Most of us instantly recognise the song, Careless Whisper when we hear it playing on the radio. The popularity can be attributed to many things – the awesome voice of George Michael, the beautiful lyrics, the moody video and by no means least – the melodic sound of the saxophone.
The saxophone solo at the start of the song is a distinct and complex piece of music that has become a timeless classic. The solo sounds effortless thanks to the musician who played it, but it was in no way a simple process.
Not All Saxophone Players Are Equal
When Wham! first attempted to record Careless Whisper, they went to Southern U.S. to record the song at the vaunted Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. This is where acts such as The Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin had recorded songs in the past.
Wham! had chosen icon Jerry Wexler to produce the song, and in turn, Wexler flew in one of the top session saxophone players to play on the song. Unfortunately, the saxophone player did not live up to his reputation. After two hours of attempting and failing to recreate the solo from the demo tape, Wham! pulled the plug on the session.
They returned to London and started over on the recording. Ten different saxophone players were called in to record the solo and they all failed as well. When the eleventh saxophone player arrived, everything changed. His name was Steve Gregory and unlike the previous saxophone players, he had the lung capacity to play the many notes without losing his breath.
A Little Bit of Help
On the first try, the solo wasn't quite right, so the engineer slowed the recording speed to enable Gregory to record the solo a semitone lower than it was written in the song. The saxophone solo was quite difficult to play at the speed it was written and therefore the only way to get the entire solo was by slowing it down. As the story goes, George Michaels walked into the studio as the song was being played back and exclaimed: "That's the one, that's the sax solo I want!" and the rest is history.
We Can Too
Session saxophonists didn't have time to learn the song before attempting to play it. However, our talented saxophonists have had years of experience playing the solo to Careless Whisper as well as a wide variety of other songs. Our saxophonists can take requests or play from a pre-determined playlist. Why settle for a dull Christmas party (or other event) when you can enliven it with one of our saxophone players? We’re ready to make your next event a hit.
Do You Need of a Saxophone Player for an Event?
Our saxophone players are talented, experienced musician that are accustomed to playing at weddings, corporate events, office parties, pub gigs, birthdays or other special events. Whatever the occasion take advantage by hiring one of our Essex based saxophonists for your next event. Don't miss out, call us via the button below, or complete our easy online contact form and someone will be in touch right away!