What is this godly tone??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stewart8980, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. stewart8980


    Apr 11, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I'm sure many of you are familiar with the song "Don't Leave Me This Way", by Thelma Houston. The tone of this bass pretty much sums up the kind of tone I'd like to get. For the sake of knowledge, what kind of bass is that? I'm assuming a Jazz, because of the crisp clean growl, but I know that a lot of disco bass was done on P-basses.

    Here's the song (studio bass):

    Any input?
    Kubicki Fan likes this.
  2. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I think it's a P-bass.
  3. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    I'd have to agree with Mr. Wilson - a P with rounds.
  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    +1, my guess as well
  5. bassbrock


    Feb 20, 2007
    Callahan, FL
    Checking it out, I would also guess a P-Bass with rounds and tone knob wide open; it has lots of low mids with good punch and less nasally growl than a J-bass typically has.
  6. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    I'd say a P too. You might also want to know the role of the amp in the sound. There's some soft distortion going on I think. Maybe a mic'd tube amp?
  7. Who's the bassist?
  8. +1 to P with rounds. Sounds great!
  9. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Agree on the P with rounds.

    Ampeg amps can dial in that tone pretty easily. They have a really nice dirty sound when you crank up the gain.

    Also, you could dial in a sound very similar to that with a Warwick. They've got that woody sound.
  10. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Pbass and fingers...
  11. Antonio (Tony) Newton. He did tons of Motown stuff.
  12. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    Great sound. I like these types of 70s grooves myself. At first I thought it was a Jazz. If it is a P bass I think it's being played behind the pickup as that solid mid occasionally pops through.
  13. '63 P bass.
  14. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Interesting history:

    That song was produced by Hal Davis. He was one of the guys that opened the Los Angeles studio for Motown Records, which means it was probably recorded there.

    If you check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Funk_Brothers it shows all the session artists that Motown records used. Here's the list of L.A. bassists that are likely candidates:

    * Wilton Felder
    * Carol Kaye
    * Bill Pitman
    * Jacob Aaron Greenberg
    * Ron Brown
  15. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Nice! Thats the P bass sound i love....dig that tone!
  16. SOOO many tunes of that era have the *perfect* bass tone.
    Stickie suggestion: A list of well-known tunes, w/a description of the bass, rig & player. Example- Strawberry Letter 23; Louis Johnson; _______ bass through _______ amp/recorded direct.*
    * Not sure what he played. :rolleyes:
  17. stewart8980


    Apr 11, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Wow thaks for the fast responses. Would there be a difference between a 62 P and a 70 P as far as the RIs go? I know the Jazz's are different but I'm clueless about the Ps. If you havent guessed I'm trying to zero in on a X-mas Present :D
  18. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    no doubt. Mr. Jameson, paging Mr. Jameson...
  19. stewart8980


    Apr 11, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I thought Jamerson left before Motown hit LA?
  20. Kubicki Fan

    Kubicki Fan

    Oct 3, 2014
    It seems there is controversy over the identity of the bass player on this tune (Thelma Houston version).
    The song was done by Teddy Pendergrass in '75, a year before Thelma cracked the rafters with it.
    Henry Davis was mentioned as the bass player on Thelma Houston's version of the song, in a credible post on soulfuldetroit.com, by Scott Edwards.
    Another TB post also mentions credits.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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