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How good was Prince on the bass?


Barking Spiders

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His work raised some debate when Bass Player put him to the cover of that magazine. Some people thought he can not be there, because he is not a pure or real (?) bassist. Some others thought that he happens to be a multi instrumentalist and his work is very good. I think many of his songs are fantastic. Bass playing is just one part of the whole picture.

There were some bitter discussions about how he chose the members of the band, but that is long gone.

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Prince was a FANTASTIC bass player. A lot of the bass tracks on the earlier albums (including the Revolution era stuff) was him.

This is particularly tasty. Prince took the bass part in this v cool cover of Whole of the Moon at one of his last big gigs in Minneapolis.
 

 

Edited by Cairobill
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Bit  OT, sorry,  but i  used to get Prince mixed up with Jesse Johnson back in the 80's.  Equally good musicians, but  Prince was a multi instrumentalist, and not sure about  Johnson

Still , Johnson was magic on that there geeeeeter. Kicks in for real about 2:50 if you cant wait and a bit more after that  at 4:15 :)

 

 

 

Edited by fleabag
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His greatest trick was releasing a song without any bass and recording one of the greatest records. The record company thought it was a demo and demanded he record it again with bass. He told them to release it as, or he wouldn't record anything else for them.. he really had a great head on him. 

 

Edited by bubinga5
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I saw him live a few times and he always played bass on a few tracks. Saw the tour with Larry Graham on bass and they made a bass duet that was very musical with lot of good taste slap (I know there's that old thread and I am not myself a great slap fan...).

So yes he was a great bass player. In fact his bass playing was as good as his guitar playing. As simple as that !

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On 13/11/2020 at 17:49, mr4stringz said:

The one clip that I remember him playing bass on from years back was from the short lived C4 music show The White Room. Sure that’s somewhere on YT. 
 

But regardless, as above, one of those musicians that seemed great on anything he played...

If I remember correctly when prince played the White Room there was a bass player in the band and prince played something complementary to that , kind of lead bass. 
It was a nice white bass if I remember right.

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2 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

His greatest trick was releasing a song without any bass and recording one of the greatest records. The record company thought it was a demo and demanded he record it again with bass. He told them to release it as, or he wouldn't record anything else for them.. he really had a great head on him. 

 

Another song on my list of tunes I'd like to cover as a vocalist - pitched down somewhat of course.

When Doves Cry didn't have a bass line either - another massive hit 👍

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2 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

His greatest trick was releasing a song without any bass and recording one of the greatest records. The record company thought it was a demo and demanded he record it again with bass. He told them to release it as, or he wouldn't record anything else for them.. he really had a great head on him. 

 

I can't see a bass line would add to Kiss. I can imagine his demo sketches would have had a bass line and he just removed and refined elements until he was left with all that was necessary.

As you say he had a really great head.

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1 hour ago, Nail Soup said:

Come to think of it , and reading through this thread, Prince was not only a great player............but he was one of the best at not playing too.

He was one of the best at using space and leaving stuff out.

I didn't play on pretty much all of the greatest records of the last 40 years - a measure of just how good I am at leaving everything out.

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