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Crawford13

Paul McCartney - under appreciated?

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The Yorkshire Ripper was in the Beatles?

Is that like Charles Manson auditioning to be in the Monkees?

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4 hours ago, Old Man Riva said:

How has this come to be?

I think a lot appreciation of/towards bands/musicians often requires a decent passing of time to properly appreciate and appraise their work.

In my experience, Macca/The Beatles weren’t referenced much at all in the 80s. That said they’d only split up 10 yrs earlier, so in today’s terms it would be akin to appraising, say, the work of Adele (the biggest selling artist of 2011], which would feel odd to do - in another 10 yrs perhaps, but not today.

The only references I can recall were U2, of all people, covering Helter Skelter and referencing them in amongst artists such as John Coltrane, BB King and Bills Holliday as part of the Rattle and Hum period. To my ears, it all sounded a bit odd, and dare I say, uncool at the time (which says more about me at the time than it does about multi million album selling rock combo U2!).

The sounds and playing styles of bass in the 80s (certainly the early half of the decade) were markedly different to Macca. Not better, just different! 

Roll forward to the 90s, and a 30 yr period having passed, I think that’s where I’ve noticed The Beatles being most critiqued - documentaries, new releases etc. - all helped by the internet and bands wearing their influences on their sleeves.

Not bad if you think how the 90s began with Candy Flip!

I suppose it’s a long-winded way of saying, for me, up until recent years Macca has often been overlooked/under appreciated in terms of his bass playing...

Siouxsie and the Banshees covered "Dear Prudence" in 1983, having covered "Helter Skelter" a few years earlier.

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Posted (edited)

I regard McCartney as a great musician who was playing bass, rather than being an exceptional bass player.

In the early 60's he said he didn't know a lot about bass, but just tried to follow Ringo's bass drum line. After Revolver he seems to have discovered his confidence and became a very innovative bass player.

Edited by chris_b
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2 hours ago, Crawford13 said:

That's an interesting perspective, and to be honest I hadn't thought about it that way. Peraps that it my issue. I was thinking about the topic from a bass player point of view, rather than a musician point of view. 

But that is sort of my point. Bass is not a vanity instrument, therefore, it shouldn't matter to bass players when people don't highlight it for praise. We know it wouldn't be as good without us!

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It's inevitable that people will be appreciated best when they are at their most active, which Paul M no longer is. He was always very musical and inventive. He's done all right. I don't suppose he worries about whether he's appreciated or not.

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47 minutes ago, Crusoe said:

Siouxsie and the Banshees covered "Dear Prudence" in 1983, having covered "Helter Skelter" a few years earlier.

Indeed they did, forgot about that... 

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2 hours ago, Crawford13 said:

I do genuinely think that compared to other players who are considered to have raised the bar for bass eg. Jameson, Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Entwhistle , I rarely hear McCartney talked about in the same way as a bass player.  Though to be fair it has been pointed out already that given how revered he is as a songwriter, his prowess as a bass player is implied.

I'm in agreement with you on this point...

Only my observation of course, but I'd say that here on Basschat, Macca isn't talked about quite as often and/or in quite the same reverential tones as the other bassists you've cited above . 

Is that because he isn't recognised as having raised the bar for bass?

Probably.. 

Do I agree with that?

No... 

My personal view is that he did raise the bar for bass, bringing far more creativity, and melodic invention to bear in a catalogue of (brilliant) pop songs than some of his contemporaries might otherwise have done. 

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I think he’s a great bassist, when you think about what the bass did up until The Beatles, his melodic playing coupled with the fact that he was often singing while playing those melodic lines, well that to me is good playing. 

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3 hours ago, Nail Soup said:

Slightly off topic, but I understand that Paul (rather than John or George) inherited the bass role because a) they needed to retain George's guitar skills and b) Lennon was to arrogant to go to bass c) McCartney thought of it as a challenge.

 

 

2 hours ago, PaulWarning said:

something like that, when Pete Sutcliffe left they needed a bass player and Paul was the one who was least against giving it a go

 

Well I'm not at all convinced that in 1961 anyone was very interested in retaining George's guitar skills ... he was a thoroughly mediocre guitarist right up to the late 60s as all the primary source material makes clear. He was essential as a Beatle and an old school friend of Macca's, but most of the decent lead guitar work until 1969 was played by the band's best guitarist. That was, of course, Paul McCartney.

Lennon was indeed arrogant, and that may have been one of the reasons why he didn't pick up Stu's bass and save Paul from having to buy a left-handed model. Far more to the point is that Lennon was absolutely not a bass player. He just about cut it on rhythm guitar and he had great vocals, plus he was a natural frontman (not a high-value attribute in the all-studio band that they became after Rubber Soul). Mr. Solid holding the rhythm section together he was NOT.

***************************

As to being "under appreciated", well there's bass players and there's everyone else. For everyone else there:

Awards and honours

McCartney and President Barack Obama. Obama is handing the Gershwin Prize to McCartney.
 
