We lost another great recently. This time Glenn Frey. He is most famous for his work with the Eagles, but he also had a successful solo career in the 80’s while the Eagles were broken up. If you haven’t watched the Eagles documentary, stop what you’re doing and watch it. It’s three hours long, but the opening scene where the band warms up their vocals on “Seven Bridges Road” is amazing. I’ll always remember Glenn Frey talking about how he learned the craft of songwriting. He lived above Jackson Browne, and heard him get up every morning and work through every detail of “Doctor My Eyes” on the piano until it was perfect. Over and over. Glenn Frey summed up “the secret” as elbow grease, and it’s the truth.
I grew up listening mainly to jazz music, so I wasn’t a big Eagles fan until much later in life. But you couldn’t escape the sound of Miami Vice in the 1980’s, and this song featured prominently on it’s soundtrack. So this is a song that I heard a great many times on television and radio growing up. It’s a classic pop sax anthem, and another guilty pleasure to transcribe and play!
The sax player is Bill Bergman, one of those killer players who you’ve heard everywhere, but you may not know their name or work. I didn’t realize that he’s a fellow Strokeland recording artist, both as a member of Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, but also as a solo artist. I found a great video of Bill telling the story behind this recording.
There’s not a lot of soloing in this track. The signature lick is the three-note opening line: a half-step down followed by a major third. The melody is built around that motif. But there are some nice pop licks thrown in for good measure. There are simple chord changes throughout, but I lazily just called it all C#-7 in the PDF. This one is all about the sound – sing it out!
There are a bunch of sax solos in the genre that I’ll continue to work up over the coming months.Bill Bergman - You Belong to the City
- Artist: Bill Bergman
- Album: Glenn Frey: Solo Collection (1985)
- Track: You Belong to the City
- Instrument: Alto Sax