Spiders Web – I Don’t Know What’s On Your Mind (F-9517) (1976)

SpidersCarole Kaye, bassist on innumerable Gold Star Studio seshes (Wilson, Spector, ad infinitum), along with titular hubby, produces hyper-professional 70s funk album à la War, etc. on Fantasy ripe for beat samplin’. Given the times, it often notches surprisingly high on the BPMs (more a ’79 Euro-disco tempo/feel, I would have said) but it’s at least one killer single short of classic status. The overall songwriting and singing are relatively undistinguished, so despite top drawer playing, no particularly strong band personality emerges.

“Reggae Bump” is particularly pointless; it’s funny, contemporary JA guys would have killed for the budget/facilities at SW’s disposal, but the creative problem solving which informs and enhances so much of 70s reggae would have been totally mitigated, as is the case here for the most part. Still, not bad for 50p at the same bootfair as what the De La Soul, Beach Boys and CCR Lps came from.

Sorry, but this must be the homeliest rhythm section in all of Christendom.

Sorry, but this must be the homeliest rhythm section in all of Christendom. What must their kids’ve looked like? And also, where’s the possessive apostrophe in the band’s name?! It’s stuff like that which keeps me awake at night.

Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. carol kaye is a session legend in some quarters, but she always used a plectrum whatever the assignment, pulling tricks such as turning down the treble on her amp to imitate the sound of bass being played with fingers. however, had i been in charge of a session that required finger-playing bass, i would have said to carol: “look, unless you play that way then i’m going to have to get someone else in to it!”

    • Kaye’s plectrum gives her a distinctive, clomping (?) style which I think really suited the BBs, Axelrod, etc. However, on Spiders Web, a decidedly more funk-soul oriented product, she mostly switched over to guitar. Make of that what you will.

      For my own music, I alternate my bass playing between fingers and pick depending on the context.

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