Bruce Thomas, Bassist for The Attractions, Discusses the Art of the Bassline on Nakedly Examined Music

Bruce is best known as Elvis Costello’s bassist on about a dozen albums as The Attrac­tions, but Bruce has been in bands since 1970 and has done numer­ous ses­sion gigs, most notably for Al Stewart’s ear­ly albums, plus The Pre­tenders, John Wes­ley Hard­ing, Bil­ly Bragg, and many more.

Your Naked­ly Exam­ined Music host Mark Lin­sen­may­er inter­views Bruce  to dis­cuss his work on “Blood Makes Noise” by Susanne Vega from 99.9 Degrees (1992), play clips from sev­er­al of the most famous Attrac­tions tunes (using when pos­si­ble the 1978 Live at the El Mocam­bo album) plus “La La La La Loved You” by The Attrac­tions (w/o Elvis) from Mad About the Wrong Boy (1980), the first half of the title track of Quiver’s Gone in the Morn­ing (1972), and we con­clude by lis­ten­ing to a cov­er of The Bea­t­les “There’s a Place” by Spencer Brown and Bruce Thomas from Back to the Start (2018). Intro: “Radio Radio” by The Attrac­tions feat. Fito Paez from Span­ish Mod­el (2021). For more about Bruce’s musi­cal and lit­er­ary projects, see

Hear all of “Radio Radio” in Span­ish plus the orig­i­nal. Hear the full ver­sions of the Attrac­tions clips: “Chelsea,” “Pump It Up,” “Club­land,” and “Every­day I Write the Book.” Hear all of “Gone in the Morn­ing” plus “Killer Man,” whose bass solo is at 4min in. Here’s Bruce demo­ing some of his partsWatch the video for “There’s Is a Place.” Here’s one of the Al Stew­art albums that Bruce plays onHere he is live just pre-Attrac­tions with The Sun­der­land Broth­ers and Quiver.

Naked­ly Exam­ined Music is a pod­cast host­ed by Mark Lin­sen­may­er, who also hosts The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Phi­los­o­phy Pod­cast, Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast, and Phi­los­o­phy vs. Improv. He releas­es music under the name Mark Lint.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.