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Talk Talk's PAUL WEBB!Check him!!!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Amoilbasso, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    Does anyone here remeber an early 80's british pop group called Talk Talk?Their greatest hit was "Such a Shame".Nice 80's pop songs.Very simple,but with good melodies.
    Well anyway,check this Paul Webb!!!His bass lines are very melodic and often support the whole song,together with Mark Hollis's vocals.He's a mix of Paul McCartney,and Mick Karn....infact he often plays fretless...but without any Jaco's influence.
    His sense of rythm and space is unusual too!
    He's defenately a very personal bassist!!!!!(and he co-writes most of the songs)
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, I really only like Talk Talk's albums after "Colour of Spring" which is my favourite and Paul Webb is hardly noticable and doesn't co-write a lot on these later albums.

    He is in fact replaced by the excellent Danny Thompson on Double Bass on one and on several tracks, there is no bass at all.

    The earlier albums sound very "80s" and dated to me now!! So I listen to the Colour of Spring a lot, still but none of the albums before.
  3. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000

    I was used to listen to "It's my life"a and "the Colour of Spring" in my teen-age;I don't know the following material,but a tune called "I believe in you"......where the bass part is quite unrilevant.
    Anyway,what do you think of Paull's bass part in t
    he tune "living in another world" for example,Bruce?
    I find it very interesting!
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well there is no bass at all for the first minute or so and there is a nice contrast when the bass comes in - but it is very simple arpeggiated lines - nice an supportive but nothing special.

    Then there is a part where he is just playing one note rhythmically and then back to the same arpeggios.

    It's a nice song written by Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene as are all the songs on the album; but there's nothing special about the bass and if you played it to anybody blindfold I'm sure they wouln't comment and go - wow great bass! Nice drum feel and wild guitar solo but the bass is just bog-standard as far as I can hear and would take about 5 minutes for most competent bass players to transcribe.....?

    I put it on to listen just now - to check.

    The stand-out bass lines from the album are by Danny Thompson and the piano bass on "Life's What You Make" - this is a great riff and had me obsessed for ages, but there is no bass guitar on the track at all!
  5. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    ....hey Bruce I wasn't saying he is Marcus,or Jaco!!!.
    The fact that the line is easy to transcribe,or simply builted, doesn't mean it isn't interesting.I find it functional to the song,and diferent sounding from many other bassist's ones.
    But this is my taste!;)
    Vyachslavovich likes this.
  6. Paul Webb's bassline on "it's my life" is one that caught my ear and I always had a go at when I was starting out playing- melodic with great note choices and use of space in the note phrasing. nice tone, too.

    great 80's expansive production. I don't think that track has dated particularly- I think I first heard it when it (and "life's what you make it") was reissued in the early 90's.
    the track "talk talk" was recently used in a Carphone Warehouse advert.

    I picked up a best of compilation CD for £3.99 - I think I'll give it another listen.
    Iofflight and Kubicki Fan like this.
  7. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    Yes!These are the points:space,melody,personal taste and aproach to the bass-line,nice tone!:)
    He has an unusual sense of these things.
    Check "It's you" from "It's my life".
  8. yeah "it's you" is on the compilation I have.

    other songs on it with notable Webb basslines are "without you" " "Strike up the band". "it's so serious" and "the party's over".
    lots of fretless mwah on "candy" too.
    his fretless playing recalls Mick Karn, as you said, and David J of Bauhaus/Love & Rockets, also Derek Forbes on some early Simple Minds stuff.
    all this fretless talk is tempting me to defret my Dearmond Jetstar special.......:)

    check this out; this is Paul Webb and fellow ex-TalkTalk member Lee Harris' band, Orang.
    2 free downloads offered.http://www.epitonic.com/artists/orang.html
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I remember them then as quintessential 80s - the synth trio on Top of the Pops - unlistenable to me now!! :rolleyes:

    But there was a huge change with "Colour of Spring" - they brought in great musicians - like Steve Winwood, Robbie Mackintosh, Danny Thompson, great producer - Friese-Greene and produced "timeless" albums.

