Perhaps an obvious observation (Beatles) [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-06-2005, 07:37 AM
When I was a kid, the first few years after I got my first pos stereo I picked up pretty much every Beatles album over the course of a year or two prior to moving on to the Rolling Stones, the Who, Led Zeppelin, et al. And I did plenty of listening on headphones at the time...but I was never big on headphones. About 10 or 15 years ago I spent a little time revisiting my Beatles collection, using headphones again. I listened a bit differently than I had in the past. And the element that McCartney's bass playing brought to the mix really hit me for the first time. And I'm thinking, like, duh, this is something I can't believe I missed the first time around. But that's happened with a ton of stuff, many, many times.

So recently I was listening again to my Beatles albums, again, walking around Manhattan, with my Discman & a decent pair of headphones. Paul did some amazing things with that instrument. It really is unfair that he's been judged so harshly because of some of his lesser output over the past 30 years--though I think there's been less of that lately since his defenders tend to speak up more & it's kind of obvious to point to his solo work & mock it because it blows. But it really does seem like unless you're really hearing what he's doing booming out at you, you're missing a key ingredient there, and not just in any one era. It just made everything sound different to me. So...I'm an idiot for missing something most people have probably heard, and you might very well say 'no sh*t, Sherlock,' but if that's not the case, take a fresh listen sometime. I'm not saying he was the end-all and be-all, or that he invented the wheel, and yes the bass players with James Brown & the Funk Brothers & similar outfits deserve similar props, but listening to this stuff tells me that he was a huge influence on John Entwhistle, who I consider to the greatest 'rock' bass player of all time, and probably the most influential, but what he did kinda starts with Sir Paul so far as I can see. Not my favorite Beatle, but man, what a bass player.

mad rhetorik
01-06-2005, 08:46 AM
Interesting observations, Jay. Guess a few spins of <b>Abbey Road</b> are in order this weekend.

01-06-2005, 09:24 AM
I have always likes the Beatles but never really "listened" to their music attentively, always just had it on.

Maybe I need to dig deeper into their stuff.


01-06-2005, 09:36 AM

I've said this to others many times. I came late to the party, getting into them a couple of years before the Anthology was released. Paul's bass playing throughout the catalog was always very melodic and interesting. Too many rock acts have the same boring , "dum, dum, dum, dum" bass playing. Anytime I hear a good bass line in modern rock recordings I think, "that sounds like Paul" instantly.

I collect loads of Beatles outtakes. They're often more stripped down, "cleaner" versions than what ended up on the record and here his bass playing shines even more.

Now that you've heard it on some cans, throw it on the big rig and follow it!


01-06-2005, 09:37 AM
Bass players that also sing -- it is an incredibly hard thing to do.
For those that have never tried it -- OMG !
Three of the best that I've ever seen are Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee & Jack Bruce.

I think you are also realizing the SYNERGY of Lennon / McCartney.


Dusty Chalk
01-06-2005, 10:04 AM
Wow, that's like, your shortest post ever.

Mr MidFi
01-06-2005, 10:16 AM
Just this morning, I was thinking about how I hadn't used my super-cool headphones lately. Now I have a "good reason" to do so. Thanks, man.

(Sennheiser HD-590, in case you you were wondering.)

01-06-2005, 10:26 AM
This just in, the Beatles are pretty good. Us old farts, we remember PM before "Ebony and Ivory".

Yeah, McCartney was a very creative player up thru the early 70s, very melodic, always serving the song, not grandstanding.

Colin Moulding in XTC admits to following McCartney's style very closely and if you listen to XTC with this in mind it becomes really obvious.

01-06-2005, 01:26 PM
Just this morning, I was thinking about how I hadn't used my super-cool headphones lately. Now I have a "good reason" to do so. Thanks, man.

(Sennheiser HD-590, in case you you were wondering.)

Happy Birthday Mr. M.

You thought we all forgot, didn't you? ;)

01-06-2005, 07:50 PM
What about Flaming Pie? I agree that almost all of his solo stuff stinks but Flaming Pie is a good album i believe.

Obviously the work the Beatles did Trump anything anyone of them ever did on their own, but give Flaming Pie a shot....Good Sunday afternoon music....

01-07-2005, 06:55 AM
Wow,if you havent really "listened" to the beatles then you;ve missed alot. First just listen to the instruments they use behind them other then there's in the mid to later albums. I just burned a cd with beatle songs that John was the lead on. Wow,his voice is something else. Paul won tons of awards as a bass player. Listen to come together and its about as heavy a bass you;ll hear and really need good bass to hold it. Listening to them on 5 channel stereo is really that much better to.

01-07-2005, 08:58 AM
Great post, mgh. I was actively listening to Paul's bass work myself a few weeks ago (with the Beatles). I think a lot of his melodic style from say, Sgt. Pepper's on, was influenced by Brian Wilson's bass style I once read somewhere, not to take away from what Paul did with it by any means.. Have you listened to "Old Brown Shoe" lately? Man, there's a great showcase of his bass talents, but then there's SO many. And, a Klaatu track that sounds like Paul came in and played the bass for them was "Dr. Marvello". Paul's most recent solo album, "Driving Rain" was noted by some reviewers as his return to form on the bass.

01-07-2005, 03:43 PM
Throw on "Rain" by The Beatles and follow along.

Celtic Bob
01-09-2005, 06:13 AM
Throw on "Rain" by The Beatles and follow along.

Hey Bill
Have you heard the Dr.Ebbetts cd's of Beatles floating around? I have heard his UK Mono RS and Revolver and they sound way better than the released versions. Also do you happen to know where to obtain a UK Mono copy of "Rain"?

01-13-2005, 09:53 AM
Celtic Bob,

No, what has Dr. Ebbett used for source material? I've only got Rain on PM Vol. 2.


Celtic Bob
01-13-2005, 06:06 PM
He uses original unplayed vinyl as his source and copies them to disc. They sound amazing. I'd love to get my hands on more but not easy to locate.
The only "Rain" I have is on PM as well. I'd like to hear the UK single version which was in mono I believe.

01-14-2005, 09:37 AM
but I just listened to Television's Marquee Moon last night, and the bass work by Fred Smith on that album is absolutely amazing. Great interplay with Verlaine and Lloyd. If any of you out there have the recent reissue of this album, I would put that in right after you are finished with Abbey Road. You might be slightly reminded of PM's bass..