and intro and middle of the latter made those sounds stand out. The “It’s Raining Again” solo at the end can make one cry at how beautiful it is.

  34. Chris
    Posted February 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

    You should check out “I’m Going Down” by Bruce Springsteen, from the 1984 album “Born in the USA”

  35. Long Live Good Music
    Posted February 4, 2012 at 12:12 am

    This is a great list that must have taken so much effort to put together. BUT, how could you omit “The One You Love” by Glenn Frey (1982)??? Regardless of your opinion of the song, how is it even possible to have a “80′s sax solos” song list without that one!?!?

  36. Pete Green
    Posted January 31, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Good grief has anyone on here not heard of Madness ?
    For teenager of the 80′s I always wanted to play Night Boat to Cairo,Men @ work Who can it be now & Hazel O’connor Will you.
    The last few weeks of school I suddenly found out my n@z! of a gym teacher played Sax “You shoulda’ said I’d of offered lessons in your dinner break” he told me. DOH!

  37. Posted January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    What about late 60s sax solos? Bob Bertles live performance released after 43 years!


    Bob’s fans may be interested to know that a brand new live album, Max Merritt and The Meteors “Been Away Too Long”, recorded in 1969 and never released, will be released in about a month.

    Bob plays on all tracks, but he solos on two – Kush (Track 4), a brilliant rendition, and The House Will Rock (Track 7).

    If you want a full-length preview of every number on the album go to http://www.facebook.com/lostraxx and follow the links to the viinyl streams.


    Brian Lewis, Producer
    LosTraxx Records

    • Ryan
      Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      I don’t even have enough time to keep up with the 80s solos. Maybe if it slows down I’ll go back a few years.

  38. DeeBee
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    The instrumental version of “Going Home” theme from Local Hero beats all. In my humble opinion. Wait for the finish. Not sax but great.


  39. JyuHachiNen Kid
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Missing a very good one: Boz Scaggs’ ‘JoJo’ from Middle Man (1980). Ray Parker worked the sax on it.

  40. Kevin
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Huey Lewis and the News: “Do You Believe in Love?”

  41. Skysurfer
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane, a few complete unknown artists for me here but I ended up skipping through just to avoid any potential earworms from creeping in.

    Great commitment putting all of this together, pretty spot on with your commentary and rankings overall.

    • Ryan
      Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Earworms are the worst. I’m pretty sure that’s all that there is room for in my head.

  42. LL
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Check out “Slave” from Tattoo You, the Rolling Stones.

  43. DDbbkk
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 3:19 am

    A couple of suggestions from the band ABC:
    S.O.S. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD0koiG5tQ0) Kicks in at about 2:40. Released: 1984.
    North (from their album “Up”, released 1989.)

    SOS was a bonafide charting single, but North was not so much, but definitely embodies the 80′s sax sound, even though by then it had become a bit passé.

  44. Robert
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 12:45 am

    LOL, this was so LOL. I love all the songs you compiled and the commentary on it! LOL!!!

  45. Sonny
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Cool web site. I love the sax. I used to play in high school along with the trumpet, but dropped both when I joined the military. This actually makes me want to pick the sax back up. Thank you.

  46. Posted September 3, 2011 at 5:27 am

    In response to Liz’s question about the saxophone solo on Kool & the Gang’s “Cherish,” there are two mixes out there with the sax solo: the 12″ extended single version (5:43) and the alternate 7″ single version (the 4:22 mix, not the common 7″ single mix, running 3:58, also used for the music video).

    Information here:

    • Gary Beyer
      Posted September 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Today I was having a conversation with a couple of friends who live in my building and it turned to sax solos. Then I recalled reading a interview with Foreigner about Urgent. They said Junior Walker came to the studio and they told him the general idea of what they were looking for. Walker did it in one take and said “Is that what you wanted?” They said “You got it. Thanks” I thought that was pretty cool to nail that solo in one take’ Just found this site. Great. Thanks.

    • smeg
      Posted September 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

      no ones mentioned the film lost boys loads of sax , i still believe by tim cappello ,man if i could play this is the sort of thing id do i find it an excellent song made more so by the sax.

  47. Derrick
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Nice and unique website. It must have taken you forever to compile all those sound clips, as it took me a while just to listen to them all. Lots of great music there. I had never heard the Fear song before. The chaotic sax parts remind me of those on Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden. I’m glad Pink Floyd got one of the A’s, as you seem not to give them away to just anybody. The god billboards made me laugh as well.

