John Entwistle: Isolated Bass on The Who’s “Sea And Sand”

No Treble reader Miles Graf-Brennen shares this epic isolated bass (mostly) track of John Entwistle, performing along with the Who on “Sea And Sand”.

We’ll let Miles set it up:

“This is a pretty random choice, because the bass part on this album are so critical to both its lyrical emotion and its rocking drive. Listening to the isolated bass on this track, I was surprised by how minimal it is compared to its feel when listening to the song and the album.”

There’s just no one like the Ox.

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Share your thoughts

  1. His sound was amazing. What’s his gear here?

  2. Cleanest I’ve ever heard him.

  3. You can totally hear how he influenced Geddy Lee with lines like these.

  4. when he says ‘minimal’, I think he means it’s a traditional bass line… before the ‘virtuoso’ 5 and 6 string bassists who are so popular on this site began overplaying everything to an extreme.

  5. Ed Dunning

    Starting in the late 70’s he played an Alembic Explorer not a T-bird. Then a similar styled Buzzard bass. “The Buzzard bass was originally designed by the bass player for The Who, John Entwistle. He has been quoted in saying that after years of using his Alembic basses throughout the late 1970’s and 1980’s, he grew frustrated with the dynamic tuning characteristics the Alembics demonstrated while playing outdoor concerts. This is due to the natural occurrence of woods that expand or contract because of a change in temperature and humidity. And it has also been said that the 9 volt battery wiring problem that occurred with John’s Alembic bass at the Live Aid concert in Wembley stadium finally prompted him to create a bass that would cater to his own specifications.”

  6. David Lidsky

    This is actually as sloppy as I’ve ever heard him (although, part of that could be Keith as some of the slop is them getting a bit off time with each other.

    Obviously not so sloppy as to hurt the ability to drive the song. The sloppiness gets lost with the other instruments and all that’s left is the good stuff.

    Nice insights when we get these stripped down versions.

    • Jeff

      He’s solid as an OX here. Every single note is laid down with rhythmic authority and melodic foresight that ties the parts together perfectly. Wheres the slop?!?!?!

  7. Thom

    It occurs to me listening to this that Keiths approach is so unique and really not influenced by johns bass lines at all leaving john to play a more busy style without locking in with the drummer thus creating there own unique rhythm section