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Bruce Thomas

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by James Hart, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I've been a fan forever... but I just revisited Elvis Costello's "Punch the Clock"

    Man I forgot what great lines and tones Bruce has! I think I spent 3 months in the early 80's trying to comp the line to "Everyday I write the book". what a killer pop bass line!

    Any other fans?

    recommended tracks from Elvis Costello:

    Everyday I write the book
    From a Whisper to a Scream
    Beyond Belief
    Accidents will Happen
    Pump it up
    (what's so funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
    Watch Your Step

    listening through this stuff tonight, I can't believe how many times I've thought "Hey, I do that!" :D guess he's more of an influence then I'd ever realised!
    MCF, nixdad and GregC like this.
  2. yeah, I like "I don't want to go to Chelsea" too.

    I'm not keen on Elvis Costello's voice- one of those artists I appreciate for the bass.
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I forgot to add "Shipbuilding"

    Yeah, I think I like Elvis kinda like I like Jon Anderson ;) You just learn to enjoy the singing so it doesn't get in the way of the bass.
  4. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Yeah, Bruce is rockin'. The choruses in 'Pump It Up' are so cool you don't even realize it until you try to cop it.

    Did anyone see the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction with the Attractions last year? Elvis said 'thanks to Bruce for all the great bass lines' and Bruce said something I can't remember verbatim, but the gist was 'I hate Elvis'. Too bad...
  5. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Now yer talkin'. As far as I'm concerned, he's right up there with Colin Moulding for melodic bass playing. The Attractions are such an interesting combo. You've got the monster pushing bass player, slamming drummer and completely anarchic keyboardist just giving Elvis' songs a workout.
  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yesssh! I love Bruce's playing. Everyday I Write the Book - man, that's one great bass line!!!


    I admire Elvis for giving the bass a prominent role in his music. Most of his stuff has very good bass lines that are integral to the song, even on the stuff Bruce doesn't play on.
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Yeah, I think Elvis is/was important to bass coming up front. I always thought Bruce KILLED on "Watching the Detectives" and "Allison" :oops: till I realised it was Huey Lewis' old band (forget the players name... it's early here).
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts

    Dr. John Ciambotti is the bassist you're thinking of.
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    that's the fellow! Coffee's kicked in now ;)
  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Ahhh yeah, I remember getting seriously schooled trying to master Watching the Detectives! Also I recall trying to learn Radio, Radio at a sound check, and conceding that it just wasn't going to happen without getting to sit down and study the part!


    Man, I had to learn Veronica awhile back, another great line that is somehow simultaneously 100% Elvis and 100% Sir Paul!!!
  11. supermonkey


    Mar 15, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Bruce T. is the man. Virtually every bit of Elvis' first 5 records is badass (even though he wasn't on "My Aim..") I recommend "Brutal Youth", too. He still has it going on all over that one -- at least on the tracks Nick Lowe didn't play.

    Great and very infrequently mentioned. Same as Colin Moulding, as corinpills already brought up w/r/t melodic playing.

    And the Attractions were such a spastic band, all that bottled up energy. All four were just beasts.
  12. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    To think that Bruce can count among his admirers both a secret donkey and a super monkey... what a strange world we live in, eh?

    :cool: :D
  13. ...and don't forget "Get Happy" 22 tracks of heaven IMO
    GregC likes this.
  14. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Bruce Thomas is my favorite bass player. My favorite song is: "I hope You're Happy now". "This year's Girl" is a close second. "Accidents will Happen", well one could go on about this for a while.

    The KILLER Bass playin' is "Lipstick Vogue".
    GregC likes this.
  15. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Bruce Thomas and Colin Moulding have more in common than just being melodic players, they also have very good taste in basses...they both play Wals.
  16. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Nick Lowe played on Watching the Detectives.

    And Bruce didn't diss Elvis at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. He simply said "Thanks for the good memories."

    I said that to my band when we split up somewhat bitterly.
  17. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Amen to all of this. Such style, such great taste. Bruce Thomas is an excellent example of what it means to develop one's own voice on the instrument... :cool:

    As much as Elvis and Bruce apparently hate one another personally, it's hard to deny that they made a great team musically. One gets the feeling that Elvis' quirky, eccentric tunes brought out the best in Bruce's highly creative, high-energy, melodic, out-of-the-box playing...which in turn helped to bring Elvis' tunes to life in a big way.

    Bruce is da man! :cool:

  18. rubberweed


    Jun 7, 2014
    London, UK
    I know I may be bumping up a 9 year old thread but Bruce Thomas is worth it. And I just came across these two recent interviews with the man:

    - LOADS of great gear geekery in this one and his dissection of the bass line for Pump It Up is absolutely brilliant.

    - Bruce Thomas extolls the virtues of Bruce Lee. And Taoism. There are a few amusing references to Costello as well.
    mindwell and GregC like this.
  19. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Nothing to add except I'm a huge fan.

    His basslines often turned good songs into exceptional ones, and his melodic sense and quirky way of composing lines is entirely unique.

    His tone is unusual too, really pops and works in that trio format, and sings in the higher registers when he goes up there, which was often.
    GregC and rubberweed like this.

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