McCartney receiving the 2010 Gershwin Prize from US President Barack Obama

If that's being under appreciated then I'll have a slice of that please.

******************************************************************

It's also worth bearing in mind that Macca hit his peak (very roughly) about 50 years ago, in the period around 1971. 

For comparison, in 1971 the songwriter/musician who had peaked 50 years earlier (c. 1921) was Irving Berlin.

In 1971 there were plenty of people who remembered Irving Berlin, loved his songs and respected his talent ... but people didn't talk about him all the time. Why should they?

 

 

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@Happy Jack thanks for your informative input, and you are 100% right, as a musician and song writer he has indeed received a lot of acclaim. I guess my original post was intended as is he under appreciated for what he did for bass guitar as an instrument? 

However what I have come to realise from the input in this thread is that he received he recognition as a song writer and musician, which ultimately is much more important than anything he could have received for the advancement of the instrument. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Crawford13 said:

However what I have come to realise from the input in this thread is that he received he recognition as a song writer and musician, which ultimately is much more important than anything he could have received for the advancement of the instrument. 

I don't see those as being in any way mutually exclusive. He received LOTS of acclaim for what he did with bass guitar both at the time, and in the ten years or so after. I can well remember him winning loads of readers' awards in NME and Melody Maker in those days, and many other bass players referencing his influence on them.

But that was a very long time ago. You don't hear endless praise for most bassists of the 60s and 70s because the misguided young people of today for some reason prefer their own musicians. 😉

Edited by Happy Jack
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5 hours ago, Old Man Riva said:

Completely agree, and with Oasis I’m not sure I hear it in much/any of their music, if I’m honest - not a criticism of them, I just don’t hear it! 

Noel Gallagher is quite happy to explain how much of an influence Slade was, but no one seems to take a blind bit of notice that. 

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Funnily enough last night I stumbled across one of the Anthology episodes online last night.

I was watching various clips of them playing live in the Beatles for Sale/Help era.

I noted that whilst you could hear scuffed notes from George and the odd one from John, Paul's basslines sounded (to me) note perfect and in time even while he was singing some complex lyrics.

That's the bit that amazes me - they always complain that they couldn't hear each other, but he still plays in time with Ringo.  I know it may because a different track was dubbed on later, but it sounds different enough to think it is the live track each time.

He was/is a quality player in my opinion and the main reason I got into playing bass.   

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58 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Noel Gallagher is quite happy to explain how much of an influence Slade was, but no one seems to take a blind bit of notice that. 

Oasis need to do a Christmas single, then they will all listen. 

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AND he used this little bass guitar, the one that everyone wants!

May be an image of 1 person, standing, guitar and text that says ""Come on, you know you want to have a Hofner"! 1"

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14 minutes ago, grandad said:

AND he used this little bass guitar, the one that everyone wants!

May be an image of 1 person, standing, guitar and text that says ""Come on, you know you want to have a Hofner"! 1"

No, I don’t. I really really don’t. 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, grandad said:

AND he used this little bass guitar, the one that everyone wants!

May be an image of 1 person, standing, guitar and text that says ""Come on, you know you want to have a Hofner"! 1"

Allegedly the reason why he chose it is because he didn't have to make any alterations to it to make it suitable for a lefty.

 

Edited by TheLowDown

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13 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

Allegedly the reason why he chose it is because he didn't have to make any alterations to it to make it suitable for a lefty.

 

I heard that as well, but I've never seen a photo of him playing a right handed Hofner upside down (the controls on top), is it not more likely that they were one of the few manufacturers that produced an affordable left handed model?

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24 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

I heard that as well, but I've never seen a photo of him playing a right handed Hofner upside down (the controls on top), is it not more likely that they were one of the few manufacturers that produced an affordable left handed model?

Both. He routinely played Stu's right-handed 500/5 upside down in the very early days in Hamburg, though I can't supply you with any photos of him doing that, but it was awkward and 'looked funny'.

The 500/1 Violin was not only symmetrical in either orientation and (as you say) readily available in left-handed form if you were in Germany, which he was at the time, but it was also relatively cheap when compared to heavily-taxed US imports. John and George were both prepared to take on HP (hire purchase) debt to buy Rickenbackers even then, Paul preferred to stay out of debt.

He was always the smartest Beatle.

The other factor that Paul has mentioned in plenty of interviews is that, at that time, he was a guitarist. He also played piano, drums, bass, even a bit of trumpet, yes, but he thought of himself as a guitarist. The Hofner 500/1 is one of the lightest serious basses ever made and it was an easy thing to swing around on stage and treat like many of the lightweight electric guitars that were around in the early 60s.

 

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14 hours ago, TheLowDown said:

Allegedly the reason why he chose it is because he didn't have to make any alterations to it to make it suitable for a lefty.

 

 

i read somewhere (so it must be true!) that he originally wanted a Gibson EB-1, but it was too expensive.

The Hofner was aesthetically similar but a lot cheaper.

 

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32 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

The Hofner looks much better for starters!

I find it hard to image that the Hofner looked better than anything!

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