Famous Saxophone Solos & Riffs (Part 1 – The 70s)

Reading Time: 3 minutesFebruary 24, 2022
Walk On The Wild Side (1972)
#21 (Top 40), #16 (US Billboard Hot 100), #10 (UK Singles OCC)

Saxophonist: RONNIE ROSS

Walk on the Wild Side” is een song by Lou Reed from his 2nd album “Transformer” (1972), produced by David Bowie.

It might not have been a bg hit, but what makes this song interesting nonetheless is that the (in 1933 born) British saxophonist Ronnie Ross plays his solo on baritone sax, a saxophone less common for Pop music.

Money (1973)
#13 (US Billboard Hot 100)

Saxophonist: DICK PARRY

Money” is a song of the Britisch progressive Rock band Pink Floyd and the 6th song on the album “The Dark Side of the Moon“. What makes it a rather special track the uncommin 7/4 time signature.

Dick Parry is a in 1942 in Engeland born saxophonist. He played – besides on “Money” – also on several other tracks by Pink Floyd, like: “Us and Them“, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” en “Wearing the Inside Out“. He also worked with other famous musicians, like Jimmy Witherspoon, the band Bloodstone e.a.

Born To Run (1975)
#91 (NL Single Top 100), #23 (US Billboard Hot 100)


Born to Run” is the title song from an album of Bruce Springsteen released in 1975.

Clarence Anicholas Clemons jr. (1942 – 2011) was an American saxophonist en actor. Clemons was a key-member of the E Street Band (de band of Bruce Springsteen) and has worked with various famous artists, like Aretha Franklin (see part 2), Grateful DeadRingo Starr, Roy Orbison en Lady Gaga (see part 4).

Young Americans (1975)
#25 (US Billboard Rock Songs), #18 (UK Singles OCC)
How Sweet It Is (1975)
#1 (US Adult Contemporary Chart), #5 (US Billboard Hot 100)

Saxophonist: DAVID SANBORN

Young Americansis the title song of an albums by British Pop legend David Bowie

David Sanborn (born in 1945 in America), known for his characteristic sound and “Jazzrock” albums, has worked with various Pop artists. 

David Sanborn did not only play with the here mentioned David Bowie and James Taylor, but also with: Stevie Wonder (on “Talking book” 1972),  Elton John (“Boogie Pilgrim” and “Idol”, 1976), The Eagles (“The Sad Cafe”, 1979), Billy Joel (“Easy Money”, 1983), The Rolling Stones (“Undercover”, 1983) and many others. He was 5 years a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Sanborn has received 3 Grammy Awards (2 albums, 1 single).

James Taylor‘s 1975 cover of “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” – originally released in 1964 by Marvin Gaye – is the most successful version of this song.

Just The Way You Are (1977)
#1 (US Billboard Adult Contemporary), #3 (US Billboard Hot 100), 4 weeks in the “Tipparade”.

Saxophonist: PHIL WOODS

Billy Joel‘s “Just the Way You Are“, won the 1979 Grammy Awards for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year“.

Phil Wells Woods (1931 – 2015) was an American Jazz alto saxophonist and clarinetist. He worked with many big names from the Jazz scene: Donald ByrdKenny DorhamSarah VaughanDizzy Gillespie Big Band and others.

Baker Street (1978)
#9 (Top 40), #16 (NL Single Top 100), #2 (US Billboard Hot 100), #3 (UK Singles OCC)


Baker Street” is a single by Gerry Rafferty.

Raphael Ravenscroft (an in 1954 born Brit) has – besides his solo on “Baker Street” – worked with many famous musicians and bands, such as: Pink Floyd (“The Final Cut), ABBAMarvin GayeMike Oldfield, Chris Rea, Vangelis, Robert Plant, Tina TurnerBonnie Tyler, and others.

Too Hot (1979)
#3 (Billboard R&B), #5 (US Billboard Hot 100), #23 (UK Singles OCC)

Saxophonist: RONALD BELL

Too Hot” is a R&B/Soul song from the American band Kool & The Gang from the album “Ladies Night“.

Ronald Nathan Bell (born in 1951 in America) is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, producer, singer and co-founder of Kool & the Gang.

After The Love Has Gone (1979)
#20 (Top 40), #28 (NL Single Top 100), #2 (US Billboard Hot 100), #2 (US Billboard R&B), #4 (UK Singles OCC)

Saxophonist: DON MYRICK

After The Love Has Gone” is a Grammy Award winning hit of “Earth, Wind & Fire” from the album “I Am”.

The in 1940 in America born Don Myrick played soprano, alto and tenor sax with various know artists, like: Santana, Grover Washington jr. and Phil Collins (see part 2). At the age of 53 (1993) he was accidentally shot by a police officer. 

The Logical Song (1979)
#20 (Top 40), #13 (NL Single Top 100), #6 (US Billboard Hot 100), #7 (UK Singles OCC)


The Logical Song” is a single by the British rockband Supertramp. The song was released on the album “Breakfast in America“, written and sung by Roger Hodgson.

John Anthony Helliwell (born in 1945) is a Britsh saxophonist (and clarinetist), mostly known for his memberschip of Supertramp.

Street Life (1979)
#13 (Top 40), #20 (NL Single Top 100), #17 (US Billboard R&B), #5 (UK Singles OCC)

Saxophonist: WILTON FELDER

Steet Life” was the biggest hit by The Crusaders with featuring vocalist Randy Crawford, this would become her “break through” internationally.

Wilton Lewis Felder (1940 – 2015) was an American saxophonist and bassist. Wilton Felder played with: The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, Grant Green, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Michael Franks, Bobby Womack, e.a.