    The reason I found your site is that I was looking for the name of a song. It was on the Sopranos last week. You can barely hear it in this clip starting at 0:41:


    When it was on T.V. the sax was much more audible, idk what happened to the youtube clip. The melody sounds very familiar and I can almost think of the words that go along with the melody, but they are stuck in my subconscious. Does anybody here know what song that is? Thanks for any help.

    • Ryan
      Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:13 am

      I think this is Badfinger – Day By Day….except I’m pretty sure the Badfinger version is just guitar, so this must be some cover of that.

      • Derrick
        Posted August 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        That’s it! Thanks Ryan.

    • Posted November 24, 2012 at 12:30 am

      its called day after day by bad finger hope that helps.

  48. Rupert
    Posted August 22, 2011 at 12:13 am

    “It’s the Woman in you” by Charles Earland (1980). “Le restaurant” by Brenda Russell (1988) with David Sanborn playing.

  49. Symon
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    It’s on Baz’s extensive list but I had to mention this one…


    Solo to fade out :D

  50. Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Any in this list you dont have?

  51. Kelley
    Posted July 26, 2011 at 3:32 am

    As a middle/high school/college sax player during the 80′s, I can remember sitting for HOURS by the radio/cassette player/record player listening to songs over and over to figure out the solos to many of these songs. This was a fun walk down memory lane….although I don’t agree with all your assessments (I love the solos in “Urgent” by Foreigner and “Your Latest Trick” by Dire Straits (in the 82-85 category)). The 80′s was definitely a saxophone decade!

    Since you included some TV theme songs, Cagney & Lacey ran from 81-88. You should check it out. :)

  52. Kevin
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Billy Ocean–”When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)”

  53. Don Davis
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Ever hear Material’s first EP?(with Bill Laswell) Check out “White Man” midway through…….(on Celluloid records)

    or: LL Cool J “Goin’back to Cali” sax solo on the end

  54. Kernowuz
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’m amazed nobody’s mentioned ‘ Will You? ‘by Hazel O’Connor. The second half of the track is one big, beautiful sax solo which takes top spot for me. Give it a go, you’ll love it.

    • Kevin
      Posted July 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

      It’s already up under the “Sax 80-82″ heading.

    • Ryan
      Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:18 am

      I have rearranged things so now all the solos are together on one page, hopefully that will make it easier to browse.

  55. dre
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    The guy who played the solo in Floyd’s “Gunner’s Dream” is the same guy that played on “Baker Street”! Look it up!

  56. Nate234
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Katy Perry and Kesha both have singles out that feature the sax solo. In fact, Katy Perry got Kenny G to do the part in her music video. The 80′s sax solo returns.

  57. Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for rating my two suggestions of “Electric Blue” and “Don’t Answer Me.” I heard this one in the supermarket (of course) yesterday, and I can’t believe we all missed it: “Some Guys Have All The Luck” from 1984. Here it is, all cued up:


  58. mltaylor613
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm


    Where is Possession Obsession by Hall and Oates? Not to mention One On One by the same group!

  59. Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Was this in the Lost Boys?

  60. Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Sheet music, I am trying to write up some of the good ones, love to see your rating of these songs.

  61. Saxasaurus
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Sorry for posting so much. My grocery store plays so many of these songs. You should also include Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway of Love” featuring the late, great Clarence Clemons.

  62. Ted
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Nice compilation! I grew up in the late 1980′s and early 90′s, playing the trumpet elem. school into high school. I remember how popular the alto sax was in the mid-to-late 80′s. (And how there were NEVER enough french horn, tuba, trombone and trumpet players in band! Always outnumbered us 8-12 sax to maybe 3 of any other, if we were that lucky.)

    Heard Baker St. and Harden My Heart several times on the radio in the last couple weeks. It got me to thinking about how popular the saxophone was at the time, and the “Baker Street phenomenon” started by Raphael Ravenscroft’s solo. I can attest that the Baker St. phenomenon definitely influenced kids in my school district growing up–it was very evident!

    Very thorough compilation! Great for trivia! Your page has been bookmarked for future reference. Thanks for putting it together! Love your logos, and the samples are a nice touch.

  63. Saxasaurus
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:32 am

    So frustrated that Supertramp’s “Logical Song” was released in 1979 and not 1980. Over-the-top sax! Guess I’ll just have to settle for Elvis Costello’s “I Wanna Be Loved.”

