Mick Karn may not have been famous, at least not in the celebrity gossip column sense of the word, but he was well-known and, more importantly, well-respected. Since the 1970s, the bassist, who sadly passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer, Karn had developed a career in music marked both by talent and diversity. He crossed genres, worked with bands and as a solo artist, and collaborated with a wide range of performers. Our readers were quick to point out the many highlights of his career.
Da Smiff wrote:
Unique is a word too easily thrown around, but he was truly a unique musician. Most known for Japan, but his solo work is worth seeking out. One of the best concerts I've ever seen was Mark Isham's band (touring on his Castalia album, which is fantastic), featuring world class players, Karn and David Torn. It's a shame that tour has not been released in any format.
Meanwhile, Abaguer noted:
Very, very sad to hear of this. I wasn't aware he was sick. Loved his playing with Kate Bush and his own solo albums. Bestial Cluster was great.
Mac M added:
Micks work on Gary Numans Dance album floored me , it still does nearly 30 years on . Rest in peace Mick and thank you .
And Jcohenfreelance recalls learning about Karn's work through a Yellow Magic Orchestra connection:
I found Japan because of their work with Ryuichi Sakamoto and their relationship with YMO, an important Japan-Western music industry cross over. I have been following Mick's health for months, and I gasped when I saw this news.
Finally, Marcello09 points to Karn's solo work:
He may be best known as a supporting musician, but his solo albums were fantastic. “The Concrete Twin” was released last year, it's the best work of his career, a truly unique set of compositions. This is a very sad day, indeed.
Last year, Karn contributed to Maninmal's David Bowie tribute We Were So Turned On, benefiting War Child U.K. His offering was a haunting rendition of “Ashes to Ashes” that is lovingly true to the original while, at the same time, makes wonderful use of Karn's talents on the bass. You can check out the track via YouTube below.