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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:55 am 
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Ariel...Your Benny Benjamin research is pretty spot on. I would say that it wasn't Benny or Jamerson who were responsible for the uniqueness of The Motown Sound...but the combination of those two who laid the foundation. Obviously, the later addition of Earl VanDyke and his raw power on keyboards took the ensemble to another level, along with every other element including the guitar tandem, percussion, etc. Yes, Benny shaped the Motown drum pattern, but Pistol added his own elements and was quite a character himself, and Uriel Jones carried as solid a pocket as has ever been seen in pop music. I don't really see where Motown changed the basic concept after Benny died. The tambourine was always somewhat hot on Motown tracks going back to the early days, and Pistol and Uriel used fills and pickups which while not exactly Benny Benjamin, were definitely Benny influenced. It all came back to Benny and Jamerson though, and I wonder how different Motown would have turned out without those two...and yes..there are dozens of bizarre Benny Benjamin stories out there. Bennys explosive style and powerful licks have become legend through the years.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:34 pm 
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Hey Chief...Where you at??? They're killing me on some of these other threads. Just fucking shoot me in the head...I'm dead LOL.

I assume you're working hard on the list :cop: ...you'd better be. I'm looking for clarity and sanity :zoid: ...Hopefully I'll find it here :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:38 am 
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Thanks for checking out my Benny post and responding Stu. Cheers

Sorry, been very busy recently, but bleh, my bad regardless

Aw man leaving the instrumentalist subforums on DDD is like venturing out in the wilds, its scary and youre surrounded by possibly unfriendly species who'd rather eat you than listen to what you have to say (!) hehe but you're my friend very very respected on this website on the whole at least

I'm always working on the list! When I'm not posting I'm still thinking often about placements and doing research fairly often. Speaking of which..


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:18 am 
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Newton...

Don't have time to look more into him at the moment but will ASAP cheers

Sheehan...Ssoyd it is true Sheehan is not harmonically a McCartney Squire or Flea (or Jamerson) by any means...but to my ear he's one of a kind, I ALWAYS know when it's him, it's not just the unique tone it's his approach and style, he's one of to my mind maybe three 'lead bassists' who do that style inventively, the other two being Entwistle and Squire off the top of my head (there might be more but there aren't many). He manages to pack a lot of notes, beyond what any regular bassist would think to do, in a single riff or phrase, just beyond the amount which is 'normal'...and that creates this epic RUSH to a listener and totally affects the feel of whatever piece he's playing in. He also uses the bass rather interestingly as a solo instrument on his solo albums from what I've heard. He has a completely unique approach to the instrument as this sort of guitar which just happens to be lower pitched and which plays single note lines, but he MAKES IT WORK and many have tried and failed to do the 'bass as guitar' thing before and since. Sure his Entwistle influence is very explicit but he took that idea and expanded upon it and took it in a direction which is unmistakably his imo. I don't think you have to be harmonically interesting to be creative, exceptional creativity can take many forms imo

Babbitt...

Stu your point about the 95% figure being probably largely due to Bob joining as late as '67 (how did Motown do, hits wise, on average from '67 on relative to before that?) is a good point I hadn't considered. Stupid question who was Norman Whitfield again, the guy your brother worked with, who did orchestrations in L.A. Motown? Papa Was a Rolling Stone is indeed a really sick bass performance. When did Bob leave Motown?

Your point about Babbitt's respect by fellow bassists is a good one and has to be seriously considered, thanks for mentioning that, I wasn't aware of his book!

Bob definitely has immaculate, just immaculate feel and groove, probably more feel pound-for-pound, note-for-note than any other bassist I've heard (not kidding) and his use of sparsity and space between notes plus his touch are unique and immaculate, and untouchable

I'll check Bob's website out and gather info there soon

...

Are you familiar with Dave LaRue by the way Stu? What do you think of Stu Hamm? Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:38 am 
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Oh and Stu avoid long drawn-out discussions with Bruce like the plague! Ain't good for ya, he's not worth the effort, not worth 'debating' with aggressive and closed minded people (not to disrespect Bruce's passion for music)


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:34 am 
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Claypool greater than Geezer?
He might be "better", but no way he's greater, imo.

Remember this guys, it was not Iommi alone that defined the sound of Sabbath (as many claim), it's the combination of Iommi AND Butler together....well Bill's drums too of course....but primarily it was the earth-rumble sound of Tony and Geezer that defined Sabbath, and largely was THE foundation for the heavy metal sound in general. Just think, for instance, about that intro of Into The Void. It just wouldn't be the same without Geezer's plodding, monster bass to complement the guitar riff.

