Jock Jams Volume One may still be the best album of all time.
1. What Happened to the Sax Solo?
2. "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen
Sax solo start time: 2:10.
The late Clarence Clemons was probably the best known sax side man in rock & roll history. He played with Springsteen's E Street Band from 1972 until the time of his death in 2011. Clarence may very well be the one sax player that all other sax players are jealous of... Put that in your horn and blow it, Kenny G!
3. "Harden My Heart" by Quarterflash
Sax solo start time: beginning and 1:52.
Quarterflash was a band whose lead singer (Rindy Ross) was not only female but who also served as the saxophone player as well. That's rare. Really rare. Like that's never happened before or since. Congrats, Quarterflash. You are number one in a category that you basically invented.
4. "True" by Spandau Ballet
Sax solo start time: 2:58.
Every middle school dance in America played this song. It was at the end of the night and was the only song you were allowed to slow dance to. It was magical...until the girl you were dancing with tells you that the only reason she asked you to dance in the first place was because Tommy McGregor asked her first but he smelled like mothballs. THANKS FOR NOTHING, DONNA PHILPOTT!
5. "Who Can It Be Now" by Men at Work
Sax solo start time: Everywhere you want it.
See. Men at Work got it. They understood that you needed sax at the beginning, middle and end of a pop song. They weren't afraid to give you want you want. Cause everyone, I mean everyone, wants more sax in their life.
6. "Maneater" by Hall & Oates
Sax solo start time:2:43.
Everyone downplays John Oates' contributions to the duo and that is just not fair. Sure, Daryl Hall did almost (almost) all of the singing, but Oates had a killer 'stache. Hall could never have rocked a 'stache like that. So,in my book, that makes them equals.
7. "Candy" by Cameo
Sax solo start time: 2:51.
The only thing more important than this sax solo is lead singer Larry Blackmon's red codpiece. You can't escape it. You can't take your eyes off it. Don't even try.
8. "I Want a New Drug" by Huey Lewis and the News
Sax solo start time: 1:41.
This song will burrow into your brain like a badger on a corn farm. It will stay there and raise little baby badgers, who will all hum the sax part of this tune. No, no - no need to say thank you. It was my pleasure.
9. "You Belong to the City" by Glenn Frey
Sax solo start time: The sax is everywhere!!
Sometimes you need more than just eight bars of a sax solo. Sometimes you just need a whole lot of sultry, sax sound all up in your grill. Glenn Frey understood that, so the sax is as continuous and as unrelenting as Sonny Crockett as he pensively smokes and pensively walks the streets of NYC in a "very special episode" of Miami Vice.
10. "Too Hot" by Kool & the Gang
Sax solo start time: 2:37.
Say your the sax player for an awesome funk band and the song you're all doing doesn't have your sax solo until the middle of the jam. What do you do until then? Stand there and pout? No, man. You dance. YOU DANCE.
11. "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me" by Billy Joel
Sax solo start time: 1:52.
"Play us a song, you're the saxophone man/Toot on your horn, we thinks/Well, we're all in the mood for some squeaks and honks/Just please don't spit into our drinks."
(From Billy Joel's unreleased, alternate version of "Piano Man" entitled, "Saxophone Man.")
12. "One More Night" by Phil Collins
Sax solo start time: 4:04.
Our Guff VP, Chad, loves him some Phil Collins. He celebrates the man's entire catalog. He'll play it off like he enjoys it ironically and that it's all just a big joke, but we know the truth. If you ever see Chad in public, go ahead and play this particular song and watch him melt into a pool of Phil Collins adoration.
13. "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean
Sax solo start time: 2:32.
In the '80s, not only could you get away with having a sax solo in your song, you could also get away with having a video filmed in what looked like my elementary school auditorium. It was a wondrous time.
14. "The Glamorous Life" by Sheila E
Sax solo start time: 2:05 and 2:57.
Prince wrote, produced and arranged this song. He did not, however, play sax on it, as that is one of the few instruments he cannot play. But he totally could learn to play the saxophone if he wanted to. Prince just chooses not to because he doesn't want to be considered the greatest at yet another thing.
15. "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS
Sax solo start time: 2:41.
