3/15/2020

Weekly Basslines #251: Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding (Elton John)

"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" is the opening track on the double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John.
The first part, "Funeral for a Friend", is an instrumental created by John while thinking of what kind of music he would like at his funeral. This first half segues into "Love Lies Bleeding". In the Eagle Vision documentary, Classic Albums: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, John said the two songs were not written as one piece, but fit together since "Funeral for a Friend" ends in the key of A, and "Love Lies Bleeding" opens in A, and the two were played as one elongated piece when recorded.







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2/09/2020

Weekly Basslines #250: Pump It Up (Elvis Costello)

"Pump It Up" originally appeared on Elvis Costello's second album “This Year's Model” from 1978, which was the first he recorded with the backing group "the Attractions". The album was produced by Nick Lowe and the bass was played by the fantastic Bruce Thomas. His inventive and highly melodic bass work is a great source of inspiration on how to spice up a bassline by throwing in melodic fills.





Here's an isolated bass video of Bruce Thomas' Bassline:




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2/02/2020

Weekly Basslines #249: Hang On To Yourself (David Bowie)

"Hang On to Yourself" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 and released as a single with his band Arnold Corns. A re-recorded version was released on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The bass was played by Trevor Bolder.





Here is an isolated bass and vocals version:





Here is the Arnold Corns Version:




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1/25/2020

Weekly Bassline #248: Baby Love (Mothers Finest)



Mother's Finest is an American funk rock band founded in Atlanta, Georgia, by the vocal duo of Joyce "Baby Jean" Kennedy and Glenn "Doc" Murdock in 1970 when the pair met up with guitarist Gary "Moses Mo" Moore and bassist Jerry "Wyzard" Seay. 

Their music is a blend of funky rhythms, heavy rock guitars and expressive soul/R&B-style vocals. „Baby Love“ is one of their greatest hits. Originally released on their third studio album “Another Mother Further” (1977) I transcribed the epic and more energetic live version from the 1979 album “Live”.



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1/18/2020

Weekly Bassline #247: There's No Way Out Of Here (David Gilmour)

Back from the winter holidays I wish you a belated happy new bass year!

Here's the first weekline bassline for 2020:




There’s no way out of here” was the only single of David Gilmours 1978 debut solo album.

The song was originally recorded by the band Unicorn (as "No Way Out of Here") for their 1976 album Too Many Crooks, which Gilmour produced. It was also recorded later by New Jersey stoner rock band Monster Magnet on their Monolithic Baby! album. 

On Gilmours version the bass was played by Rick Wills, who also played with Foreigner, Small Faces and Bad Company.


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12/15/2019

Weekly Bassline #246: Someday At Christmas (Stevie Wonder)

In the last installment of my series on harmonically analyzing christmas songs , we examine the title track of Stevie Wonder’s 1967 Christmas album “Someday At Christmas”.





The song consist of only 8 bars, which are transposed stepwise through 4 keys, starting with A major and ending on C major. This 8 bar progression makes heavily use of the concept of “modal interchange”. We refer to “modal interchange” when chords of two parallel scales are used simultaneously. 

I did the analysis in the key of C major, so we are using chords of the C major scale as well as chords of the parallel C minor scale. Let’s take a look at both scales:



In the verses the dominant chord G and the subdominant chord F are followed by their modal interchange equivalents Gm and Fm.



At the end of most verses we find a classic II-V-Progression (Dm - G) leading back to the I chord of the next verse. 

These II-V-Progressions are the only varying elements in different verses. When a key change follows, the II-V-Progression is shortened like this (shown in the key of A major):


Here is the complete transcription:


Next week I'll be on holiday and therefore I go ahead and wish you a very peaceful christmas time!


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