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rhysonsax

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Reminds me of the time that I saw Matt Bianco on Top of the Pops in the mid 1980s. The great Ronnie Ross played baritone sax with them, but obviously his middle aged jazzer image didn't fit, so his bari part was being mimed in the studio by a pretty boy ..... who was 'playing' trumpet !

Rhys
 

Saxlicker

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I can't believe that something like that gets uploaded.
I mean, I doubt seriously that when the TV performance went out, that it was ever sync'd to the recorded audio thats with it on you tube.
For my money this has been done by who ever uploaded the video. I could be wrong as the audience clapping merges as expected, yet not impossible to do.
But what ever the case, they have managed to devalue it.


Watching that clip reminded me of a question I had. I'm sure the first 6-7 notes are on soprano, just before the main alto sax riff comes in, no?

I think you could be right about that.
 
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rhysonsax

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Watching that clip reminded me of a question I had. I'm sure the first 6-7 notes are on soprano, just before the main alto sax riff comes in, no?

Here's what Wikipedia says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker_Street_(song)

The album City to City, including "Baker Street", was co-produced by Rafferty and Hugh Murphy.[7] In addition to a guitar solo, played by Hugh Burns, the song featured a prominent eight-bar saxophone riff played as a break between verses, by Raphael Ravenscroft.[1][8]

Rafferty claimed he wrote the hook with the original intention that it be sung. Ravenscroft said differently, saying he was presented with a song that contained "several gaps". "In fact, most of what I played was an old blues riff," stated Ravenscroft. "If you're asking me: 'Did Gerry hand me a piece of music to play?' then no, he didn't."[9] However, the 2011 reissue of City To City included the demo of Baker Street which included the saxophone part played on electric guitar by Rafferty.

Ravenscroft, a session musician, was in the studio to record a brief soprano saxophone part and suggested that he record the now famous break using the alto saxophone he had in his car.[5] The part led to what became known as "the 'Baker Street' phenomenon", a resurgence in the sales of saxophones and their use in mainstream pop music and television advertising.[8]

According to one story Ravenscroft received no payment for a song that earned Rafferty an income of £80,000 per annum; a cheque for £27 given to Ravenscroft bounced and was framed on the wall of his solicitor.[9] The bouncing cheque story was denied, however, by Ravenscroft on the Simon Mayo Drivetime show on Radio 2 on 9 February 2012. He said - "You'd better not believe everything you hear." Simon Mayo asked further: "So, is it not true?" "No. It's not true" Ravenscroft replied. Ravenscroft said his work took about an hour to complete.

The saxophone riff was also the subject of another urban myth in the UK, created in the 1980s by British writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie.[1] As one of the spoof facts invented for the regular "Would You Believe It?" section in the NME, Maconie falsely claimed that British radio and television presenter Bob Holness had played the saxophone part on the recording.[1] Later, the claim was widely repeated.[10][11]

The single version was recorded with the tape of the album version sped up slightly to raise the tempo to be more radio-friendly. This also had the result of raising the key by a half tone. In January 2011, radio presenter Simon Lederman revealed that Ravenscroft himself thought the solo was out of tune. When asked during a live radio interview on BBC London 94.9: "What do you think when you hear [the sax solo] now?", Ravenscroft replied: "I'm irritated because it's out of tune; yeah it's flat; by enough of a degree that it irritates me at best" and admitted he was "gutted" when he heard it back. He added he was not able to re-record the take as he was not involved when the song was mixed.
 

Kingsleyhk

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Not to get controversial but if you read John Laughter's book on rock sax solos, there are some interesting sidelights (pg 67) on the Baker Street solo.

On a more positive note, have a listen to Maynard Ferguson's version on his "Carnival" album.

And I do think that YouTube clip is a travesty. But it happens - I remember seeing a Top of the Pops show where the drummer had forgotten his sticks and played the snare bongo style for the "live" show!
 
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