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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Marvin Gaye "Ain't That Peculiar" Isolated Bass and Drums

We all love those old Motown tracks recorded in Detroit in the 60s, and one of the driving forces behind them was the innovative bass playing of James Jamerson. He's been massively influential to bass players since, and rightfully so; the man was truly original. Here's the isolated bass and drum tracks to the great Marvin Gaye's hit "Ain't That Peculiar," which reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965. Here's what to listen for.

1. The bass sound is straight out of the 60s, with all of the high-end was automatically rolled off. The thinking back then was, "It's a bass instrument. It doesn't need any high-end."

2. Likewise, the bass is out in front of the drums, while the drum sound is very undefined. Again, this was the sound of the 60s when there were only a couple of mics on the drums and the bass anchored the mix.

3. The leakage is really interesting. If you listen on headphones, you'll hear the piano and horns in the background, proving that they actually did track with the entire band.

4. This is one of the more controlled bass parts played by Jamerson, who follows the bass pattern pretty faithfully throughout the song. In other songs of the period, his playing was much more free-form.

If you like these isolated tracks, you might also like my Deconstructed Hits book series that takes an X-ray look inside different hit songs from different genres and eras.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

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