10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music

10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music

Feature Photo: Manuel Martinez Perez, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list presents a small showcase of some of the best opening saxophone licks in rock music history. This is not an argument about the best saxophone solos but a list of saxophone introduction solos at the start of these songs. There are many of them, but these are ten of the most compelling and distinctive ones that first came to mind.

# 10 – You’re A Friend Of Mine

We open up our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list with a song by one of the greatest rock and roll saxophone players of all time. It’s only fitting that we celebrate and honor the music of the big man Mr. Clarence Clemons at the start of this list.  This is the first of two appearances the big man makes on this list. “You’re A Friend Of Mine” was released on Clarence Clemons’ second solo album entitled Hero. The album was released in 1985. The song was performed as a duet between Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne.

# 9 – Urgent

Continuing with our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list, we showcase the smoking Foreigner song called “Urgent.” Mark Rivera, known for his long-time role in the Billy Joel band, plays the opening saxophone line. Junior Walker performed the saxophone solo. Many people probably don’t realize that Thomas Doby also played on the track. Foreigner’s “Urgent” was released on the band’s fourth album entitled simply 4. The album was released in 1981.

# 8 – Harden My Heart – Quarterflash

If you had your eyes glued to MTV in the early 1980s like most of us did, you must remember this song. Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart” was home to one of the most iconic. saxophone intros of the decade. The song was released on the band’s debut album entitled Quarterflash. The album was released in 1981. The song was a massive hit on both MTV and the radio. It went all the way to number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The intro saxophone solo was played by lead vocalist Rindy Ross.

# 7 – Tender Years – John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band

Yes, I know the band sounds exactly like Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. For them, it was both a blessing and a curse. The constant comparison to Springsteen hurt them early on during their bar band days. Eventually, they caught their big break when they were offered the opportunity to write the music for the motion picture Eddie and The Cruisers. The film fueled the big film “On The Dark Side.” Most music fans who enjoyed the film and began following the band fell in love with the song “Tender Years. While there is a bit of a novelty behind all this, I remember really enjoying this song, too, back when I was 19 years old when this film first came out.

# 6 – Turn The Page

Landing in the number six spot on our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list is one that there was no way we could leave off this list. It may not be one of the longest solos, but it’s definitely one of the most distinctive. Bob Seger’s classic “Turn The Page,” was released on the album Back In 72. However, the version that most people know is the phenomenal live version from Live Bullet, released in 1976.

# 5 – Us And Them

At the halfway point on our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list is the exhilarating Pink Floyd song entitled “Us And Them.” It takes over a minute before the sax line begins, but since it’s before the vocals, it counts as a legendary saxophone introduction, and legendary it is. Like a few others on this list, the saxophone solo in the song is also to die for. One of the best ever. I saw them perform the song live in 1977 at Madison Square Grade as an encore. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It was the final encore after most people had already left the arena because they took so long to come out for the final song.

Read More: Watching Roger Waters Lose it On A Fan In 1977 at MSG

# 4 – Night – Bruce Springsteen

At the number four spot on our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list, we present the classic Bruce Springsteen song entitled “Night.” The song was released on the Born To Run album. The album was released in 1975. Born To Run was one of the most influential rock albums ever released. It turned Bruce Springsteen into a megastar. There was not a weak song on the entire album. Clarence Clemons played a major role in the songs of the record. His solo in “Jungleland” may be the greatest saxophone solo ever. However, this list is about opening Saxophone Lines and “Night” has one of the best.

Read More: Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Songs Of The 1970s

# 3 – You Belong To The City – Glenn Frey

Everyone loved Glenn Frey. We still do. It’s just so sad that he is no longer with us. He gave us so many great songs as a member of the Eagles. However, he also gave us some true classics from his solo albums. “You Belong To The City” has always been one of our favorites. Part of the reason was that breathtaking introduction fueled by that sexy saxophone solo that just set it all up. It didn’t hurt that the song was also used for one of the best Miami Vice episodes ever released.  The saxophone solo was performed by Bill Bergman.

# 2 – Young Americans – David Bowie

Just off the top spot on our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list, we celebrate the high-spirited David Bowie song entitled “Young Americans.” The song was released on the album also entitled Young Americans. The album was released in 1975. The man behind the saxophone line was the cool jazz music legend David Sanborn.  Also appearing on the song’s iconic backing vocals was soon-to-be soul music all-star vocalist Luther Vandross.

“Young Americans.” was the first single released from the album. The song “Young Americans” was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number twenty-eight. It would also become one of David Bowie’s most popular songs ever released.

Read More: Top 100 David Bowie Songs

# 1 – Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

We close out our 10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music list with the monumental Gerry Rafferty song entitled “Baker Street.” I have never heard a saxophone line sound as big as this one in the song’s opening and, of course, in between verses and choruses throughout the song.  I recently took a trip to London and found my way to Baker Street. All I kept hearing was the song in my head as I visited the fabulous stores along the street. There was the Sherlock Holmes museum, great record stores, and rock concert t-shirt stores.  It is a place I highly recommend to visit if you ever get to London.

The song “Baker Street” was released on the City to City album. The album was released in 1978. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number two. Raphael Ravenscroft played the legendary saxophone line.

10 Most Distinctive Opening Saxophone Lines In Rock Music article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

DMCA.com Protection Status

DON’T MISS A BEAT

Be the first to know when a new article is published

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Top 10 ZZ Top Songs
Top 10 ZZ Top Songs
System Of A Down Songs
Top 10 System Of A Down Songs
Mastodon Songs
Top 10 Mastodon Songs
Paul Simon Songs
Top 10 Paul Simon Songs
Doors Albums
The Doors Albums Ranked
Rod Stewart Albums
Top 10 Rod Stewart Albums
Rock Supergroups that released only one studio album
15 Rock Supergroups That Released Only One Studio Album
Kiss Albums
Top 10 Kiss Albums
Aaron Leigh of Y&T
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 2 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
Peter Frampton
Frampton, Foreigner, Ozzy, & Dave Matthews Band Voted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Best Of Bruce Springsteen
2024 Best Of Bruce Springsteen CD Comes With No Rare Tracks
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
Nathan Salsburg Interview
Singer/Songwriter Nathan Salsburg on His New Record, ‘All Gist’
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Glenn Frey Albums
Complete List Of Glenn Frey Albums And Discography
The Cure Albums
Complete List Of The Cure Albums And Discography
Bob Seger Albums
Complete List Of Bob Seger Albums And Discography
ZZ Top Albums, Discography
Complete List Of ZZ Top Albums And Discography
9 Bands That Never Replaced Departed Members
Music CDs Comeback
Why Music CDs Have No Chance Of Making A Comeback
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell 40th Anniversary Vinyl Review
Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Complete List Of Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Hotcakes Album Review
Carly Simon’s HOTCAKES Album Still Sizzles After 50 Years
11 Tracks Of Whack Album Review
Walter Becker – 11 Tracks of Whack Album Review