Music

The Best '80s Songs With Saxophones 

Ranker Music
Updated April 2, 2019 631 votes 161 voters 13.5k views 23 items

Is there anything better than an '80s song with saxophone? For this list let's rank the best saxophone songs of the '80s, from smooth jazz hits to pop singles.

Remember the 1984 hit "Smooth Operator" by Sade? The lyrics tell the story of a slick, jet-setting man who may or may not be a pimp. What about "Who Can It Be Now" by Australian rockers Men at Work? The origin to the lyrics are actually slightly frightening, as lead singer Colin Hay used to live next door to a drug dealer whose clients would often knock on Hay's door by mistake. Another great '80s sax song is of course "Careless Whisper" by George Michael, where the saxophone is literally the best part of the track.

What's your favorite song from the 1980s that features a saxophone part? Vote up your favorites below, and add your favorite saxy songs to the list if they're not already here! 

list ordered by
1
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George Michael, WHAM!

Albums: Make It Big

Composer: George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley

Producer: George Michael

Length (seconds): 4:49

More Careless Whisper 

#9 of 50 The Best Blue-Eyed Soul Songs #94 of 183 The Best '80s New Wave Songs #98 of 114 The Best Party Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

2
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Who Can It Be Now Men At Work
3
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Smooth Operator Sade

Albums: Diamond Life

Composer: Sade Adu

Producer: Robin Millar

Length (seconds): 4:58

4
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You Belong to the City Glenn Frey

Albums: The Allnighter

Composer: Glenn Frey, Jack Tempchin

Length (seconds): 5:51

5
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John Oates

Albums: The Bluesville Sessions

Composer: Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen

Length (seconds): 4:26

More Maneater 

#99 of 183 The Best '80s New Wave Songs #67 of 114 The Best Party Songs Of The '80s, Ranked #6 of 200 The Best Hall & Oates Songs

6
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Rio Duran Duran
7
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INXS

Albums: Kick

Composer: Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss

Length (seconds): 3:1

More Never Tear Us Apart 

#3,121 of 3,866 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked #123 of 284 The Best Rock Songs Of The '80s, Ranked #126 of 183 The Best '80s New Wave Songs

8
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Quarterflash

Albums: Quarterflash

Producer: John Boylan

Length (seconds): 3:52

9
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Urgent Foreigner

Albums: Agent Provocateur, 4, Head Games

Composer: Mick Jones

Length (seconds): 4:20

10
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Danger Zone Kenny Loggins
11
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What You Need INXS

Albums: Listen Like Thieves

Composer: Michael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss

Producer: Chris Thomas

Length (seconds): 3:34

12
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Your Latest Trick Dire Straits

Albums: Brothers in Arms

Composer: Mark Knopfler

Producer: Mark Knopfler, Neil Dorfsman

Length (seconds): 4:36

13
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Spandau Ballet

Albums: True

Composer: Gary Kemp

Length (seconds): 6:29

14
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David Bowie

Albums: Let's Dance

Composer: David Bowie

Length (seconds): 4:48

More Modern Love 

#163 of 284 The Best Rock Songs Of The '80s, Ranked #21 of 173 The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time #58 of 256 The Best Songs with Love in the Title

15
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Thorn in My Side Eurythmics

Albums: Revenge

Composer: Annie Lennox, David A. Stewart

Producer: David A. Stewart

Length (seconds): 4:8

16
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Beastie Boys

Albums: Licensed to Ill

Composer: Rick Rubin

Producer: Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin

Length (seconds): 2:38

17
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The Working Hour Tears for Fears

Albums: Songs From the Big Chair

Composer: Roland Orzabal, Manny Elias, Ian Stanley

Producer: Chris Hughes

Length (seconds): 6:31

18
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Kenny G

Albums: Duotones, The Moment

Composer: Kenny G

Producer: Kenny G, Preston Glass

Length (seconds): 5:0

19
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Billy Ocean

Albums: Suddenly

Composer: Billy Ocean, Keith Diamond

Length (seconds): 4:10

20
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Your Love Is King Sade

Albums: Diamond Life

Composer: Sade Adu, Stuart Matthewman

Producer: Robin Millar

Length (seconds): 3:37

21
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Forever Your Girl Paula Abdul

Albums: Forever Your Girl

Composer: Ta Mara and The Seen, Oliver Leiber

Producer: Oliver Leiber

Length (seconds): 4:16

22
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You Got It All The Jets
23
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New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones Fear