Please consider registering
Guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed sp_TopicIcon
Was Paul's bass playing influenced by Tom Dowd?
28 June 2020
5.46pm
Avatar
Cousin Mark
The Jacaranda
Members
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
9 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

For those who don't know or don't remember, Tom Dowd played bass for The Cyrkle. The Cyrkle had 2 major hits in 1966; "Red Rubber Ball" and "Turn Down Day." They were managed by Brian Epstein. They also were an opening act for the Beatles on their 1966 U.S. tour. It is most likely that Paul McCartney was more than familiar with their music and recordings.

The Cyrkle's first LP on the Columbia label was recorded and released in the spring of 1966. Dowd's bass playing was VERY melodic, especially on the 2 hits I mentioned above, plus other tracks on that album.

As far as I can tell, Paul's bass playing became more melodic on "Paperback Writer /Rain ," which were recorded in April, 1966. IMHO, when I listen to "Turn Down Day," Dowd's bass playing seems light years ahead of Paul's playing at that time. Even Paul's playing on "Rubber Soul " (1965) doesn't rise to the level set by Dowd.

Paul never mentions Dowd in interviews about influences on his playing. Usually, Paul mentions other American bassists, including James Jamerson, of Motown and Funk Brothers fame.

Other opinions?

The following people thank Cousin Mark for this post:

sir walter raleigh

GRANDFATHER: Why do you always use your left hand?

PAUL: Well, don't be daft, I've got to.

GRANDFATHER: And I take a left-handed view of life, I've got to.

28 June 2020
7.15pm
Avatar
sir walter raleigh
In our yellow (IN OUR YELLOW) submarine (SUBMARINE AHA!)
Apple rooftop
Members
Forum Posts: 5131
Member Since:
26 January 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Paul Simon’s Red Rubber Ball. Love that one, especially the live Simon and Garfunkel version.

It is possible that Paul was influenced by Dowd, however he normally gives more credit publicly to his influences in singing, songwriting, and performing. I’m sure Paul’s playing had several influences, and I assume they include many of his own melodic ideas that he decided on his own to translate into a Beatle bassline. 

Man, Paperback Writer is an amazing song, as well as an important turning point. Probably the song I’d like to have heard on its initial release the most. 

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

29 June 2020
12.59am
Avatar
Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
Rishikesh
Members
Forum Posts: 4335
Member Since:
9 March 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I never got why so many people think Paperback Writer was a turning point in Paul's bass playing. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bassline but it just feels like a continuation of the melodic Rubber Soul basslines like Nowhere Man and If I Needed Someone .

The following people thank Dark Overlord for this post:

Cousin Mark

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

29 June 2020
1.45am
Avatar
Cousin Mark
The Jacaranda
Members
Forum Posts: 30
Member Since:
9 June 2020
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dark Overlord said
I never got why so many people think Paperback Writer was a turning point in Paul's bass playing. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bassline but it just feels like a continuation of the melodic Rubber Soul basslines like Nowhere Man and If I Needed Someone .

  

To some extent, I agree with you. I think his playing on Rain was more of a turning point. But you might notice that in mixing both PW and Rain , Pauls' bass was mixed forward, rather than in the back, making it stand out more, especially on AM radio.

GRANDFATHER: Why do you always use your left hand?

PAUL: Well, don't be daft, I've got to.

GRANDFATHER: And I take a left-handed view of life, I've got to.

29 June 2020
11.48am
Avatar
Ron Nasty
Apple rooftop
Members

Reviewers
Forum Posts: 10911
Member Since:
17 December 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The increase in bass was mainly down to the way the masters were cut being altered. Paul has often complained about the bass level on early UK records, and say how he'd bring in Motown and other US records and ask why the bass levels were so much better.

It was down to the cutting engineers having a set of mandated levels from the company and starting to ignore those rules, in the same way rules were being broken in the studio, to give The Beatles the sound they were looking for. It also came as they were becoming more involved in the (mono) mixes, and they were becoming more interested in the cutting process.

When the mono mixes were remastered for vinyl, which was a wholly analogue process, the sound of Paul's bass throughout was one of the real eyeopeners.

This question could, and should, probably have been asked in the Miscellaneous questions about Paul thread. It's the type of question that thread was made for.

The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:

Dark Overlord, Cousin Mark

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

To @ Ron Nasty it's @ mja6758
The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

29 June 2020
1.02pm
Avatar
Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
Rishikesh
Members
Forum Posts: 4335
Member Since:
9 March 2017
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for pointing that out @Ron Nasty 

If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

30 June 2020
12.14am
Avatar
Ron Nasty
Apple rooftop
Members

Reviewers
Forum Posts: 10911
Member Since:
17 December 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It's an important part of understanding why you started getting a bigger bass in 1966. EMI cutting engineers had this instruction to keep the bass level down because if it was too high it might bounce the needle out of the groove. Once they got involved in the mixes, and then heard the bass being neutered during the cut, they started asking the question about why EMI couldn't get the bass sound there was on US records, and the cutting engineer shrugged his shoulders and said he could, but that it broke the rules, so they told him to start breaking the rules.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

To @ Ron Nasty it's @ mja6758
The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

Forum Timezone: America/Chicago
Most Users Ever Online: 700
Currently Online: WeepingAtlasCedars
Guest(s) 1
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
Starr Shine?: 15940
Ron Nasty: 10911
50yearslate: 8613
Necko: 7911
AppleScruffJunior: 7225
parlance: 7111
mr. Sun king coming together: 6403
Mr. Kite: 6147
trcanberra: 6064
sir walter raleigh: 5131
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 87
Members: 2592
Moderators: 6
Admins: 1
Forum Stats:
Groups: 3
Forums: 44
Topics: 4910
Posts: 351150
Newest Members:
sanjoyss, Stephen Lennon, doubleo, RexEntertainment, Sweet Loretta Fart
Moderators: Joe: 5105, Zig: 9812, meanmistermustard: 23271, Ahhh Girl: 19479, Beatlebug: 17336, The Hole Got Fixed: 7959
Administrators: Joe: 5105