Steven Wilson Album: The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories) Bass Player: Nick Beggs
Thanks for checking out another installment in my Bass Transcription of the Week series! Today, I’m looking at a song that was requested by my friend and former bandmate Mike Virgilio: Steven Wilson’s “Luminol”!
The Song: “Luminol” is the first track on The Raven that Refused to Sing, Steven Wilson’s third solo album. Wilson is perhaps best known for his work with the band Porcupine Tree, which he fronts, and is firmly entrenched in the progressive rock genre. “Luminol” has this clearly on display, with its dynamic construction and numerous twists and turns. The song hearkens back to progressive rock from the late 60s and 70s; compare the keyboard sounds and harmonies throughout the song to Fragile-era Yes, or the heavy section at 9:48 to King Crimson’s “Red”. Fun fact: this album was co-produced and engineered by Alan Parsons.
The Bass: Nick Beggs had his work cut out for him when it came time to lay down bass on this song. Moving from the rollicking main riff to the more mellow quiet sections with ease, his bass playing ends up being the foundation upon which Wilson can create his soundscapes. His tone is reminiscent of Yes’s Chris Squire, though I’m not sure if he gets this sound with his fingers as opposed to a pick. Beggs shows a keen ability to simultaneously lay a strong foundation as a bass player while also leaving himself room to shine, which is certainly a valuable skill.
Favorite moments: The introduction to the opening riff, since it’s such a propelling force; letter C, when the new riff enters since it’s an interesting change of pace; the aforementioned “Red”-like groove at measure 218.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you were able to take something away from this as I have, and can appreciate Nick Beggs’s bass work here. Check back later this week on Thursday to see a brand new Bass Cover of the Week from YouTube, and come back next Monday for a brand new transcription! If you have any requests, feel free to send me an email from my website, nickfanemusic.com or leave a comment! Have a great week!