17 Rock Songs With Saxophone

Nothing sounds quite like the saxophone. It’s one of those timeless instruments that can transform any song into a heartfelt ballad, a swinging groove, or a great rock hit.

Finding the best rock songs with saxophone required listening to great music, which wasn’t a chore. Check out the results in the list below.

“Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1975

“Born To Run” has one of the most easily-recognizable saxophone solos in the history of saxophone solos. The great Clarence Clemons delivers a powerful performance that gets better with each listen.

The tune is one of those classic rock hits that’s vaguely about growing up and things changing but could also be applied to many different situations. The saxophone that supports the driving rhythm makes it that much more enjoyable.

“Back In Time” by Huey Lewis and the News

Song Year: 1985

Huey Lewis and the News wrote a few hit songs for the film series Back To The Future, and this is one of them. It’s not the one that most people know, but it’s the one that has an epic saxophone part.

Johnny Colla is the man behind the magic, bringing a delightful saxophone solo to the forefront of a tune supported by a sick horn section.

“Turn the Page” by Bob Seger

Song Year: 1973

Bob Seger’s heartbreaking song from 1973 opens with a lonesome, moaning saxophone solo that you recognize immediately. Before Seger even begins singing, you’re captivated by the story-telling prowess of Alto Reed.

The song is all about a man who lives a lonely life, traveling from show to show, bearing the brunt of criticisms and abuse from his audience. The thing that makes the song work is the whining saxophone in the background. 

“The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga

Song Year: 2011

Only one song on this list is from the 21st century, and it’s “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. This song resembles old rock songs of ages past, and it utilizes our favorite instrument: the saxophone.

This song works so well with the saxophone rocking in the background because Lady Gaga got none other than the legendary Clarence Clemons to play for her.

“Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1975

From the opening piano riff to the very first words, Springsteen takes his audience on a rollercoaster of emotion with his excellent rock ballad. It resembles the rhapsodies of old, and it tells a heart-wrenching tale of growing up on the streets of the East Coast.

With Clarence Clemons on the saxophone, it’s easy to see why the saxophone breaking about three-quarters of the way through the song is so potent and memorable.

“You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon

Song Year: 1986

If you watch the music video of this classic from Paul Simon, one of the first things you’ll notice is a saxophone sitting beside him. That’s just one of the ways that Simon features a saxophone in this song.

The stellar horn arrangement also includes a saxophone in the background. If you’re going through a midlife crisis, a good saxophone riff might be just the thing to bring you back.

“Moondance” by Van Morrison

Song Year: 1970

Few people had the soft, sultry, romantic voice that made Van Morrison a pleasure to listen to. Not only are his songs vocally exciting and catchy, but the instrumental background is always well-arranged.

“Moondance” feels like an old-school jazz or swing tune, and the piano, clarinet, and saxophone all contribute to that feeling. It makes you want to get up on the dance floor with your special someone and practice all the old moves.

“Urgent” by Foreigner

“Urgent” by Foreigner

Song Year: 1981

This list could be filled to the brim with songs from Foreigner. So much of the band’s music featured saxophone solos and background riffs. Without the saxophone, it’s hard to imagine Foreigner would be the same band.

The song “Urgent” really delivers on its message, largely thanks to the stunning work of the band’s saxophonist. This is one of those actual rock songs that helped define the 1980s.

“Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel

Song Year: 1977

Billy Joel appears on this list with one of his most lovely songs, featuring the saxophone in all its romantic glory.

Mark Rivera played with Joel for over 40 years, showing his unbeatable talent on songs like this one.

It’s worth noting that the saxophone adds to the flowing feel that makes this song so pretty. It’s the perfect love song if you need something to woo your special person.

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