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More Cowbell^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Sax!
January 27, 2005 10:01 PM   Subscribe

Ever notice a little too much sax in 80's music? (Warning: Slow loading page---lots of embedded Quicktime.)
posted by tss (38 comments total)

 
I HAVE noticed that. Thanks, this link was fun. I sent it to a sax-playing friend who promptly started defending the solos in Bad to the Bone and Never Surrender.

I'd love to see a similar page with trumpet solos (me being a former trumpet player).
posted by synecdoche at 10:31 PM on January 27, 2005


haha, i love the ratings. "spaz"

i actually like most of those songs. i don't think i even noticed the bad sax solos... i must've blocked them out. or those were the parts where i was paying attention to my driving.
posted by blendor at 10:32 PM on January 27, 2005


I'm at work, so I won't be able to see the page until I get home, but I have a feeling I love it already.

...and If it's trumpet solos your'e looking for

look no further than trumpetboredom.com
posted by benhugstrees at 11:01 PM on January 27, 2005


Too much sax, but never enough cowbell. /sigh

What about Soundgarden? Or were they early '90s? Damn, I'm old.
posted by LordSludge at 11:33 PM on January 27, 2005


Wow, great page. That must have took a lot of work!
posted by phatboy at 11:35 PM on January 27, 2005


Before even visiting this page, one band came to mind - INXS.
posted by quadog at 1:51 AM on January 28, 2005


Fraud! First, the sax solo in INXS's "What You Need" is one of the best ones on the page. Second, the sax solo in Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" is not even a real sax. It's a synth patch.
posted by sklero at 3:39 AM on January 28, 2005


And what's all this talk about violins on television?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:55 AM on January 28, 2005


The '80s had some good usage of sax, too...

My favorite bits were probably:

Andy McKay, playing lead sax on Roxy Music's "Avalon". Andy is arguably the root of most early 80's saxophone influences.

David Sanborn, playing lead sax on Brian Ferry's "Boys and Girls". Say what you like about Sanborn, but there was a reason why this was the sexiest sounding album of the year.

Lee Thompson a.k.a. Thommo on Madness "One Step Beyond". Nobody ever accused Madness of too much saxophone... they were far too busy at the time. Yes, the title track is great, but what about "Night Boat to Cairo"... or the whole album, for that matter?
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:56 AM on January 28, 2005


How can we have this dicussion without talking about Quarterflash? OK, we don't have to talk about Quarterflash.
posted by psmealey at 4:48 AM on January 28, 2005


Great link. It reminded me of how much I used to love that George Harrison song.
posted by iconomy at 5:02 AM on January 28, 2005


All this talk about sax solos makes me want to watch Lost Boys again. The concert on the beach....awwwww yeah. Hilarious.
posted by Who_Am_I at 5:32 AM on January 28, 2005


Boy, this is great when you play them all at the same time!
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:39 AM on January 28, 2005


All this talk about sax solos makes me want to watch Lost Boys again.

Hilarious is right! Who was that, btw, was that The Call? I vaguely recall the Echo and the Bunnymen cover of the Doors' "People are Strange" in that flick, which was a pretty good version. /OT
posted by psmealey at 5:42 AM on January 28, 2005


Great link, tss. This gave me a good laugh on a morning that wasn't going as planned. I think the author is overcritical of some of his solos, but the writing is a scream ([On a "moodbreaker":] "This solo started before the song really started. So the mood that is broken is one of optimism, like 'I hope this is a great song!'").
posted by Songdog at 5:57 AM on January 28, 2005


I like the sax solo in "Never Tear Us Apart." He says "ridiculously dramatic" like it's a bad thing.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:36 AM on January 28, 2005


What about Rob Lowe in "St. Elmo's Fire" as the edgy musician with a past? A sax player, heh. Sax was the trucker hat of the 80s.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:08 AM on January 28, 2005


Damn you tss. Now I've got Billy Ocean running through my head. Spaz!

I'm also reminded of Liesure Process's "Love Cascade". The 12" even had a picture of a guy holding a sax, so at least you knew what to expect.
posted by howling fantods at 7:16 AM on January 28, 2005


All this talk about sax solos makes me want to watch Lost Boys again. The concert on the beach....awwwww yeah. Hilarious.

