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Photo: Roy Anderson/Family handout

A sad note in the music world today with news of the death of Raphael Ravenscroft, the British saxophonist who worked with some of the best artists of his generation. He died at age 60 after an apparent heart attack on Sunday in Exeter, UK. Ravenscroft is best known for penning and playing one of the most recognizable saxophone riffs in history, for Gerry Rafferty’s 1978 hit “Baker Street.” .

Ravenscroft was reportedly paid only $44 for the session — and on top of that, the check bounced. Thankfully, he later earned around $130,000 a year from royalties after “Baker Street” reached #2 in the U.S. charts and #3 in the UK.

He also played on albums by Pink Floyd, Abba, Marvin Gaye, Bonnie Tyler and Daft Punk. Ravenscroft later said his most famous riff irritated him “because it's out of tune” — though most of us have never noticed.

To pay tribute to Ravenscroft, we have tracked down the top saxophone riffs the world has produced since Adolphe Sax built his first prototype in 1842 in Paris. (Note: We have also transcribed them to help you sing along...)

Henry Mancini, "The Pink Panther Theme"

"Pala, pala, pala pala pala palapalaaaa, palapalala"

The Champs, "Tequila"

"Tata tatata tatata, tata tatata tata, tata tatata tatata, tata tatatata tata, tequila!"

The Revels, "Comanche"

"Papapapapa papapapapa pow, Papapapapa papapapapa pow, Papapapapa papapapapa pow, Papapapapa papapapapa pow"

Pink Floyd, "Us and Them"

"Bemdabab, bemdab dedabdab, daaadabedab, deeebdebdabedab, dedadaaa, dedadaaa"

George Michael, "Careless Whisper"

"Laala laala, laala laala, laala laala, laala laala, lalalalalaaa lalaaa, laalaa laalaalaalaalaalaa"

Madness, "One Step Beyond"

Pwa pwa pwaaaa, pwa pwa pwa pwa pwaaaa, pwa pwa pwa pwaaaa, pwa pwa pwa pwa pwaaaa

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Is Turning Into A "New Israel" — Where Everyone Is A Soldier

From businessmen to farmers, Ukrainian society has been militarizing for the past six months to defend its sovereignty. In the future it may find itself like Israel, permanently armed to protect its sovereignty.

Ukrainian civilians learn how to shoot and other military skills at a shooting range in Lviv on July 30, 2022.

Guillaume Ptak

KYIV — The war in Ukraine has reached a turning point. Vladimir Putin's army has suffered its worst setback since the beginning of the invasion. The Russian army has experienced a counter-offensive that many experts consider masterful, so it must retreat and cede vast territories to its opponent.

The lightning victory that the head of the Kremlin had dreamed of never took place. The losses are considerable — Ukrainian troops on the battlefield now outnumber the Russians.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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On April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted that at the end of the conflict, Ukraine would become a "big Israel". In an interview with Ukrainian media, he said then, "In all the institutions, supermarkets, cinemas, there will be people with weapons."

The problem of national security will be the country's most important one in the next decade. An "absolutely liberal, and European" society would therefore no longer be on the agenda, according to the Ukrainian president.

Having long since swapped his suit and tie for a jacket or a khaki T-shirt during his public appearances, Zelensky has undeniably become one of the symbols of this growing militarization of Ukrainian society. However, the president claimed that Ukraine would not become an "authoritarian" regime: "An authoritarian state would lose to Russia. Ukrainians know what they are fighting for."

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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