Macca gets the credit for "most musical" bass player, but how about Dee Murray?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Guiseppe, Oct 21, 2021.


  1. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    I've spent the last few days going through the early Elton John discography (through 1976 or so) and have to say that I'm once again thoroughly blown away by the bass playing of Dee Murray. There are so many songs that I can point to, but in particular, the bass line to the last track of Elton's 1973 masterpiece "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"...Harmony. It's eloquent in its form, just right for the track to move it and establish the sonic foundation in the track. And the ending! I'm not great at identifying scales and modes but the way the bass line in the ending tracks is incredible. (This song is incredible songwriting in it's own right - it was slated to be a single but wound up being the B side to the single "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road")

    PS And if you REALLY want to be blown away, listen to Dee's fretless bass lines on 17/11/70...this was a THREE piece ensemble, Elton, Dee, and Nigel Ollsen on drums. KILLER!

     
  2. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    That term could describe so many bassists. How about Geddy Lee? Chris Squire? John Deacon? Heck, even Tom Scholz? Not disparaging Dee Murray at all - he's amazing and one of my favorites (great track choice, BTW). But the term is just so subjective.
     
  3. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    Macca has forever gotten so much publicity about his bass playing, and "Something" is heralded as a bass clinic. I simply was suggesting the song, "Harmony" is an amazing piece of bass playing.
     
  4. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Oh, no doubt. Dee on the entire Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album does some fantastic playing. :cool:
     
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  5. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Dee Murray was great but there would be no Dee Murray without McCartney, Paul was basically the first real melodic electric bassist. He was doing that during the mid 60's.
     
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I would throw Jamerson into that mix as well. He was also very melodic even though he was more rhythm oriented. He was definitely an influence on McCartney as well. But I loved Dee Murray and I thought pretty much everything else Elton John did Was much weaker for not having him there when he fired him. One of the dumbest moves in show business if you ask me. Nigel Olssen, too. He may have had a couple of hits after he fired those guys, but it was never as good.
     
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  7. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member


    Why did he fire him?
     
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  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Officially Elton says that he wanted a band that grooved and not chugged. I bet dollars to donuts that they asked for more money and It made Elton angry.
     
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  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    11/17/70 is without a doubt my favorite live album.
     
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  10. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    He was crazy. Listen to 17-11-70 and you can tell how amazing Nigel and Dee were. I was flabbergasted to realize that concert was piano, bass, and drums!
     
  11. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    Of course Jamerson is heralded as a great. As he deserves. I am simply bringing another GREAT bass player to some of our attention - many don't know who Dee Murray was.
     
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  12. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    Surely there would have been Dee Murray without McCartney. The whole bass world doesn't revolve around Sir Paul. Is he great? Does he deserve credit? Sure. But he isn't the key to every other bass players success.
     
  13. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    It's am amazing jam. Dee Murray is incredible. As is Nigel. And Elton is JAMMING. A great album to be sure!
     
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  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Maybe so, but there’s an old saying that says you either have to be first or best and McCartney was first.
     
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  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Nothing wrong with that. You just phrased it like it was a competition :)
     
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  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yeah, that was before Elton’s head disappeared up his own butt. Spent many hours copying licks off of that album.
     
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  17. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    As I said, McCartney is a great. But he isn't the end all be all. Go ahead and think that Sir Paul is the only musical bass player if that makes you happy. I was simply pointing out to some who might not be familiar with Dee that he was an amazing musician, and his chops ARE musical...he's not an eighth not player at all.
     
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  18. Guiseppe

    Guiseppe

    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    Yeah, as I stated in the ORIGINAL post, I pointed out that the early 70's were an amazing run for Elton. I didn't care (or buy) anything after Blue Moves.
     
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  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Lighten up, Francis!
     
  20. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    I’ve spent a lot more time dissecting DM baselines in my formative years (70s).

    I had no interest in the Beatles until much later. How many hundreds of times did I pick up that needle and drop it back a few grooves, just to get that DM part.

    Man, what a teacher those early lines were.
     
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