Who was that oiled-up, well-chiseled slab of hunky band nerd?
posted by sourwookie at 7:22 AM on January 28, 2005


Listening to all of those, I realized that I know every single note of those solos by heart. It makes me wonder how much of my memory is dedicated to sax solos, not to mention guitar solos. Now, if I could only remember my mother's birthday...
posted by devetron at 7:31 AM on January 28, 2005


no Duran Duran's "Rio" or Quarterflash? This guy hasn't done his homework, failing grade. Of course, I think he's way too picky, but then again, he's a band geek, so what do you expect?
posted by inthe80s at 7:37 AM on January 28, 2005


I'm sick of all this sax on the radio. I mean, I keep falling off!
posted by snarkywench at 7:40 AM on January 28, 2005


I like saxophone. And trumpet. But we need more kazoo solos.
posted by davy at 8:24 AM on January 28, 2005


So true.
posted by squidlarkin at 8:30 AM on January 28, 2005


Great link!

Anyone else remember a nattily dressed Bill Pullman wailing away at the beginning of Lost Highway during the perplexing "jazz club" scene? Truly a tragicomic sax moment.
posted by jenleigh at 8:32 AM on January 28, 2005


Hilarious is right! Who was that, btw, was that The Call?

The song, I Still Believe, was originally by The Call. But the version in Lost Boys was done by Tim Capello and was horribly cheezy.
posted by djeo at 8:34 AM on January 28, 2005


As a sax player, I would certainly never try to defend most of these solos (however much I cherish their memory).
posted by Captaintripps at 8:48 AM on January 28, 2005


I don't know why people think the 80's spurred the sax as a rock instrument. Chuck Berry, James Brown, Meatloaf, in each decade from the 50s onward many bands included a saxophone as a key instrument. I would consider the 80s the decade with the unfortunate distinction of simultaneously progressing and killing the cause of the saxophone in rock and roll.

I may be stretching things a bit, but I personally blame the death of the saxophone on Huey Lewis, when he blew everyone's paradigm with "The heart of Rock & Roll is the Beat". After that came big drums, fancy bass, the rumble of metal and the thump of hip hop. They all clued in on his foresight. Ironic since a sax was key to his band too if I remember correctly.
posted by furtive at 8:49 AM on January 28, 2005


Ha ha, after seeing this, I also was reminded of that scene in The Lost Boys. That movie is so good for all the wrong reasons.
posted by synecdoche at 10:38 AM on January 28, 2005


I'm always reminded of Steve Winwood's "Higher Love", which IIRC didn't have sax, but did have plenty of the other '80s tropes:

- synth brass stabs (or real brass played that way)
- gospel-style female vocalists added as flavoring
- noise-gated synth drums or processed drums
- synth keyboard plucking, almost a harpsichord feel

I figure he had to follow the trends to sell records and pay the bills, but it must have been eating him up inside to have to write music like that.
posted by kurumi at 11:55 AM on January 28, 2005


I don't know if he's on the list since I can't get the page to load, but I used to laugh at Eddie Money's fake sax solos in his videos. He would blow the horn oh so soulfully, while his fingers just flailed like crazy.
posted by O9scar at 12:47 PM on January 28, 2005


Ah, Eddie Money. Fake sax solos aside, he was one of the better specimens of that subspecies known as Springsteen-lite. And "I Wanna Go Back," is actually quite a fine song.
posted by jonmc at 1:23 PM on January 28, 2005


Ah, Eddie Money. Fake sax solos aside, he was one of the better specimens of that subspecies known as Springsteen-lite. And "I Wanna Go Back," is actually quite a fine song.

What?
posted by Swampjazz! at 1:30 PM on January 28, 2005


Not that I want to wear him on my pants on anything.
posted by jonmc at 1:47 PM on January 28, 2005


He missed that great Cure sax solo on, I think, "A Night Like This". I guess in concert they replace it with a guitar solo nowadays. Too bad, sax is OUT.
posted by chaz at 2:08 PM on January 28, 2005


Not sure why Gerry Rafferty hasn't come up yet, but ok.
posted by psmealey at 7:51 PM on January 28, 2005


psmealey: Good call, "Baker Street," is right up there with "Jungleland," on the list of best non-R&B/jazz sax solos ever.
posted by jonmc at 8:24 PM on January 28, 2005


hey, at least they didn't dis Chris White's sax solos in Dire Straits songs...
posted by Vidiot at 9:48 PM on January 28, 2005


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