Music

Five Mark Rivera tunes you probably know well

Mark Rivera Photo credit: Kevin Mazur -- 22Rivera

Kevin Mazur

Mark Rivera.

Longtime sideman Mark Rivera, who comes to Fenway Park with Billy Joel on Thursday, has played with a who’s who of musicians both in concert and on record, including Joel, Ringo Starr, and Peter Gabriel.

Here are five tunes you probably know well that Rivera had a hand in either recording or performing live during his 30-plus year career.

Billy Joel, “The Longest Time”

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Since Rivera has played with Joel, ahem, for the longest time — 32 years and counting — we thought we’d start with this nearly a cappella gem from 1983’s “An Innocent Man.” Although Joel actually performed all the vocals on the album, he included his bandmates in the video.

Peter Gabriel, “Sledgehammer”

Rivera plays the saxophone on, and helped create the horn arrangement for, this MTV-era favorite and one of the biggest hits of Gabriel’s career.

Foreigner, “Urgent”

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While Junior Walker’s solo is indelible, Rivera plays the other memorable sax licks and helped come up with the horn arrangement of this classic “4” track.

Billy Joel, “A Matter of Trust”

While he’s often seen with his saxophone, Rivera is also a vocalist and percussionist, and you can check out the Brooklyn native jamming out on the piano in this clip from Joel’s 1986 album “The Bridge.”

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, “Rosanna” by Toto (Live)

For nearly 20 years Rivera has served as the musical director for the All Starr jaunts convened by the Beatles drummer. In this clip from a 2012 show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Rivera handles both the saxophone and the high vocal parts on the hit Toto love song, alongside Toto guitarist — and session musician extraordinaire — Steve Lukather, and Todd Rundgren, Richard Page of Mr. Mister, drummer Gregg Bissonette, keyboardist and former Santana and Journey member Greg Rolie, and, of course, Ringo himself.

Sarah Rodman can be reached at srodman@globe.com.
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