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For Carol Kaye, the most-recorded bassist in history, with upwards of 10,000 sessions to her credit, the very idea of picking the highlights of her career is daunting, to say the least.
“I’ve played on so many incredible records and worked with such fabulous artists,” Kaye says. “Calling something ‘my greatest’ or ‘the biggest and best’…well, we’ll just have to roll with it.
“This is a terrific batch of songs, but I might have a whole different list next week,” she stresses. “You know how it is: You turn on the radio and you hear something and you go, ‘Oh yeah! I played on that. That’s a good tune.’”
According to Kaye, session life in the ‘60s was something of an assembly line, where three or four dates a day were the norm. “It got to be a routine after a while,” she says, “but it wasn’t like we were making doughnuts. We were making records, and a lot of them were hits. How many people can go home and say, ‘Yeah, I played with Frank Sinatra today’ or ‘We cut a cool track for The Beach Boys this afternoon’? Not many, I imagine.”
On the following pages, Carol Kaye lists what she considers to be 10 of her greatest recordings, all of them big-time winners. And if she decides to change her mind at some point, hey, she's entitled. When you've played on as many smashes as Carol Kaye, you're bound to forget one or two.