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McCartney's early bass recordings were notable for their energy and exuberance, but on the heavily acoustic Rubber Soul, particularly on his love ballad Michelle (which was written to emulate Chet Atkins' style of fingerpicking), Macca created a wondrously nuanced, stylized mood piece.
Remarkably, the smooth and silky bassline which serves as a poetic counterpoint to the guitar chords, riding lightly off of Starr's hi-hat and stickstick, was thought up in the studio on the spot.
"I never would have played Michelle on bass until I had to record the bass line," McCartney revealed to Bass Player magazine in 1995. "Bass isn't an instrument you sit around and sing to."