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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:11 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
Stu/Ssoyd,
I'd like to know what you think of this...



Two marvelous bass solos, some beautiful and dreamy guitar melodies, and some tight jazz playing at the end.


Wishbone Ash was one of my favorite bands from the 70's and I always liked the bass playing of Martin Turner. Turner was a founding member. They also pioneered the twin guitar sound that became popular later on. I particularly like their Argus album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtS8SHX7 ... F8AC26657B
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvLVSPPL ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUolWNHxRiM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tna0Mmu1XlI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB6fCuxG ... ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJN-wrtu ... ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CohG31ec ... ure=relmfu


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Argus needs no explanation at all. I got the album years ago and have been hooked ever since.
The first two albums are damn near as good, especially the self-titled debut.

There's also Paul Newton, the original bassist for Uriah Heep:



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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Ssoyd wrote:
Ariel, could you please give me examples of exceptional playing by Burton. I have never heard any. From what I've heard he couldn't shine Entwistle's shoes. I'll keep an open mind but he doesn't impress me at all.


Sure thing friend.

Exhibit A: Anesthesia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iOmo0ZuyNk

A fully distorted bass solo that incorporates wah, artificial harmonics, and a classical compositional approach.

Exhibit B: Call of Ktulu (bass track boosted)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HHIclVldKk

Note that the bass is distorted throughout the song, and the freaky monster sounds are Burton using effects. You have to listen closely but he does multiple brief solos as well, including one at the very end. Also note the multiple approaches he takes to his playing in this song, in some cases even using distortion+effects bass for sound effects. I am fairly certain the distortion was partially used to help convey the atmosphere of the Lovecraft piece this song is inspired by/meant to convey the atmosphere of, and I suspect that the monster sounds are supposed to be Ktulu himself (!)

(In other news after reading the titular Lovecraft story I consider this Metallica's masterpiece, how it fits the mood of the story so well, like a tone poem. It's an artistic masterpiece (and the Lovecraft story even more so!))

Exhibit C: Orion (bass track boosted)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4mb_BnKP1A

Whole intro (aside from drums) again bass with effects, in this case some kind of combination of a loop pedal, mild distortion, and wah I think. Main part of song has traditional Burton distorted playing (he basically always played using distortion). "Chorus" (you'll know it when it hits, three-chord guitar motif), distorted bass high on the fretboard holding the main melody with guitar chords underneath (!). Note Burton's phrasing during 'verse' section, he always phrases different notes differently for emphasis in his work in general (best and most subtle and sophisticated phrasing I'm aware of among bass players probably).

Interlude here is the famous Burton Baroque style playing under guitar chords part (this whole section, including the guitar, was written by Burton), with endless and imaginative variations in what the bass is doing. No distortion on bass here. Again this is basically a tone poem in the 19th century sense of the term, it's music meant to convey an atmosphere/scene, in this case outer space (hence the title "Orion"). This whole interlude is one of the most famous and acclaimed bass parts in rock history, by the way, at least among young people. Note the way the bass subtly takes over and starts carrying what is now the main melody, with the guitar chords going into the background, in the ending stretch of this interlude.

Post-interlude has a guitar solo and then distorted and in parts double-tracked (harmony) bass solo. I didn't realize this was a bass solo until I read it online years after I'd first heard the album. Final guitar solo and fadeout

Exhibit D: Damage Inc.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbLMrce7 ... re=related

This is actually the next song on the Master of Puppets album after Orion (and the final song). You only need to listen to the intro here, which is actually multitracked (harmonized parts) bass through an octaver and sustainer so it's high pitched. More wah use, subtle here though.

That's all for now, but I'd be happy to post more if anyone wants. Cheers. PS Burton's playing was also consistently incredibly expressive, rich and imaginative in Metallica's more 'normal' songs too (see Sanitarium, Fade to Black, Battery, Master of Puppets, The Four Horsemen for evidence!) Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:08 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
Re Odum...I'd say that Odum was James Browns signature bassist, although James fired and hired a lot of musicians and had some real good bassists in the mix.


Aye. If he was James' main dude he'll probably need to be raised on this list

StuBass wrote:
Check Babbitts discography on his website. In addition to his body of work at Motown, he had some terrific perofrmances for artists as diverse as Barry Manilow, Elton John, The Spinners, etc. Talk about versatility!


Indeed!

