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Motown songs with Bob Babbitt ?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Bass301, Sep 12, 2008.


  1. Bass301

    Bass301

    Jul 13, 2008
    Hello ,

    What Motown songs were basslines by Bob Babbitt ?

    ( My "Babbitt" search in the archives lasted over two hours to cover the past two years , so please be gentle if this question has been asked previously )

    Babbitt's own website claims these songs :

    Signed Sealed Delivered
    Tears of a Clown
    Cool Jerk
    I Just Want To Testify
    Never Can Say Goodbye (Gloria Gaynor version)
    Ball of Confusion
    Band of Gold

    Did any other Motown songs have Babbitt playing bass ?

    Thanks !
     
  2. Dave R

    Dave R

    Sep 21, 2007
    Boise, ID USA
    The best discography I have seen is at the end of the DVD "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."

    The only one I remember off the top of my head is "War" (un huh...what is it good for....absolutely nothin...)

    The comment mentions the "dead lock" with the drummer. True.
     
  3. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Scorpio, a few song's on What's Going On?...
     
  4. EddieG

    EddieG

    Jan 19, 2005
    Scotland
    He definitely did Mercy Mercy Me from What's Going On. Rick Suchow has the MP3 over on his website, fantastic stuff.
     
  5. jconary

    jconary

    May 18, 2008
    Germantown, MD
    The book "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" mentions Babbit as the bass in "Cool Jerk".
     
  6. Dark Star

    Dark Star

    Jun 18, 2008
    CT, RI, NC
    Inner City Blues (Make me Wanna Holler) - Marvin Gaye
     
  7. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Bass Player mag did a recent transcription/article of that tune. Great stuff!
     
  8. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    "Scorpio" from Dennis Coffey's Evolution is not (technically) Motown. My LP sez Sussex Records. ;)
     
  9. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight and the Pips
     
  10. Wasim

    Wasim

    Dec 10, 2004
  11. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
    There should be a statue of him erected somewhere just for that bassline.
     
  12. "Cool Jerk" and "Midnight Train to Georgia" are not Motown songs. "Cool Jerk" was cut under cover in violation of Motown's contract for its session musicians. "Midnight..." was cut in NYC after Motown moved to LA. He moved to NYC after that and did a bunch of stuff. Here's a list of the ones I know:

    "End of The Road" Marvin Gaye
    "Ball of Confusion" Temptations

    “LOSING YOU”
    RARE EARTH


    “SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED (I’M YOURS)” (GRAMMY NOMINEE)
    STEVIE WONDER


    “STONED LOVE”
    SUPREMES


    “TEARS OF A CLOWN”
    SMOKEY ROBINSON

    “UNITE THE WORLD”
    TEMPTATIONS

    “WAR” (GRAMMY NOMINEE)
    EDWIN STARR

    “WE CAN WORK IT OUT”
    STEVIE WONDER

    1971
    “INNER CITY BLUES” (GRAMMY NOMINEE) MARVIN GAYE


    1971
    “MERCY MERCY ME” (GRAMMY NOMINEE) MARVIN GAYE


    1971
    “SMILING FACES”
    UNDISPUTED TRUTH

    1971
    “SURRENDER”
    DIANA ROSS

    1972
    “FLOY JOY”
    SUPREMES

    1972
    “MASTERPIECE”
    TEMPTATIONS
     
  13. Also, "Band of Gold" is not Motown either.
     
  14. Bass301

    Bass301

    Jul 13, 2008
    I wonder how Babbitt was chosen to play bass on just a handful of Motown songs while Jamerson was so prevalent for the vast majority of Motown recordings ?

    Although Babbitt is a fine bassist and one of my favorites,
    it's surprising Berry Gordie allowed anyone but Jamerson to record the tracks. It's a credit to Babbitt he was chosen.

    Would be interesting to know how it happened.
     
  15. timmbass

    timmbass

    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I was gonna say that. Love that bass line...or those bass lines, because he plays it slightly different every time.
     
  16. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Motown would bring two bass player for a session.
    Jamerson and somebody else (often Babbitt). When Jamerson couldN't play for any reason they would take the back up.

    I don't remember where I read this, but I'm sure womeone else can remember.
     
  17. Dark Star

    Dark Star

    Jun 18, 2008
    CT, RI, NC
    It really was awesome. That work was what got me curious about Marvin/Babbitt.
     
  18. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Check out Standing In The Shadows Of Motown...the book.

    Babbitt did some sessions because Jamerson was on a rare road gig (usually with Marvin Gaye).
    I don't recall-
    ...was Babbitt doing sessions because JJ was out of sorts? I'm not 100% on the timeline.

    Anyway, check & read the book. ;)
     
  19. Anyone have a copy of the transcription I could get?

    THANKS
     
  20. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Probably where I read it.
    It's been what 20 years since I read this?
    I'm still playing with the book, almost daily, but i never read the story again.
     

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