A Question About Pop Music
Russell Arben Fox posts a delicious piece of mid 80’s pop fare over at In Medias Res in his continuing Friday Morning videos series. So, go, click through and have a little dance party.
But the video brings up something I think of time and again when it comes to pop music, specifically 80’s pop. I’ve been listening to a Pandora station I created that delivers the soulful sounds of Sade to my ears during the work day. So many of her big 80’s songs, “Smooth Operator” and “Your Love is King”, among others, feature big sax riffs. Other songs served up through the Sade station, such as the sublime “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red, also give the saxophone prominent placement in the arrangements. That’s not to even mention other tracks from the album Fox links to. Hell, the sax even crossed over into some rather questionable material like this.
I guess my question is, why did the sax fall out of favor in pop music? Does it sound too dated? Is it too “adult contemporary” to be used in mainstream music now? I’m perplexed.