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What's your favourite Beatle bassline?
27 May 2010
1.15pm
Paulrus
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When I listen to music, I tend to focus mainly on the bassline, picking out the notes, and I really like quite a few of Paul's basslines.

Old Brown Shoe is really great, and I love Taxman's. Rain's bassline suits the song perfectly, and Hey Bulldog's is great too.

I could go on and on listing some more of my favourites *cough* Sergeant Pepper's Reprise *cough*, but I won't.

 

What are some of your favourites?

Oh, I also want to mention Something, Come Together, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, Oh! Darling, Dear Prudence, The Word, Please Please Me, Help!, Hey Jude, Day Tripper, Think For Yourself, Got To Get You Into My Life, Birthday, Back In The USSR, Helter Skelter, Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey, Let it Be, and and about a billion others. That's my narrowed down list... a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
27 May 2010
1.40pm
Paulrus
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Oh, and Drive My Car. And Magical Mystery Tour. Yeah, I'll be quiet now.

Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
27 May 2010
2.00pm
Joe
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Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! for me, although I've always thought it's mixed far too quietly.

I once read a quote from a Paul McCartney performer in a Beatles tribute act, who said a lot of McCartney's basslines were more complex or inventive in the songs he didn't write. The suggestion was that he was perhaps a little less enthusiastic about playing on other people's songs, and created more imaginative parts to keep himself amused and interested.

Whether that's true or not I don't know – I'm not a bassist and haven't really paid close attention to the parts.

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Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

27 May 2010
2.35pm
Zig
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Joe said:

I once read a quote from a Paul McCartney performer in a Beatles tribute act, who said a lot of McCartney's basslines were more complex or inventive in the songs he didn't write. The suggestion was that he was perhaps a little less enthusiastic about playing on other people's songs, and created more imaginative parts to keep himself amused and interested.


Funny you mention that. I always noticed the same thing. My theory was that he was trying to stand out more than the songwriter only because it happened many times.  a-hard-days-night-paul-11 It's more than just a coincidence.

For some reason I always viewed Paul as having a massive ego. It's not just one big thing that stands out, just a lot of little things.

But I digress - to answer the original question, the bassline on Rain has always been my favorite (again - a song he did not write).

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

27 May 2010
3.10pm
Marcelo
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Macca is a damn good bass player. "Something" and "Rain" are my favourite ones, followed by "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Hey Bulldog" and "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite".

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
27 May 2010
4.49pm
GniknuS
Rain? I don't mind
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I've always enjoyed the two bass lines of Think For Yourself with the fuzz box, Baby You're A Rich Man is pretty solid, Sun King is pretty cool with the way the guitars sort of circle the bass line, like the sun. My favorite is probably Something or Dear Prudence.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
27 May 2010
4.50pm
GniknuS
Rain? I don't mind
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Oh actually my favorite is Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
27 May 2010
5.12pm
c64wood
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With A Little Help From My Friends & Penny Lane.  Oh and Paperback Writer.

I know you know what you know, but you should know by now that you're not me ~ Ron Nasty
27 May 2010
10.59pm
Von Bontee
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Joe said:

The suggestion was that he was perhaps a little less enthusiastic about playing on other people's songs, and created more imaginative parts to keep himself amused and interested.


Funny you should mention that. I was always intrigued by "She Said She Said", wondering why it was one of the very few Beatles tracks with a routine bass part, not to mention a complete lack of McCartney vocals, and speculated that maybe Paul didn't like the song at all and so he couldn't be bothered to sing or take the time to think up a juicy bass line. Then I learned on this very webpage that he didn't even PLAY on that track!

 

Anyways, SO many classic examples of Paul's bass skills...Aside from the really obvious ones ("I Saw Her Standing There", "Paperback Writer/ Rain", much of "Abbey Road"), I like things like "Hey Bulldog" and "Baby You're A Rich Man". And Paul's bass in "Magical Mystery Tour" is the best thing about the song.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
28 May 2010
12.04am
Happy Nat
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c64wood said:

With A Little Help From My Friends & Penny Lane.  Oh and Paperback Writer.


 

Lucy & With A Little Helpp From My Friends are both superb.

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28 May 2010
2.31am
Marcelo
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GnikNus said:

I've always enjoyed the two bass lines of Think For Yourself with the fuzz box, Baby You're A Rich Man is pretty solid, Sun King is pretty cool with the way the guitars sort of circle the bass line, like the sun. My favorite is probably Something or Dear Prudence.


 

Damn! How I dare forget Dear Prudence's bassline?

 

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
28 May 2010
10.04pm
Von Bontee
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Zig said:

Joe said:

I once read a quote from a Paul McCartney performer in a Beatles tribute act, who said a lot of McCartney's basslines were more complex or inventive in the songs he didn't write. The suggestion was that he was perhaps a little less enthusiastic about playing on other people's songs, and created more imaginative parts to keep himself amused and interested.


Funny you mention that. I always noticed the same thing. My theory was that he was trying to stand out more than the songwriter only because it happened many times.  a-hard-days-night-paul-11 It's more than just a coincidence.
For some reason I always viewed Paul as having a massive ego. It's not just one big thing that stands out, just a lot of little things.