Geezer is just too important, imo.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:55 am 
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Ariel wrote:

Sheehan...Ssoyd it is true Sheehan is not harmonically a McCartney Squire or Flea (or Jamerson) by any means...but to my ear he's one of a kind, I ALWAYS know when it's him, it's not just the unique tone it's his approach and style, he's one of to my mind maybe three 'lead bassists' who do that style inventively, the other two being Entwistle and Squire off the top of my head (there might be more but there aren't many). He manages to pack a lot of notes, beyond what any regular bassist would think to do, in a single riff or phrase, just beyond the amount which is 'normal'...and that creates this epic RUSH to a listener and totally affects the feel of whatever piece he's playing in. He also uses the bass rather interestingly as a solo instrument on his solo albums from what I've heard. He has a completely unique approach to the instrument as this sort of guitar which just happens to be lower pitched and which plays single note lines, but he MAKES IT WORK and many have tried and failed to do the 'bass as guitar' thing before and since. Sure his Entwistle influence is very explicit but he took that idea and expanded upon it and took it in a direction which is unmistakably his imo. I don't think you have to be harmonically interesting to be creative, exceptional creativity can take many forms imo



I have to admit I simply don't like listening to Sheehan and find nothing he plays interesting so I shouldn't let my personal feelings about his playing affect how I feel about his placement. I actually give Sheehan more credit now than I used to because there was a time I felt he was no more than a wanker. There are other great musicians I don't like listening too, John McLaughlin on guitar for instance. At the same time don't let the fact that you get a "rush" from his playing affect how high you think his placement should be either. We should strive to keep our emotions out of this as much as possible.


Last edited by Ssoyd on Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:59 am 
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Ok Ariel...I kinda knew you'd be working on the list in your head. Just callin you out...

Yeah...I spent a couple of days at home working on a project and get hooked up in a ridiculous conversation with Bruce...but actually, it keeps me focused. He reminds me a lot of a friend...Mike McClain. Mike is an eccentric genius. As a teenager in Detroit (1961) he was a tech wiz and drove down to Motown asking for a job for the brand new recording company he heard about. Berry Gordy hired him on the spot, gave him $1500.00 and told him to put together his first recording studio (true story). Mike built that first studio in three days using spare parts, and did all the upgrades as time and recording technology advanced, and Motown was making enough money to start adding additional tracks from the original 2 track setup in the studio. Fast forward...Mike later moves to Los Angeles and gets these engineering gigs at some of the L.A. studios like Warner Bros, Sony, etc. The guy is a genius...and also can be ornery, cantancerous, and downright rude... a tech genius. Mike would cuss me out one minute on the Soulful Detroit website (cause I'd push his buttons)...he'd sober up the next morning, accuse me of not wanting to be his friend, and invite me to lunch (his treat at his favorite Bar B Q spot) where we'd talk about Motown and stuff for 2-3 hours. He'd bring tech magazines with articles about some of his technical accomplishments. He'd be back the next night MF-ing me and everyone else, then apologising the next day LOL. He went back east with an older lady (he's about 70 himself now), and I'd get these strange calls from her. Mike has settled in the Carolinas and I still get e-mails and occassional phone calls from him. Anytime I get Mike on the phone, I know that if I ask him how the weather is back there...I'm into at least a 2 hour conversation about music, engineering, and Motown, but he is an amazing resource about Motown and a lot of technical shit I'll never understand . Anyways...Bruce reminds me a lot of Mike...the good, the bad, and the ugly LOL...

Dave LaRue...I like some of what I've heard of The Dixie Dregs, and by all accounts, he's a pretty fair bassist with some crossover genre appeal.

Stu Hamm...great technical player. I'm pretty impressed.

Norman Whitfield...one of Motowns most prolific producers. Transformed The Temptations into their later phase with Dennis Edwards and the psychadelic phase...all those hits. Norman wrote and produced such Motown classics as I Heard It Through The Grapevine, War, Cloud Nine, Papa Was A Rolling Stone, and dozens of other classics. Norman came to California and wrote and produced the soundtrack to the movie Car Wash (featuring Rose Royce). Norman and my brother worked on The Commodores, The Temptations, Rose Royce, and several other artists and projects during the 80's together out here in L.A. They also co-wrote and produced the theme to the Berry Gordy movie...The Last Dragon. Norman was a very colorful and somewhat controversial character but one of the most respected producers in the business. He's a true legend. Norman passed away a couple of years ago.

