Friday, February 20, 2009

Crack the Horn

As a well known and usually-proud dag, I have another guilty pleasure. By sharing this secret with you, I'm trying to do my bloggy bit to shift our minds (however briefly) from the bushfires of hell to something that might make you smile, if only in smug superiority. Besides, I've yet to pluck the courage to find out exactly what that Mysterious Monolith is yet.

Yes, in addition to wearing Crocs, kissing my rabbit on the lips and high-waisted undies, I also have an unhealthy fondness for horn. Well, saxophones to be precise. Their silken, sensual sound works for rock, pop, soul, folk and ska in my stuck-mostly-in-the-eighties music book. Brace yourselves, readers, because here are the saxiest beats on my iPod:

Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty. I'm sick to death of the song and groan if I hear it, but then that sax starts and I'm off. Off to Baker Street where I can forget about everything. She's got a dream about buying some land; givin' up the booze and the one-night stands.....

Careless Whisper - George Michael. Back in the days when Georgie boy was straighter than the lines on a dunny door he told us that he was never gonna dance again because guilty feet aint got no rhythm.... The Lady Diana lookalike with the pointy chin in the film clip never forgave him and flew off to be with someone who'd stay hetero forever.

I don't believe any more - Icehouse. Sad, heartbreaking, lingering, bitter. Just like a good gin and tonic after a long day's whining.

It's Raining Again - Supertramp. Cheerful, bouncy, sweet. Yes, it's Supertramp, but this is too infectious not to include. And don't forget the poetic lyrics: 'It's raining again, Oh no my love's at an end.....'

On the dark side - Eddie and the Cruisers. I was sixteen when this movie came out and it rocked. Well, in 1984 it did. Not that it's star Michael Pare went on to any dizzy acting heights - the last I saw of him he was the bad husband in a two minute scene with Sandra Bullock in the excrementally boring movie 'Hope Floats'. Yeah and so do fibre-filled turds.....

Heart of Rock-n-Roll - Huey Lewis and the News. Still good to run to. And pant out the words to, if fitness, speed and privacy permits.

Who can it be now? - Men at Work. The sax is the song.

Just Got Lucky - JoBoxers. I'm pretty sure that it's a sax in this song, but again, it was 1983 and such an arse-kickingly happy song. The lead singer (Sir Joseph Boxer) was one of the leads in the West End musical 'Five Guys Named Moe' that I went to see in the nose-bleedingly cheap seats in 1992.

Chanson D'Amour - Manhattan Transfer. I was a kid when I heard Mrs Cowham next door play this record. It was simply the most sophisticated and lush song I'd ever heard. Then again, my favourite song before that was a close tie between the Hustle and the Popcorn instrumental, but you have to start somewhere. "La da da da da...."

You talk too much - George Thorogood. This is fantastic to run to as the sax and drums even pound like fast feet do. For someone whose telling his lady to shoosh though he sure has a set of goat teeth and a mouth on him.

Smooth Operator - Sade. Beloved of coffee bars, cafes and dinner parties worldwide.

Will it ever stop raining? - The Saw Doctors. Sax used as a background step-one, step-two rhythm as Davey Carton bemoans dropping his icecream on the sand and backing an old greyhound who stopped right in front of the sands.

Sherry Darling - Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band. Just one of many featuring the mighty Clarence Clemons. Legend has it that he turned up to an audition with Bruce and the E Street Band on a windy day. He made a rather dramatic entrance when he flung the door open and it and fell off its hinges and blew down the street. Bruce apparently said, "Phark, who is this guy?" and no doubt was too frightened not to offer him the job.

But that doesn't mean that even a middle-of-the-roader like me likes anything and everything from the eighties. No Stevie Winwood, Johnny Farnham, Jimmy Barnes or soft-metal of any kind, let alone the hideous horn work on:

The Heat is on - Glen Frey. Annoyingly overplayed like a blowfly in a sauce bottle.

I do I do I do I do I do - by Abba. I may be a big fan, but this is by far my least favourite song next to 'Rock Me' and 'Me and Bobby and Bobby's Brother'

Anything by Spandau Ballet. One of the band members who later got into acting and played a Kray twin admitted to Michael Parkinson that, when nearly gored to death by a bull in a Spanish video shoot gone horribly wrong, he was more concerned about the impact it would have on his just-styled hair than any of his bones or blood supply.

And Joe Cocker can Leave his bloody hat on, grab his car keys and nunchucks and tell every easy listenin' DJ or bored soundcheck guy at Ladies' nights the world over to burn every single copy of the song for all eternity. I've seen far too many drunk mothers-of-the-bride-to-be trying to squeeze their sausage stomachs and buttery boobs out of trashy tank tops and denim minis after Dazzling Darryl's done his dancing on stage.....

But even horns that aren't saxophones can still 'do it' for me:

Pretty well every song done by Madness

Soul Kind of Feeling & Gotta be the wrong way to love - Dynaptic Hepnotics

Most of the Hunters and Collectors' back catalogue

Consider me gone & If you love somebody - Sting

Rat in me kitchen - UB40

Reward - Teardrop Explodes

Cut the talking - The Dugites

Soul Man - Lou Reed and Sam Moore version

Dumb Things - Paul Kelly

Would I lie to you - Eurythmics

Everything ever done by Oingo Boingo, especially live on stage

.....have I gone too far? Do I need help to get over my shameful, FM-radio-style music tastes? And yet, believe it or not, I hate 'oldies' FM music and have The Specials, Radiohead, The Damned, Green Day, Nirvana, Live and a few others lurking in my CD collection.