StuBass wrote:
I met Tony Newton, as I said, down at Smokeys house when I was about 14. I'd see him around a lot. He had an interest in a music store in Northwest Detroit. He had a guitar company come out with a signature "Newton" bass. When I was looking to upgrade from my first electric...a Kent, Tony tried to convince me to get a Newton. I considered it, but wisely opted for the Fender Jazz bass. When they formed The 8TH Day, I ran into Tony and he told me about his band. He just got a house in an upscale neighborhood and invited me to come over and his whole band was there...sort of like a hippie commune. When I moved to L.A. I ran into him and as I said...he offered to let me record a new demo tape at his apartment...I was working as a radio newscaster at the time. I was driving him nuts trying to get out a solid demo tape. Probably reminded him of some of the Motown producers doing 40 takes...


Actually this is the first time I've heard any of this! Awesome, really awesome stuff though, probably the best of your stories so far (aside from seeing Jamerson in a club that is!). Man you ran into some cool people back in the day, Jamerson, Newton, the Pistons, word.

Did the demo tape ever get done acceptably? Lol


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:08 pm 
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D.J. wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
Stu, I agree on James Brown.
There's an episode of The Cosby Show where Cliff puts on a live version of "I Got The Feeling".....and man the bass on there is just SMOKIN'! The groove he had going on was just indescribably fucking killer.
The only problem is I don't know who it was.... :oops:



Haha I remember that episode!



Haha you Brits watched the Cosby show too?

And man that's some smokin' bass indeed, word. I'm glad you mentioned this stuff Neg, first time I"ve really paid attention to Odum, man he's groovy, my my


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:21 pm 
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D.J. wrote:
Ariel, what's wrong with Deacon at 18/19? we are talking about one of the greatest bassline creators and a wonderful bassist indeed while his playing in an enourmos band like Queen give him a lot of influence too.
About Lesh vs Casady I tend to prefer Jack's work and playing, in terms of greatness they are really close though but again I don't think they are greater of the likes of Deacon or Harris (I'm still not sure about Hamm too).


Deacon doesn't have enough influence on his own, or innovation quite, despite his out of this world creativity and very respectable versatility. Lesh and Casady are both more innovative and influential, and both are also very creative. They're also both more important as individuals in the history of rock bass.

I suspect I'll put Lesh one spot before Casady as a temporary thing pending learning more about the two, if only because I suspect the Dead's much bigger listenership and reach/popularity than the Airplane probably means more influence for Phil (but I could be totally wrong)

FWIW if this were a talent/creativity list Deacon would be top 10 in rock.


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:23 pm 
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*deletes Machine Head post* Take that shit somewhere else dude


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:26 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
Any other great bass lines from Odum besides I Got The Feeling?


"Papas Got A Brand New Bag" is Odum...terrific groove.

My alltime favorite James Brown bassline is Tim Drummond on "Licking Stick". Check that one out.


Man that Odum has Babbitt level god groove. My my, this is nuts

Was gonna mention JB's drummer too, MAN what a talented guy, one of us needs to go pester CRJ about him sometime lol


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:29 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
I will definitely check it out Stu.

In the meantime, how about Lee Dorman from Iron Butterfly? Sooooo underrated...



Haha go figure, just heard In A Gadda Da Vida earlier tonight on Pandora and went word this a creative bassist, wow. Between that and this one you're posting, gonna add him to the 'possibles' list next time I post it, word. Nice find

Gotta respect your encyclopedic knowledge & love of heavy psychedelia lol Neg...and my is that Iron Butterfly theme amazing, wow. First album?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Ssoyd wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
Is that the first thing you've heard from Iron Butterfly? Aside from "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"?

I don't know if I'd call them a metal band, though some do consider them 'proto-metal'.



What we now call Metal didn't exist in those days. Bands that played this kind of music were simply called "Heavy" or "Hard Rock". By the Early 70's the term Heavy Metal began to be used to describe bands as diverse as Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Eventually the Riff driven massive chord (and not Blues based) music of Black Sabbath had the most influence and followers spawning bands like Uriah Heep, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motorhead which evolved into what today is referred to as Heavy Metal or just Metal.


YES. THANK YOU. YOU GET IT.

(Sorry, I'm allergic to people who don't get metal and confuse it with hard rock or other genres like post hardcore)


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:40 pm 
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StuBass wrote:
It's really difficult to objectively judge Aston Barrett as a bassist since there's so few other well known Reggae bassists to compare him to. Barrett did set the tone for that style, but Reggae is often quite repetitive in nature, although the timing in that music form can be quite challenging...unless that's all you play, which seems to be the case with Barrett. When I was in Jamaica last year I caught a few reggae bands and the bass parts, once you get past the odd rhythm structures, all seemed relatively simple and supportive. Obviously, Barrett lacks versatility, and I'd have to say that he's probably the second best Jamaican bassist...behind Phil Chen.


This is very well observed.

