I took my saxophone out of its case this morning for the first time in years and discovered a shocking amount of mould growing on the reed. I swear there is enough bacteria on the mouthpiece to keep our biochemists in business for the next twenty years. It’s certainly not going anywhere near my mouth. So I spent the last hour trawling though the net looking for saxophone reed stockists and, as usual, got distracted…this time by a very amusing site called The 80s Sax Solo Grading System.
For fans of 80s music, this wonderful cheese-fest of a website is a must-see. The author has taken a number of well-known 80s saxophone solos, sorted them into categories such as ‘mood breaker’, ‘blaring’, ‘too long’ etc and graded them on their overall quality. He describes his system as follows:
‘I realized about 5 years ago that at some point in the 80s, lots of the popular music started incorporating saxophone solos into their songs. Some of them are fine, but most of them are ridiculous to have in the songs…I have attempted to separate the quality and appropriateness of the solos from what I think of the song as a whole (I still really like most of these songs, even the ones with low grades).’
Sounds like a serious analysis of 80s music, right? But take a look, it’s very funny and how many other grading systems have ‘spaz’ as a classification? Now I’m inspired to buy a new reed for my sax, dig out those dusty 80s compilation albums and take the neighbours on a journey back in time…Baker Street, here I come!
(Ok, ok, Baker Street was released in 1978, don’t write in!)