Sunday, 18 November 2007

The Oxford English Dictionary ... of ROCK: Part 3 - bass

"bass! ooooh-wa", as the furious five once sang. september 2007 saw some much-needed additions to our definition of bass, as the previous entry (1937) seemed to be referring to some sort of free-standing boogie-woogie machine. i used to pose as a four-string king. my bass had a sticker that said 'mean people suck', and i could play 'aneurysm' by nirvana and 'in the mouth, a desert' by pavement. there you have it.

bass, adj. and n.5 [DRAFT ADDITIONS SEPTEMBER 2007]

* A bass guitar.
Although it is not certain exactly what instrument is referred to in quot. 1937, the contrast with the Bassoguitar (an upright bass) suggests it is prob. an electric bass guitar of the type now familiar, which became commercially available (on a very limited scale) at around this time.

1952 Pottstown (Pa.) Mercury 18 Oct. 20 (advt.) Fender Precision Bass. A new sensation for bass players. 2005 Uncut June 30/1 Romeo..plays guitar..while younger sister Michele plays bass and harmonises.

* bass-heavy adj. (of music, sound, etc.) characterized by an abundance or excess of bass frequencies or by a prominent bass line.
2002 Time Out N.Y. 29 Aug. 143/4 The real centerpiece of Scarface's albums remains their bass-heavy beats.

that's convenient - magic numbers and scarface are both great! listen to their songs (especially the bass!), then buy their records.

scarface - 'in cold blood' (from the fix)

magic numbers - 'this is a song' (daytrotter session)


pavement - 'in the mouth, a desert' (live in cologne, 1996)

nirvana - 'aneurysm' (live at reading festival, 1992)

previously on the oed of ROCK

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