Bass Players Who Could Sing

You don’t find much Beatles on youtube, much less good Beatles. As the concept of intellectual property continues to lose hold, it’s nice to see that someone is still ripping them off.

The greatest singing bass player is McCartney of course. I think this an underrated Beatles song, indeed I played it as much as She Loves You because it was the flipside. This is live at the BBC and it’s better than the record. A simple ditty but damn it’s good.

New Speakers in My Life

For weeks I had a blown speaker. At first I was busy, then I was lazy, then I started digging on Roxy with a single channel, and otherwise hearing little things I had missed in songs I knew very well. You should try it with Roxy, or with one of the great dense production albums like Exile or Layla or – check it out – Cry of Love. Hendrix ain’t on youtube except for live stuff (some of which is great), and I hope that forces everybody who doesn’t own it to buy that album. I think it’s his best, which ain’t saying much unless you go for that oh wow doodling that stops all his other albums in their tracks. Makes me wanna drop Orange Sunshine into my eyes and become a strobe.

So finally I broke down and bought new ones. Actually, my sweet baby bought ’em for me today. Vic thinks of everything and makes me do things I like. So I hauled the box down to my cave and spent my usual befuddled half-hour trying to assemble the wires and plot an installing strategy. Detatching the old stuff proved impossible withour a forklift – cables running behind my massive desk-bookshelf-table-for-four – so I had to cut the wires.

The key new piece is a subwoofer. That threw me. I know mono and stereo and even remember quadraphonic but three speakers is new to me. When I hear subwoofers on the street I always have to take a shit – there’s the generation gap right there – but I have to admit the setup sounds great. We’ll see if I make it to the bathroom tomorrow morning.

Jimi live before he began indulging himself:

 

Baddest Bassline of All Time

Again I sing the praises of 70’s funk. This one is the perfection of Sly’s Family Affair style. Family Affair was the bigger hit but what do they know? Among its many virtues, this is the baddest baseline in history. I open the floor to other contenders.

 

Should Have Been a Hit

Actually it was a #1 hit in Britain. Somehow I missed it back in the day. Garage soul with Satisfaction-plus fuzztone. That singer’s got some pipes. They didn’t write it but they might as well have. The original by Jackie Edwards is an early reggae song and a fine tune, but Spencer and the fellas make it something else again.

 

Roxy Music

We’ve talked about them but not enough. They’re every bit as good the Beatles and the Stones and the Dolls and Howlin Wolf. The truest mark of greatness is that it keeps revealing. As it happens I have a dead speaker, which means I only hear one channel. Listening to Roxy with only one channel is amazing. What a band, including every single bass player, and there’s a different great one on every album. I mean, check out the bass on this, not to mention everything else. I also believe that Ferry writes lyrics to match anyone’s, including this song if only because he’s “growing potatoes by the score.”

 

RIP Fats Domino

When rocknroll started selling in the mid-50s, there were lots of head-scratching media pieces. There was one interview with the perpetually smiling Fats Domino, who said, “What they call rocknroll, I been playing in New Orleans for 15 years.” And he was. He had 11 Top 10 singles when the competition was a lot stiffer (not that there wasn’t ALWAYS plenty of shit on the radio). All of them are at least fun, some are great. If this thing lets me post my two faves here goes. You could hardly imagine a simpler song than “My Girl Josephine,” which proves everything.

This one I like just as much. That rocking swing thing will never die.

He made people happy. You can’t have a better tombstone than that. RIP

Another Band Song-Ranked

I have to admit that I’ve never heard the last “Clash” album. Without Mick Jones they aren’t and can’t be The Clash and Strummer had some nerve pretending otherwise.

This Bill Wyman guy amazes me. How can anyone be so knowledgable and so clueless at the same time? Of course a lot of this has to be pure opinion, but I think the story of this band and therefore their best songs is simple: they started, they had talent, they developed their abilities to the fullest as much or more than any other rocknroll band ever, and they declined. But at least they declined experimenting rather than repeating themselves, musically anyway. As for the lyrics, the politics that began so refreshingly honest quickly devolved into boilerplate leftism. But even in decline they came up with a few more great songs.

To me it is completely and utterly obvious that the best Clash song is Complete Control.