  64. John
    Posted July 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Man!!!! I was going crazy not knowing what song it was!!!!! I have been humming and “do- do- do dododododooooo”ing this song for like ten years and everyone thinks im crazy and that the song doesnt exist! But now I have proof and I am going to download it, favorite it, remember all the words… So this damn song NEVER will be forgotten again!!!! Thank you thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you thank you Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I owe you a nickle, kind sir!

  65. paul
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Fear – New York’s Alright if You Like Saxophones is , in my opinion the best solo on the whole page here. I noticed that you rate jazz-like solos with D. Kind of strange perspective for a genuine jazz instrument…

    • Ryan
      Posted June 30, 2011 at 8:01 am

      The problem for me is not usually the solo itself; it’s usually the juxtaposition of the solo with “pop”. If all these songs were actual jazz, the ratings would be wildly different.

  66. Chris
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Ever heard “Freeway of Love” by Aretha Franklin? The saxophone at the intro and during the solo break was played by “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons, who passed away a few days ago.

    • Ryan
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      I’ve always loved this song, but somehow because the solo fits so well it never registered to me as a candidate until you mentioned it. It’s up there now, thanks!

  67. Chris
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Check out “One Year Of Love”, it’s the ONLY song by Queen to have a sax solo in it. In fact, the solo is performed by Phil Woods.

    • Sheridan
      Posted June 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

      ^ Already suggested :P

    • Ryan
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Got it. I think it’s Steve Gregory though.

    • Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Sax solo on Queen’s One Year of Love is played by Steeve Gregory, not Phil Woods (as mentioned above).

  68. Posted June 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    You picked the wrong Phil Collins song.

    “I Missed Again” has a tremendous solo.

  69. Fred Sanford
    Posted June 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

    The idiot that posted these judgments is a freaking moron.

    • Ryan
      Posted August 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

      That’s fair.

  70. Mixye
    Posted June 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I you are the only one who make a website about saxophones solos, so a big THANK YOU !!!!!
    By the way i love so much the solo saxophone of “the working hour” – Tears for fears

    PS: Sorry for my english writting, i’m french…

    • Ryan
      Posted August 31, 2011 at 10:59 am

      That one was new to me too and I agree.

  71. Kevin
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I know I’m posting a lot on here, but here’s a song with a great duet:

    Tom Waits– Walking Spanish

  72. TheSplund
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    A bit earlier but Saxophone Song – Kate Bush

  73. TheSplund
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    The Simpsons – Springfield Soul Stew – tasty

  74. Posted June 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Wow. Apparently my chronological memory is way off. I seem to recall watching the video for “I Got My Mind Set On You” in 1985.

    This may be the greatest website ever, BTW. Or at least this week.

    Though I’m a little surprised someone who plays the sax can’t tell the difference between a synth sax and a real one! (Not that I can!) :)

    • Ryan
      Posted June 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      It’s funnier to me if I imagine that none of them are synth.

    • Ryan
      Posted August 31, 2011 at 10:56 am

      I’ll take best in a week.

  75. Posted June 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    OMG. DOUBLE. I always forget about “Captain of her Heart,” and then someone comes along and reminds me I had horrible taste in music when I was 9.

  76. Clinto
    Posted June 5, 2011 at 9:29 am

    There is no accounting for taste. But this was very overdue and hugely entertaining. I must say that the player in Duran Duran’s Rio is actually playing a bit sharp if anything… But overall it’s a good job done, Ryan

    • Ryan
      Posted August 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Thanks. I can’t really account for my own taste either.

  77. Erik
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Madonna- Think of Me

  78. david
    Posted May 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    How about LL Cool J – Goin’ Back To Cali? Nice sax solo in 80s hip-hop, not too common.

    • david
      Posted May 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      sorry! I was not paying attention to the seperartion of years, but still…

    • Ryan
      Posted November 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      You’re right, it’s not. I put it up, thanks!

  79. Ed Martin
    Posted May 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    A great solo number is “Lily was here” By Candy Dulfer. Post ’80s, but worth checking out.

  80. Erik
    Posted May 17, 2011 at 3:43 am

    One of the best/worst ones not on this list: “The Toughest Man in the World” by Mr. T.

  81. Kevin
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    “Only the Lonely” by The Motels.

  82. Chris
    Posted May 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I think you need to add “Love Theme from St Elmo’s Fire”


    Sax at 1:45!

  83. Sheridan
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I’m a big Queen fan and I forgot to look in the list for this song. The only Queen song I recall having saxophone in it is from 1986. It is called “One Year of Love” :)

    • Ryan
      Posted July 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I never would have found this, thanks!

