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rockstars, their music and uncredited basslines

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I think the best way to get across what I am trying to say is with an example.

    Okay, say you have a guy like Springsteen (of whom I am a big fan). He is not a bass player (excluding 57 Channels with nothing on).

    If you read the liner notes he is credited to writing the songs, but isnt there more to it than that? Who is really writing the songs? Sure he provides the basic songs structure but if you take a song like Thunder Road for example, which is not a simple bassline, he didnt write that bassline. I am assuming Gary W. Talent did. But i dont see Gary getting credit for it.

    In my opinion the bass line is integral to the song. The bassline for a song like Thunder Road is way beyond just playing 8ths on the root. It is a written piece of music, but often it is not credited to the writer.

    I am not saying Gary is not getting financially compensated, but shouldnt Gary get some of the "glory" for writing the bassline for such a great song and thus helping it become such a great song?

    This example can be applied to many many band situations. In fact, probably most.

    I think groups like U2 do it right by crediting the song to the group. "Song written by U2".

    Isnt it unfair for bass players to not be credited for the lines they write?
  2. Then a drummer should get a songwriting credit for a fill?

    While "I" think that a good bass line drives a song, the reality is the melody, hooks (and to an extent- lyrics) make the song. The thing is, you can do a cover of a song and not play the song like it was originally done- but it's still that song. Something that comes to mind is Devo's cover of "Satisfaction."

    Now, if a bass line is the song, or a part- then there's a songwriting credit in order. If Noel Redding had come up with the "run" in Hey Joe, that should have been a songwriting credit.
  3. I agree with the Golden Boy. From what i have heard of Springsteen, the basslines, from what i have heard are just thumping along the root notes...i wouldn't think any bass player could take credit for that, just like a rhythm guitar player probably wouldn't take credit writing the rhythm guitar part if its just chords...like hey joe for example...i wouldn't take credit playing the chords C-G-D-A-E
  4. Eric Grossman

    Eric Grossman

    Nov 3, 2004
    St. Louis
    Endorsing Artist: Hipshot Products and SIT Strings
    Without the original songwriter, there is nothing to put a bass part to. If the bass part came first, and inspired the song to be written around it, that's a different story.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    This topic has been the knock on James Brown and Jason Kay. Many of James' bassists have said the he didn't know what he wanted. He'd hum something stupid, and they'd play something better, and he'd respond with, "Yeah, that's what I meant to hum." Stu and Toby said the same thing about Jay, although Jay wasn't as bad as James when it came to what he wanted in a bassline. Btw, even without the hook and melody, the bassline to Chic's "Good Times" could still stand alone. Not disagreeing with you, just echoing your point.
  6. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I don't know. To me it seems there are many, many songs which are dependent on their bass line which has helped make them successful and oftentimes bass players dont get the credit they deserve. Talk about a run on sentence!
  7. I agree with you, however, a lot of that has to do with me hearing the bass above a lot of things. Think of the Beatles' Lady Madonna- to me that bass line is dominant, however, the piano riff really "makes" the song. In that case, the creator of both lines is the same person- but that song, as a song, can stand up equally without the piano or without the bass.

    If you think of basslines that really "made" the song, look no further than Jamerson and the Motown crew. They wrote the arrangements- they essentially wrote the songs, and got paid $40 or whatever their salary was.

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