Friday, January 18, 2013

Bruce Foxton: the bees knees

Bruce Foxton for me is one of those bassist I just love to hear play his music

This man is loaded with energy and is always full of life each and every time he plays; he was a vital part of the UK rock band called the Jam which he contributed his melodic bass lines as vell as backing vocals to Paul Weller, Foxton even wrote some of the Jam’s hit songs “News of the world” and “Smithers Jones” two great tracks.

It’s nice to see him play on songs like the great depression and the Jam cover of “Curtis Mayfield’s Move on Up” When he plays on these two tracks he is loaded with movement and energy, when a man like this is in the band and you replace him with another bassist with no stage personality it really dose suck if you’ve been a fan.

I liked his choice of Bass he always played a Fender Precision and seldom played with his fingers his tone came from using the flat pick,  styles like slapping where not him but in my opinion he should have take funk lessons.

Some of the reasons I like Foxton is listed below

  • He always played a nice bass line to songs
  • He gave a lot of consideration to his tone and stage presence 
  • His heart and soul seemed to be 100% into what he was doing and he has a distinctive style 
  • He seemed to know what fitted a song and threw in the right embellishments at the right time as well as he always played as a band

I’ve heard other people play Foxton’s music and for me they never emulated his tone well and their sound was way off. A good musician could easily emulate all his sounds.

I often listed to the Jam songs and when an interesting bass line comes along I ask myself “I wonder what was going through his mind when he created it? I like the folk song called Liza Radly, the studio version which is the b side of the song (called start which is a direct take off from the Beatles Tax Man) on the original track Weller does a few overdubs with an acoustic however when he plays it live he uses an electric and it sounds very good, Foxton used a bass line which he uses in some of the track called start however it fits the song nice and apart from that riff it sounds nothing like the song Start. This a very nice song and it’s very melodic and it sounds very original, it sounds like a sad story almost with a happy ending but when you listen to the words and music it leaves you wondering.

Other great acoustic tracks which can leave you in the same mind frame is English Rose a track taken from the classic Jam Album called All Mod Cons, as does “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” despite not being an acoustic song the arrangement is very meaningful as are so many Jam songs. The first album in the City had some great songs like the cover of “Larry Williams slow down” and the classic track called taking my love. If you do a search on youtube you may be able to find these songs played live and one of the first thing which you’ll notice is even from the very start of the bands career they had a load of energy and they were well worth seeing play live, hardly surprising they’ve so many fans everywhere in the world.

B. Foxton is a very talented bass player and even 100 years from now I’m sure you’ll find few bass players with so much movement on stage, also how many can play as good? Technique with no feel means very little, many players get little recognition as a bass player.


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