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212 voters

The Best '80s Songs With Saxophones

Updated April 2, 2019 1.0k votes 212 voters 19.8k views23 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! 

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  • Who Can It Be Now1
    65
    27

    Who Can It Be Now

    Men At Work
  • Careless Whisper2
    78
    41

    Careless Whisper

    George Michael, WHAM!

    AlbumsMake It Big

    ComposerGeorge Michael, Andrew Ridgeley

    ProducerGeorge Michael

    Length (seconds)4:49

    More Careless Whisper 

    #8 of 50 The Best Blue-Eyed Soul Songs#125 of 182 The Best '80s New Wave Songs

  • Smooth Operator3
    50
    25

    Smooth Operator

    Sade

    AlbumsDiamond Life

    ComposerSade Adu

    ProducerRobin Millar

    Length (seconds)4:58

  • Maneater4
    38
    13

    Maneater

    John Oates

    AlbumsThe Bluesville Sessions

    ComposerDaryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen

    Length (seconds)4:26

  • You Belong to the City5
    35
    20

    You Belong to the City

    Glenn Frey

    AlbumsThe Allnighter

    ComposerGlenn Frey, Jack Tempchin

    Length (seconds)5:51

  • Rio6
    33
    21

    Rio

    Duran Duran
  • Urgent7
    31
    24

    Urgent

    Foreigner

    AlbumsAgent Provocateur, 4, Head Games

    ComposerMick Jones

    Length (seconds)4:20

  • Harden My Heart8
    27
    20

    Harden My Heart

    Quarterflash

    AlbumsQuarterflash

    ProducerJohn Boylan

    Length (seconds)3:52

    More Harden My Heart 

    #53 of 246 The Greatest Pop Songs by One-Hit Wonders#6 of 128 The Best Songs With Heart in the Title

  • True9
    21
    14

    True

    Spandau Ballet

    AlbumsTrue

    ComposerGary Kemp

    Length (seconds)6:29

    More True 

    #28 of 107 The Greatest Songs by '80s One-Hit Wonders#94 of 142 The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders

  • Modern Love10
    25
    20

    Modern Love

    David Bowie

    AlbumsLet's Dance

    ComposerDavid Bowie

    Length (seconds)4:48

    More Modern Love 

    #34 of 115 The Best '80s Dance Songs#51 of 256 The Best Songs with Love in the Title

  • Never Tear Us Apart11

    AlbumsKick

    ComposerMichael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss

    Length (seconds)3:1

    More Never Tear Us Apart 

    #2777 of 3,867 The Best Songs Of All Time, Ranked#130 of 284 The Best Rock Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • Danger Zone12
    22
    18

    Danger Zone

    Kenny Loggins
  • What You Need13
    17
    13

    What You Need

    INXS

    AlbumsListen Like Thieves

    ComposerMichael Hutchence, Andrew Farriss

    ProducerChris Thomas

    Length (seconds)3:34

  • Thorn in My Side14
    16
    13

    Thorn in My Side

    Eurythmics

    AlbumsRevenge

    ComposerAnnie Lennox, David A. Stewart

    ProducerDavid A. Stewart

    Length (seconds)4:8

  • Your Latest Trick15
    17
    16

    Your Latest Trick

    Dire Straits

    AlbumsBrothers in Arms

    ComposerMark Knopfler

    ProducerMark Knopfler, Neil Dorfsman

    Length (seconds)4:36

  • Brass Monkey16
    16
    15

    Brass Monkey

    Beastie Boys

    AlbumsLicensed to Ill

    ComposerRick Rubin

    ProducerBeastie Boys, Rick Rubin

    Length (seconds)2:38

    More Brass Monkey 

    #17 of 55 The Best Rock Songs About Alcohol#7 of 50 The Best Beastie Boys Songs

  • The Working Hour17
    12
    10

    The Working Hour

    Tears for Fears

    AlbumsSongs From the Big Chair

    ComposerRoland Orzabal, Manny Elias, Ian Stanley

    ProducerChris Hughes

    Length (seconds)6:31

  • Your Love Is King18
    13
    15

    Your Love Is King

    Sade

    AlbumsDiamond Life

    ComposerSade Adu, Stuart Matthewman

    ProducerRobin Millar

    Length (seconds)3:37

  • Caribbean Queen19
    14
    18

    Caribbean Queen

    Billy Ocean

    AlbumsSuddenly

    ComposerBilly Ocean, Keith Diamond

    Length (seconds)4:10

    More Caribbean Queen 

    #148 of 193 The Worst Freakin' Songs of the '80s, Ranked#50 of 100 The Best R&B Songs Of The '80s, Ranked

  • You Got It All20
    8
    10

    You Got It All

    The Jets
  • Forever Your Girl21
    9
    13

    Forever Your Girl

    Paula Abdul

    AlbumsForever Your Girl

    ComposerTa Mara and The Seen, Oliver Leiber

    ProducerOliver Leiber

    Length (seconds)4:16

    More 

    #27 of 157 The Best Songs with Girl in the Title#2 of 99 The Best Songs with Forever in the Title

  • Songbird22
    13
    19

    Songbird

    Kenny G

    AlbumsDuotones, The Moment

    ComposerKenny G

    ProducerKenny G, Preston Glass

    Length (seconds)5:0

  • New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones23
    9
    15

    New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones

    Fear