But the saxophone, ooooh..... Seeing as Ray Bans and high-waisted jeans are back, can't the sax come back too?

Tell me, dear reader, you know and I know that help here is desperately needed: what other saxolicious songs should I be listening to?


franzy said...

Is my mind in the gutter all the time? Or is it just BFTBs taking me there?

In any case "crack the horn" can mean one thing and one thing only ...

I'm sorry - you must be mistaken: high-waisted jeans are never coming back.

squib said...

I'm more a *croc-hating bonds hipster drums person Kath. This may sound strange but I never really notice the sax

* I admit they look comfortable though and they last a million years

Catherine said...

A great trip down memory lane - brought back lots of good songs for me...Sade, Madness, them all!

Kath Lockett said...

No Franzy, this time it's me who thrust your mind in the gutter - title was indeed intended to evoke fond reminiscences akin to BBBJ day.

High waisted jeans might not make a comeback with you but to be honest, I don't think they ever went away with me....

Squib - Crocs are shockers. I don't wear them beyond my front gate though or I'm afraid that the minibus that goes to the sheltered workshop will corral me as a missing employee and insist I get on.

Catherine - stay tuned.... I'm playing on doing a comparison between your innate sense of style and my innards-type style soon.

Naomi said...

Oh another thing we have in common, I do love a bit of sax!!! One of my all time favourites in addition the ones you named is Lily was here by Dave Stewart and Candy Dulfer, you can see it here

River said...

Woo-hoo, a new bunch of songs for me to look up and see if I like them enough to add to my playlist. I quite like a lot of the 80's stuff, but since I ditched all my cassette tapes in favour of cd's, ipod and country music, I'm having a hard time recalling titles and artists of many of the songs I liked.
I'm also a fan of saxophone (my son in law has one, but hasn't played in a while),and like the sounds of clarinet and piano as well. Drums and harmonica are also favourites. I like violins too, but it depends on the music being played. Twin fiddles in country music? Yup. Classical long winded stuff? Not so much.
High waisted jeans are a much better option in my opinion than those currently available in the stores. You know the ones that sit just half an inch above the pubic bone? They are not at all attractive, not on anyone.

The Man at the Pub said...

I can't agree with you more, sax is sooo underrated at the moment. But seriously Kath, do yourself a favour and listen to some stuff by the band Morphine. They have a baritone sax that they use in every one of their songs! It's like their signature.

Sadly, the lead singer died a few years ago, so they are no more, but the sax will go on haunting fans for years. Go forth and purchase Morphine CD's!!!

PS - Did you know Madness are headlining the V Festival? But go to the side show. V Festival sucks big time.

Chestnut Mare said...

I LOVE 80's pop/electronic music, but I HATE all the songs you mentioned, & therefor obviously the sax! Love Madness & The Specials though!

Anonymous said...

If it's sax overload you want, head for Youtube and check out 70s glam band Wizzard doing their two biggest hits "See My Baby Jive"


and "Angel Fingers"

Fun Pop Fact: Rafael Ravenscroft, the sax player on "Baker Street," scored a a record contract of his own on the strength of his performance on the song.


Miles McClagan said...

I'm defiantly anti guilty pleasure - I listen to what I want and to hell with the world!

As you now doubt already knew...

Baino said...

Good God woman I think you've covered them all. I can forgive you being a sax fiend but crocs . . oh Plugger . . there is little hope for you . . . erm Baker Street was the longest playing song on the album . .time for a serious snog before having to turn the vinyl over! For me Bowie's Young Americans was one . . reminds me of when I had my tonsils out . . and Lou Reed, Walk on the Wild Side . . .dum de dum, dum-de-dum dum de dum!

Helen said...

Oh, dear. You seem to be in my age group. That's not good.

Love the new blogdecor - I'm a corrugated iron fan.


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anabels said...

I like "Hip to be square" as a running song. Ditto "Born to run" which has a heart breaking sax solo in it.

I also listen to mucho "classic" jazz from say 1920 - 1950 for gorgeous horn sounds. Ditto Wynton Marcelis for the same reason.

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Anonymous said...

great to have another sax fan, how about the Hazel o'connor hit that had a superb sax solo lasting over a minute, its another Abba dancing queen moment

nutty notons

lc said...

There's a song from Eye in the Sky (Alan Parsons Project) called "Old and Wise". Fantastic sax solo at the end - in true 80s style. Song's not too bad either.

Word Ver: cocreum: A sacred annual gathering of roosters where they worship the gods of polygamy and chicken fencing.

Deep Kick Girl said...

Oh, Kath. I was shouting "yes, yes" so loudly I'm sure the old couple next door must have thought something untoward was going on.

I do love the sound of the sax and pretty much most of the songs you listed.

Lovely work.

seed said...

Hi Kath,

What say I come to Melbourne for the weekend and we both go and check out mysterious appendage on building.
Safety in numbers and I could sure use some timeout.

I am always up for an adventure.

natasha said...

Watch Natsha Naked!

Terence McDanger said...

I'd say Natasha is into sax an' all.

This is a real feel-good post Kath.

I don't remember half these because I'm too young, now I feel good. Although I'm a big fan of Baker Street, especially the guitar solo.

Er-ee, er-ee, er-ee, er-eeeeeeeee....

Yes, it sounds JUST like that dunit?

Kath Lockett said...

....See, I *knew* that there was a bit of horn in all of us....

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