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George Ford (Al Stewart)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by PaulMacCnj, Aug 31, 2006.


  1. I was going through my CD collection and found Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat". Having not heard this for a long time, I sort of remembered there being some cool bass work on it. Listening to it, that was an understatement; the bass is superb. The bassist is George Ford and he deserves a serious listen. It's obvious that he is (was?) a very accomplished musician and a fantastic bassist.

    Does anyone know more about him? There's very little to be found on the Internet.

    Paul Mac
     
    rtav likes this.
  2. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I don't have anything new to add about George Ford, but I liked his tone on "Cat"- sounds like a P-bass- and his playing. I would guess he was a British session cat. Edit: Google and Wikipedia don't help, other than one article says that George was part of "Al's long-time touring band".

    Part of the magic of this album is a incredible studio mix. You can hear everything clearly, and it has a warm, smooth sound. The bass really is gorgeous.

    I picked up "Cat" when it came out in 1976. It remains one of my favorite albums to date.
     
    rtav, fretlessguy and OldDog52 like this.
  3. i picked up an al stewart compilation a few months ago and have been playing the heck out of it. yes, the year of a cat songs, production-wise, sounds completely amazing! of course the songs themselves are phenomenal too.
     
  4. stu FORD

    stu FORD

    May 22, 2004
    hes my dad
     
    Indiedog and 10cc like this.
  5. Another great song on "cat" is "Midas Shadow", one that didn't get much mention back when the album was released. The walking bass parts are brilliant. They add so much interest to an otherwise pretty simple, melodic tune.

    Paul Mac
     
  6. RONQUITO

    RONQUITO

    Dec 27, 2007
    Your dad is a heck of a player man!

    This being a Necro-post and all, i did a search and i had no choice but to resurrect this sucker because recently i gave a spin to a record (Al Stewart - The year of the cat) that was way buried in my collection, man is this album exceptionally well recorded or what? (Alan Parsons, go figure!) the songs are superb, kinda folky but perfectly crafted, the rythm section is super tight (George Ford - Bass, Stuart Elliot - Drums) and it features a super warm P-Bass sound (this does not help my P-Bass GAS at all).

    Thougts on this Album anyone?
     
  7. RONQUITO

    RONQUITO

    Dec 27, 2007
    I guess not :atoz:
     
  8. sflajimmy

    sflajimmy

    Nov 6, 2005
    South Florida
    Great album and great tune "Year of the Cat". Still brings back great memories. It was voted the song of the year by WMMS in Cleveland Ohio that year and it was a shocker to most because that station was an FM AOR powerhouse back in the 70's. I was impressed that they picked it because I loved the tune, but for a rock station to make it the song of the year was really surprising :)
     
  9. Robad

    Robad

    May 6, 2006
    London, UK
    I've just transcribed the bass line 'cos my band wants to cover Year of the Cat. You're right, there still isn't much about George Ford on the internet. I found a Youtube video of him playing with the Shadows and suddenly realised who he is. He used to pop up on Top of the Pops nearly every week. He's on a Medicine Head album I bought then, and he also used to play with Cockney Rebel.
     
  10. Zeb Norris

    Zeb Norris

    Dec 27, 2010
    Had the pleasure of meeting both Al and Alan at an Al Stewart gig in Santa Barabara about 6 years ago. Both very nice gentlemen.

    Alan is HUGE! I was studying production at the time, but when he asked me if I knew someone who could do a moniotr mix for an upcoming Project show, I did NOT suggest myself. NO WAY would want to do that and then mess is up.
     
  11. Robad

    Robad

    May 6, 2006
    London, UK
  12. Robad

    Robad

    May 6, 2006
    London, UK
    Zeb - that's a once in a lifetime opportunity you turned down! Let's hope not!
    Didn't Alan Parsons do Dark Side of the Moon?
     
  13. dutchwife

    dutchwife

    Aug 6, 2007
    Osaka, Japan
    Rightfully re-reviving a necrothread. Just returned home after work to a beautiful sunset, ready to enjoy a G&T etc, and needed some great summer sounds to fit the mood. Nothing could have fit the scene better than "Year of the Cat", and the sounds and thought of George Ford's joie-de-vivre bass playing supporting this superb album just makes it so much more enjoyable. Anyway, 5 years since the last post on this thread so hopefully someone who's not familiar with this album will be intrigued enough to discover a gem, and maybe a few old die-hard fans will remember that it's time to re-visit.
     
  14. 10cc

    10cc

    Oct 28, 2013
    Awesome!
    I was about to start a thread on your dad and then I found this one. Go George!
     
    Kilgore777 and OldDog52 like this.
  15. 10cc

    10cc

    Oct 28, 2013
    I,believe Alan Parsons produced some Cockney Rebel albums too.?
     
  16. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    Death warmed over one more time. Just noticing the bass for the first time, though of course it was always there. What groove.
     
  17. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    On the two albums before George Ford started recording with Al, future Attraction Bruce Thomas handled some of the bass duties (another player is credited as well). I think it's fair to say Al has good taste in bass players.
     
  18. Interesting about Bruce.... my friend is an Elvis Costello fanatic and he told me that Bruce played with... wait for it.... "Yes" before they became a big band! That is crazy to me. That guy really got around.

    About George Ford, I always loved the song "Infinity" from YOTC. The bass line is exceptional in that tune.
     
    GregC likes this.
  19. Indiedog

    Indiedog

    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    No thread is too old when a player does such great work. Al Stewart is a favorite of mine and I always note the fine bass work by Mr. Ford.

    As well, a pal of mine (an acoustic guitarist) spent some time around Mr. Stewart when he came to town about 15 years ago and the low-down was that he was extremely nice and very open to chatting with my friend.
     
  20. I have enjoyed Al's recordings for many years, and he made many more albums up until a few years ago. His bassists have varied through the years and you would know many of them if I were to make a list.
    I met Al a few years back after a a concert outside Paducah Kentucky at a college there. He was friendly and very humble. The one bassist he used during the first ten years or so after the Cat album was I a guy named robin Lamble, he still sang backing vocals even after others played bass in later recordings. He mainly plays solo or with another guitaist these days, but made a live recording with a band a few years bock, which I think was Peter White's band, who made another live recording with him in his heyday in the 70's and 80's.
     

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