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Sebastian: band's functions16 May 2003 14:32
this post is going to be about the functions of individual members of the bands. More rocker bands use to do everything by themselves (except for their symphonic albums).

For start, we all know Queen's basic formation: one guitar player, one pianist/vocalist, one bass player and one drummer. For vocal harmonies we have Roger on top, Fred on middle and Brian on bottom. For studio all those things would change. Something relatively respected was the role of Roger as drummer and John as bassists, as the backing tracks were laid down live and no-one could take their place, while it was possible for Brian to take piano roles. Most synths are done by Freddie, he was also the band-member with more technical knowledge about them (how to programme and mix, etc). We find they all have played guitar and synths and percussion and programmed bass-lines.

Beatles is another huge case. Basic live formation we all know it. Mostly we find Paul on piano, although the others also ocassionally played. The official organ player (besides Billy and other extras) is John, George played all the synths found on the recordings. He also was the "sitarist". Paul played drums sometimes, guitars a lot of times, and we find mostly John on early days and George on later days playing harmonica.

Led Z, all their guitars were played by Jimmy. All their lead vocals were by Robert, all their basses by Jones and all their drums by Bonzo. It was pretty much the standard. On backing vocals we find mostly Jimmy ('Whole Lotta Love', 'Communication'), although Jones also made a few. There were no overdubbed vocals by the same person. Jimmy played banjo on one track and mandolin on another, they used orchestra for Kashmir, but for the rest they had multi-instrumentist Jonesy, who played organ, piano, e-piano, synths, recorder, mandolin, etc.

Guns N' Roses is again quite standard. Duff and Izzy sing some of their own songs, Axl played ocassionally piano and/or synths. He also played guitar and drums on a couple of tracks, Izzy played lead guitar of 'Jive', Duff also made some acoustic guitars here and there, and Slash played 6-string bass once. Again, no vocal layers.

Bee Gees had an orchestra, on the early days they had a lead guitarist and a drummer which could be more or less counted as part of the band. Within the brothers, we find Barry playing rhythm guitar, Robin on piano and organ (only on early days) and Maurice on everything. On some demos Maurice played drums and on 'New York Minig Disaster' Robin played violin.

ABBA's functions are again fixed, although Björn did play acoustic guitar on 'Fernando', and they both played saxophones on 'I Do'. But they used orchestra for almost everything.

The Who is again fixed, Roger also made a couple of guitars, they had session pianists (like Nick Hopkins), but also John and Pete played it a lot. Van Halen is another band where the guitarist is also the pianist, Smile would have been that way if it had kept going on.

Most rock bands don't use special instruments, Kiss is one of them, they're just how they are. Beth is Peter on the piano and an orchestra, that's probably the only exception. Yes also had fixed positions, but Steve and Chris used tons of wird instruments like four-neck basses. Jon played harp sometimes and rhythm guitar or keyboards as well.

U2 is again on standards. Bono played rhythm guitar sometimes and Edge played keyboards.
1.Jason 16 May 2003 18:05
"George played all the synths found on the recordings"

actually that's not entirely accurate. John (I believe) played the Clavioline on "Baby You're A Rich Man", and Paul played several of the Moog synth parts on 'Abbey Road'.
George never played harmonica, to my knowledge. As far as bass is concerned, George played a Fender Jazz Bass sometimes...John also played bass on a Fender Bass VI [both from the 'abbey road' and/or 'let it be' sessions].
2.Sebastian 16 May 2003 18:31
George played harmonica on All Together Now and Fool On The Hill (with John)

Moog synths on Because, Here Comes The Sun and Maxwell are by George. Yes John did play clavioline, Paul also played mellotron a couple of times, but those aren't synths. They don't synthesise sounds, they just have their own.

As for bass, yes I had forgotten totally about them. Both John and George played on about 7 songs each, being John's more famous ones Back In The USSR, Winding Road, Let It Be and Martha my Dear. George played on Two Of Us, Maggie Mae, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Honey Pie and some others. He also played four-string guitar once.
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