What did John play during Body Language?
Not sure if we can trust to the following information, but anyway: http://www.deaky.com/bass/specialE.html
And on other hand:
"Fred Mandel is very good. In some of the songs, it doesn't make any difference at all, because he's not playing. In other songs, it gives us a wider spectrum that we can cover and more depth in sound. We're basically a trio - with occasional piano that Freddie does - so if Brian goes off into a lead, there's only bass and drums to keep the rhythm section going. So I think it helps quite a bit. It obviously helps on the stuff with the strong keyboard bass lines, like "Body Language" and "Staying Power". It also helps on things like "Under Pressure". As David Bowie would say, you can put in those little symphonic bits." (Roger)
"Question: Can you detail the use of keyboard bass?
John: It's just become a big thing over the last few years. Some records out now are all keyboards. Songs like "Don't You Want Me Baby?" don't have a guitar on them. That's mainly because keyboards have gotten better over the years. It's now very easy to get a nice full bass sound out of them. My role actually shrank with the use of keyboards. It now gives the group direct expression for a nonbassist to play their own bass line. Some of the track on the album -- like "Body Language" -- were Freddie on keyboard bass. Brian played bass on "Dancer". So I'm redundant in a sense.
Question: But it also feed you to join Brian on guitar.
John: Yeah. In fact all of us have played guitar on our record. It's one of those things that we have disagreements about. Brian is our guitarist, but we all happen to play. Sometimes songs are written on the guitar, like Freddie's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Freddie wrote that on acoustic and it just had a natural feel with him playing guitar.
Question: Is the bass guitar becoming obsolete?
John: I don't think it's becoming obsolete. Keyboards are an alternative. It's a different sound."