Chris Croft's Personal Blog

May 26, 2010

Sax I admire.

Filed under: Lists, Music — chriscroft @ 10:58 pm

This will be added to for a while to come, but to start with:

All The Things She Gave Me – the Waterboys

Bruce Springsteen’s wonderful sax player Clarence Clemons on Badlands, Jungleland, Thunder Road, Prove It All Night, Born To Run, etc – the list goes on!

Baker Street is OK but the guitar solo on the end is better than the sax bit.  Another example of ebing overshadowed by the guitar is the great sax on Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ – pity Dave Gilmour is so good!

It’s got to be the tenor sax. Alto doesn’t count – too wimpy.  Though Hazel O’Connor’s ‘Will You’ nearly qualifies.

Supertramp on The Logical Song – John Helliwell really goes for it!

Great sax on the end of Aha’s ‘I Call Your Name’. I think it’s played by Sigurd Kohn (who was killed in the Tsunami in 2004 – at least this thrilling sax lives on)

Spandau Ballet – I’ll fly for you.  Though I have a feeling that one of their less good songs has better sax.  The one on Gold is pretty good.  And the one on True is even better.  Hmm, no I’m going to give the Spandau pride to the fadeout of Through The Barricades – almost Springsteenesque

The Beat – Mirror in the Bathroom, and Jackpot (two saxes!!)

INXS have to be on the list – maybe the track Kick, or What You Need, maybe there’s a better one –  I’ll have to check it

Walk on the wild side is wonderful of course, but more jazz than rock (nothing wrong with that though!) and if you want effortless jazz you’ve got Billy Joels’ Just The Way You Are, Grover Washingtons’ Just The Two Of Us, and lots of really nice Steely Dan tracks on Aja – but I want to go for rock sax in this blog.

.. maybe Shame by Evelyn Champagne King?  and Billy Ocean’s Carribean Queen – funky!

Hall and Oates – Maneater.  I love the way it starts with one note, then two, then three, then four, then off it goes!

…..What did I miss?

PS –  We’re just talking rock here.  Don’t start me on John Coltrane and Eddie Lockjaw Davis and Sonny Rollins and Illinois Jacquet!  (Though I just discovered that it’s Sonny Rollins playing on the Stones ‘Waiting on a Friend’ – that’s got to go on the list.  I prefer it to the one on Brown Sugar, good though that is).  And Roland Kirk and Gato Barbieri, and Earl Bostic — mmm, jazz….



  1. Let me think…

    Meanwhile, completely agree about the guitar on “Baker Street”. The best guitar break to make the Top 20 in 1978.

    Comment by Martin Herrington — May 29, 2010 @ 12:15 am

  2. yes, I wonder who plays it? Probably not Gerry. I’m thinking of doing a favourite guitar solos list, but then the mountain is so huge to climb, where do you start!! With Rikki Don’t Lose That Number maybe, or The Chain, or Al Stewart’s One Stage Before….

    Comment by CC — May 29, 2010 @ 9:11 am

  3. Some amazing stuff on Baker Street that I found on Wiki:

    The saxophone solo

    The song’s prominent saxophone hook (in the original version) was played by Raphael Ravenscroft and the guitar solo by Hugh Burns.

    This solo was originally planned as a guitar solo. Ravenscroft was in the studio to record a brief soprano saxophone part, and when the guitarist was not available, suggested that he had an alto saxophone in his car which might substitute for the guitar.

    “Baker Street” was the subject of an urban myth, initiated in the 1980s by broadcaster Stuart Maconie who, while writing for the New Musical Express (in a section called ‘Would You Believe It?’), claimed that British actor and television presenter Bob Holness played the saxophone solo. The story clearly appealed to Holness’ sense of humour as he has often played along with the myth. He was recorded confirming the Baker Street story in a 1993 interview on STOIC, Student Television of Imperial College.

    Different versions

    Baker Street vinyl – 45 RPM

    The original album version (in City to City) is 6:01 minutes long. The single version released in the U.S. is 4:08 minutes long and its tempo was greatly accelerated for commercial radio time allotments. In 1988, when City To City was released on CD for the first time, the album version was itself sped up a bit, perhaps by error in the mastering process.

    An alternate, uncut & re-mixed version (in Right Down The Line: The Very Best of Gerry Rafferty) a 1989 compilation CD album, contains about thirty seconds more of end-material not in the original 1978 version. In this new mix, reverb emphasized the drummer’s snare & cross-stick accents and Rafferty’s vocals were electronically double-tracked. The speed in this version was actually slowed down greatly when played side-by-side against the 1988 City to City CD release, and yet still slower than the original record album version from 1978.

    In 2006, the Australian company Minchinton Records released Days Gone Down: The Anthology 1970-1982, with the 1978 mix restored to its correct speed as heard on City to City, but still fading out on the sax solos, a good handful of seconds ahead.

    “Baker Street” was made into a video at the time of its original release in 1978. The audio track used to sync with the film strip was slowed down so incredibly that Rafferty’s vocal pitch can be misconstrued as a full octave or so lower.

    Comment by CC — May 29, 2010 @ 9:43 am

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    Comment by Ross — July 7, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

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