Forums > Queen - General Discussion > John Deacon - bass player

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mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 16 Dec 11, 13:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Seems that surprisingly the main talking point of the recent multitrack leaks is John's basslines. I concur fully - amazing stuff. And even though the opening bass part to Radio Ga Ga is pretty prominent on the record hearing it in isolation is a revelation. Its so moody and... deep! Its like he has detuned his bass into the key of..... hell!!!

:-)

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Posted: 16 Dec 11, 13:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

and.. having heard the isolated bass from Stone Cold Crazy it sounds like the bass is double tracked. Is it? Is this the only Queen song with a double tracked bass?

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Posted: 16 Dec 11, 19:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I hope that listening to the isolated tracks of John's bass playing will show some of the people here on Queenzone that he was as important a member of the group as anyone.  I have gotten the feeling, through reading various posts over the past few years, that some people think that he was just a bass player by numbers and apart from writing a few hit songs didn't really contribute too much to the Queen sound.


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Posted: 16 Dec 11, 21:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow, it is double tracked. Strange!
Don't know why he bothered because in the album it sounds quite booming and not like that.
I guess until we hear all of Johns tracks we'll never know for sure all the small tricks john used.
The overdubs on SSOR I never would have suspected.


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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 05:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

All the early Bass tracks were treble tracked. Have you not heard the 3 bass tracks on Bo Rhap multitracks? Roy Thomas Baker always did this. And yes Deacy is missed just as much as Freddie. The Q+PR tours made the bass lines unlistenable to me, no depth or feeling. Paul did well, on some songs, but I definately think John was missed more on those live tours.


paul wakefield
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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 06:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wrong. The bass may have been recorded in 3 different ways but it was only actually played once.

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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 09:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Stop being pedantic. It's 3 seperate bass tracks treated differently,then. But added together it becomes treble tracked.
When tracks are playing the same thing, Like Freddies 2 pianos, his voice, snares and kicks etc, then mixed together it is called double tracking, or treble tracking as in the early bass parts. Done to thicken and strengthen the sounds.
 TBF I haven't heard the new stems, is he playing the same parts the same or slightly different?
He's still the most thoughtful bass player out there, anway and sadly missed.


paul wakefield
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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 10:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

well I think your missing the point. By double tracked I think we mean he is playing something different.
Sounds to me like he is playing an octave higher and the timing is slightly out in certain places.
Anyway, when freddie double tracked himself he resang the parts, didn't just double up something he had already sung.


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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 11:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wrong. To double track when it comes to recording means to record a track, be it vocal/instrument, then recording the same thing over the top, its a separate take on top of an earlier one. Its not being pedantic, its completely different to what you think it is.

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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 12:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I love pedantic posts, so here’s one:

>>> Seems that surprisingly the main talking point of the recent multitrack leaks is John's basslines. I concur fully - amazing stuff.

Haven’t heard those more recent stems but I hope I will soon(er or later). But the ones I’ve heard from the past (e.g. Somebody to Love) are indeed great.

>>>  And even though the opening bass part to Radio Ga Ga is pretty prominent on the record hearing it in isolation is a revelation. Its so moody and... deep! Its like he has detuned his bass into the key of..... hell!!!

Isn’t it a synth?

>>> I hope that listening to the isolated tracks of John's bass playing will show some of the people here on Queenzone that he was as important a member of the group as anyone.

Important, yes. Fundamental, yes. As important as anyone, no. In terms of songwriting, arrangements and producing, he contributed less than the others, and that can easily be measured mathematically. Moreover, while the other three contributed instrumentally and vocally, he only contributed (excellently of course) to the former department. So no, he was not *as* important as the others.

>>> I have gotten the feeling, through reading various posts over the past few years, that some people think that he was just a bass player by numbers and apart from writing a few hit songs didn't really contribute too much to the Queen sound.

He contributed a lot and without him there wouldn’t be Queen IMO. But it doesn’t mean he was equally important as the others. Without my legs, I wouldn’t be the same; but it doesn’t mean my legs are just as important as my heart or my brain.

>>> I guess until we hear all of Johns tracks we'll never know for sure all the small tricks john used.

To be pedantic, the tricks weren’t necessarily John’s. A lot of them could’ve been suggested or done by the producers, the engineers or the person who’d written each song. John did an amazing job at playing those parts, but it doesn’t mean he had absolute control over every little detail concerning them.

>>> Have you not heard the 3 bass tracks on Bo Rhap multitracks? Roy Thomas Baker always did this.

Er… no, he didn’t: Killer Queen, Brighton Rock, Good Company and (I’m only 90% sure at the moment) Prophet’s Song only had two bass tracks. 2 is not the same as 3 (it’s not pedantry, it’s pre-school maths). Bo Rhap was an exception rather than the
rule.

