Level 42/Mark King :: Seven Years :: First 8 Bars

One of my students mentioned that he was working on the Level 42 tune Seven Years so I listened to the tune and transcribed the bass line.  Mark King was one of my bass heroes after my early Paul Simonon/The Clash period had passed, although I still love The Clash.  Mark was doing things on a bass I had never heard before like really funky finger style bass lines and busy slapping and popping.  Later on I would learn that he was inspired by bass players like Larry Graham, Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller.  Not only does he play syncopated bass lines but he sings over them as well!

The transcription can be found here Mark King -Seven Years

The 8 bar intro is a bass line over the chord progression E Dma7 C#7 F#mi.  I was surprised to hear Mark playing a fretless bass.  The playback on the transcription doesn’t really capture the ‘mwah’ of a fretless bass but most of the notes are there.   The bass line over the first 4 bars uses a root, 5 octave syncopated pattern for the most part.   I think of the last two bars as an F# harmonic minor descending run over the C#7 and then back up the scale to the 9th resolving to F#.  If you hear something different in the bass line let me know.

This version of the band has Gary Husband on drums who is a monster jazz/fusion drummer as well as an equally brilliant piano player.


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