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Thread: The Best Bassist?

  1. #1
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster SecondBass's Avatar
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    The Best Bassist?

    Ahh, the much maligned bass-man. John Lydon called him the most worthless member of a Rock band.

    Nick Lowe said that he'd produce a band, they'd have a bit of success and sack the bassist for not being good enough, and then they find that they've lost their sound.

    I saw a band not sack their crap bassist and never get the success they deserved (he was out of time).

    Who was the most important bassist to a band, who was technically the best, who just made you giggle?

    A few to play with:

    Sid Vicious or Glenn Matlock?
    Bruce Foxton
    John Entwistle
    Paul MacCartney
    Bill Wyman
    John Jacques Burnel
    Herbie Flowers
    Sting

  2. #2
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster robmcw's Avatar
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    Nice list of bass players. You forgot Tony Levin.

  3. #3
    Captain of Water Music
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmcw View Post
    Nice list of bass players. You forgot Tony Levin.
    Yes Levin is the best.

  4. #4
    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Paul McCartney is, IMO, the most underrated bassist around. His bass was absolutely vital to the Beatles, and formed the core structure of much of their music. At times, it almost seemed like the rest of the song would be just accompaniment.

    As far as modern rock bassists go, Justin Chancellor of TOOL is I think the most vital to his band. The backbone of TOOL's music over the last couple albums has been the interaction of the guitar and bass, the two together developing themes and harmonizing.

  5. #5
    Apprentice, Piano SymiMetycal's Avatar
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    Many of these bassists I have not heard of, and will be sure to research. Personally I favor McCartney and Geddy Lee of "Rush".

    Though IMO I find this subject to be much like "Who is the best guitarist?" There will alway be differing views and and answers, and often, heated debate. I rarely see this kind of question about anything besides guitars though, and seeing this makes me happy.

  6. #6
    Apprentice, Piano
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    best bassist

    Being a good bassist can mean different things. Its not about technique as much as composition. No one wants you to play lightning-fast.

    If you are Jimi Hendrixes bassist (Noel Redding, Billy Cox) you NEED to be subtle. What makes you good is your ability to know what to do and when, because you are there to anchor down Jimi, when hes exploding into outa space

    If you are the Whos bassist (John Entwistle) you can do what you like, because Pete Townsend (early days anyway) is just going to play a few chords. What a luxury. He gets a lot of acolades, but he really had it easy.

    A lot of bands just want the bassist to play root notes - listen to Paul Mcartney on 'day in the life' or 'cry baby cry' (and loads more). He plays all sorts of counter melodies. Its not about being a good bassist for him, but more about being a good composer. Its not hard to replicate what he does, just hard to think of it in the first place!

    And how many non-bassists can remember these basslines. Take them away, and the Beatles would be half the band they were

    What about James Jamerson? Larry Graham? Jack Bruce?

  7. #7
    Captain of Water Music Art Rock's Avatar
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    Tony Levin was the first to come to my mind.

  8. #8
    Commodore con Forza Andrew Roussak's Avatar
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    Just wanted to bring this thread to live again -
    sorry that nobody had mentioned John Paul Jones, Roger Glover and Billy Sheehan here.

    I would also add Chris Squire to the list.

  9. #9
    Ensign, Principal Simon Jansfort's Avatar
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    You're missing two of the best ones in my opinion. Two very different bass players.

    Mark King (from Level 42)
    And
    Victor Wooten (from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones)

    Simon
    http://www.jansfort.com - A work in progress.
    http://blog.jansfort.com - my blog. Quite new.
    Both in danish

  10. #10
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    I'm glad someone finally tossed Chris Squire into the mix, I was starting to get worried there Well most of my personal faves are here: Squire, Levin (a class of his own that man!), Wooten, Entwistle, Flowers, Lee.

    Anyone else like John Wetton? He wasn't too bad.

    No-one's mentioned Stanley Clarke yet.
    I'm also fond of John Giblin, Mick Karn, Dave Meros.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  11. #11
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    #1 Charlie Mingus

    #2 The Allman Brothers - Berry Oakley

    #3 Black Sabbath - Geezer Butler

    These would have to be my 3 top bassists. All of them have their own style and sound, and all have been part of music that has had an enormous impact on music overall in all styles.

    McStrum
    "Have you thanked the bass player lately? You should, no one else will."

  12. #12
    Lieutenant, Associate Concertmaster
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    Gary Thain, from Uriah Heep.. listen to Demons and Wizards.

  13. #13
    Apprentice, Piano pooch6267's Avatar
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    I think I'll tell my son about your site; he's a bassist and might like to give his opinion about who he thinks is the best bassist.......“I may climb perhaps to no great heights, but I will climb alone.”[Cyrano de Bergerac].

  14. #14
    Apprentice, Piano pooch6267's Avatar
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    I think (my sons thinks ) Tony Lavin is on a class of his own.

  15. #15
    Seaman, Mezzoforte CARLTONDRAUGHT's Avatar
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    I'd say John Paul Jones
    CARLTONDRAUGHT INVITES YOU TO TUNE INTO HIS RADIO SHOW ON BNSLIVE RADIO MOST THURSDAY NIGHTS FROM 8.PM CENTRAL USA TIME http://www.bnslive.com/blog/?page_id=21

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