>>> And yes Deacy is missed just as much as Freddie.

In some ways yes, or perhaps even more (for instance, while Roger, Brian and Paul are all descent piano players and very good singers, none of them is a particularly apt bassist), but not in others. Songwriting-wise, Queen without John would’ve lost 11% of their output; Queen without Freddie would’ve lost 40%, not to mention the amount of Deacon songs that would’ve been left without lyrics and melody in that case.

>>> The Q+PR tours made the bass lines unlistenable to me, no depth or feeling. Paul did well, on some songs, but I definately think John was missed more on those live tours.

Yes Paul did well but what does it have to do with bass? Paul sang, and Danny played bass.

>>> Stop being pedantic.

Er … no. If you don’t like it, you’ve got several options: get your facts straight before posting, leave the forum or keep crying like a baby. Your choice.

>>> It's 3 seperate bass tracks treated differently,then.

Yes but that’s not the same. And since this post deals with specific terminology, it’s fair to quibble over terminology. Or should we call the bass a violin since they’ve both got strings, as we’re too lazy to use the right terms?

>>> But added together it becomes treble tracked.

No, it doesn’t. What the fuck are you talking about? If you’re mixing up treble and triple, the same concept applies … it’s not the same at all.

>>> When tracks are playing the same thing, Like Freddies 2 pianos, his voice, snares and kicks etc, then mixed together it is called double tracking,

There were not two pianos (on Bo Rhap at least), but only one. Snares and kicks are obviously not playing the same thing, as they’re completely different items. It’s not pedantry, it’s pre-school eye-brain coordination and toddler maths, respectively: a snare is not a bass-drum and 1 is not the same as 2.

>>> Done to thicken and strengthen the sounds.

Er … wrong again. Well, sort of … stereo recording for piano (that’s the technique you’re talking about) is used to recreate the actual experience of being there, so you can hear the piano’s high end (and THAT is what is known as treble, by the way) on one side and the low end on the other. For drums, it’s used to emulate the feeling that you’re there with the drummer, or that the drummer’s there with you, as well as to more easily EQ and edit the different items on the kit (EQing a kick uses different approaches to EQing cymbals, etc.).

>>> Anyway, when freddie double tracked himself he resang the parts, didn't just double up something he had already sung.

So, he double-tracked himself but he didn’t double-track himself?


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 13:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Where can I hear the bass stem to Ga Ga!?

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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 13:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian you're a cunt just one of those people.


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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 13:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'll get back in me box then. Sorry. Deacy was fantastic, Danny just isn't my cup of tea.


paul wakefield
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Posted: 17 Dec 11, 15:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastion, Paulosham has got you right down to a tee. I never said Paul
played bass on the tour. Read it back, or is English not your first
language? Yes there was two pianos on Bohemian Rhapsody, have you ever
considered that sometimes you might be wrong?

 Freddie would have had a phrase for you too, 'A self opinionated prick'.


paul wakefield
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Posted: 18 Dec 11, 01:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Yes there was two pianos on Bohemian Rhapsody"

I hate to jump in here, but there is not two pianos on Bohemian Rhapsody.  It's a stereo (left and right) recording of a single piano.  That's two tracks of piano, but it's the same performance on the same instrument.  It's really only one piano.  I can't believe this has to be explained, but there you go.  I hope this clears up the misunderstanding.

John had a lot to give to the band in terms of texture and having a very lyrical approach to his playing.  And no one should forget what the Deacy amp did for some of Brian's guitar orchestrations.

Seb is basically right though - John wasn't 'as' vital as the other members.  It's purely a practical statement - of course the band would be different if he was gone, but it'd be 'less' different.  That's all he's saying.  Anyone who gets butthurt by such a statement has way too much emotional investment in a dead band, and should probably find a new hobby.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 18 Dec 11, 01:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I might add that I'm only really discussing his impact on their musical output as a finished product, though.  A band is much more than the recordings it releases - it's a functioning three-way, four-way or more-way marriage between complicated people.  Anyone who thinks being in a band is easy is smoking something.  It'd be impossible for outsiders to truly measure how Queen would be different as a band on the whole because none of us was there.  That's not even taking into account his involvement in their business affairs and all of that less-interesting crap.

But yeah.  If we're just talking the finished musical output, then John's final, superficial contribution is a smaller one, and would make less of a difference if it was suddenly gone than say, Brian or Freddie's.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 18 Dec 11, 04:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

edit - bollocks to it

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Posted: 18 Dec 11, 09:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like cows :-)


Any way the wind blows...
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Posted: 18 Dec 11, 14:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I prefer sheep.. (shouldnt have said that out loud)

:-(