Anyways...lets keep it going...


Last edited by StuBass on Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:14 am 
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StuBass wrote:
Ok Ariel...I kinda knew you'd be working on the list in your head. Just callin you out...

Yeah...I spent a couple of days at home working on a project and get hooked up in a ridiculous conversation with Bruce...but actually, it keeps me focused.


In my younger days I was much like Bruce in that I would defend strong opinions I held without considering that someone else could have valid points. The problem is I would get so mentally involved thinking up ways to prove my point I would fail to give another viewpoint proper consideration. As I got older I tempered my views and now realize there is a possibility that any viewpoint I may have could in fact be incorrect.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:51 am 
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Ssoyd wrote:
StuBass wrote:
Ok Ariel...I kinda knew you'd be working on the list in your head. Just callin you out...

Yeah...I spent a couple of days at home working on a project and get hooked up in a ridiculous conversation with Bruce...but actually, it keeps me focused.


In my younger days I was much like Bruce in that I would defend strong opinions I held without considering that someone else could have valid points. The problem is I would get so mentally involved thinking up ways to prove my point I would fail to give another viewpoint proper consideration. As I got older I tempered my views and now realize there is a possibility that any viewpoint I may have could in fact be incorrect.


I hear you Ssoyd. The thing about Bruce is that it seems he doesn't think that ANY decent music was ever produced after 1959 :banghead: . The difference is that those of us who actually performed and lived within the music world have a much diferent perspective than those who obtain their knowledge from books, charts, and statistics.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:59 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
The difference is that those of us who actually performed and lived within the music world have a much diferent perspective than those who obtain their knowledge from books, charts, and statistics.


That's why it's nice to have you around Stu :smile:

It's kind of funny that it's you who he's chosen as his argumentative sparring partner so much given that I'd reckon you probably like 50s rock more than anyone else on this website other than him (and maybe Negative Creep! Hi Neg)

Anyway...

Sheehan -- I spoke unclearly, didn't put it right. What I meant to say (I'm not sure if I said this clearly or not) was really that his style gives the music he's in a 'rush' quality, not just that I get a personal rush from his playing. An imprecise attempt to assign a word to his (rather unique imo) style...

LaRue -- Highly respected but him being top 20 is laughable, from all I can gather he's seen similarly, and acclaimed similarly, to like a Tony Choy, except he isn't in metal. Highly highly respected, acclaimed, and skilled, above average creativity, and one of the 'technical gods' guys...but top 20? Seriously? How the heck did he end up so high in the first place?

I'm not even sure Dixie Dregs is even 'rock'...aren't they like a fusion (no pun intended) of jazz fusion and prog rock? Does he even qualify for this list?

Still tho, this is pretty cool haha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvOc2mJj5gQ

Anyway...

Good stuff on Whitfield. Babbitt being his bassist of choice is indeed worth pointing out, thanks for bringing it to my attention. The Mike McClain stories were hilarious, always enjoy some lightheartedness on this forum! (Well, okay, that wasn't lighthearted, but it was pretty f'n funny)

Stu should have a good spot, being the third wheel in the trifecta of the famous technical monsters today (others being Wooten & Sheehan). Also a sensitive musician and excellent bass composer of bass pieces. But does he belong above Lesh, Casady, those guys? Hmm

Babbitt will definitely be ahead of say Nathan East, and for that matter probably Louis J. I haven't done any criteria breakdowns so as usual this is just a guess, but you know. I suspect he might fall to like #30 but he'll never fall lower than that. He might fall less than that, or even keep his position. Just not sure yet.

Anyone here wanna enlighten me on Phil Lesh? My opinion of the Dead in general is really low, but people just rave about this dude...


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
Claypool greater than Geezer?
He might be "better", but no way he's greater, imo.

Remember this guys, it was not Iommi alone that defined the sound of Sabbath (as many claim), it's the combination of Iommi AND Butler together....well Bill's drums too of course....but primarily it was the earth-rumble sound of Tony and Geezer that defined Sabbath, and largely was THE foundation for the heavy metal sound in general. Just think, for instance, about that intro of Into The Void. It just wouldn't be the same without Geezer's plodding, monster bass to complement the guitar riff.

Geezer is just too important, imo.


