Your Favorite Sax Solos

Slate's Culture Blog
June 1 2011 12:32 PM

Your Favorite Sax Solos

Lastweek, Jonah Weiner wrote about thereturn of the sax solo to pop music , name-checking some of the most notablesax cameos in pop history. We asked whichsongs you'd add to his list , and hundreds of you heeded our call. You can find hours upon hours of saxy sax recommendations in the original comment thread, but these 12tracks got the most love from Brow Beat readers. (Well, with a bit of fudging lestSteely Dan and Pink Floyd take over the entire list, we went with the mostpopular nomination for each band.)

In rankedorder, here's your crowdsourced, 70s-heavy, summer sax playlist:


Bruce Springsteen, "Jungleland,"1975 solo by Clarence Clemons

This 10-minute epic was far and away the biggest vote getter on Brow Beat, but it'sa potentially divisive choice: Last year, the A.V. Club placed it at No. 5 onits list of " 10Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone ." Writes Josh Modell: "The firsthalf of the incredibly lengthy solo in 'Jungleland' adds depth to a prettyincredible song, but then everything just devolves into a strutting cheesefactory." Judge for yourself on this live version from 1984, featuring Clemons:


Billy Joel, "Just the Way YouAre," 1977 solo by Phil Woods


Duran Duran, "Rio," 1982 solo byAndy Hamilton


Rolling Stones, "Brown Sugar,"1971 solo by Bobby Keys


Pink Floyd, "Money," 1973 solo byDick Parry


Foreigner, "Urgent," 1981 solo byJunior Walker


Bob Seger, "Turn the Page," 1973 soloby Alto Reed


DavidBowie, "Young Americans," 1975 solo by David Sanborn

No. 1 with a bullet on theA.V. Club's list ("imagine the greatness [the song] could've achievedwithout the constant nagging and yipping"), but a personal favorite of thisparticular blogger.


SteelyDan, "Aja," 1977 solo by Wayne Shorter


GatoBarbieri, "Europa," 1976 sax instrumental cover of a Santana cover


Earth,Wind & Fire, "Reasons" (live version from Gratitude ) 1975 solo by Don Myrick


Jr.Walker and the All Stars, "What Does it Take (To Win Your Love)," 1969 solo byWalker

Follow  Brow Beat on Twitter . For more culture coverage, like  Slate  Culture  on Facebook.



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?