Any documentation on what Stones songs Wyman played on?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by lfmn16, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Taking my own advice I did a search but didn't really find what I was looking for. Does anyone know of a comprehensive listing of the Stones tracks that Wyman did or did not play on? I'm always hearing that he didn't play on a lot of Stones tracks, but when you ask for specifics you just hear crickets.

  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I hear crickets a lot, but that's my hearing damage. Seriously, subbed to find out, too. I like to think I can tell, because of his unique style, but I bet I'm wrong a lot.
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I'm too lazy to listen to 400+ songs to try to figure it out. :D
    bholder likes this.
  4. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Unfortunately, there’s no recording session book like what Mark Lewisohn did for The Beatles; there’s Andy Babiuk’s book on the equipment of the Stones(yes, he did a Beatles before that)which off-handedly may have some circumstantial clues, such as the fact that whenever Keith played bass, he favored Precisions(as opposed to the variety of short scalers that Bill used). But I think that in ‘63-‘66, when the band was constantly on the road, fitting in sessions whenever they could, they hit the studio as a complete band. Even though credits are sparse on the earlier albums, they’re still there, and I don’t recall seeing Keith(or anyone else)listed for bass.
    As the frantic pace of touring wound down, coupled with the drug busts, they turned into studio rats going into ‘67, and that’s when the confusion starts. Plus this was the period when more tracks for recording became available, and bands didn’t have to play as an ensemble all at once to get the instrumental bed down. If you go to Wikipedia, and look up specific songs, often the credits are listed. Whether or not it’s accurate is anyone’s guess, but I can’t see why there would be any agenda for promoting false info on that particular subject.
    Other than that, it’s back to listed credits; obviously it’s Keith on “Sympathy” and “Live With Me”, Mick Taylor on “Tumbling Dice”, upright session player Bill Plummer on “Hip Shake”, and so on. Is there a particular song you’re trying to figure out?
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
    FranF likes this.
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Nothing particular. There's a lot on the internet about how many tunes he didn't play on, just wondering if anyone really has a number backed up by research and facts.
  6. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    It's pretty obvious when you listen to them. I would guess that he played on at least 90% of their studio stuff over the years when he was in the band, he played just everything their first years. It is pretty easy to pick Keith out, his bass sound was always a lot more clear than Bill's was and more guitar-like. Bill excelled at blues and Chuck Berry type fast bass runs, he played more like an upright player would play.
    StayLow likes this.
  7. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    I have a book which seems pretty accurate:
    The Rolling Stones All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track
    lfmn16 likes this.
  8. Roger W

    Roger W Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2019
    Baltimore USA
    In Stanley Booth’s book, “The True Adventures of The Rolling Stones” (if you’re a Stones fan and never read it, you should), he quotes Wyman as saying basically that he’d prefer to play upright but he’s too short and his hands were too small.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Thanks, I'll check it out, in fact I just bought it for my Kindle.
  10. Starting with Let It Bleed, many Stones albums (though not all) have track-by-track credits for who did what. The early albums (pre-Jimmy Miller), as I recall, don't, but I would guess that most of those (at least up until Aftermath) were recorded as a band in the studio, so Bill would have been on bass pretty much all the time. He definitely played bass on "Satisfaction", because Keith has said he really liked the bass harmony that Bill came up with.
  11. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    My friend Albert Lee plays in Bill's band. He says anybody saying Bill was limited as a bassist is full of ...and that he is a GREAT bassist. I have asked the same question, and the answer straight from Bill via Albert- He played on the VAST majority, except Exile, which was really the Keith, and Bobby Keys band- The two of them often recording all night with no other Stones around. In the later years leading up to Bill leaving, the Stones were becoming a studio band but Bill was still active except Keith's late night jams.
    This is still not first hand, but does come from somebody who has played with Bill for years.
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  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Bill did the bass part on "Miss You." Nuff said. Sure, he got a lot of advice from Billy Preston, but he took Billy's advice and made it his own, and totally crushed it.
    tepperware likes this.