R&P: What is your favourite bassline?

Singers get all the attention. Guitarists get all the respect. Drummers get a reputation for wild living. What about the poor bass players, so often overlooked.

The annals of pop/rock history are littered with songs that are elevated and made great by a killer bassline. Let's show some love for bass players by posting your favourite bassline.

One of mine by my favourite bassists, Steve Harris...

Iron Maiden - "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7zk4as9kzA

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21 Answers

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  • 5 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Just too many to pick a favorite. I noodled with bass in the '70s but gave it up after my '66 Hofner 'Beatle' bass and another German violin bass from '66 (Klira, which was actually the better instrument) were stolen. I was heartbroken and never went back. But two of my favorites were the basslines I taught myself to play:

    Taxman - Paul McCartney

    Go Your Own Way - John McVie

    I learned the opening bass riff to Roundabout but never progressed beyond it. But that wasn't my favorite work from Chris Squire - I loved his work on Beyond and Before from Yes' very first album, his crescendoed thunder on Starship Trooper, and even though it was multi-tracked in a studio, The Fish.

    Among others are Glenn Cornick (Jethro Tull) on Bouree and A New Day Yesterday, both from the Stand Up album, Geddy Lee (Rush) on Bastille Day...

    and if I took the rest of the day, I could come up with dozens more and not remember them all.

  • 5 months ago

    Joy Division - “Disorder”

    https://youtu.be/TJ8rjndjJ8g

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  • John
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    John Entwistle famously said that he hated playing Magic Bus because it is DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    One of my all time favorites is Ramble On from Led Zep...

  • 5 months ago

    Aloha Harv!

    For me it’s gotta be N.I.B. by Black Sabbath.  Primus (Les Claypool) did an absolute killer cover of it (with none other than Ozzy himself providing lead vocals) on one of the Nativity In Black tribute albums.

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  • 5 months ago

    It's a tossup between Thin Lizzy's Dancing In The Moonlight & The Doors Strange Days, and Stanley Clarke's School Days. And yeah thee Bass doesn't get as much love as the guitar & drums. But thankfully she get's plenty of love in thee Jazz/Fusion world. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHOK87ozcho

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Unnh0T2Ftro

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk_gzDQd4zw

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  • Binks
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    This one's pretty cool: Sonny Sharrock - Kate (Variations on a theme by Kate Bush)

  • Nick
    Lv 4
    5 months ago

    Superfly- Lucky Scott for Curtis Mayfield

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Matt Freeman of Rancid.

  • 5 months ago

    Harry Nilsson - "Jump Into the Fire"

    Nice long example. Herbie Flowers was turned loose.

    https://youtu.be/CfjNpgZ4C5Q

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  • Tony B
    Lv 4
    5 months ago

    I agree completely with what you say about bass players. A friend of mine once observed: “If a band has a good guitarist, people say, ‘That's a good guitarist’ but if they have a good bass player they'll say, ‘That's a good BAND’!”. I agree with him.

    Favourite bass lines...

    Maybe Carl Radle’s on Layla or Richard Sinclair's on Summed Lightning.

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