Anyone Seen Phil Lynott???

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by rickbass, Apr 24, 2002.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I've been given some Thin Lizzy songs to incorporate into a set list, (namely, "Boys Are Back in Town" and "Jailbreak").

    Unfortunately, the recordings I've been given to learn from are poor quality and recording tech at the time of those recordings wasn't what it is today.

    So my problem is - it's very hard to comp Lynott somewhat faithfully because the bass just seems to disappear into the track. It sounds like the engineer just squooshed the bass and brought up the guitars so often.

    What I'm asking is;

    - Was Phil Lynott a very "busy" bassist or did he tend to keep it simple, (maybe because he was doing vocals)??? I suspect that I may be overplaying in the parts where the bass is pretty much inaudible.
    - Was his "real" tone very trebly, clear, and punchy, or, did you find his tone to be deep, round, and dirty???

    Thanks for any insights on his style, phrasing, tone, whatever. Unfortunately, Lizzy didn't get to tour the States much, nationally, due to Lynott's untimely death.
  2. according to Rotosound ads he used Roto Jazz flatwounds- the tone on some studio tracks sounds like typical flatwounds, but he got quite a twangy tone on the "Live and dangerous" album - the same sort of flatwound tone that Steve Harris gets from new Roto flats, I suppose.

    on the live versions I've seen/heard of "The boys are back in town" he simplified the recorded bassline further.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I saw him on TV lots of times - including footage of live concerts and live "in the studio" on "Old Grey Whistle Test" I think.

    He did play simple lines very strongly with a pick, close to the bridge on his P bass. He always seemed to be hitting the string very hard and would stick to simple root-fifth type lines, played very rhythmically - very much a groove player.
  4. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! not Thin Lizzy, I cant escape..sob!

    Seriously though I accept they were a great rock band but sheesh they're practically deified here in Ireland, growing up in bands it was de riguer to be able to play 'dancing in the moonlight'..the epitomy of a brilliant bassline:rolleyes: now having been raised on a diet of pastorious,mark king,marcus miller et al you can see my frustration.

    the 'Live and dangerous ' album isnt very 'live', the crowd sounds are from a David Bowie live album (queen pulled the same stunt with the Live magic album).

    Mind you I do have a soft spot for that bitchin harmony guitar part on the fast section of dont believe a word.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Haven't seen Lynott, but I've seen Elvis if that counts.
  6. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I saw Phil live in '76, at Southempton's Odeon, 1st row. He was close enough to touch. Played his P-Bass with a pick. Typical P-Bass/flatwound sound, punchy, simple lines, as Bruce said a groove player.
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The details on his approach are a great help. Thanks so much, especially Mock, Bruce and Groove!!! I thought there might be some of you who got some decent exposure to them in the UK.

    One of our guitarists get's slightly suspicious when the bass lines aren't fairly busy or complex -- no appreciation that simplicity and solid groove have their own requirements, like feel!. :rolleyes:

    Your input gives me some authority on Lynott's style.

    (What can I say??? This guitarist used to be in a Nashville C&W "hat" band) :eek:
  8. Rick -

    I love Phil Lynott - his voice, vocal phrasings etc. His bass playng is definitely groove oriented with some cheeky fills. We cover "Boys are Back.." and he's got the one initial fill in the beginning that doubles the guitar line.

    Yes very solid, basic lines. Long note values to really support the song / band. Think Sting with a greater BPM and louder band mates.

    Playing busy - IMHO will detract from the songs. Pick hard, let the note ring. It will sound good.

  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Good stuff, Pat, thanks!!!

    I suspected there were fills hiding in there. I was thinking, "This guy was too tasteful to not throw something into those opportunities and just continue basic pattern."

    For instance, that 3-chord intro to "Boys Are Back....", I'm just hitting those 3 notes during the intro, but when it reappears later on, I do a walking line between the notes to glue them together. I can't believe he would have taken a pass on the opportunity to put some movement into it.

    Funny, on the crappy recording jobs I've heard, his bass is there while there are guitar lines to double but once the vocals appear, it seems like the guy at the desk yanked the faders on his bass :confused: (or whomever did the final mixdown didn't think bass was important) :rolleyes:
  10. rick - i think he picks his spots when he can. If you listen to bad habits for example, i could swear that he is strumming double stops. its on thunder and lightning.

    absolutely walk to the next chords. I think he would have done so without hesitiation!!!
  11. Follow1


    Apr 10, 2011
    i like talk in 79 from his solo album, great bass driven tune
  12. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Wow...a rickbass thread from back in the day.
    RIP, were a wealth of info on this site & you are missed.