 

I don't think it's a show-off thing, necessarily. I believe that Paul was/is a perfectionist who wanted to do everything to the best of his ability strictly for the good of the song, no matter who wrote it.  But with his own songs, he'd most likely be singing lead, and maybe finding it too difficult to play the more elaborate bass lines while doing so, and therefore keeping it simple for practicality's sake.

 

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
28 May 2010
11.26pm
Joe
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I think there's some truth in that, but from 1965 onwards he routinely recorded the bass part after the song's main rhythm track was taped. He was rarely singing and playing bass at the same time, so it doesn't really follow that his basslines on his own songs would normally be less complex than on other people's songs.

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29 May 2010
2.10pm
Zig
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Regardless of why it was done (ego or perfectionist), the trend of having more complex basslines in the songs he didn't write remains. We may never really know why - or if there is anything to it - but it sure is interesting to talk about. It's fun to read the varying theories.

Thanks for sharing your opinions.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

29 May 2010
7.40pm
Alissa
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The ones that stick out on my mind are of course the bass-line in I Want You (She's So Heavy), Hey Bulldog and Old Brown Shoe.

No one mentioned Martha My Dear though! I don't know, it probably has to be my favourite. At the end of the song, where Paul is saying "You have always been my inspiration..." to the very last note, I think is brilliant! Give it a second listen. a-hard-days-night-paul-8

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
30 May 2010
9.16am
jenn
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Hey Bulldog.  Hands down.

Do what you want to do, and go where you're going to…
31 May 2010
6.38am
McLerristarr
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Rain is definitely my favourite.

I think Paul played more complicated bass lines on other's songs because he was probably asked to. On his songs he was in control and he sometimes liked a minimalist approach to the rock instrumentation, prefering to focus on the vocals and the orchestratration. I'm kind of just making this up though, I don't actually know what I'm talking about.

31 May 2010
7.51am
LOMAN
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Joe said:

 

I once read a quote from a Paul McCartney performer in a Beatles tribute act, who said a lot of McCartney's basslines were more complex or inventive in the songs he didn't write. The suggestion was that he was perhaps a little less enthusiastic about playing on other people's songs, and created more imaginative parts to keep himself amused and interested.

Whether that's true or not I don't know – I'm not a bassist and haven't really paid close attention to the parts.


I don't think he was less enthusiastic about the other guy's songs, he was just able to focus all his enthusiam on the bassline instead of the whole song. Trust me, speaking as a bassist, most other musicians never write a bassline to their own compositions. And you can't write a song around a bassline, so when you compose a piece of music you've got alot of stuff to think about: chords, guitar riffs, drumlines, melodies, lyrics, etc. Plus you spend every rehearsal teaching everyone their part and making sure they are executing it the way you wrote it instead of focusing on perfecting just your own little section. When a guitarist writes a song, he'll normally write just some chords or a riff and a melody, maybe some lyrics. When the bassline line is left up to you and it's all you have to worry about, you can put 100% of your attention into it and make that mother shine! "Come Together" is a good example of a song Paul never wrote but totally dominated. No way was he unethusiastic jamming on that bass riff!
Plus, you can put your singnature on every track if you know how to make your instrument stand out, especially in the songs you didn't write.
Paul is my absolute favorite bassist! His since of harmony as a song-writer most certainly transferred to his bass playing. He also had an original bass sound that was clear and smooth but could be dirty if needed, especially after he started using the rickenbacker 4001s. He did write some amazing basslines to the other four's tunes. Songs like "Don't Let Me Down", "Taxman", "Something", "Mr. Kite" and "Rain" proove that he could make a statement even on a track that he didn't compose. But he did allow himself the occasional bad-ass bass riff on his own compositions now and again with tracks like "Oh Darling", "Paperback Writer" and "Lady Madonna".
Keeping with the "his basslines are cooler on songs he didn't write" theme...I'm gonna have to say that my favorite McCartney bassline is:
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
Great song -  Great bassline! Abbey Road as a whole is full of amazing bass bad-assedness! All bass players, from the startup to the seasoned player, should own this album and study the genius bassery within...
a-hard-days-night-paul-11
Oh that magic feeling…nowhere to go!
31 May 2010
4.58pm
Von Bontee
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Joe said:

I think there's some truth in that, but from 1965 onwards he routinely recorded the bass part after the song's main rhythm track was taped. He was rarely singing and playing bass at the same time, so it doesn't really follow that his basslines on his own songs would normally be less complex than on other people's songs.


True, but simply being freed of the responsibilities involved in learning & recording a lead vocal (in a song not his own) would leave him with more time to devote to thinking up extra-clever (and maybe perfecting extra-difficult) bass parts for that song before actually recording them.
One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
1 June 2010
12.01pm
Paulrus
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LOMAN said:


He did write some amazing basslines to the other four's tunes.
 

Sort of gives a new meaning to the term "5th Beatle", eh? a-hard-days-night-ringo-10
Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out  They leave the West behind 
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