Definitive Jamerson tracks

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by embellisher, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    OK, sports fans, I want to get deeper into Motown stuff, specifically with James on bass. So help me out here, what are his best tracks?

    And whose version of 'Heard it through the Grapevine' did he play on?
  2. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    I believe he played on Gladys Knight's version of 'Grapevine.'

    As far as definitive recordings, I have to say 'Bernadette' is still my favorite.
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    He palyed on both Marvin Gaye, and Gladys Knight & Pips versions of "I Heard it Through the Grapevine".
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    There are so many great lines it's hard to pick a favorite. But at the moment, What's Going On is my favorite.
  5. sgraham


    Aug 30, 2000
    Tyler, TX
    Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made to Love Her".
  6. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Jr Walker and the allstars
    Home Cookin!

    You might consider getting the standing in the shadow of motown Book

  7. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    There is a list of essential cuts in this month's BP, as well as a pretty good article on his style and the movie "Standing in the Shadows of Motown".
  8. Berthold


    Nov 19, 2002
    Jamerson? Check out my transcriptions on The real deal, man - "Mutiny" by Jr. Walker and the Allstars with an old fashioned but jaw dropping bass solo! Don´t miss "Feeling alright" with Gladys Knight and the Pips - that old Cocker tune, once played by Carol Kaye. Head turning! My favorites. Jamerson, by the way, played " I heard it through the grapevine" for Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight!
    Good luck - and Turock´s right: you´ll have to find a copy of "What´s going on". Awesome!
  9. My Girl - Temptations
    Bernadette - 4 Tops
    Aint That Peculiar - Marvin Gaye
    Ooh Baby Baby - The Miracles
    To Many Fish In The Sea - The Marvelettes
    Uptight (Everything Is Alright) - Stevie Wonder
    Heat Wave (U) - Martha & The Vandellas
    This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
    I Heard It Through The Grapevine (2 recordings) - Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & Pips
    Where Did Our Love Go (U) - Diana/Supremes
    Since I Lost My Baby - Temptations
    For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
    My Guy (U) - Mary Wells
    Your Precious Love - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
    You've Really Got A Hold On Me - The Miracles
    Love Child - Diana/Supremes
    I Guess I'll Always Love you
    Dancing In The Streets - Martha & The Vandellas
    Don't Mess With Bill - The Marvelettes
    What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
    Standing In The Shadows Of Love - 4 Tops
    Mickey's Monkey (U) - The Miracles
    Cloud Nine - Temptations
    Nothing's To Good For My Baby - Temptations
    My Baby Loves Me - Martha & The Vandellas
    You Keep Me Hanging On - Diana/Supremes
    You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
    Little Darling (I Need You) - 4 Tops
    I'm Ready For Love
    The Way You Do The Things You Do - Temptations
    I Can't Help Myself - 4 Tops
    Roadrunner - Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
    You're All I Need To Get By - Temptations
    You Can't Hurry Love - Diana/Supremes
    Shop Around - The Miracles
    Ain't To Proud To Beg - Temptations
    My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
    It's The Same Old Song - 4 Tops
    How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
    Take Me In Your Arms (And Rock Me A Little While) - Brenda Holloway
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough (2 recordings) - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell, Diana/Supremes
    My Baby Must Be A Magician - The Marvelettes
    Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart - Diana/Supremes
    Beauty Is Only Skin Deep - Temptations
    Ask The Lonely - 4 Tops
    Going To A Go-Go - The Miracles
    I was Made To Love Her - Stevie Wonder
    Hitch Hike - Marvin Gaye
    I Second That Emotion - The Miracles
    Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes
    Jimmy Mack (U) - Martha & The Vandellas
    I Hear A Symphony - Diana/Supremes
    Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over) - 4 Tops
    I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Temptations
    Get Ready - Temptations
    The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
    Stop! In The Name Of Love - Diana/Supremes
    That's What Love Is Made Of
    Nowhere To Run - Martha & The Vandellas
    Seven Rooms Of Gloom - 4 Tops
    Pride & Joy - Marvin Gaye
    (I Know) I'm Losing You - Temptations
    Two Lovers - Mary Wells
    I'll Turn To Stone - 4 Tops
    Come See About Me - Diana/Supremes
    Stubborn Kind Of Fellow - Marvin Gaye
    How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone
    If I Were your Woman Gladys Knight & The Pips
    My World Is Empty Without You - Diana/Supremes
    The Tracks Of My Tears - The Miracles
    I'm Wondering - Stevie Wonder
    Can I Get A Witness - Marvin Gaye
    The Girls Alright With Me - Temptations
    Shoo Be Doo Be Doo Da Day - Stevie Wonder
    Reflections - Diana/Supremes
    What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted - Temptations
    Baby I Need Your Loving - 4 Tops
    Quicksand... - Martha & The Vandellas
    Reach Out...I'll Be There - 4 Tops
    You Beat Me To The Punch - Mary Wells
    The Bells - The Originals
    Shotgun - Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
    Fingertips (pt2)- Stevie Wonder
    Hey Girl - Stevie Wonder
    What Are You Gonna Do When I'm Gone (U) - Kim Weston (submitted by Chuck Whaley)
    Still Water Runs Deep - Four Tops (Chuck Whaley)
    All in the Game - Four Tops (Chuck Whaley)
    My Baby - Temptations
    The One Who Really Loves You (U)- Mary Wells
    This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
    My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left) - David Ruffin
    It Takes Two (U) - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
    Honey Chile - Martha & the Vandellas
    To Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye
    When Your Young And In Love - Marvelettes
    Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye/Tammy Terrell
    Still Waters Run Deep - Four Tops
    If I Were Your Woman - Gladys Knight & the Pips
    I Want You Back - Jackson 5 (see below)
    It's Growing - The Temptations (thanks to Catherine J. Lewis)
    Agent Double O Soul - Edwin Starr(thanks to Catherine J. Lewis)
    I Can't Get Next To You - Temptations (thanks to John Coe)
    ...And countless other Album tunes and "B" sides