Behind Phil Chen huh? hahaha (I totally believe you though, I need to check Phil out more)

Been reading about Aston and reggae bassists. Apparently he's the big dude, with Robbie Shakespeare being the other one everyone talks about a lot (anyone familiar w that dude?). Actually very impressed with Fams' (Aston) playing, his feel and tone are both out of this world, as good as anyone I've ever heard tbh. Thinking I'll give him spot 24 on this list as a temporary fix pending learning more since obviously his influence is astronomical and I'd say he's very creative too (mostly due to feel/tone).


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:42 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
Ariel wrote:


That was just epic.
I'm actually not so sure that Harris is more creative, after watching that.
This guy has an amazing melodic sense on the instrument.


Ahahahahahaha

hahahahahahahahahahhaah

This is ONE POST after you declared Steve this one of a kind creative genius hahahaha

Actually to be honest I think Steve takes creativity over Stu pretty clearly. It's very, very easy to confuse having a deep repertoire of scales, arpeggios and intervals, plus a lot of technical skill, for creativity, almost everyone makes that confusion (including me until fairly recently). The truth is Stu's playing just isn't as distinctive or hard to imitate as Steve's imo...that's my hunch/feeling anyway


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Impressed by Thomas Miller at this point, thanks for posting/mentioning noteworthy bass songs. How does Lepond compare?


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Ssoyd wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
Ssoyd wrote:

I agree. There's no doubt in my mind that Hamm is more creative than Harris.


Yeah, I'm not sure about the other areas of the criteria though.


Me either. Some of the criteria are a bit difficult to determine unless there is an obvious difference. Influence for example. I'm sure that Harris has influence over a greater number of players due to playing in a well known band but I suspect Hamm may have more influence over the best "virtuoso" bass players.


Hamm is at best the second most influential new/contemporary bass 'virtuoso' in rock, after at least Sheehan, who is much more creative and has a more distinctive style/more distinctive bass influence. (Mind you I think Hamm is outstanding, he's easy top 20 in creativity in rock imo)

Hamm's shtick wasn't as original as Sheehan's either. His (Hamm's) big thing from what I can tell (and I've listened to a lot of Hamm) was continuing to move tapping forward artistically, and also continuing to cement the idea of multiple melodic voice bass solos/compositions. Very important stuff but I don't think he came up with any of this, rather helped continue to popularize it in the '90s and '00s after other players did it first. The bass 'virtuoso' genre and style of playing/approach to playing was really an invention of Jaco, Clarke, Berlin and Sheehan. Jaco, Clarke and Sheehan have the lion's share of the influence for being there first and/or for having distinctive styles/approaches that were widely taken after and were widely inspirational. Of course Hamm has also been very influential in just helping popularize the virtuoso style/approach/repertoire in rock, but bear in mind if you take listeners in general and don't arbitrarily limit to rock bassists the main guy is probably Wooten who's basically a better Hamm: crazy tapping, multiple melodic voices solos and bass compositions, etc. Therefore it's really Jaco, Clarke, Wooten and Sheehan who are the main dogs among electric bass virtuosos in terms of inventing that style and popularizing it and being the most noteworthy player. Hamm is at best 5th place after those 4. He's still amazing but a lot of his influence is him helping popularize stuff some of those other guys did, I suspect. And just about anyone who listens to Hamm will also listen to/be familiar with Wooten, etc., and be just as influenced by them.

What does all this mean? It means Hamm's influence is really shared influence with several other guys (whether those guys are rock guys or not isn't really relevant for this list and for assessing Hamm by these criteria); he's not as innovative as he might seem. His technique is immaculate either way though and he's highly creative, and I do believe he probably did help push the bass virtuoso style forward and push tapping and multiple voices bass playing forward, so he does get pretty significant innovation points, just not as significant as one might be tempted to assume.

So all things said...

Hamm v Harris
Influence Harris (this isn't up for debate, nor is it particularly close between these two)
Innovation Harris
Tech skill Hamm easily but least important criterion and Harris is still very skilled
Creativity let's say Hamm for the sake of loading the criteria in his favor for the sake of argument
Versatility Hamm

Throw in intangibles and Hamm still loses even if he wins the creativity criterion. He's just not as important in the history of rock bass, period


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 Post subject: Re: 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Ssoyd wrote:
Wishbone Ash was one of my favorite bands from the 70's and I always liked the bass playing of Martin Turner. Turner was a founding member. They also pioneered the twin guitar sound that became popular later on. I particularly like their Argus album.


One of the best rock albums ever imo :smile: Glad you like it. Martin Turner is a bass genius in my book

Oh and Neg when Stu and Ssoyd both endorse a bass performance you know it's good haha


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