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Whatever happened to solos in pop records?


Art Vandelay
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I was thinking today, when was the last time you heard a solo in a pop record? I think Lady Gaga had a saxophone letting rip in one of her recent tunes and for that she should be applauded, but apart from that it's been a barren, solo-less wasteland. I'm not talking about those tedious guitar wankery ones that fill an album, just a 15 second noodle on the old piano or a quick rasp of a trumpet about 2/3 of the way through, is that too much to ask?

It seems that a few years ago you couldn't have a hit without one. Like this, just a tasteful little tinkle near the end that adds something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qJaq3jv2P0

Or this, possibly the most famous of all the pop solos.

Miles Davis even got in on the act.

And yet more sax.

Post up your own, debate the merits of the lost art of the solo, no Pink Floyd.

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This effort ends with a proper Clarence Clemons cream-off.

I was about to say that I don't know if it really counts as a pop single in the same way some of these mega-sellers do but apparently it's at number 34 at the moment so it's fair game I guess.

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They were replaced by people moaning 'eyyyy' and Pitbull saying weird things.

Pitbull? There was a guy in my former local (Berkshire House in Oxford, fact fans) who went by the name of Pitbull. He used to turn up on karaoke night and sing a 'blue version' of Red Red Wine: "red, red wine gonna make me feel fine, I want to do it, all of the time." Then he'd start saying "what you lookin' at?!"

Might it be the same guy?

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I was just thinking this today sitting in the car when T'pau came on the radio. I was only there for the "yeah-e-yeah" at the end of the chorus, and was getting annoyed with the double-tracking on her voice when... fake ending, BAM! Sax solo right in your motherloving face.

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That's a motherfucking sax solo. Funny how that the older you get, the less offensive the saxophone becomes. That said, in my head, all saxophone players are still chubby middle-aged men with tight slicked-back ponytail haircuts, wearing a white roll-neck top, a black waistcoat and supermarket denim jeans.

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This effort ends with a proper Clarence Clemons cream-off.

I was about to say that I don't know if it really counts as a pop single in the same way some of these mega-sellers do but apparently it's at number 34 at the moment so it's fair game I guess.

Came to post this ^^

When they played live recently a chick wandered onstage for this solo, owned it and then disappeared offstage never to return. 8)

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That's a motherfucking sax solo. Funny how that the older you get, the less offensive the saxophone becomes. That said, in my head, all saxophone players are still chubby middle-aged men with tight slicked-back ponytail haircuts, wearing a white roll-neck top, a black waistcoat and supermarket denim jeans.

Or this guy.

Notts saxophone meet?

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  • 3 months later...

Solos are great, they help break the song up a bit, it's a little breathing space, and they can show off some serious virtuosity or be super-simple. Careless Whisper's sax solo really is a top-drawer solo, very 80s but really powerful.

Harmonica middle-eight goodness, one of my favourites, not too flashy, fits the song well (2:10), then at 3:16 you get a nice sax solo through to the end:

Bit of a forgotten hit this, it was good bouncy jazz-pop. Great sax solo at 1:53, then the quick keyboard solo at 2:32.

And that keyboard solo reminded me of another (2:02):

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