    Motown Album Tracks

    Every Time I See You I Go Wild - Stevie Wonder (from Motown Legends reissue)
    Respect - Stevie Wonder
    A Place In The Sun (U) - Stevie Wonder
    Hold Me - Stevie Wonder
    Ain't That Asking For Trouble - Stevie Wonder
    Baby Don't Do It - Stevie Wonder*
    Angie Girl - Stevie Wonder
    Music Talk - Stevie Wonder
    I'll Love You Forever - Edwin Starrs Greatest Hits (thanks to Catherine J. Lewis)
    (note: You can hear most of the above examples by clicking the above link)
    Sunny - Four Tops (Thanks to Jeff Whittemore)
    Sunny - Stevie Wonder (Thanks to Jeff Whittemore)


    Fever In The Funk House - James Jamerson composition (Thanks to Jeff Whittemore) This recording is from a Earl Van Dyke album and it is pure Jamerson...

  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    This should help you out a bit Emb. It turned me on to loads of great bass lines by James. James Jamerson

    It might be a repeat of all of what X said, and if it is I do apologize, Ive had this link saved in my favorites for at least a year now, and havent accessed it in awhile now. So as I said, if its a repeat of what X said, Im sorry.

    If you're serious about getting into Jamerson, I highly recomend you read "Standing In the Shadows of Motown" great book, and has the notation to many of his lines.
  11. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    While Xavier covered most of them, I've got to add one of my favorite Jamerson lines:

    "Darling Dear" by the Jackson Five
  12. KPO2000

    KPO2000 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2001
  13. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I love this site.

    I'm gonna start jammin' with the Motown records, thanks to you guys!
  14. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    I still think one of the most overlooked of jamersons basslines is "aint nothing like the real thing" by Marvin Gaye and Tammy tyrell(sp) for my money that's the definitive Jamerson track, also the supremes and Marvin gayes versions of "Aint no mountain high enough" two radically different interpretations of the same song but they both groove like crazy..Personally I feel the Supremes version is just slightly better than Marvin Gayes but only because of that KILLER bridge instrumental.
  15. Berthold


    Nov 19, 2002
    Back again,

    Jamerson-the man who created the Motown bass sound is unforgetable - but remember the man who is responsible for the most infectious bassline on Gaye´s "What´s going on":
    it´s Bob Babbit on "Inner city Blues" - my all time favorite............
    :cool: it´s coooooooool, man. Babbit also played on the track "Mercy,mercy me". He still is the man behind Jamerson - you won´t find any credits on the Lp.
    So I have to say: thank you Bob for being there!!!!
  16. Murf


    Mar 28, 2001
    Damn right!!

    Incidentally Bob Babbits doing some wonderful playing on the standing in the shadows of motown film/soundtrack (I swear if I didnt know it was babbit I'd swear it was jamerson)

    Babbit was also the bassist on Stevie Wonders signed, sealed, delivered track along with countless others.
  17. Berthold


    Nov 19, 2002

  18. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Have you heard the live disc that's included in the remastered edition of What's Going On? It's pretty cool to hear Jamerson playing "Inner City Blues"...
  19. How about "School Days", sung by Aretha Franklin. Can't remember the CD. Jamerson's bass line in that is awesome.
  20. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Why, oh why does "My Mistake", by Marvin/Diana get overlooked so much? That has got to be one of James' nastiest basslines! BTW, what's up fellow lowenders?