Adam Clayton appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by TimBosby, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I just saw U2 for their first EVER Omaha show on Thursday night. My wife and I were lucky enough to be randomly selected to go into the elipse in front of the stage. I'm a fan, but she's a super-fan, so she was as giddy as an Irish schoolgirl the whole night. I admit, I was too once the band came out and I got to watch Adam Clayton make me weep with envy the whole night.

    I wept with envy for not only his ass-kicking collection of Fender and Lakland Jazz Basses, but his perfect bass playing. I've read some thing about how Adam is a boring bass player or not that good, etc., but in my opinion, he is pretty much THE perfect bass player. Where we were standing, I could hear AND see every single note he played. The man is a human metronome. I've always been a big Larry Mullen Jr. fan as well, but I honestly think Larry must have to play to Adam rather than vice versa. I think his solid, signature 8th note technique is harder to pull off than people realize. I used to be a "busy" player when I was younger, and over the last couple years, I've consciously simplified my playing, making sure each note counts for something rather than cluttering things up with unnecessary licks and fills (though I am sure I still do this occasionally.) I believe the mature player plays exactly what is best for the song. Same thing with drummers. I've played with some horribly fill crazy immature drummers before. That is a bass player's nightmare because you never know what the hell they are going to do next.

    Anyway, Adam Clayton is the master of playing the perfect bass part for each U2 song. Those eighth note parts drive the music along and in some way define U2's music. Also, those who like U2 and Adam will agree with me that he is highly creative and does play some very impressive melodic lines on many songs (I am definitely more a fan of old U2 vs new U2). His work on "Boy" is my favorite, and he was younger than me at the time. In my lifetime, I hope to be half as good as Adam Clayton was on "Boy."

    Plus he's totally laid back when he plays, makes being a human metronome look completely effortless... damn, I've played lots of gigs but I'm still always nervous when I go up there, even after a couple beers. And, according to my wife, he is by far the best-looking member of U2...definitely aged better than the other guys.

    Adam Clayton some love... :bassist:
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I just picked up a CD replacement for my old cassette of "Under A Blood Red Sky" :bassist:

    I will say I haven't gave much time to anything released since the early 90s... but I did dig them back in the day.
  3. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Yeah, minus a few choice tracks on "Pop" ("Please" is amazing), nothing compares to U2 circa "Achtung Baby" and earlier...

  4. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    I wouldn't say that Adam's style is the end all for bassists in general (ever hear of Tower of Power? Rocco's style is essential to that band), but for the role he plays in U2, I doubt you could find a better bassist. There's certainly a time for a bassist to be busy, and there's absolutely a time to be normal. All depends on the situation, but for U2, Adam's the man.
  5. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    I love Adams playing, very minimalistic and supportive...His playing always seems perfect for the song and never gets in the way...
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I love Adam's playing. It's perfect for U2. It's very obvious that many of the songs, which are all pretty much credited to the whole band, evolved from a simple little bassline he came up with.

    Listen to the song Lemon (my personal favorite U2 song, from my favorite album Zooropa), I adore that bassline. It just drives everything. The simple piano part in the bridge "mightnight is where the day begins...." kills me, too.

    I've found that the older I get the more appreciation I get for players who can just groove without being flashy. Clayton is in my list of the coolest of these.
  7. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    That, and with how out there The Edge ( :rolleyes: seriously kids, let's drop the nicknames) plays sometimes, Adam HAS to lock it down tight. If he didn't, there would be no backbone for the song structure.
  8. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Oops, I didn't mean to imply that. You are right. But I've come to appreciate the beauty of simplicity in music in general lately.
  9. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Meh, don't sweat too hard. I guess it goes back to the machine gun theory: It's not the gun's performance that's deadly, it's the person firing it that makes it deadly (unless it's a very fast and/or powerful gun being fired by a d@mn accurate sharpshooter, then there's a good chance in which you're screwed either way :ninja: ).

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I just put on the Best of U2 1990-2000 :hyper: , I was able to go see them at Madison Square Garden in October of 2001 it was heavy. Adam Rocks, a very fine bass player. :bassist:
  11. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    The basics are VERY improvable. If they weren't, then creating music would be senseless.

    I love 80s alt rock stuff and have spent countless hours listening and play U2 and their contemporaries. But I'll take a group of smokin' chops guys and great compositions over a pop show any day. I think I stopped listening to U2 and REM and the Cure, etc because they all seemed to get reduced down to the simplest possible playing. Adam's lines were actually busy, inventive and melodic in the beginning.
  12. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    "The sweetest Thing".

    Thats it. So simple, but so effective. It rocks!
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Of it should be! And I don't mean that as a joke either. As the bridge between the main rhythmic instrument and the drums, the bass should work with the main rhythmic instrument and kind of dictate to the drums what to do.
  14. I always was a fan of U2, but it took me some years to come to appreciate Adam's playing, and I think he is a fine player, who kinda defines the role of the bass player to me....

    ..what's really funny is that I like the early stuff the best, and he was just learning to play the insrument back then :eyebrow:
  15. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Yes, we all would be if we played nothing but eight notes for 20 odd years

    Adam is to U2 as Meg White is to the White stripes. Basic, uncreative and should of been replaced with someone better a long time ago.
  16. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    Adam Clayton is the reason that i picked up the bass, great basslines, steady as a mountain and cool looking.
  17. I thought this was the Adam Clayton appreciation thread??...I was wondering how long until a thread like this popped up......

    I'm glad you found a way to improve U2's songs........Adam came up with the ultra-simple bassline on "New Years Day", and that is an example of what he is best known for......that riff defined the song, and it's doubtful if anyone else could have created it.....

    Quite frankly, I get disgusted of all the bassists that love to show their chops, and I'm glad he's around to show that all a somg needs is a simple, creative bassline that can propel it with energy....

    Hats off to Mr Clayton!
  18. remo


    Jan 15, 2005
    Any bass player that doesnt appreciate what this man does has a lot of growing up to do. He
  19. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    There are many bass players who are masters of the simple or subtle bass line (colin greenwood to mention but one)

    Adam isnt one of them.
  20. Living in Ireland, I'm suprised at your answer....maybe you were supposed to play in U2, and you're still sore at the fella?

    BTW, I think you misread the title of this thread :eyebrow: