Wednesday, September 27, 2023

VA - Best Rock Saxophone Vol. 01 Intros + Vol. 02 Outros (A Butterboy Compilation)

Previously posted April 4, 2019

 VA - Best Rock Saxophone Vol. 01 Intros + Vol. 02 Outros (A Butterboy Compilation)

The saxophone was built to be a big sound. It was invented by Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1840 to be used in European military marching bands. “It took a lot of clarinets to match a brass instrument, so [it made more sense to] have one saxophone and the rest of the guys in the infantry,” Harrington explained. “It was much louder and projected much better.” The saxophone is always the loudmouth at the party. It’s curvy and shiny, with a dramatic shape and an unmistakable sound. It blares, blows, growls. A saxophone screams. A saxophone honks. It doesn’t jam or shred or flow. The saxophone isn’t like a piano intro or a guitar solo.

“The saxophone almost mimics a human voice, it’s very expressive, and that comes from both how flexible the sound can be but also the sonic quality.” (Thomas Erdmann).   That range carried the saxophone through dozens of genres of American music without interruption until the late ’80s. When rock ’n’ roll emerged in the ’50s, it gave the saxophone another boost. “A strong hook can make a song, and it used to be that many of those hooks were created by saxophonists,” Erdman said. In the 1950s, that guy was Plas Johnson, the saxophonist behind the riffs in some of America’s biggest songs, like “Pink Panther” and “Rockin’ Robin.”

Big name ’80s pop stars started using the saxophone to create hooks that were catchy, but inescapable and incredibly annoying. And that use took it from being a cool instrument with a strong sound, to being a weird, almost tacky gimmick. Saxophone historians skim over this section of the sax’s perception in spite of the fact that it was the site of a major turn. When George Michael used the saxophone as the intro to “Careless Whisper,” its grooving, sensual riff became a parody quickly. Sade’s “Smooth Operator,” released the same year as “Careless Whisper,” featured a classic saxophone solo not unlike the ones heard throughout popular music history. (Excerpts from Kelsey McKinney article

So here are some tracks for your listening pleasure. These 2 sets are split into two groups, Saxophone Intros and Outros.

And before anyone complains, apologies for the misprinted spell of saxophone on the covers that are included...




Track Lists

CD1 Best Rock Saxophone Intros

01 George Michael - Careless Whisper 05:06
02 Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now? 03:26
03 David Bowie - Young Americans 05:15
04 Glenn Frey - You Belong to the City 05:54
05 Sade - Smooth Operator 04:21
06 Average White Band - Pick Up The Pieces 04:00
07 David A. Stewart & Candy Dulfer - Lily Was Here 04:23
08 Jean Shy & The Shy Guys - Angel 04:14
09 Bob Seger - Turn The Page 05:07
10 Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street 06:11
11 Dire Straits - Your Latest Trick 06:30
12 Black Sorrows - The Chosen Ones 04:07
13 Sting - Englishman In New York 04:27
14 Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together 03:00
15 Carole King - Jazzman 03:45
16 Michael Stanley Band - Someone Like You 05:40
17 Linda Ronstadt - Ooh Baby Baby 03:19
18 Madness - Night Boat To Cairo (One Step Beyond) 03:33    1979
19 English Beat - Mirror In the Bathroom 03:10
20 Robert Plant & The Honeydripper - Rockin' At Midnight 05:58
21 John Lennon - Whatever Gets You Thru The Night 03:27
22 Paul McCartney - Listen To What The Man Said 03:57
23 Audience - The House On The Hill 07:24
24 Violent Femmes - I Held Her in My Arms 02:53
25 Pink Floyd - Us And Them 07:51

CD2 Best Rock Saxophone Outros

01 Supertramp - The Logical Song 04:11    1979
02 Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side 04:09
03 John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band - On The Dark Side 02:43
04 Steely Dan - Deacon Blues 07:33
05 Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat 06:49
06 INXS - Never Tear Us Apart 03:06
07 Phil Collins - One More Night 04:48
08 Haircut 100 - Love Plus One 03:37
09 Doors - Touch Me 03:13
10 Incubus - Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) 04:26
11 Billy Joel - Just The Way You Are 04:51
12 Eddie Money - I Wanna Go Back 03:55
13 R.E.M. - Fireplace 03:25
14 Dream Theater - Another Day 04:24
15 Eagles - The Sad Cafe 05:32
16 Foreigner - Urgent 04:30
17 Collective Soul - Better Now 03:15
18 Cure - A Night Like This 04:10
19 Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 02:54
20 Bruce Springsteen - Jungleland 09:37
21 Supertramp - Crime Of The Century 05:16
22 M83 - Midnight City 04:04
23 Morphine - Whisper 03:29
24 Leon Russell - Lady Blue 03:32
25 Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond 11:06


  1. Another extraordinary comp Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks, heartsofstone
      It's always fun to listen to this set.

  2. The most remarkable saxophone outro I know is this one:

    1. Hi koen fillet.
      I love that song. So easy and relaxed from Paul Simon.
      Slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I Love Sax! I'm sure you could have made ten albums of good sax music. Thanks for this BB.