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Thread: RIP Paul Buckmaster

  1. #1
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    RIP Paul Buckmaster

    Arranger, composer, conductor and cellist Paul Buckmaster passed away recently. He worked with David Bowie on 'Space Oddity' and it was from that song that Elton John requested him to work on his self titled album. Their collaboration work so well that they worked together through Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player.. They worked together sporadically after that. Loved most of their work together with my favorite being 'Have Mercy on the Criminal'.

    Buckmaster worked many soundtracks plus a who's who of rock, including the Rolling Stones, Harry Nilsson, Miles Davis, Kitaro, Celine Dion and the list goes on.

    RIP Mr Buckmaster and thanks for your music.

  2. #2
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    Sad to hear. His stern-sounding string charts were as much a part of the early Elton John sound as any of Elton's band members, and maybe even Elton's own piano and voice.

  3. #3
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I remember the name from Third Ear Band, don't I?

  4. #4
    RIP
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  5. #5
    Member chescorph's Avatar
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    RIP.

    You could make a case that Elton’s work was not as ethereal afterwards, almost as if he was a producer as much as an arranger. Those strings add a spacy vibe that is hard to explain. Imagine Space Oddity or Your Song or Levon without them.

    He also did side 2 of Terrapin Station, a very unique sound in the Dead catalog.

  6. #6
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I remember the name from Third Ear Band, don't I?
    Yes.
    Steve F.

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  7. #7
    Sad to hear.
    He is on a couple of albums in my collection, the most notable being "Go" by Stomu Yamashta.
    Others: Caravan, Ben Folds, Rupert Hine, Quatermass, Sphincter Ensemble, Tears For Fears, Judie Tzuke, Teresa De Sio and Milla.

  8. #8
    Add the first several albums by the wonderful A & M-label recording artist Shawn Phillips; Buckmaster's arrangements on those gems are quite similar to his work on Elton John's albums. BTW, I listened to Elton's "Madman Across The Water" and the "Friends" soundtrack last night in honor of his passing. Great stuff.

  9. #9
    A superb solo from the man himself:



    And one of my favorite string charts he did outside the Elton John canon:

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  10. #10
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    RIP to a truly great talent. Here's his work on what I and others would argue is the Stones best ballad

    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  11. #11
    Here’s another good string arrangement, perfectly matching the somber mood of the song:

    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  12. #12

    Stomu Yamashta's Man Of Leo from Go
    Percussion, Synthesizer – Stomu Yamashta / Organ, Vocals – Steve Winwood / Synthesizer – Klaus Schulze / Guitars – Al DiMeola, Julian Marvin / Brass – Paul Buckmaster / Bass – Rosko Gee / Drums – Michael Shrieve.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    He also did side 2 of Terrapin Station, a very unique sound in the Dead catalog.
    I believe he also did the string arrangement on Sunrise, on side one of that album, also. I think a lot of Dead fans didn't like the orchestral arrangements on that record, because it made everything "too glossy" or whatever, but I happen to rather like it myself. The choir during Refrain was a bit much, but the strings, brass and woodwinds during teh sort of middle section of the piece I always thought lent the music a majestic and cinematic quality. I always wished the band could have played it with an orchestra live.

  14. #14
    By coincidence, I'm working on recording a cover of Elton John's "Sixty Years On", which features a stunning arrangement by Buckmaster. I had no idea he passed away.

  15. #15
    Just watched 12 Monkeys again and noticed Buckmaster wrote the music for this!


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