Author Topic: Man's best bass player/best lineup  (Read 1038 times)

Newyorkmanfan

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Man's best bass player/best lineup
« on: May 21, 2021, 06:47:38 AM »
Hi! As much as we all love Man I think a reason they didn't become super famous was that the various lineups kept breaking up and changing  . Even despite the changes, I think Man was still consistent musically as a group and they had great musicians in every line-up. One question remains out of ray Williams, martin ace, will youatt, ken Whaley, john McKenzie, etc which is the best bassist for man? Also, I'll ask which is your favorite man lineup?     

joan

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2021, 04:16:53 PM »
talking about bassists for me it's obvious: John McKenzie is the best and Martin the worst. No comparation possible.

Newyorkmanfan

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2021, 07:46:50 PM »
Mckenzie really brought something different to the group. I think he was probably their best bassist. I think ken whaley and ray williams both had a really beautiful sense of melody. Martin is definitely not the best but he does a good job of giving the guitars freedom and I think with some of the live versions of many are called I think he had the best bass tone for that song.

Jules

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2021, 10:24:53 AM »
a reason they didn't become super famous was that the various lineups kept breaking up and changing   
A reason yes, but perhaps not the most influential. Right from the start, Man deliberately and consciously avoided taking an easy route to commercial success. They had the songwriters, the experience and the incentive, but always steered the more musically interesting course in preference to the merely lucrative. The band were counselled repeatedly on the likely outcome of the choices made, but they stuck to their principles (hooray!) and have lived with the consequences.

I wonder if the "nearly made it big" experiences of being The Bystanders was the root cause of this. Despite all the effort and enthusiasm invested, the monkey suits and other show-bizzy accoutrements, the adoption of songs from other writers, all intended to break the Bystanders into division one, it never happened, and must have left a pretty sour taste in the mouths of all concerned.

In Man of course, not everyone was happy about the rejection of a commercial approach, and from time to time one or more of the band would either quietly rebel, or attempt to subvert the collective approach. At the core though, I believe it was Micky's constant determination to do what was musically right in preference to what would fill their wallets or stuff their mattresses, which dictated the directions they would follow. To quote Barrie Marshall, "No-one ever made any money out of it", which may be true, but they certainly have left their mark. 
Boldly going.......

Jules

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2021, 10:28:36 AM »
Oh, and for me John McKenzie was indeed the most musical of all Man bass-players - so far - but I would venture that Martin has had the biggest influence.
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Mike Cross

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2021, 01:00:19 PM »
I'm not disagreeing with Jules' thesis as far as Man are concerned, but...

As a counter-example to the idea that numerous line-up changes, and deliberate choice of (a) non-commercial direction(s), will lead to obscurity & commercial failure... King Crimson, who took line-up changes to an extreme, changed direction & style as often. and had frequent long periods of hiatus.

The difference maybe is that KC had a v strong, autocratic leader with a clear vision (even though it changed dramatically at times). They too started in the late 60s, and are still going strong today (although there are those who think they've become 'just a touring cover band' nowadays), but producing little or no new music.

KC made a v big splash at the start of their career, with a support slot at the Stones' Hyde Park that blew everyone away, and a stunning debut album. Both of those made a major and long-lasting impression on the music world.

Nick Nation

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2021, 04:57:41 PM »
It's got to be Will for me, as he had the most swing.

Newyorkmanfan

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2021, 06:06:53 AM »
I would agree that the man band was also not successful due to the choice they were not interested in going in the commercial route and that they wanted to make the music they wanted. If you read deke's books he mentions that they were interested in making music they liked and were only interested in playing the best they can and whoever liked it would go to their gigs and by their records. Micky did say during the back into the future era that if they released a commercial single they would attract the wrong people. And also they were people and they had their own interpretations of what music should sound like which is why their lineups broke up. The best example I can think of is phil ryan and micky jones in that even though Phil was a stupendous prodigy on keyboards and micky being the other worldly guitarists he was, they did not get along and had different musical ideas which Phil as deke states tended to come up with a million new ideas while jones tended to work things out through jamming and was more laid back in his approach. Examples included micky not putting his heart into Welsh r blunt,Phil burning the edition of melody maker with jones on the cover but they also did write cmon and bananas with will. As for will I agree with nick nation that will youatt had swing which some of his best bass playing is on the unreleased track the cymbal came to dinner .   

Pete T

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2021, 08:15:31 PM »
..no mentions of Ken anyone? As a bass player, he would top my list..
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Arjayay

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2021, 11:01:55 PM »
..no mentions of Ken anyone? As a bass player, he would top my list..
I never saw Ray Williams play live, and never saw Will Youatt play with Man, only with Alkatraz, so cannot really comment
"Dancing" Ken Whaley was a great addition to what was a fairly static band, albeit that Man were not a "dance" band, he got things moving (possibly the opposite to John "the Ox" Entwistle)
John McKenzie was the ultimate musician - albeit possibly better as a session musician than on stage - look at his track record,  Eurythmics, Bob Dylan, The Pretenders, Peter Green, Steve Hillage, Dexys Midnight Runners, Alison Moyet ...... and introduced different rhythms to Man's music
Martin Ace (me and my friend Duncan used to call him "one-note-bass Ace") provided a solid base (or should that be bass?) for Jones and Leonard to wander off from, and, (ignoring your pet hates be they Walrus, or Popemobile) was a good songwriter (e.g. MACBFGU)
So, if I'm forced to vote, it's either John Whaley, or Ken  McKenzie

Newyorkmanfan

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2021, 11:57:50 PM »
Ken Whaley had a really good sense of melody and he was very musical. My favorite song of him playing is on an unreleased track called a name and a number on rare man.

Nick Nation

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2021, 08:23:53 AM »
As for best line up, they all had merits but the Phil/Will era just about pips it for me. The combination of players was just awesome, either with Clint or Tweke.
 

Newyorkmanfan

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2021, 07:53:26 AM »
I will admit when I first saw that deke wasn't in the band I felt that I missed deke's guitar playing and vocals but I really love back into the future. I do also like be good to yourself although my favorite track by the phil/will lineup is the cymbal that came together that was on the aborted single.

Olly Goodwin

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2021, 03:47:05 PM »
John, ( just ask Terry), then Ken - live versions with Ken and John show what they added to the mix. Live in London 1975 and Berkeley 1976.  We're lucky to have more of Ken's work with Help Yourself and the Green Ray....

George Jones

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Re: Man's best bass player/best lineup
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2021, 10:27:20 AM »
Its quite simple...

L U C K !