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Who was the Bassist in ABC? ("The Look of Love")....

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Mark Jacobs, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. Mark Jacobs

    Mark Jacobs

    Dec 16, 2000
    ...."Poison Arrow", etc. I've always liked his new-wave-meets-Motown style. Whoever it is, he's certainly not discussed on this board. If you listen closely you'll hear that he pops without slapping. Unusual but distinct approach. I's also be curious as to his rig.
  2. Thee


    Feb 11, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Eerie... I just saw that look of love music video last night on VH1 classics. That truly was a Golden Age of music video, one I wish we would soon return to. :D
  3. Well I hooked out the album and the credits are for two players. Brad Lang and Mark Lickley. Mark Lickley is credited for Poison Arrow, Tears Are Not Enough and The Look Of Love.
    So I'm guessing he's your man.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
  5. Wasn't the bassline on the song "The Look of Love" was played on a Minimoog synth bass?
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think the point is that that was the time that Trevor Horn started using digital recording (synclavier) to play programmed basslines that really sounded like "super accurate" bass guitar.

    So - he did it to good effect with "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" as well - the band had a bass player, but Horn got session players in like Norman Watts-Roy, sampled bass lines on the synclavier, chopped them up and then programmed them into lines that fitted the song, but that were never actually played by anybody in "real time" -although they sounded like bass guitar!! :meh:

    So - Trevor Horn produced "Lexicon of Love" at around the same time and I suspect he did very much the same thing and that the bass lines sound so good, not because of the player but because he edited them digitally on the synclavier - so none of the lines were actually played like that in real time, but were programmed lines put together from samples Horn had taken and edited digitally.

    Otherwise, I think we would have heard of those players a lot more....:meh: and ABC - what you are hearing is the sound of Trevor Horn - more than ABC, as such!
  7. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    I don't buy that, Bruce!

    With FGTH it is clear that the bass is coming from a synth, no doubt about it. But songs like Show me... come on, it could be hardly done even today with protools. No producer would give that much effort.

    Some ABC songs have synth bass, but it is very easy to figure out what those songs are.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - the synclavier is a very different instrument and not exactly like a synth - what you're talking about is a very high-quality digital sampler with a keyboard - Trevor Horn was the master of this and it's no coincidence that the records he produced at this time, sound a lot better than the actual bands involved, ever did live!

    It' not like Pro Tools where you're just correcting - and the bass sounds can sampled over a long period and built up - the bass sounds on songs like Poison Arrow and Look of Love, have the same quality as FGTH and the same "precision" - but anyway I think the overall sound of the record has much more to do with Trevor Horn than any of the band, except maybe Martin Fry...?

    Also - Trevor Horn had completed "Welcome to the Pleasure Dome" in 1983 which was very successful and "Lexicon of Love" was in 1984, so I don't think there's any doubt he would have approached the projects the same way and using the techniques with which he was familiar!


    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    On the ABC record in question Brad Lang does the pops in "Look Of Love" and Anne Dudley and Horn used the Fairlight system as well real players all over the album. The "Lexicon" record is one of my all time faves! I actually wrote a fan email to Brad Lang and got a nice response. I agree that Mr. Lang and Mr. Lickley need to be discussed here. Wonderful players. :)
  10. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    I fully agree that. There is certainly lots of overlaying going on with the bass tracks. On Poison Arrow there are some 'pop'- fills added, but I'd say that the bass is mostly played 'live on bass'. At least its played in quite long samples. Its just not possible to fake some things in bass playing, like hammer-ons. But we'd need to ask Trevor to be certain about how it was done.

    Anyways, Trevor is the man! I've dug FGTH, ABC, Propaganda, Art of noise, Pet Shop Boys and Simple Minds.

    BTW. there is an intresting 'produced by Trevor Horn' concert coming:
  11. Jvibe


    Sep 22, 2011
    Here is the interview from from Trevor where he explains the Look of Love bassline. Read the Tracing Paper section. It was CV-GATE triggering a MiniMoog:

    Trevor Horn