Clarence Clemons: When the Big Man joined other bands, Part 2

clemons videos ringo

Clarence Clemons, performing with Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band in 1989.

In 2019, I put together a post with 20 videos showing Clarence Clemons performing with artists other than Bruce Springsteen. And this year, when I re-posted it in honor of the 79th anniversary of Clemons’ birth (Jan. 11), an interesting thing happen. A bunch of people posted videos I had missed, and I realized that I had really only scratched the surface with my initial post.

And so I decided to put together this second post, with 20 more videos. While Part 1 is dominated by live performances, Part 2 is devoted mostly to studio performances.

Thanks very much to everyone who brought any of these performances to my attention (some I just found on my own), and keep ’em coming. Maybe I’ll do a Part 3 at some point!

“Unchain My Heart,” with Joe Cocker. Clemons played on Cocker’s 1987 cover of the Ray Charles hit and also appears in the video.

“The Weight,” with Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band. From the first All Starr Band tour, in 1989. Clemons takes a saxophone solo and sings backing vocals. Levon Helm and Rick Danko of The Band, and Dr. John share lead vocals. Also featured are Nils Lofgren and Joe Walsh on guitars; Dr. John, Billy Preston and Garth Hudson of The Band (not part of the All Starr Band, but guesting this night) on keyboards; Danko on bass; and Helm, Starr and Jim Keltner on drums.

“Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” with Ronnie Spector. This 1977 recording of the Billy Joel-written song was actually released under the name Ronnie Spector & the E Street Band, and featured other band members as well, with production by Steven Van Zandt.

“Sun City,” with Artists United Against Apartheid. Clemons contributed to the Van Zandt-spearheaded 1985 protest anthem. He can be seen and heard here most prominently at the 6:25 mark.

“We’ve Got the Love,” with JAM (Jersey Artists for Mankind). Clemons also contributed to this 1986 charity single. Check him out at the 4:40 mark.

“Trouble’s Back,” with Nils Lofgren. From Lofgren’s 1991 Silver Lining album, and also featuring Levon Helm on backing vocals and Billy Preston on organ.

“All of the Good Ones are Taken,” with Ian Hunter. Though not shown in this video, Clemons played on this title track and single from Hunter’s 1983 album.

“Angelyne,” with Gary U.S. Bonds. Clemons, along with Springsteen and other E Street Band members, made major contributions to Gary U.S. Bonds’ ’80s comeback albums. Here, Clemons solos on the Springsteen-written “Angelyne.”

“Someone,” with Greg Lake. From the self-titled 1981 solo debut album by the Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson singer-bassist.

“Mack the Knife,” with Lisa Stansfield. Clemons was heard on the soundtrack of Stansfield’s 1999 movie “Swing” and also played a musician in the movie itself.

“We’ll Take the Night,” with Roy Orbison. Orbison died in 1988 and this is from King of Hearts, an album that was assembled from unreleased recordings he left behind and released in 1992.

“I Listen to the Bells,” with Luther Vandross. From Vandross’ 1995 album This Is Christmas. The track also features a guest appearance by Darlene Love.

“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine,” with The Four Tops. From the group’s 1988 album, Indestructible.

“Lies,” with Carlene Carter. From Carter’s 1979 album, Two Sides to Every Woman.

“The Other Side of the Sun,” with Janis Ian. From Ian’s 1979 Night Rains album.

“He Can’t Love You,” Michael Stanley Band. The Cleveland-based group had its biggest hit with this song, featuring Clemons, in 1980.

“Simon,” with Joan Armatrading. From Armatrading’s 1980 album Me, Myself and I.

“Be Chrool to Your Scuel,” with Twisted Sister. From the band’s 1985 Come Out and Play album.

“Saxman,” with Dave Koz. Saxophonist Koz included Clemons on this cut from his 1993 album Lucky Man, along with saxophone luminaries Maceo Parker (James Brown, P-Funk) and Stephen “Doc” Kupka (Tower of Power).

“The Time Is Right,” with Danny DeGennaro. The late DeGennaro’s Danny DeGennaro Band was based in the Philadelphia area.


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