    I still listen to "Colour of Spring" on a regular basis and it stands up as an exercise in taste and restraint that is very rare in the rock world - although is common in Jazz!! ;)
  10. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    Thank you Mock Turtle,for the infos on the link!
    I haven't the songs you mentioned:( ,but I would add to the check list "my foolish friend" and "reneè".
    I would be courious to listen to something "live" form T.T(I have only one song from their video collection;it is "give it up",and they play really well)

    Derek Forbess,I know him very well,having been a great Simple Minds fan between 12 and 15,but I don't like him very much..... a marvelous bass line instead, is on Simple Minds's "This is Your land"(from 1989 "Street Fighting Years"):check it!!!It is wonderfull,even if John Giblin seems like copying a certain point of Jaco's line in "The jugler".
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Having said all that, I did actually play fretless in bands in the early 80s - I even played it on TV in one band!! ;)

    I got a really great fretless Westone Thunder III, which had a fantastic tone and great active electronics - exotic woods, neck-through and ebony unlined neck.

    Only trouble was it got damaged in the gig van - toggle switch broke off, despite being in a case! - and local techs couldn't fix it satisfactorily.

    I often long for that now, but I put on Colour of Spring as an antidote and lust after Danny Thompson's Double Bass sound instead!! ;)
  12. funnily enough I got into fretless out of wanting to emulate a double bass sound- like that of Danny Thompson on John Martyn's "solid air" - so I pulled the frets out of my Hohner TWP600B acoustic bass and strung it with flatwounds, around 1995.
    -there are several recordings featuring it on the Mock Turtle Regulator page link below:)

    I didn't want to try electric fretless as I didn't want to emulate Pino Palladino's smooth IMHO lifeless sound.

    but hearing players like Paul Webb ,Mick Karn, David J and Derek Forbes (eg. "sweat in bullet", "waterfront" "someone up there likes you") has tempted me to give it a go;)

    another unusual use of fretless I've just discovered is Stuart Morrow on early New model Army - eg. "sex (the black angel)"- sounds like a fretless maple-neck P bass, played with a pick:eek:
  13. Talk Talk's "Colour Of Spring" is one of the few albums I took with me when I moved from Germany to New Zealand last year.

    I also have the two follow-ups (the ones with the trees on the cover) - there's some very strange music on them, but I like them, too. :)

    And as he got mentioned, too: I am just listening to Kate Bush's album "Never For Ever", and John Giblin and the other bassists on this one are playing some very good stuff!
  14. Amoilbasso


    Apr 22, 2000
    Yeah John Giblin!
    I was a big Simple Minds fan in my teen-age.
    He did some good stuff witrh BrandX also!Grat fretless player
  15. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    I saw Talk Talk open up for Elvis Costello and the Attractions at Alpine Valley wi. (site of SRV's demise) in the early 80's--i remeber being extre,ely impressed by them at the time and enjoyed their first 2 recordings--they gat a little too dark and moody after that for my tastes.

    Another band of that era I enjoyed, who had a good bassist with some fretless work was ABC, especially "Lexicon of Love"
  16. ...songs like "Poison Arrow" and (of course) "The Look Of Love", yes! To me, ABC were "a better Spandau Ballet" back then, although I have to admit that Martin Kemp was quite a good bassplayer, too (especially live).
  17. In recent interviews he's said he was terrible, and often wanted synth bass instead eg. "true".
    I haven't seen any live footage, but the bass on the records sounds pretty good.

    while we're in the 80's there's some quite nifty bass playing on "fascist groove thing" by Heaven 17.
  18. They were showing some concerts from that era on German TV about two years ago;
    One of them were Spandau Ballet, and Martin Kemp's Ibanez Musician had a very good sound
    (slightly chorused, too). And he can play! ;)

    Oooh, Heaven 17 ! Love their "Let Me Go"! I haven't heard the song you mentioned, so I shall download it
    @ Mock The Turtle Regulator
  19. check this out-

    stuff on Julian Cope, Talk talk, Tears for fears (new album imminent).
    apparently Paul Webb and Lee Harris of talk talk are currently touring with Beth Gibbons of Portishead.
    Paul Webb is not playing bass though.
  20. PSouth


    Mar 15, 2003
    China Crisis is a wonderful synth-pop band with great fretless playing too. Check out their first two albums 'Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms' and 'Working with Fire and Steel.'

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