While attending the Independence Day Hall & Oates show it occurred to me that the sax man died a long time ago when it comes to pop songs. Sure, Lady Gaga thankfully gave Clarence Clemons his final spotlight on the Edge Of Glory. However, as I watched the clichéd long-haired sax man for Hall & Oates try to impress the audience with the way he blows, I was kind of relieved I no longer have to hear the saxophone solo in pop songs.
It became a standard in the 80s and was sometime done right like Foreigner’s Urgent (although the version I linked to is kind of laughable) or Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. Sometimes though, it went horribly wrong like Men At Work’s Who Can It Be Now. It sounds like someone just learned to play. ” Just repeat what I play, kid” and then let them solo for way too long. I don’t even want to get into the lead singer/saxophonist aka Quarterflash. Thankfully Kenny G. came along to bury it for good.
Now it’s just parodied. Click on the dancing Jason Sudeikis and saxophonist Fred Armison to hear Lonely Island’s Sax Man.
There are a number of NPR type artists that are now trying to bring it back like Iron and Wine and Deerhunter but to me the saxophonist will l always be the obnoxious guy that just doesn’t get it. Clink on this link to see the greatest/worst saxophonist of all time. You won’t regret it.
I will say that no one was cooler than the Clarence “Big Man” Clemons. He had a presence on stage that will be never be duplicated.