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The 6 Sexiest Sax Songs

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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

Why Poland's Break With Ukraine Weakens All Enemies Of Russia — Starting With Poland

Poland’s decision to stop sending weapons to Ukraine is being driven by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's short-term electoral calculus. Yet the long-term effects on the world stage could deeply undermine the united NATO front against Russia, and the entire Western coalition.

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Bartosz T. Wieliński


WARSAW — Poland has now moved from being the country that was most loudly demanding that arms be sent to Ukraine, to a country that has suddenly announced it was withholding military aid. Even if Poland's actions won't match Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s words, the government has damaged the standing of our country in the region, and in NATO.

“We are no longer providing arms to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” the prime minister declared on Polsat news on Wednesday evening. He didn’t specify which type of arms he was referring to, but his statement was quickly spread on social media by leading figures of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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When news that Poland would be withholding arms to Ukraine made their way to the headlines of the most important international media outlets, no politician from PiS stepped in to refute the prime minister’s statement. Which means that Morawiecki said exactly what he meant to say.

The era of tight Polish-Ukrainian collaboration, militarily and politically, has thus come to an end.

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