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  1. #1

    A Lack of Objectivity and Research in Ranking Musicians & Athletes

    I just read a ranking of Greatest Bass players.
    They ranked James Jamerson 16th best UTTERLY STUPID
    Jamerson was the BEST period.

    They ranked Paul McCartney 5th

    I don't remember seeing Bob Babbitt's name;
    I can never forget the end of Midnight Train To Georgia when it's just Gladys's voice and Babbitt's bass
    ________________________________

    Just like after the turn of the century ranking the greatest athletes:
    They put Michael Jordan #1

    Evidently they do not consider the great impact Babe Ruth had on this whole country.

    Maybe Bill Russell's 11 NBA championships out of 13 seasons doesn't click in their brains.

    They probably did no research on how great Jim Thorpe was.
    _________________________________

    I think they are doing these rankings just to fill up space on the web and places like Yahoo
    ____________________________________________

    edafan
    Last edited by edafan; 05-20-2019 at 05:56 PM.

  2. #2
    I think they are nuts! There is no way in, well you know! That Paul McCartney was a better musician than James Jamerson.

    Michael Jordan? Whatever happened to Ali?

    Bob Babbitt could play circles around McCartney. It is pretty clear that their ranking is more than likely based on popularity and name recognition and not actual talent and skill!

    This is why I no longer view lists of "the best" with any seriousness. A few years ago, Ebony Magazine came out with it's list of the 100 Best Male R&B singers. Levi Stubbs, nor Dennis Edwards made their list, but Chris Brown did! ugh!

  3. #3
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    I live in the past and don't care about much that happened after 1965. I agree that Jamerson was the best, and far, far, far above McCartney. But, I can't think of an athlete I'd put above Michael Jordan. He did amazing things with his body. It's impossible to compare athletes from periods 20 years apart, let alone over 100, or 80 or 60 apart. Babe Ruth was the greatest of his time. There's no denying he would have been great in any era. But, how can anyone say he was a "better athlete", or even a more accomplished athlete than Michael Jordan?

  4. #4
    These lists are usually pretty lame. Several years back, I participated quite a bit on the rankings on the digitaldreamdoor.com website. Its a vast site with ranking about almost everything connected with music and a lot of fun to spend some time on its pages. I was quite influential on the bass pages. When I got there...John Entwistle ( a great player in his own right) was ranked #1 on the bass page and Jamerson #6. In the ensuing year or two, we debated the topic using actual criteria (which is usually missing on these hastily put together "popularity" lists)... The criteria was based on several factors...Influence, innovation, versatility, technical ability, and originality... We had serious discussions, debates, and dialogue. Ultimately, I got Jamerson put on the top (#1) spot, and through a few revisions...remains there...however, in these discussions, one often has to open their mind to new ideas and musical styles to be fair minded and objective and listen to a lot of stuff one wouldn't ordinarily listen to. In the end, Jamerson came out on top in the areas of influence, innovation, and originality. There were certainly players who had greater technical skill and versatility...but Jamersons creativity, influence, and innovation carried the day. McCarthy is MASSIVELY influential, true utilizing much of the syncopated style he learned from Jamerson, but so many players claim Macca as their biggest influence. We looked at all of this quite seriously and as I mentioned...people were compelled to open their minds to various genres of "rock" bass guitar playing. Attached is the final rankings that were tweaked quite a bit over the years...https://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_bassguitar.html
    Last edited by StuBass1; 05-21-2019 at 12:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Many would say that Muhammad Ali was the greatest athlete of all time with Jim Thorpe and Jordan close behind. My vote goes to Secretariat...

  6. #6
    Stubass:

    I would like to point that you had to educate these folks as to how great James Jamerson was.

    The Funk Brothers still suffer from lack of recognition, even after Standing In The Shadows Of Motown and the various awards.

    Others do not study the history of the area they chose to consider. Some don't consider anyone on the other side of their political spectrum, like Paul Robeson and the musicians slandered during the McCarthy era.

    I am glad my son, born in 1979, studies music history as a hobby. He loves the musicians like Muddy Waters and others who made the trek from the South to Chicago to become blues musicians.

    People need to study popular music history.

    By the way my
    trombone teacher, Aaron Harris, was John Phillips Sousa's euphonium soloist.



