A student of mine wanted to learn a Genesis tune on bass. Which one? “No Reply at All” of course. This is one of the trickiest bass lines you will come across in a pop tune (along the lines of “I Want You Back” by the J5). Mike Rutherford plays bass on this track. Mike is an original member of Genesis, back to the Peter Gabriel days of prog rock, men wearing makeup, and shiny capes. By 1981, Genesis took a hard turn toward pop.
“No Reply” is a classic bass line. Mike uses the full range of the 4 string – alternately playing a traditional bass line, doubling the horn lines, and even a playing a little lead bass going into the chorus. From the painful to watch original video, it looks like he’s playing this on a Fender Precision Bass (although he is associated with Ricks).
Below is the original tune followed by the best video cover I could find. Don’t worry, the cover video starts out looking like a hostage tape, but it is a good example of how to play the tune.
If you’d like to see some unintentional comedy, watch the original video here.
“No Reply At All” by Genesis
Good Cover by Shawn Parrotte