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paul simon's graceland.


rumpelstiltskin.

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among the many reasons to love emusic.com includes their recent addition of columbia records and warner bros. records. the result of this is that i could download my own copy of graceland, the south african pop record by paul simon released in 1986. i grew up listening to my dad's copy, one of his first CDs purchased in 1987.

 

emusic has the 2004 re-release of this record which includes, among other bonus tracks, a vocals and bass only mix of one of my favorite cuts on the record, "diamonds on the soles of her shoes."

 

the bass is played by bakithi kumalo, who contributes some stellar fretless work on five tracks of the record. however his work is best on "diamonds" working incredible, rubber tone with some slap and great melodic interjections.

 

all of this is yet more gratifying being able to hear it without the clutter of a great pop track around it. it's kind a manual on how to play fretless bass in a pop record.

 

if you're not familiar with this record, do yourself a favor and procure a copy, the re-release, if you can find it.

 

robb.

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After the album was released, WBCN in Boston broadcast a concert from that tour, somewhere I may still have a cassette. One great album from a great songwriter, who knows where to find other great musicians.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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I have the original recording on vinyl

 

OT, but speaking of vinyl, my cousin and her two little dogs are staying with us this week, and this afternoon one of the lovely little canines bit his way through the power cord of my early-1980s-vintage B&O turntable. Sob!

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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Or... play whatever you want to, and then flip the tape backwards and see what it sounds like.

 

Wow. That sounds like it would have an extremely low likelihood of sounding good, but what do I know?

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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I have the original recording on vinyl

 

OT, but speaking of vinyl, my cousin and her two little dogs are staying with us this week, and this afternoon one of the lovely little canines bit his way through the power cord of my early-1980s-vintage B&O turntable. Sob!

 

Meh. According to the audio purists, you should have bought an upgraded uber sonically correct-time wound-molecularly hexagraphic power cable from Rapemeforallimworth Cable Company a long time ago.

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Or... play whatever you want to, and then flip the tape backwards and see what it sounds like.

 

Wow. That sounds like it would have an extremely low likelihood of sounding good, but what do I know?

 

The Beatles used this effect often: Rain, I'm Only Sleeping, Strawberry Fields....for vocals on the first, guitars on the second and drums on the third.

 

The first time I heard it was the song, They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha. The flip side of the 45 (which I still have) is the whole song reversed.

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With the advent of CD, the whole "flip-side/B-side" concept went away. I think something important was lost due to that, though I"d have to have some more coffee and wake up more before I could expand that idea.

 

IIRC, Bakithi Kumalo (sp?), was not the only bassist on "Graceland", I believe the great (and greatly underappreciated) Conrad Lozano, of Los Lobos, played bass on "That was Your Mother", and one other tune as well.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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The solo on You Can Call Me Al was recorded frontwards and then played backwards on the finished mix.

 

It's a slap solo, no mwah.

 

I thought it was recorded frontwards and halfway through the solo, the backwards version is added. Apparently if you listen closely you can hear the "split". I really do not recall where I read it, think it was in a BP magazine. And I don't know if I'm right about this, cos I'm usually not :)

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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The slap solo on "Al" is only 2 bars. The first bar is played forward, and then the second bar is the same first one, played in reverse.

I got to know this around 1996, when I had been playing that song (from about 1988 when I played it live for the first time with one of the cover bands I was in at the time) ALL forward. I learned the whole phrase as if it was played all the way through, and almost 10 years after I read Bakhithi only played the first half!. Imagine my surprise.. (BTW... "Imagine my surprise" is also the title of an album by DREAMS, which was a band in which were Will Lee, the two Brecker brothers, and Billy Cobham, cannot remember who the keyboard and guitar player were. I treasured that LP, which I found for the real cheap on one of my then-frequent visits to pawnshops, and happened to hand it to a friend who could not believe they actually had a group back then, and where Michael Brecker was singing in some Psychedelic style. I never had that LP back again, nor have been able to find it around... :( )

 

Oh, and eMusic... I used to have an account there until about a year and a half ago. Yes, you can buy a single track off a record, or the entire record if you want to. Then eMusic started (well, not them exactly, but the record companies they make deals with) putting some restrictions, so if you were in any country other than the States, you would not be able to download certain albums. That is how I lost the chance (by now...) to complete my Frank Zappa collection. But if you happen to live in the States, I am pretty sure you have full access to the entire catalog (last time I wandered around, they got the ENTIRE Norman Granz's Pablo TK records catalog!).

 

 

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I just bought the track from Amazon for 99 cents.

 

it's awesome.

 

Now I want one like that for Peg by Steely Dan.

 

or The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines by Joni Mitchell (with Jaco on bass).

 

What he said.

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines by Joni Mitchell (with Jaco on bass).

 

Bass in that tune is so up front in the mix that it already is, for all practical purposes, bass and vocal.

 

You know, just how it's supposed to be.....

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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