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Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Police "Message In A Bottle" Isolated Bass

The Police was one of the biggest bands in the world in the 80s thanks to great hooks, vocals and musicianship. Some of this is on display on this isolated bass track from the band's big hit "Message In A Bottle," from the band's second album Regatta de Blanc. It's easy to think of Sting as a singer and songwriter, but he's an excellent bass player as well, as you'll hear.  Here are some things to listen for.

1. The song was cut live with the entire band playing, as you can clearly hear both the guitar and drum leakage.

2. The bass part is very solid, but there are a few very minor timing mistakes (especially in the chorus) that we'd probably fix today.

3. There's an overdub at the end of interlude after the first chorus before the second verse begins at 1:06. You can hear the leakage go away and the sound of the bass change.

4. It sounds like the outro is from another take as the audio drops out, then changes slightly at 3:23.

5. Sting changes the bass part slightly on the outro, turning the bass riff around.

If you like looking at the x-rays of songs like this, check out my Deconstructed Hits book series.



Rand said...

Thanks Bobby; it's a refreshing change to hear quality musicianship again, plus a deeper insight into this (probably their best) song.

Always loved The Police - excellent combination of talent, skill, songwriting integrity and savvy commercial wisdom. Not many bands have it or proved it as well either.

Shaun said...

Is there a subtle chorus effect on the bass?


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