Roger Waters as a bassist- underappreciated?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MitchLT, Aug 8, 2018 at 11:44 AM.

  1. MitchLT

    MitchLT Custom Entitled Thread Starter

    Just listening to Fat Old Sun and enjoying the bass-line....then I thought: is Waters underappreciated as a bass player?

    I mean, Let There Be More Light; Careful With That Axe, Eugene; Set the Controls...; Happiest Days Of Our Lives- he’s got some amazing parts/sounds there.

    I probably prefer him as a bassist more-so than his other attributes. As a lyricist I find him a bit clunky and as a one-man-Floyd I find that just a touch egotistical.

    Interesting to see how other folks rate him?
     
  2. MitchLT

    MitchLT Custom Entitled Thread Starter

    And why not...

     
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  3. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    He can certainly be a creative bassist... he is not a technical/virtuoso bassist, but there's nothing wrong with that... in fact, virtuosity can be a hindrance at times... ;)
     
  4. gary191265

    gary191265 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Listen to the pre-FM DSotM from Wembley, then the official release and tell me he's a good bass player.

    Probably the worst musician of all the 'classic' English prog/psych bands.
     
  5. A minefield of a thread as much of the studio bass work was played by Dave. I'm not sure what songs Roger actually played bass on outside the live recordings.
     
  6. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Location:
    Zack Island
    Sorry to say this, but only Gilmour and Wright are on 'Fat Old Sun'. Gilmour played drums, bass and guitars there.
     
  7. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Nice bass playing on Hey You :)
     
  8. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Location:
    Zack Island
    Fretless bass is always great!
     
    kevywevy likes this.
  9. That's Dave, yes?
     
  10. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Totally underappreciated, but part of it's his own fault (if you can call it that) because on the later albums like Animals and The Wall he let David play the more challenging bass parts. But in the early years he was a great player. I love his "zoops" in the live version of "Astronomy Domine" and "Echoes." He used that sound like the clutch, switching gears in the song. You can see him creating "ghostly" noises on Echoes in the Pompeii film with a glass in his right hand. In the few truly live clips on the Early Years box you can see he was a very active. engaged player. An inspired maker of noise, that one.
     
  11. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Yes
     
  12. MitchLT

    MitchLT Custom Entitled Thread Starter

    Aaah- nice one- that was my other sort of question/confusion: what doesn’t Waters play bass on?

    Because I’m sure I read somewhere he was referred to as ‘some-time Floyd bass player’ and also that he wasn’t a great guitarist/musician, hence a bit of confusion as there are lots of great Floyd bass lines
     
  13. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    He's definitely a "guitarist demoted to bass" player... nothing wrong with that; some of my fave bassists are of that variety. He often leans forward, anticipating the beat unlike someone like John Paul Jones, who leans back just behind the beat... both are the exact right player for their band, though. Floyd can be languid and lazy so Waters puts a bit of tension into it by learning forward as the others are a nanosecond behind.
     
  14. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 And I'm The Critic Of The Group

    Location:
    Georgia
    Money is defintely a catchy little bass riff.

    Generally, Roger could be at a good bassist but usually didn’t care enough about the instrument to even bother, certainly not later on.
     
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  15. The Zodiac

    The Zodiac God's Lonely Man

    Is Rog playing that lead bass solo on "Lucifer Sam"? That's wicked cool.
     
  16. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    I'd say he was often a creative player, but almost never a real talented one. He could come up with a unique part for a song and then essentially repeat it. But would never have cut it in a cover band where he had to play other bassist's parts (ok, he would have done fine in a U2 cover band)
     
  17. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    He's capable; not every rock bass player has to be a technical wonder, it's more about what parts they can come up with.
    And he gets a pass from me just for the octave bass line on Let There Be More Light.
     
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  18. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    Esp the bowed bass section - lotta pix of him doing that live in that era
     
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  19. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    Wow that's a bass solo? I thought it was Syd.
     
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  20. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Who cares? The last thing I think about when listening to a musician is how they'd cut it in a cover band. I'm a bass player and I find a lot to enjoy in Roger's playing, especially bootleg live recordings where I know it's him. How he would have sounded in a bar band playing "Addicted To Love" doesn't interest me at all.
     
  21. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    That's Rog
     
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  22. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Location:
    Zack Island
    I think his bass playing is cool. On pre-Dark Side concerts sometimes he played nice and interesting licks on the songs. That's missing later on.
     
  23. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Yes, his own apparent disinterest in the bass later on is somewhat disappointing.
     
  24. MitchLT

    MitchLT Custom Entitled Thread Starter

    Yeah, if he wasn’t technically/musically great I thought maybe he was very unique, a la Peter Hook from New Order.

    But latterly he obviously saw himself as an artiste/producer/director type, which I really do not prefer in a ‘band’ scenario!
     
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  25. Siegmund

    Siegmund Forum Resident

    Location:
    England, UK
    In the early days of British rock, the bass position was the one no-one wanted. There was a loose tradition of giving it to the least able musician in a band (Stuart Sutcliffe with the Beatles), because it was the instrument people paid 'least' attention to.

    I think Roger Waters wound up on bass for similar reasons. I'd say he's undistinguished. His strengths were always as a writer/conceptualist.
     

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