After going to the Arcada theater on Saturday night and rocking out to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes I realized how much I love a good horn section. Horns take a great song and just make it happier. There are countless great horn sections that were used in the sixties and the seventies particularly if you check out the Motown sound coming from Detroit. The eighties brought a different type of horn sections. During the era of punk rock in the late seventies and early eighties, some rockers were paying attention to a sound coming out of Jamaica. Ska music was a combination of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. In the late 1970s in Britain, musicians fused Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with the faster tempos and harder edge of punk rock.
If you are a fan of horns definitely check out some of the great ska bands from the eighties but the song I went with although still from the eighties is not ska. It is by former Genesis front man Peter Gabriel. Over the weekend I watched an episode of the tv show Classic Albums. This episode focused on the making of Peter Gabriel’s album So. What a phenomenal album that was. From start to finish just packed with insanely good tracks. The distinctive horn track in Sledgehammer was provided by a horn section led by Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns. Read what Peter Gabriel had to say about Wayne.
“Wayne Jackson, who plays on that track, was also with Otis Redding and was touring with him when I saw them in London. So that was a thrill for me, just to get a whole lot of fan stories. But I think the song was more influenced by many of those Stax and Atlantic tracks rather than Otis particularly.” – Peter Gabriel, July 1986
So enjoy this fab horn section (and the super innovative video produced by the people who gave you Wallace and Gromit)
Now tell me what is your favorite song with a horn section?