Tony Franklin is that rare hard rock artist who works sans metal strips embedded in a bass neck to ensure an acceptable standard of intonation.
Franklin’s tenure with Jimmy Page, Chris Slade, and Paul Rodgers on The Firm (1985) and Mean Business (1986) greatly augmented the language of hard rock and heavy metal bass. Though sonically and aesthetically dated, these two slabs are essential listening for all hard rock bassists.
Tony’s remarkable sustain applications coupled with his diverse palette of harmonics, concise melodic phrasing, and a funky percussive articulation fueled the ensemble despite their sub-standard material. Pity they didn’t hire pro songwriters….
A solo recording artist, composer, clinician, educator, and producer, among Tony’s top recorded works as a session cat / sideman include platters with Glenn Hughes (LA Blues Authority), Jimmy Page (Outsider), David Coverdale (Into the Light), Roy Harper (Work of Heart) Donna Lewis (Now in a Minute), and Tony MacAlpine (Evolution) David Gilmour & Kate Bush, Graham Bonnet.
Fender has cited Tony with a signature fretless and fretted Precision bass replete with a Hipshot Bass Xtender, a jazz bridge pickup, and vintage tuners.