Bob James On The Making Of “Nautilus”

JLBarrow • September 18, 2013 • No Comments


Our fellow beat junkies over at Nahright sat down and interviewed the iconic Bob James, easily one of the most sampled musicians in hip-hop and he gave some insight into one of his classic cuts, “Nautilus.”

“Creed Taylor gave it the title ‘Nautilus’ because there was a sound that I used from the synthesizer in the intro that sounded sort of like a submerging submarine to him… nobody paid any attention to it. We weren’t thinking of it as being one of the important tunes. And we had put it on the last cut of Side B, which traditionally at that time would be the least important place. In that era, obviously there was Side A and Side B. And usually, the sequence would be to put your strongest cuts at the start of Side A and Side B. They were the cuts that sounded best because they were at the outside of the LP where the grooves were wider, and you got more bass. And you would put what you perceived to be the weakest cuts on the inside. So ‘Nautilus’ was hidden, and almost not paid any attention to at all. So that to me, is the most amazing and incredible thing. That hip-hop producers grabbed on to it [even with its unpopularity and poor placement on the album].”


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