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Bernard Edwards

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Sep 21, 2000.

  1. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I've just realised that I can't ever remember seeing Bernard Edwards mentioned here on TalkBass.

    He was one of the funkiest bassists of the later-half of the '70s, but never fell in the chops-fusion trap, making great SONGS that were commercially successful. He also gave the bass a terrific prescence on-screen or on-stage. If you ever get to see some old footage of 'Le Freak' being performed on TV, you can guarantee some great footage of Bernard in action.

    I was just reminded about him when I heard some tracks from Chic's 'Live At The Budokan', which was recorded the night that Bernard sadly passed away. Despite suffering from pneumonia, his playing was faultless to the end.

    Mr. Edwards, I salute you!

  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, Edwards also played on Robert Palmer's MTV-generated hit..."Addicted To Love". He also played bass on the Sister Sledge hits(basically, the rhythm track sounded like Chic tunes). Didn't he also produce The Power Station's first recording?
    Chic's "Everybody Dance" was also a good workout.
  3. Monkey


    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Bernard was very cool. I have a Diana Ross album that is very disco-y, but I bought it for Bernard's playing, which is excellent. Rest in peace, Bernard...
  4. sgraham


    Aug 30, 2000
    Tyler, TX
    I mentioned him in the "Cheesy song, great bass line"
    thread in the "Recordings" forum. I also noted the
    heavy Edwards influence on John Taylor's work with
    Duran Duran in the early 80's (also in that same
    post! - LOL).

    I loved his work with Chic (esp. the "Risque'"
    album) and others. I was sad to hear of his passing-
    right after his gig! There was an article in BP
    a few years ago that analyzed his playing in "Le
    Freak". Nile Rodgers told a story about the song's
    creation. It was pretty funny: he said they wrote it
    in their NYC apartment after being turned away
    at Studio 54 (I guess they weren't "famous" enough
    yet)! Anyhoo, the chorus was originally "Ahhhh,
    ____ OFF!!!" LOL
  5. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    A good friend of mine plays sax for Chic, and he was with them in Japan when Bernard died immediately after leaving the stage at the end of the gig. He played his ass off as per usual and walked off the stage and passed away. A tragedy, but I guess if you gotta go...
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    With the number of bassist (and bassplayers ;)) now and in the past, think how hard it is (and was)to come up with an identifiable sound and style. Bernard did.

    In a thread about favorite basslines, I mentioned "Good Times" as an example of what I still consider a perfect bassline. Damn, he was good!
  7. Aye, I always dug his playing. Had the Chic stuff all along, even when it was VERY uncool to possess anything even remotely reeking of "disco". They were unfairly pigeon-holed with that label, they were a very good dance/funk band in reality. There's a lot of good stuff that gets overlooked because of that whole disco backlash thing - Ohio Players and EWF come immedately to mind.
    mb94952 likes this.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    You forgot to mention us "bass owners".
    Gard(ian)-I not sure I've ever heard anyone lump EW&F into the Disco "thing". I can recall a few mentioning The Ohio Players mainly 'cause of "Love Rollercoaster"; really, The Ohio Players stretched out & ROCKED out in a live show.
  9. Jim(special)K -

    Yeah, the snot-nosed idiot rock brats I went to HS with back in the late 70's/early 80's felt that anything that wasn't AC/DC or Judas Priest was DISCO. :rolleyes: Particularly if the band was non-whites. Wonder how those morons dealt with Living Colour when they came out? :D

    On a side note, we do "Skin Tight" from OP (segue into it from "Jungle Boogie":D), and it's an absolute BLAST to play. Having a real horn section makes life fun....usually ;). On the EW&F side we do "Sing A Song"...ah, I love my gig :) (well, except when we're doing a wedding and play the "Chicken Dance" :p).
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I can relate; I thought a little more about it & you're right. My HS was "OK"(we played stuff like Edgar Winter, OP, AWB, Chicago, Marvin Gaye, Jeff Beck, Frampton(geez...who didn't?), Doobies, etc.
    I think it was those I worked with during the summers. who were the culprits. Anything NOT Country or Rock = Disco(Sucks). Which meant Average White Band, Heatwave, OP, EW&F, etc.

    I always dug playing "Skin Tight"; the bass line(the main riff + the change with the double stop), the drums, the horn section...cool stuff.
    EW&F-I never played "Sing A Song"(though I once knew it)...very similiar to "September", right?
    Anyway, during the day, "Getaway"(the intro)was always hit or miss for miss...I think I finally got it to a point where it's comfortable; too bad, it's 20 years late. :D
  11. Better late than never, eh? :D
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Part of my affliction is knowing the entire catalogs of EWF, OP,and just about any group of that genre plus many others. I'm a student with a weird memory...what can I say;)

    I was in Wichita, KS when Disco was big, in the USAF. Didn't have any peer pressure problems then or before, when I was in HS and college... I played and listened to whatever I wanted.

    The whole Disco backlash was one more example of people throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The grooves that Chic played, along with several other groups, had nothing in common with Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven". Or Ethel Merman:eek:
  13. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    DISCO SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D:D

    (I couldn't resist) ;)

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