Tony Levin: “D’Angelo’s Voodoo made me want to go back to school as a bassist”

Peter Gabriel In Concert At The O2 Arena, London, Britain - 21 Oct 2013, Tony Levin
(Image credit: Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

The legendary Tony Levin is truly a bass player for all seasons. Who else straps wooden sticks to their fingers when they play? Having spent many years supplying basslines of impeccable quality in Peter Gabriel’s band as well as holding down tours with perhaps the most innovative of all the old-school prog acts, King Crimson, Levin’s credentials speak for themselves.

In between all this bass magnificence Levin also plays the Chapman Stick, the most intimidating musical instrument ever devised, in a variety of ensembles including the self-explanatory Stick Men. “I don’t really think about the crossover between the two instruments,” he says. “Some songs just seem right for the stick, and others for the bass guitar.”

Asked to recommend 4 albums with killer bass playing, Levin gets listing…

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.