Lenny Kravitz's "Are You Gonna Go My Way" is such an underrated bass album

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I'm starting to think this is my favorite album when it comes to bass. It's chop full of great playing. Tony Breit, Henry Hirsch and Lenny all did great work with the bass. Love the basslines to Is there any love in your heart and My Love. The walking bass line during the guitar solo of the title track is excellent. I love the way the bass stays simple where it needs to be in Sister but then adds in all this cool little fills and runs in different parts. Lenny is an amazing bassist in his own right to. He did this real James Jamerson sounding thing on Sugar. It's probaly the best line on the album. I think my favorite bass line on the album is actually the most simple one too and that is Come On and Love Me. That 3 note chromatic groove that goes on for most of the song is perfect. I don't think there's anyway to make that bass line any better.

    Just thought I would post my opinions on an album that gets so severly overlooked when people are talking about records with great bass playing. Also though I would put song titles in italics and see if that would make things a bit easier to read.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I like Kravitz & his approach.
    He can go from Led Zep to Motown & many places in-between.
    I like it when it's difficult to pigeon-hole somebody.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    This is intimidating to me, because JimK has such a vast knowledge of recordings and I respect his opinions highly.

    But, I'll slag Kravitz anyway.

    I find him just a pretender who only got where he is because he's a Beverly Hills rich kid who was married to Lisa Bonet and is the son of an actress from sitcom, "The Jefferson's." It wasn't talent that got him heavy air rotation, it was money and connections, IMO. If he had to rely on talent, he'd be on food stamps. He's more marketer than musician, IMO. Using a Gibson Flying V and the mirrored sunglasses??? It's just hype that some hired image consultant at the recording company told him would help make the gullible overlook his lack of talent. Rarely has someone with such poor sales received such heavy promo dollars. Sleeping with the right people works many times..

    He unabashedly tried to cash in on a Hendrix-vibe and falls shamefully short. His "American Woman" remake was aurally painful.

    His vocals are immediately forgettable, his guitar playing is rank, his guitar sound is putrid, and his albums outnumber his decent singles. But that's what money and connections can do.

    But, when you're connected to the powers that be, the lemmings jump off the edge in pursuit of "faux hip."

    Every song he has ever done makes me think I'm watching a car ad on TV.
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I thought.. think rather that lenny kravitz had it good with his older stuff.. I absolutely hated his last album... some people liked it. and thats ok with me, but i didn't like it at all.
  5. I had the idea of covering "always on the run" changing the lyrics to "my mama said, you shouldn't rip off Wild Cherry" etc. :p

    the single "are you gonna go my way" is such a blatant rip-off of Hendrix's "Ezy Rider" - but I always enjoy playing the bassline under the solo live:)

    but Kravitz's contrived "stuck in the 70's" image does annoy me.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I respect your opinions, too.
    (Don't worry about Phats...he's upset 'cause he's only about 600 points off the pace in his Talk Bass Fantasy Baseball Pool. I won't mention who's #1...). :D :p

    I have always loved The Guess Who's "American Woman"(& especially "Undun" & "No Time").
    I liked Lenny's cover of "American Woman"...

    As far as hype, flair, marketability, etc.
    I try(& sometimes fail) to listen with pre-MTV ears.
    Nowadaze, that's hard to do...
    The poseurs are a dime a dozen, I just never thought of Kravitz in that way. IMO, he's kinda under-rated...we disagree on that, it's cool, that's what makes the world go 'round. ;)
  8. Rick does have a point, though--Kravitz has sucked up promo dollars that could potentially have gone to more deserving musicians. For the money that his label spends on him, he should be selling 3-4 million albums. I'm sure that a lot of competent-to-excellent bands have been dropped in order to continue financing his career.

    That said, he's a great pasticheur, which does take real talent. But, hell, so is Wynton Marsalis, and I doubt too many people on this board have much love for him.
  9. Yeah dont mind me.. fantasy basball has made me get some sand in ym mangina. I just like the guys sh*t, no all of it, but alot of it. and the things people hate about him seem to be the things I like..:confused:
  10. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I think Lenny has talent. I haven't listened to the newest album. I don't like his American Woman, but it grew on me a bit. I don't like the original one that much either.

    I think he deserves credit for the tones on all of his albums. He was nailing a clean pure '70s vibe in the midst of late '80s excess. I also really like the simplicity of his lines and songs. It has taken me years to learn when to play fewer notes, and Lenny is a good model to follow.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Thank you, Jim.

    That's what it's always a pleasure with you because each of us know it's only opinions , not quantifiable truths.

    I usually try to explain from a musical standpoint why something is/isn't musically valid to me. None of this Dick Clark - "I only give it a 70, Dick, because I can't dance to it," crap.

    But I always scrutinize my opinions when you have something different to say because your comments are always deeper than - "well, I like it so your opinion is messed up."
  12. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000

    :D :D

    Anyways, I really wasn't expecting this thread to turn into a debate of Lenny's musical credablility. I just wanted to state that I think "Are You Gonna Go My Way" has a lot of great bass playing to listen. On that note, while Lenny is in no way orginal, he is a master artist at being a copy cat, and still sounds fresh, IMO, right next to greats like Led Zepplin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Jimi Hendrix.

    I agree with you Jondog, his tone is amazing. Another thing I like about AYGGMY other than the bass playing is the way the album is mixed. Usually, when a guitar solo comes up in a song, it's usually mixed real loud and right in your face. The guitar solos don't overshadow the rythm section of the song, which I totally dig.

  13. I hope thats not directed at me. because I understand there is no right and wrong when dealing with opinions. And having been here long enough to understand that that is the SOP of many in here I can see why you would imply that . But I plead innocent to the charges that are brought forth against me. JimK has been retained as my lead defense council even thought he sports that ugly Philthy-delphia logo by his name
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999


    (Pretty good weekend for the Klowns' starting pitching...Colon, Ishii, & Lopez).
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Hey I'm not too cool to admit to a liking for both! So you can never get enough Hendrix eh? Jimi died before I started going to gigs, but at least I got to see Robin Trower live! ;)

    I saw Wynton Marsalis locally last year and all the Jazzers turned up - even the pros who complain about what he does! Great playing, great gig and I will also admit to owning Citi Movement and enjoying listening to it! ;)
  16. Hey, I'd go to see Wynton too, as long as he kept his horn firmly planted in his mouth so he couldn't put his foot there...
  17. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    This may all be true, BUT his earlier stuff is far superior to his more recent, more generic work. Plus, he used to put on a HELUVA live show. I saw him once back in the early 90s, and he rocked the place but good. Sure, I haven't felt the need to bother with his shows or albums since, but there was once a glimmer of something special there...
  18. i think this sums it up perfectly for me. kravitz is just so utterly commercial. there's a sickly sweetness pervading everything he does, an overpolished sheen that is just a little nauseating.
  19. I think, well someone who I know who knows, says he is doing a prince move. Putting out album after album just to satisfy his record obligation with virgin becasue he is unhappy with the clamps they put on him.

    not my words just a what a friend in the biz sez
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I quite like the music to a lot of car ads and there are always threads asking about - what was that song on "xxxxxx" ad on TV recently? ;)

    On of my favourites, had the Velvet Underground as background music! And there was the one that used the Bullit soundtrack music and the one with Jimmy Smith and Keny Burrell.....I could go on!! :D