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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    09.25.16 @ 06:37 AM
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    now please keep in mind these things:

    1. i did not see VH live in support of VH III so i can not comment on mike bass playing of these songs live.

    2. to try and describe what makes one's playing unique and in fact define a "style" is very difficult. a certain amount of understanding must be extended to the individual "defining" the style. to truly define, in words, even EVH's very unique & identifiable style is really very difficult.

    having said that, i will reluctantly (& incompletely) try to define mike's style as very solid & somewhat predictable. he maintains a supporting role allowing EVH to branch out and explore many different directions without the worry of an ever-changing foundation. mike is a fluid player who's lines flow very well with AVH but rarely if ever doubles or interacts with EVH's guitar lines. one exception of this off the top of my head is "summer nights". there's a part before the chorus' where both mike & EVH double a tapped riff. the first time i heard even this simple two second riff played by them i remember thinking, wow! that was very different for VH and out of character for mike. but it was still within the realm of mike's style as opposed to the virtual bass soloing that is going on at times on VH III. the bass playing on VH III is very reminiscent of jack bruce's style of playing with cream. at times cream sounded like three musicians playing six different songs at once. it was great. for cream. (and who played bass for eric clapton? one of EVH's biggest guitar influences? jack bruce). mike usually takes a back seat to AVH & EVH feeding off one another. i'm sure mike is rarely involved on the initial evolution of a jam or riff in it's earliest stages. i've always imagined EVH & AVH jamming for hours on riffs and music that other members of the band may never even get to hear. i would also imagine that when mike finally hears a piece of music, it's near it's completion as far as structure is concerned. however, until VH III, i always thought he was free to a reasonable extent to play what he felt would ad to the song in his own way. not the case on VH III from what i can hear.

    grouped with all the other inconsistencies on the album & EVH's seeming eagerness to take control over more aspects of the band such as P.R., lyrics, vocals, production, spokesperson, vocal coach and the most damaging evidence, a fuckin' 6-string bass solo, i think this all stacks up pretty tall. something else that bugs me specifically about two of the points i just mentioned is that it is known fact that mike always had aspirations to sing a VH song, so what does EVH do?
    he sings lead on a VH song and then to ad insult to injury, he records a bass solo. now i don't know exactly what kind of arrangement mike has made with VH over the years, but if i'm a bass player in a band the only fucking person taking a bass solo, if there is one, is ME! fuck that! why didn't EVH just program drums and take it on the road as a one man band?

    i will review the album from a bass standpoint one song at a time. i am typing while i am listening so i apologize if i repeat myself or type in stream of conscienceness or run on sentences.

    - without you

    as mentioned earlier, too much goin' on. there is a virtual bass solo going on under the verse.
    very unlike mike anthony. sounds like EVH playing bass on sammy's solo record. why would mike start playing ala billy sheehan overnight. if this is mike playing bass, he has been seriously holding back over the last 25 years. this is not a mike anthony groove. the chords & harmonics in the break down section (approximately 5:00) are so ridiculously not mike anthony's style at all. this i where he would normally build in a break so that live he could run and get a beer.

    -one i want

    even something as simple as the slides & glisses at the beginning of this song are a dead give away to me as something mike has not chosen to do in 25 years. why now? there's a bass riff at 1:00 after, "the candy man can" that has EVH written all over it. he probably went back and forth for an hour deciding if he should play it on guitar or bass.

    -from afar

    this playing is subdued. could be mike.

    -dirty water dog

    this style sounds like EVH to me as much as "without you". very slinky line intertwining with guitar, very up front in the mix. the fade out when EVH echo's himself with those descending fast riffs. fhagetaboudit! oh, please!

    -once

    not very distinctive. maybe even synth bass programmed by EVH.

    -fire in the hole

    bass hammer on's + guitar/bass lines in unison = EVH on bass.

    -josephina

    very aggressive bass line at times in verse. jesus christ. i don't think mike ever went past the 9th fret. i don't have a bass in front of me but i swear i'm hearing bass runs at the 24th fuckin' fret in the middle of a verse. can you say, "guitarist playing bass"? the faded outro is a virtual bass solo.

    -year to the day

    although there's nothing very distinctive about this bass solo, i say guilt by association. if EVH played bass on most if not all other tracks he probably played on this one too. he just isn't as adventurous on this attempt (no hammer-on's) and actually has more of mike's feel. could be mike.

    (bass solo) need i say more?

    -ballot or the bullet

    judging by the mix and style of song, mike probable played on this one.

    -how many say i

    this is the one song on which i am sure EVH did not play bass.

    what do you think?

    i reserve the right to change my opinion and review any song/section at your suggestions/arguments.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk Bad to the Bone's Avatar
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    FUCK or 5150
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    09.27.16 @ 11:51 AM
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    I'm not a bassist but I've said since I first heard VH III that that was Ed.

    Bad to the Bone

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    01.13.16 @ 04:43 PM
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    Interesting...

    I think I'll have a listen to VHIII with your comments in mind and try to form an opinion...

    I haven't listened to the album from a "bass point of view" yet, really...

    Good work. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Staying Frosty

  4. #4
    Eruption
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    I have to pick?
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    04.21.16 @ 10:57 PM
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    Didn't Ed say that he had a bass string put on his guitar?
    Your favorite band sucks.

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Mario VH's Avatar
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    03.28.15 @ 05:30 AM
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    Three words-Not Enough Mike
    "It's now officially 5150 time!!!"

  6. #6
    Hot For Teacher
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    Unchained, FWYS
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I am not a musician, so maybe you guys can help me out with this. I've always felt that the VH bass lines were slightly different on stage than on album. I always thought it was because Anthony had to cover the rythm guitar parts, while EVH played the solo. I am really thinking mainly of riff based songs. In the studio it would not matter, because EVH could layer guitars. You cant do that live. Interesting analysis PAF.

  7. #7
    Good Enough
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    07.27.07 @ 12:06 PM
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    Donor

    I agree with you totaly man. I seriously doubt Mike's playing Bass on any of those song's. And I think Ed's playing Bass on allot of the song's off of Balance to. I have played Guitar for going on 10 years now, and have recently picked up the Bass, just to try and hook up with a cool band to play with. I noticed a defining way to distinguish between bass players is there Attack, and the types of changes they generaly play. Just using those two points alone tell me that is not Mike playing Bass on VHIII, and possibly part of Balance, and Me Wise Magic for that matter. I hope someone that has access to Ed read's this and get's it back to him, we don't dig this crap. It completly ruins a big part of what make's Van Halen unique. If we wanted overly complicated bass lines/difficult guitar arrangments, then we'd listen to Dream Theater, which I dont.

  8. #8
    Webmaster/Graphic Artist Top Timmy's Avatar
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    07.14.15 @ 10:09 AM
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    PAF, not really sure why you started another thread about the bass playing on VH3. The topics are so darn close that there's no need for 2.

    I'm going to close this one up. Feel free to copy and paste anything from here into the thread you started yesterday. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Webmaster/Graphic Artist
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