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JPJ verses The Ox

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Billbassoz, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. Billbassoz


    Jul 15, 2007
    I'm not one for who's better but I have a friend who's into The Who and I've been into Led Zep on and off for years and when we were younger we would compare the two great bass players John Paul Jones and John Entwhistle. They had a lot in common. Both were clasically trained JPJ piano and organ Entwhistle french horn trumpet and tombone, both had very subdued performance styles and both were pivotal members of great live and recording bands through the sixties and seventies. There were real differences as well. JPJ was strongly influenced by James Jamerson and was more more traditional in his approach (bottom end etc) coming from a session muso background whilst IMO Entwhistles was more iconaclastic in that his influences are harder to pick and he had some techniques that were unique to him. JPJ was probably a better all round musician and arranger but Entwhistle was The Who's second songwriter and third singer.
    IMO there's no definative answer but its a discussion worth having.
  2. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    John entwistle is ten thousand times better than jpj, at least thats what i think, i would say that it's a given that he did more for expanding the frontier of what could be done on a bass.
  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Yup, pretty much covers it.

    vs. threads are pretty pointless anyway.
  4. well...
    JPJ was a better musician,

    but the Ox, brought bass to the masses.
    (had there been recorded bass solos before My Generation???)
  5. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    IMO, John Entwistle's style was far from subdued.

    Both are/were awesome bassists and overall musicians, but I'd say that it was Entwistle who brought the concept of "lead bass" to the masses. Not that JPJ didn't or couldn't assume a lead role, but The Ox was definitely at the forefront in comparison.

    Again, IMO. :)
  7. I like John Paul Jones better. Entwistle did some incredible things, but I just don't think he played WITH the band as well as John Paul Jones. JPJ is a big influence with me because he plays what some consider a busy bass line, but makes it work with the music. I think the reason he fits in so well is that he's a composer at heart, and realizes how all the instruments combine together to form an entire piece.

    Not to detract from Entwistle, I just think Entwistle more technical than musical, and I favor musical over technique any day.
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    paper vs. plastic
    McDonalds vs. Burger King
    Coke vs. Pepsi
    stainless steel vs. nickel
    Betty vs. Veronica
    red state vs. blue state
    innie vs. outtie
    Type A vs. Type B
    yada, yada, yada...

    Despite the structural similarities of the two bands (each with a drummer, bassist, guitarist & vocalist), Zeppelin and The Who were quite different in their musical approaches. Zep's influences in the blues were much more organic & roots-oriented, while The Who's origin in the Mod movement of mid-sixties London was much more synthetic & pop-oriented, later evolving into a kind of straightforward power rock - not blues-based at all...

    JPJ & Entwistle each played brilliantly - for the sound of his own respective band. But it's doubtful that either one could have reversed roles with the other nearly as well. Apples vs. oranges...

  9. +1. JPJ stays in the groove. The Ox wants to stand out.
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    pointless all around.

    Jonesy is still gigging regular, I'm guessing that makes him winner by default.

    We had a "No Vs. Threads" rule that was posted but more implied now. The are filled with passionate opinions that often end up crossing lines in defense of ones idols.

    I'll let this go a little while, but it'll most likely be closed at some point.
  11. i don't think there's anyway i could pick one over the other. these are my 2 favorite bands and my 2 favorite bassists. both are amazing, both are trailblazers, both play completely different.
  12. If forced to pick, JPJ.
  13. Definitely an "Apples and Oranges" comparison. Two sides of bass playing, both done exceptionally well.
  14. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    lots of good points here. especially how jpj is part of the band but the ox brought bass to the masses. love 'em both. the ox is who inspired me to be a bassist while jpj showed me how to groove. all before i started playing or knowing anything about bass.

    i would love to see/hear a combination of entwistle's technique and jpj's musicianship.
  15. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    If you mean electric bass then maybe it was one of the first. But there were tons of bass solos recorded before "My Generation" in 1965. For instance, every other Jazz recording had at least one or 2 bass solos.
  16. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005
    Well, I named my first born, Alec, after Entwistle so I've gotta go with Johnny boy. But as many are saying, both were/are spectacular players, just very different.

  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    IMO apples to oranges. Both Entwistle and JPJ and have influenced me greatly and IMO both are amongst the finest players of all time. IMO JPJ's style was more supportive and was more suited to work within a band context. Whereas the Ox's style was more "out front". The Ox viewed himself as a bass guitarist and had more of a soloist's approach in his playing. Both players could and did hold down the groove.

    Take a look at the members of their perspective bands:

    Led Zeppelin had a very adventurous lead player in Jimmy Page, a very dynamic vocalist in Robert Plant, and my all-time favorite rock drummer in John Bonham, who could solo and funk it up in his groove playing. JPJ simply didn't have to fill in as much sonic space within his band.

    The Who had a very energetic and "in your face" line up. Keith Moon had a monsterous stage presence, played all over the place, but was a bit of an undisciplined time keeper. Robert Daltry had/has a very commanding stage presence. As does Pete Townsend. But I personally view Townsend as a better rhythm player than a soloist. Townsend's sometimes sparse parts left Entwistle a lot of room to step out front and play more lead-like lines on bass.

    If I had to make a choice, I'd pick JPJ.

    Sorry for such a long post!
  18. +2 or +1 to your post...

    I think JPJ was more groove oriented.

    I dig his stuff!

  19. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Completely different players. Both are incredible, both brought so much to the bands they were in, and music in general, just in different ways.
  20. JPJ was a pocket player, while Entwistle was an upfront player. But of course, this is a generalization... JPJ had some upfront parts and Entwistle held the low end as well as anyone. Conclusion? Who do you prefer is the real question. I prefer JPJ as a groover, but I think Entwistle is more relevant to the music I play and so I would probably take more from him.

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