This time I’m looking at Paul Young’s Wherever I Lay My Hat.
Originally by Marvin Gaye, Paul Young made this song one of the most iconic sounds of the earlier 80’s.
What made it very special was a young session bass player by the name of Pino Palladino. He turned up to the session to lay down what he thought was a bass line, probably destined to be trashed and replaced by another bass player’s line. Little did he know at the time that it would indeed be ‘the’ bass track to define the song, Paul Young’s sound and more importantly for Pino, the very launch pad for being probably one of the world’s most sought after session bass palyers.
His sound was slightly unconventional at the time, as he favoured the fretless bass which has a very distinctive sound. In fact Pino made it more distinctive by using effects to enhance the sound – quite a brave thing to do at that time. Lucky for him, it was ‘the’ sound that the producer chose for what we now enjoy, as the final cut of that song!
He went on to play bass lines on many, many songs we all know and love by many artists and is currently with The Who.
Here is that iconic fretless bass sound:
(the video has a longish intro so stick with it – the bass comes in when you see the bath tub!)