This is a really good song, but it only becomes a great song when the sax solo kicks in. It's like the sax is there to tell you, "Okay, no more jacking around. It's time for the big boys to put on their big boy pants cause things are about to get real."
16. "Waiting on a Friend" by The Stones
Sax solo start time: 2:00.
How important were sax solos back in the day? So important that even The Rolling Stones included one in this top-twenty hit from 1982. They even hired jazz legend Sonny Rollins to be the one doing the blowing. Rumor has it that the Stones were actually intimidated by Rollins when they were in the studio. Cause, you know, sax players are notorious for being bullies.
17. "Rio" by Duran Duran
Sax solo start time: 2:55 and 4:36.
Duran Duran knew that they couldn't just rely on their pretty boy looks alone to make it in the cutthroat music biz. It's common knowledge that the record industry is far more concerned with musicianship than good looks. So the boys of DD put a killer sax solo not once but twice in this song, to prove that they had the musical chops. Did any of them actually play the sax? Absolutely not. But sometimes the idea is more important than the execution.
18. "Modern Love" by David Bowie
Sax solo start time: 1:44 and 3:02.
Here's a fun, unconfirmed rumor: Apparently Bowie made the album Let's Dance partially out of revenge. Back in the '70s, he was getting a raw deal from his manager Tony Defries, giving up nearly half of his royalties to him. So by the time the '80s rolled around, Bowie had recorded virtually nothing until the contract between the two officially expired in 1982. As soon as that happened, Bowie purposely went out and made the most anti-Bowie album he could make, the incredibly pop sounding and incredibly successfulLet's Dance. One of the biggest songs from the album was "Modern Love." And what is "Modern Love" mostly remembered for? The sax solo.
19. "Smooth Operator" by Sade
Sax solo start time: When is there not any sax is the question?!
Is it raining out? Did someone just breakup with you? Do you own a couch and perhaps a very old comforter that you are emotionally attached to? Great. Now you are ready to listen to this song. Enjoy your sadness.
20. "Super Freak" by Rick James
Sax solo start time: 2:59.
I dare you to watch this video and not think about having sax. You can't do it, can you? All you want to do after this video is have sax. This video is dripping in sax. Sax, sax, sax.
21. "Urgent" by Foreigner
Sax solo start time: 2:37
As the sax solo happens, notice lead singer Lou Gramm stand to the side as he stares, rapt, at what he is witnessing. He understands the power of a good sax solo, unlike the drummer who obviously couldn't give two farts and selfishly decided to set up his drum kit front and center.
22. "I Know What Boys Like" by The Waitresses
Sax solo start time: 1:50.
New wave wasn't all about synthesizers and boss hair. Sometimes it was about synthesizers, boss hair and sax solos. Oh, and awesomely skinny ties. Those, too.
23. "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty
Sax solo start time: 00:24, 2:05, 3:46, 5:20.
The Foo Fighters covered this song, which should tell you how important it is to pop music history. They did not use a saxophone, however, which should tell you that it is not as good as the original. Sax makes everything better.
24. "Careless Whisper" by Wham!
Sax solo start time: beginning and 2:19 and 3:36.
A lot of people mock this song because they think it's cheesy. Well, what's wrong with cheese? Everyone loves cheese. Even lactose intolerant people wish they could enjoy cheese. So stop with the hatin' and let this song envelop you like warm Velveeta.
25. "One of the Living" by Tina Turner
Sax solo start time: 2:54.
More important than when the solo starts is who is doing the soloing. It is none other than Tim Cappello, who just may be the most interesting-looking sax player ever ( so much so that Jon Hamm spoofed him on SNL). Seriously, it is such an odd disconnect between the man and the music that you will constantly search for him in the video. Sorry, Tina. This video belongs to the sax man!
26. "Going Back to Cali" by LL Cool J
Sax solo start time: 3:20. (With a bonus, muted trumpet playing in the intro!)
For those of you who think all you need for a rap jam are two turntables and a microphone, shame on you.*
(*OK, technically two turntables and a microphone are all you really need for a rap jam, but adding a sax solo makes it pretty cool, too. LL understood that and that is why the ladies loved him.)