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Dee Murray

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by VtBassPlayer63, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. VtBassPlayer63


    Apr 15, 2011
    First post here. I've been playing bass since '82. I own two P-Basses, a '59 and a '77. I've been listening to the classic Elton John albums Honky Chateau, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Captain Fantastic. I've listened to each of these albums since they were released and am still amazed by the incredible bass playing of the late, great Dee Murray. What incredible bass lines! If you haven't checked any of the classic Elton lps out lately, give them another listen! Dee was one of the best and totally under appreciated!
    I'm looking forward to some great bass-related discussions.
  2. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    Dee rocks! Very melodic.
  3. Honky Chateau and Madman Across The Water are probably 2 of my favorite all time records. There's great playing and incredible writing on those 2 brilliant pieces of art.

    Yellow Brick Road ain't too shabby either. Early Elton stuff (along with his band) was fabulous
  4. BigOldHarry


    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Dee was one of the first bassists who's tone/technique really caught my ear... He wasn't nearly so "obvious" as Entwistle or Squire, but he was distinct and powerful all the same.

    It helped that Yellow Brick Road is a brilliantly engineered album, with the band mixed very high and old Elton mixed back a bit - really showcased one of the great recording groups EVER.
  5. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    I was just listening to "Tumbleweed Connection" a few nights ago.
    Dee played on most, but I believe a couple other bassists were involved.
    Great stuff. Great memories.
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Nothing makes me happier than opening a Dee Murray thread thinking it's a Dee Snyder thread and then being pleasantly surprised it's not.:bassist:

    I was just listening to Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding from Yellow Brick Road. Some serious playing on that record even if Grey Seal is bit hokey.
  7. monkeyking


    Feb 6, 2009
    Murray was just great all around. Not to take anything away from Elton individually, but that classic lineup was just a flat out great band. Killer rhythm section and tremendous interplay between everyone. Grooves galore!
  8. colcifer

    colcifer Esteemed Nitpicker Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    A Galaxy Far, Far Away
    *slow clap*

    And welcome to TB!
  9. BigOldHarry


    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    The bass on "Harmony" - which is not a "bass intense" song is just GREAT - not because he plays big, interesting parts, but his sound and timing is freakin' perfect for the song... Dee was one of the greats.
  10. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    He comes up a lot here in the "underrated bassist" threads and the like.

    He's a huge influence on my bass playing over the years. He's one of those guys who doesn't hit you in the face with his playing, but if you take the bass out of the song it just falls apart. Amazing melody, and a great sense of rhythm.
    EJ has always had good bass players - David Paton, Kenny Passarelli, Deon Eustus (Act of War absolutely kills!), Randy Jackson, but for me Dee Murray was the sound of the Elton John band.
  11. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    One of my favorite 70's players.
  12. Dee is under the radar a lot isn't he? Whenever I hear an old Elton John tune I notice the great band but never really noticed who the bass player was. I shall correct that error immediately......................(going to listen) :)
  13. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    Just gave that song my first listen. Cool chord progression. Thanks.
  14. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Elton went downhill after he fired Dee & Nigel. What was he smoking back then?
  15. How right you are. They used to say Paul McCartney was dead, but it's my theory that the incomparable artist Elton John died in 1975 (coincidentally, after firing his outstanding band) and was replaced by a lame schlockmeister.
    Elton John has made lots of money and sold lots of records, but his art suffered irreparably after he sacked Dee and Nigel (the first time; he sacked them again in the '80s).
  16. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    11-17-70, hear the great man live. Massive loss to the bass playing community when he passed.
  17. dbmike


    Aug 18, 2006
    11-17-70 is one of the greatest live albums of all time. The sheer power and musicality of that band stuns me every time I listen to that CD. Although I learned to play bass largely off of Honky Chateau, I always come back to the live album. Dee was an incredibly tasteful bassist and a great harmony singer as well. Such a loss.
  18. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Dee only played on Amoreena, that album is mostly the great Herbie Flowers.

    Great to see Dee get some love here.(see signature)
  19. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    There was a time when Elton's band was nearly as well known as he was. When he started monkeying around with that, nothing was ever the same again. IMHO, Elton has never been as great as he was before his first retirement in the late 70s.

    That having been said, Dee Murray from those years has always had an insidious effect on my playing. His tone, precision and melodicism were as good as anybody who ever played on hit records. It was never about the player then, but about the song, which I think is why he gets overlooked so much.

    The stately lope he puts on the original 'Candle In the Wind', along with Nigel Olsson on drums, is a thing of beauty, very clean and straightforward.
  20. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I think someone here on Talkbass purchased one of his basses?