I'm very glad you realize Geezer's importance to the Sabbath sound, corrections once said that Sabbath's sound is 60% Tony 25% Geezer and the rest is Bill and Ozzy, something like that. He was on the right track, in my personal opinion it'd be like 50% Tony 25% Geezer 15% Bill 10% Ozzy or something...(lol) Geezer was VERY important in the history of rock bass as you note and very original for his time. And often very underrated in creativity. A very important figure.

That said discussion on the top, er, 17 is currently basically locked. Sorry...it's just every time someone starts worrying about the top of the list, the rest of it gets ignored and never gets done! I personally think the top 17 is near-perfect right now, if not perfect, BUT after we're done with the rest of the list some minor touching up might be in order...and please come back and chip in on issues like this then! (That's an invitation)

You might be right about Geezer v Claypool by the criteria. But it's too minor an issue to un-lock discussion on the top of the list for. Sorry dude


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Good to have you back on duty Ariel :cop: hehe...

I think I recall that Bassfreak was a Dixie Dregs fan...at least went to their performance. That could explain LaRue.

Lets see...Phil Lesh???...Not being much of a "Deadhead", although one of my nephews once followed The Dead around the country for the better part of a year (he's since recovered). I know Lesh by his reputation and the musicians he hangs out with. The latter of the two somewhat enhanced my appreciation of him, since he's done a significant amount of work with the super talented songwriter/singer Joan Osborne...a 6 time Grammy winner. She's a talented individual, and wouldn't work with Lesh unless he was the real deal. As for his "Dead" stuff...a lot of it was really slow, so Lesh created a style where he jumped around structurally and harmonically a lot within those measures. In a way, that type of stuff allowed him a little bit of freedom to experiment. He's said that when playing...he looks at where he is and where he wants to end up...not worrying too much about where he's gonna go next. Interesting concept. As for a ranking...Just don't know, but he does garner some significant respect amongst fellow musicians.

Babbitt...I'll accept your knowledgable judgement on his placement and keep my opinions to myself.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:56 pm 
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Just one more thing...on the dynamic of the Whitfield- Babbitt relationship. Before Babbitt arrived at Motown, Norman did a lot of work with Jamerson on many hits. When Norman took over The Temptations from Smokey, he soon sent them off in this new direction after listening to Sly & The Family Stone, etc...Norman decided to take them in a Psychadelic direction...hence "Cloud Nine" and then on and on. Norman and James both had VERY strong personalities. Jamerson could be stubborn and Norman was a my way or the highway, iron fisted producer. Bad mix when you're telling a guy to change his style from what he'd been used to. Babbitt was a much more easy going guy and willing to do what he was told and work within those guidelines...and he created some masterpieces with that work ethic and mentality. Just a bit of insight as to why Norman went with Babbitt and chose to avoid potential headbutting conflicts with Jamerson.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:34 am 
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Ariel wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
Claypool greater than Geezer?
He might be "better", but no way he's greater, imo.

Remember this guys, it was not Iommi alone that defined the sound of Sabbath (as many claim), it's the combination of Iommi AND Butler together....well Bill's drums too of course....but primarily it was the earth-rumble sound of Tony and Geezer that defined Sabbath, and largely was THE foundation for the heavy metal sound in general. Just think, for instance, about that intro of Into The Void. It just wouldn't be the same without Geezer's plodding, monster bass to complement the guitar riff.

Geezer is just too important, imo.


I'm very glad you realize Geezer's importance to the Sabbath sound, corrections once said that Sabbath's sound is 60% Tony 25% Geezer and the rest is Bill and Ozzy, something like that. He was on the right track, in my personal opinion it'd be like 50% Tony 25% Geezer 15% Bill 10% Ozzy or something...(lol) Geezer was VERY important in the history of rock bass as you note and very original for his time. And often very underrated in creativity. A very important figure.

That said discussion on the top, er, 17 is currently basically locked. Sorry...it's just every time someone starts worrying about the top of the list, the rest of it gets ignored and never gets done! I personally think the top 17 is near-perfect right now, if not perfect, BUT after we're done with the rest of the list some minor touching up might be in order...and please come back and chip in on issues like this then! (That's an invitation)

You might be right about Geezer v Claypool by the criteria. But it's too minor an issue to un-lock discussion on the top of the list for. Sorry dude


No harm, no foul bro. :cheers:

Glad to see you getting more into Motown and 50's rock (as you mentioned above).

For me, the best decades for music since the 1950's would be ranked like this...
60's > 50's > 70's > 80's > 90's >> 00's.


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