The Best '80s Songs With Saxophones

Over 700 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best '80s Songs With Saxophones
Latest additions: Will You?, Baker Street, Brass Monkey
Most divisive: Thorn in My Side

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! 

Ranked by
  • Careless Whisper
    George Michael, WHAM!
    318 votes
    • Album(s): Make It Big
    • Length (seconds): 4:49

    George Michael's sultry masterpiece, "Careless Whisper," features one of the most iconic saxophone riffs in pop history, seducing listeners with its smooth and emotive tones. This timeless heartbreak anthem solidified George Michael's place as a musical legend and remains a quintessential hit from the 1980s.

  • Who Can It Be Now

    Who Can It Be Now

    Men At Work
    239 votes

    Men at Work's quirky hit "Who Can It Be Now" is punctuated by an irresistibly catchy saxophone hook that instantly transports listeners to the neon-soaked era of the '80s. Colin Hay's distinctive vocals meld perfectly with the playful sax line, making this tune an unforgettable classic from Down Under.

  • You Belong to the City

    You Belong to the City

    Glenn Frey
    191 votes
    • Album(s): The Allnighter
    • Length (seconds): 5:51

    Glenn Frey captivated audiences with his atmospheric hit "You Belong to the City," featuring an evocative saxophone melody that perfectly complements Frey's smoky vocals. This ode to urban life remains an essential part of any '80s playlist and showcases Glenn Frey's undeniable talent as a musician.

  • Baker Street

    Baker Street

    Undercover, Undercover
    179 votes
    • Album(s): Check Out the Groove
    • Length (seconds): 4:5

    Gerry Rafferty's moody classic "Baker Street" is propelled by Raphael Ravenscroft's wailing saxophone solo, which has become synonymous with the song itself. The haunting melody combined with Rafferty's introspective lyrics make this track a compelling piece of '80s music history.

  • Maneater
    John Oates
    172 votes
    • Album(s): The Bluesville Sessions
    • Length (seconds): 4:26

    Hall & Oates' infectious chart-topper "Maneater" boasts a driving saxophone section that adds flair and depth to this unforgettable pop-rock gem. With its captivating rhythm and sing-along lyrics, this song remains a testament to Hall & Oates' ability to create legendary hits.

  • Never Tear Us Apart
    169 votes
    • Album(s): Kick
    • Length (seconds): 3:1

    INXS' impassioned ballad "Never Tear Us Apart" highlights Kirk Pengilly’s soulful saxophone playing, which adds incredible depth and emotion to Michael Hutchence's heartfelt vocal performance. This powerful and timeless hit showcases the band's versatility and prowess as musicians.