  84. Maverick Don
    Posted May 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    How about a song by Taylor Dayne … I’ll Always Love You ??? Had a pretty good sax solo. The singer Taylor had a decent voice. I’ve heard that song played at weddings.

  85. Doug
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Love the site! I come back looking for updates, and always end up re-listening to almost all of them…

    I can’t believe you don’t have Phil Collins “One More Night” on the list though – that last minute of that song (including the fadeout) is a sax solo

    Keep up the great work!

    • Ryan
      Posted November 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      I have the same problem. “One more night” is up there now, thanks!

  86. Kevin
    Posted May 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Another solo: “Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington, Jr. and Bill Withers.

    • Ryan
      Posted June 25, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Good one!

  87. Kevin
    Posted April 30, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Just thought of another one:

    “Arthur’s Theme” by Christopher Cross

    • Ryan
      Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Finally added it….

  88. Erik Heimann Pais
    Posted April 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm


    I just found it in the 86-89 page.

    Anyway, maybe to include the live concert as second option. It becames a truly “pop” solo…

    congrats again for the website.


  89. Erik Heimann Pais
    Posted April 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Dear Ryan,

    Greetings from Brazil!

    Congrats for the website. Great! Very fun comments and great collection of famous solos.

    I would like to suggest the inclusion of Scott Page’s solo at Pink Floyd’s Dogs of War. The album version is one option but I’ll suggest to take from the live performances like in the “Delicate Sound of Thunder” concert video of the “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” tour.


  90. Posted April 19, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Hey Ryan,
    That’s funny how you came up with the formulas for the sax solos. I like your commentary. And to give you a little slack, a terrible sax solo like the one on ‘Hungry Eyes’ would have been better if it was played by a good musician on a synthesizer with saxophone sound. Your ears focus more on it being terrible, haha.

    Have you heard the World Saxophone Quartet video of ‘Money’? That one’s pretty cool. And from an era of saxophone that you seem to prefer.

    • Ryan
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

      Yes, I definitely approve of that.

  91. Sheridan
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Yes, Tears For Fears has a song with saxophone off the album mentioned above- The Working Hour.

    • Ryan
      Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      It’s up there now. Tough to decide what to include in the clip, there’s so much good stuff.

  92. Sax Man Dan
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Agreed – I figured out later in life that many of the 80′s songs I really enjoyed shared this common link… they were dipped in saxophone gold!

  93. Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Does Ray Parker Jr.’s “The Other Woman” count as a solo? I need to know?!

    • Ryan
      Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Close enough! I posted it, thanks!

  94. dumbhat
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm


    think you forgot double – ‘captain of her heart’ though

    • Ryan
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      I had never heard this one-hit-wonder before you mentioned it, fortunately for me. It’s up there now, 1985.

  95. Challenger
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    It’s all a matter of personal opinion. I didn’t like many of the ’80s saxes because they were so overproduced that they didn’t really sound like saxes – too much of the wrong kind of reverb, over-compressed, *wrong* EQ, set too far back in the mix and so on. See ….. I told you it was all a matter of personal opinion! And, to continue along that line, the sax solo in Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now” deserves an A ….. maybe an A+. It made the song!!! It doesn’t matter that he’s just playing a few easy notes ((middle school level?) – that’s allowed – it was a very effective solo and perfect for the laid back feel of the song. All good! :-D

    • arthur
      Posted September 20, 2011 at 1:52 am

      yeah….its really perfect …..man i love it

  96. Rhoni A. Petra
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    man, I LOVED this song!!

  97. mansard
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    somehow it all sounds like David Sanborn to me. I wonder how many of these songs he played on?

  98. mansard
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    the lady that sang in Quarterflash and wrote Harden My Heart also played the sax parts. Does she get an extra credit point for that?

    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Yes, but it doesn’t change the letter grades.

  99. Kevin
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Have you checked out “Little Jeannie” by Elton John (1980) for another sax solo? It’s short and goes a little flat, but it fits nicely.

    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      I added it. I love this one, thanks!

  100. djemmers
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 6:00 am


    I had saxophone lessons for a year and half about 12 years ago, found my alt sax when I moved and would like to restart on my own. I hoped to find the sheet music with these songs. Did I miss them ?

    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      No sheet music here, but if anyone wants to write them up I’d be glad to post them.

      • Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:34 am

        Feel free to use my stuff.

  101. Mark
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 3:17 am

    i would have to say that some pink floyd songs should be included here such as Money

    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      I trying not to get into the 70′s. I’ll never get any work done. Plus, the 70′s had many more actual good solos.

