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So what's the opinion of Talkbass about Michael Rutherford as a bass player?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Blazer, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars

    Rutherford will probably never be known for a Bassline that can be sung along to, like for example Roger Waters who had plenty of basslines like that "Money" for example.

    What he IS known for of course are rocking riffs, ("Abacap", "I can't dance", "Land of confusion") and unusual time signatures (How does one come up with the main riff of "Turn it on again" which is in 13/8 ?)

    But let's talk about the guy as a Bassplayer because, let's be honest he truly shone in that role.
    Rutherford playing what is arguably his best known instrument, his Shergold double neck.

    Genesis - Get 'Em out by Friday - YouTube
    "Get 'em out by Friday"
    This is a track that shows Rutherford at his most driving, he does those little lead lines on his Rickenbacker. Iron Maiden Bass player Steve Harris has named Rutherford as a primary influence, this song shows where the connection lies.

    Genesis - Live in 1973 - YouTube
    "I know what I like"
    SMOKING live version and Rutherford's bass line is hopping and swinging with a vengeance.

    Genesis The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - YouTube
    "The Lamb lies down on Broadway"
    Again a very driving bass line but with a good dose of fuzz and 'tude

    Now much of early Genesis work had Rutherford and Steve Hackett playing guitar in tandem ("The Musical box" is a great example of that) with Rutherford using Moog Taurus Pedals to supply the low end. In this song he uses both the Moog pedals as he and in this case Daryl Stuermer (Hackett on the recorded version and the pre-1978 live versions) play guitar in tandem and plays bass during the song's interludes, but hear him go on those.
    veryvery, Jeffrey Wash and woodyng2 like this.
  2. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    He is criminally underrated. Because he also plays guitar a lot, I guess most bassists don't consider him a *true* bassist.

    I'd rather listen to one note played by Rutherford than million notes played by Wooten.
    Mystic Michael and Papalampraina like this.
  3. tasteful, melodic, great tone, what's not to like? :cool:
    jerry and Mystic Michael like this.
  4. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    As stated, not just melodic but some really cool tricky time signatures. I've always enjoyed The Battle of Epping Forest.
    AztecViking likes this.
  5. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    If he's the guy that played on "Just a Job to Do" ... he has my total respect.

    That bass line kicks azz.
  6. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Great in Gabriel-era Genesis and the first two albums after Peter departed. After the hit machine kicked in, not so much. But a talented player.
  7. Agreed, 100%. Thought he was great, until Genesis went big.
  8. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    What most people overlook here is the fact that Rutherford WROTE the majority of those hits and people just blame Phil.

    And people forget that even their most "pop" sounding albums still had their fair share of Prog going on with Rutherford's driving Bass lines intact.
    Genesis - "Behind The Lines/Turn It On Again" (Live Earth, Wembley 2007) HD - YouTube
    "Duke" for example had songs like "Behind the lines" and the earlier mentioned "Turn it on again"

    Genesis - Dodo / Lurker (Three Sides Live) HQ - YouTube
    "Abacap" had the title song and this excellent Prog jam "Dodo/Lurker"

    And here's the big one. "Invisible touch" the album where most prog fans wrote them off completely, had THIS...
    Genesis - The Brazilian (Invisible Touch Tour) - YouTube
    andruca and woodyng2 like this.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  10. jeffwo


    Feb 16, 2010
    Leesburg, Virginia
    The old stuff was awesome, I am a huge fan, and absolutely not much of a fan of the pop-era Genesis. BUT you absolutely cannot deny the fact that "No Reply At All" is simply a smoking bass tune!
    woodyng2, jwilson67 and basslifter like this.
  11. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Genesis - No Reply At All (Three Sides Live) HQ - YouTube
    Listen to this SMOKING live version where Rutherford WORKS his Alembic.
  12. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    I'm a huge fan..of his solo work too. Get SMALLCREEP'S DAY if you can.

    NO REPLY AT ALL sounds like he's playing fretless..
  13. woodyng


    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    huge fan of his work,his bass tone on some songs was almost hard to hear,but you could tell he was doing some really unusual,cool things. one of my favorites is the live version of "the lady lies". i also really like his ascending lines on the last part of "cinema show". his bass lines really make up a huge part of why i still enjoyed listening to Genesis up to "calling all stations",a pretty lifeless album,that.
  14. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway

    I love Rutherford's bass playing. Old Genesis, newer Genesis or his solo album. Lots of great bass Lines by him. My absolute favorite is his bass line leading into the firth of fifth guitar solo, specially when Collins and Chester are on the drums. His playing is so effortless and he can do some very impressive passages.
  15. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
  16. Meh. He's pretty average.


    There are bass players who play bass lines, and there are players who compose bass lines that become an integral part of the song.

    Rutherford is obviously in the second group.
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  17. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Love Genesis' early prog stuff. M.R. is a great player.
    Gotta agree that after Genesis became the hit machine I lost intrest.
  18. OPBASSMAN1994


    Jul 30, 2010
    One of the most outstanding bassists in rock history for me. His playing is flawless, melodic, speedy, complex, and always interesting. Especially early Genesis. In the Cage, anyone?
  19. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
  20. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    How come none of you site his solo album "Acting Very Strange" ? All Mike. Some of the basslines are really interesting, and his tone is killer, Ric like but I think he recorded it with a Steiney.

    Check this out:

    Mike Rutherford-Acting Very Strange - YouTube

    Also, the drummer should sound very familiar....

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