    edafan

  7. #7
    Actually Edfan… as you point out, many people first must accept the fact that there are musical styles and genres other than what one may prefer as their genre of choice (including us)… What you say about the Funk Brothers was what encouraged and inspired me to actively sponsor and nominate them for their Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Not everyone has the time, energy, or resources to do that as the necessary time in manhours devoted and financial commitments, as well as just spreading the word can be quite consuming I can tell you... That said, with the story Allan Slutsky originally told, and the honors and awards resulting from that did expose The Funk Brothers to many that would have otherwise not have been familiar...and there are many such stories in music... Unfortunately, following the documentary some mistakes were made that perhaps inhibited some of the additional success that could have come their way, but all in all...much of the music world does know who the Funk Brothers were and what they accomplished and contributed to the music world. I honestly feel that the Motown legacy and some of those entrusted to maintain it still somewhat fail to give them their due as perhaps the most significant and important element to the success of the Detroit Motown era...but musicians often end up with the short end of the stick...Just the way it is...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 05-21-2019 at 12:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    These lists are usually pretty lame. Several years back, I participated quite a bit on the rankings on the digitaldreamdoor.com website. Its a vast site with ranking about almost everything connected with music and a lot of fun to spend some time on its pages. I was quite influential on the bass pages. When I got there...John Entwistle ( a great player in his own right) was ranked #1 on the bass page and Jamerson #6. In the ensuing year or two, we debated the topic using actual criteria (which is usually missing on these hastily put together "popularity" lists)... The criteria was based on several factors...Influence, innovation, versatility, technical ability, and originality... We had serious discussions, debates, and dialogue. Ultimately, I got Jamerson put on the top (#1) spot, and through a few revisions...remains there...however, in these discussions, one often has to open their mind to new ideas and musical styles to be fair minded and objective and listen to a lot of stuff one wouldn't ordinarily listen to. In the end, Jamerson came out on top in the areas of influence, innovation, and originality. There were certainly players who had greater technical skill and versatility...but Jamersons creativity, influence, and innovation carried the day. McCarthy is MASSIVELY influential, true utilizing much of the syncopated style he learned from Jamerson, but so many players claim Macca as their biggest influence. We looked at all of this quite seriously and as I mentioned...people were compelled to open their minds to various genres of "rock" bass guitar playing. Attached is the final rankings that were tweaked quite a bit over the years...https://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_bassguitar.html
    Thank you for doing that Stu. A few years ago, I was in a fierce debate online regarding Jamerson vs Carol McKay.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    Thank you for doing that Stu. A few years ago, I was in a fierce debate online regarding Jamerson vs Carol McKay.
    Not so much a debate regarding Jamerson versus Carol Kaye as to an old dispute... Not to dredge up old issues, but that situation involved claims that Carol ( a terrific bass player and west coast musician in her own right) claimed she played on some of Jamersons greatest basslines, namely Bernadette and I Was Made To Love Her. Kaye DID play a number of Motown sessions on the west coast, and some tracks were cut in Los Angeles back in the day and she did some Motown work (among other bassists)after the company moved to Los Angeles... Those particular tracks in question were definitely Jamerson, and they even have sworn statements by the producers of those songs. Kaye either has a faulty memory regarding those songs, played on demo tracks, played on tracks for television or other purposes, or is just frustrated and mean spirited. A lot of issues surrounding this controversy. Like I said, Kaye was a first call west coast bassist who along with Joe Osborn and a couple of others were the core bassists of the legendary "Wrecking Crew", and she played on some historic projects...but on the songs in question, what always gave it away to me was the fact that she played with a pick thus, had a much "brighter" sound than Jamerson's deeper, muddier sound played with his finger known as "the hook"...I've seen some recent CK interviews as she is mostly retired today, but it seems to me she chooses to steer clear of this discussion these days...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by StuBass1 View Post
    Not so much a debate regarding Jamerson versus Carol Kaye as to an old dispute... Not to dredge up old issues, but that situation involved claims that Carol ( a terrific bass player and west coast musician in her own right) claimed she played on some of Jamersons greatest basslines, namely Bernadette and I Was Made To Love Her. Kaye DID play a number of Motown sessions on the west coast, and some tracks were cut in Los Angeles back in the day and she did some Motown work (among other bassists)after the company moved to Los Angeles... Those particular tracks in question were definitely Jamerson, and they even have sworn statements by the producers of those songs. Kaye either has a faulty memory regarding those songs, played on demo tracks, played on tracks for television or other purposes, or is just frustrated and mean spirited. A lot of issues surrounding this controversy. Like I said, Kaye was a first call west coast bassist who along with Joe Osborn and a couple of others were the core bassists of the legendary "Wrecking Crew", and she played on some historic projects...but on the songs in question, what always gave it away to me was the fact that she played with a pick thus, had a much "brighter" sound than Jamerson's deeper, muddier sound played with his finger known as "the hook"...I've seen some recent CK interviews as she is mostly retired today, but it seems to me she chooses to steer clear of this discussion these days...

    Good points Stubass

  11. #11
    All of these lists are subjective and only posted for clicks and comments. You could poll a thousand bass guitar fans to get their top 20 bassists and you'll have a thousand different lists. I don't take offense when I read them because their only purpose is to stir debate and get people to listen to artists they may never have heard before.

  12. #12
    It's just a list. *shrug*

  13. #13
    At least James Jamerson is there.

    On most lists, their favors are rock first, rhythm and blues marginalized, if at all.

    Athletes, I'd assume if list was thirties, Babe Ruth, seventies, Muhammad Ali. But the sports superheroes of my day, early nineties, was Michael Jordan and Hulk Hogan. I do not know how well wrestling is respectably represented, but Jordan was all over the place and well loved for quite a while, from Bulls, baseball, golfer, and Bulls.

  14. #14
    Yep...have you seen that[jim beam]commercial,that hack,great,great,great grandpappy was making this wonderful elixur before he even had a television..i don't like this-new world!!!

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