  102. Greta Groce
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Didn’t Tears For Fear have some sax in “Songs From the Big Chair”. I don’t have a copy but I seem to remember sax, unless it was a synthesizer.

  103. H
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Wait… is that an A there???? Wow…. finally someone made it to the hall of fame as it seems… all hail to OMD

  104. H
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Aaaah what can I say… I loved most of those songs, being an 8Os kid… And indeed, sometimes I wondered why I like one song or the other, and then I came across the fact that is was the sax in it :D That confirms your theory!

  105. LB
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:18 am

    This is great.
    And your theory is pretty tight.
    But you get carried away with a couple of these examples…..

    Those solos in “Waiting On a Friend” are hot.
    Go figure- it’s Sonny Rollins.

    And the Men at Work solo is a nice little composition. The “continuituy” is fine.
    I mean, I wish I could have played that in middle school.

    Thanks for the research!!!

    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Usually I mean continuity to be how well the solo gels with the rest of the song, not the continuity within the solo. But you’re right, I can get carried away.

  106. Liz
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Love the site. Would suggest including 1985′s ‘Cherish’ by Kool and the Gang.

    • Ryan
      Posted April 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      I have tried to find the sax in this track many times; maybe I don’t have your version?

  107. Posted March 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Nice sax playing all around.


  108. AD
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 12:42 am

    This is awesome. I was making a video montage of 80′s sax solos and your site was an excellent resource!

    Also, check out “Take Me to Heart” by Quarterflash (1983). I’ll let you know if I think of any others.


    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      I added it, thanks!

  109. Posted March 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    GOD DAMMIT FINALLY. seriously like dozens of failed search attempts haha. ive heard it on the classics station off and on over the years but couldnt figure it out till now. Baker street!!!! haha. like i almost went crazy this song was so stuck in my head haha.

  110. Peter
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Hello, thx for your infos about saxofone music. I am from Germany, so sorry for my bad english, but I want to ask you whether you know an artist or a compilation, where just a saxophone is playing the songs and no other instrument more. I am dreaming of that…but do not find one with good sometimes melancholic, sometimes heavy, somtimes happy saxofone – solo – pure – just one player! Please if you know…tell me!

  111. Iceman
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    My sister sent me the url to this about a year and a half ago, telling me that I’d love it. I must say that this is the funniest premise for a website I have ever seen. I never really thought about how many sax solos existed in 80′s popular music until I saw all the selections here. I even featured it for an Intro to Information Technology assignment. Thank you again for bringing to light the quantity of sax solos in 80′s popular music!

  112. Anonymous
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Hey, nice collection you’ve got here. I had been pondering this subject as of late and it appears you’ve put together the definitive resource.
    I realized you’ve covered INXS extensively, but I thought I’d mention that it was the sax solo in “Mediate” that prompted to me to do the search that led me here.

    • Vicky Les
      Posted June 29, 2011 at 7:54 am

      Gorgeous Solo !

  113. Alex
    Posted February 5, 2011 at 3:25 am

    I had been humming this song for years wishing i knew what it was called, many failed google and youtube searches later and i come across this link telling me finally the song is Baker Street, I am soo thrilled to have come across this!

  114. Posted January 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Interesting website. I would recommend the Waitresses “I Know What Boys Like” with the wonderful Mars Williams.

    • Ryan
      Posted April 6, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      It’s up there now, thanks!

  115. Ken Bonham
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Thank You for the list of songs and comments (although I do not agree with all the grades). I played Sax in the clubs all those years and am still stuck in the hole (but I love elevating the songs and the crowds to new levels by taking rides that make them stop dancing and take notice of what such a beautiful instrument can do when played correctly)!!! Again, thanks for the list! K.B.

5 Trackbacks

  1. By Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory on July 20, 2011 at 9:01 am

    [...] Now, the sax solo got killed off because it’s over-the-top. There’s even a web site that categorises the solo’s downfall: from the textbook, understated solo in OMD’s ‘If You Leave’ all the way through [...]

  2. By '80s Saxophone Solos | Mirror80 on June 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm
  3. [...] For a more complete guide to 80′s sax solos see Imcomputa. [...]

  4. By Popservations on April 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    [...] cheese. Tipped off by a friend of mine (kudos, Rich), a fellow named Ryan Kelly has created a pretty thorough review of sax solos in songs from the decade of excess. From Billy Joel’s “It’s Still [...]

  5. [...] I came across http://imacomputa.org/sax/, I had no idea how prevalent the ‘Sax Solo’ was in 1980′s Pop music. Ryan, the [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>