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Greg Lake

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JeremyBender, Jan 9, 2002.


  1. JeremyBender

    JeremyBender

    Oct 22, 2001
    NY
    Hey everyone..

    I am obviously a big fan of Greg Lake's playing, mostly his work with E.L.P. I am curious what the esteemed community of TalkBass though of him. I did a search and found some obscure comments, but no thread on him. His work on Tarkus is especially enjoyable to listen to, but I find impossible to play. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [I am obviously a big fan of Greg Lake's playing

    Why obviously? I like Greg Lakes playing ~ he's far from my favorite bass player but he did a good job none the less. I saw ELP twice ~ once in 1971 and then again about a year or so later. He had a great piano like tone and he complimented Emerson's playing very well. But to me it was his voice that separated him from the pack. Resonate and power ~ wonderful intonation; it was just beautiful to listen to.

    BTW, he did some great work with King Crimson on the first LP.
     
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As a bassist, he's an excellent vocalist.

    More seriously, my opinion of him as a bassist is much like pedro's - he was a tone monster when I saw him live, twice (first two national US tours; one with Mott the Hoople). But, "bass virtuosity" is not what comes to mind when I think of him.

    Their music on those first two albums was heavy on the classical influence, (with the exception of "Lucky Man's" chorus and the like). It didn't seem like there was much opportunity for him to cook up lines or use techniques that were "hip" or rock-flavored. Then again, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer were so all-over-the-top, someone had to keep it grounded. Maybe his ability was on better display later. After I bought "Tarkus" on faith, :( I quit listening to them.

    The Hard Rock Cafe in London has an ornate Alembic 8-string that was made for him. So, it would seem he was/is really into bass and has the ability to rate such an instrument.
     
  4. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    Never saw him in person, but...ditto rickbass1.
     
  5. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    "Jeremy Bender" is an ELP song. ;)
     
  6. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    I like Greg Lake and feel that he is a bit underrated, my brother being a keyboard player was and still is a huge ELP fan. I saw him when ELP toured with Dream Theater and Deep Purple in 98 and thought he did a great job. I've got to agree with everyone else in that he had a great tone. He also had a short stint with Asia they have a video, Live in Russia, which is another good show.
     
  7. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [But, "bass virtuosity" is not what comes to mind when I think of him.

    No but he did play some nice things. The bass line to Tarkus was inventive and challenging. The cover of Bartok's piece that ELP did on the first album, 'The Barbarian' was also nice. He also did some nice things on Pictures at an Exhibition. It seems to me he did some nice playing on King Crimson's 21st Century Man.
     
  8. JeremyBender

    JeremyBender

    Oct 22, 2001
    NY
    Thanks for clarifying that Oysterbass! I am more a fan of Carl Palmer than any other member, but as a bass player, I can recall the first time I heard Greg Lake and was blown away. I never heard distortion and wah applied to the bass in that way. Eventually I realized he wasn't the only one to use effects, but I was still very impressed.

    I don't think he is a "virtuoso" when compared to others by any means, but some of his lines are impressive. His tone both live and in the studio are also very nice, as pedro said, getting that piano tone.

    I guess I can see why "over the top" comes to mind, but in stuff like "Hoedown" and especially the "Third Impression" of the Karn Evil Nine thing, where Greg matches licks with Emerson note for note. I always felt the bass line in that little piece was enough for him to get more credit than he does, still not virtuosity, but great nonetheless.
     
  9. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [but in stuff like "Hoedown" and especially the "Third Impression" of the Karn Evil Nine thing, where Greg matches licks with Emerson note for note.

    I wouldn't say Greg matches Keith note for note but he does play some nice stuff. I don't think his bass work on Hoedown was particularly inspiring but he did better at Third Impression and Karn Evil. Furthermore, when you consider he's singing his arse off all the while it does put it in perspective. Like I said before, killer voice.
     
  10. I like him, again I never think of him as a insane bass player but his line can be just as agresive as they can be sweet.
    Very melodic.
    Killer tone.
     
  11. i2k

    i2k

    Oct 31, 2000
    Indonesia
    Greg Lake with Asia ? I think it was John Wetton on bass during their Moskwa show.
     
  12. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Aahh, John Wetton :rolleyes:... Brings back memories of "UK" (Bill Bruford, Alan Holdsworth, Eddie Jobsen), now that was a cool band :cool:

    Peace,

    - Frank.
     
  13. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I really like the work he did with King Crimson. He plays like almost every other KC bassist: big tone, neither underplaying nor overplaying, always right on.
     
  14. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    To my ears, Lake and Wetton had very different approaches to the instrument and very different sound. I liked Wetton's bass playing much better but Lake had a better voice (not to say that Wetton was a good singer).
     
  15. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I recently picked up "In the Court of the Crimson King", not knowing it was their first album. I'm not much of a Crimson-head, but I really liked it, and thought Lake's playing and singing was fine. I see why noone's calling him a virtuoso, but he did good work on that one. First time I heard "Twenty-first Century Schizoid Man" was the Government Mule version, so it was interesting to hear the original.
     
  16. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Flatwound, Lake came up with some good bass work ~ I just happen to prefer Wetton's style a bit more. Greg has a sensational voice.

    [First time I heard "Twenty-first Century Schizoid Man" was the Government Mule version, so it was interesting to hear the original.

    I shudder to think...
     
  17. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    *cough*Fripp-in-charge*cough*