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Best bass players in rock, Please no jazz etc


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Showing 126-150 of 225 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jul 25, 2011 5:49:21 AM PDT
fruppaguff says:
Les Claypool

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 6:04:47 AM PDT
lowriderman says:
My faves:
Paul McCartney
John Entwistle
Jack Bruce
John Paul Jones
Mel Schacher
Flea
Sting
Dave Pegg best by far of Jethro Tull's revolving bassists

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 7:09:33 AM PDT
TC says:
John Entwistle and Geddy Lee are the best hands down.

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 7:27:18 AM PDT
Fischman says:
Here's a batch including about a half dozen not yet mentioned. In no particular order (after #1)
1. Geddy Lee -- Rush
2. Geezer Butler -- Black Sabbath
3. John Entwistle -- The Who
4. John Paul Jones -- Led Zeppelin
5. Greg T. Walker -- Blackfoot (check out "Madness" from the album "Flying High")
6. Chris Squire -- Yes
7. Kyle Brock -- Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, others (Okay, so this one's a bit jazzy)
8. Steve Harris -- Iron Maiden
9. Billy Sheehan -- Talas and various other projects
10. Randy Coven -- Solo and various other projects
11. Stuart Hamm -- Solo
12. Paul Goddard -- Atlanta Rhythm Section (check out the solo on "Champagne Jam" or the very long solo on the live version of "Another Man's Woman."
13. John Myung -- Dream Theater
14. Mel Schacher -- Grand Funk Railroad
15. Steve Robinson -- Trytan (I'm not a Christian and this is a Christian band so that says something. Check out "Celestial Messenger." If you like Geddy, you'll like this guy--a lot!)
16. John Turner -- Lord Only -- this dude lays down totally sick yet completely musical lines on 7 and 8 string, fretted and fretless basses. This should be required listening for any bassist looking to expand his/her horizons.

I know the OP said no jazz but . . . i . . . just . . can't . . . help . . . myself . . . 17JacoPastorious18StanleyClarke19CharlesMingus20JohnPatucci . . Okay, there, I feel better now. Sorry for the disturbance.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2011 8:10:42 AM PDT
Paul Martin says:
John Wetton - try to get hold of the Mogul Thrash album, c. 1970 - went on to greater things with Family and (ahem) Asia.
Phil Lesh of the Dead and Jack Casady of the Airplane/Hot Tuna - both incomparable for pulse and creativity.
For pure, clean technique, John Entwistle, Chris Squire, Tony Levin.
And yes, Paul McCartney.
"No jazz"? I'm assuming Jaco Pastorius isn't allowed in here, then? Despite, e.g., his glorious playing on Joni Mitchell's Hejira?

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 8:02:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2011 8:03:01 PM PDT
All the usual suspects, McCartney, Entwistle, Chris Squire, Tony Levin and Flea.

Hell, even Dave Allen from The Gang of four gets a mention (although I prefer his tasty work with Shriekback, myself) and I'll throw in Randy Meisner and John Lodge.

But the one bass giant who seems to continually be ignored is Herbie Flowers.

He was all over everything at one time, including "Rock on", "Walk on the wild side" and "Jump into the fire" by Nilsson.

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 8:19:11 PM PDT
Tonya Harding and her hub cap band

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2011 8:39:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2011 8:40:51 PM PDT
bass boy says:
Who fans usually don't misspell The Who's band members' names, so no, we don't have a monopoly on misspelling. We just suffer from others' misspelling. Lol! :)

Cool about one mentioning Herbie Flowers. His stuff with Bowie in the mid-1970s is impressive, too.

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 9:04:59 PM PDT
John Norwood Fisher of Fishbone.

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 8:21:34 AM PDT
Peter Hook -New Order
Peter Hook - Joy Division
Peter Hook - Monaco

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2011 1:36:26 PM PDT
Don says:
Gino says:
Big props to Jack Bruce. How did Cream make 3 guys sound like so many more so often?

Gino, gotta agree with you, not because they sounded like so many more but because they didn't need any more. The same goes for The Who being only a three instrument group plus a singer. Entwhistle or Bruce? Take your pick.

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 9:58:38 PM PDT
The answer is Bootsy Collins. Last Fall he was on the cover of 2 Bass Magazines. I do not play bass, but bought those magazines just for the great magazine covers of Bootsy.

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 10:15:59 PM PDT
Graham says:
John Deacon - Queen
Paul McCartney - The Beatles/Wings/solo
Jack Bruce - Cream
Chris Squire - Yes
Dee Murray - Elton John's original bassist (very underrated)
John Entwhistle - The Who
Bootsy Collins - James Brown's bassist
James Jamerson - Motown session bassist
Jaco Pastorius - Weather Report/solo (Sorry, he's jazz fusion but he's the best)
John Paul Jones - Led Zeppelin
Sting - The Police/solo

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 10:51:37 PM PDT
Paul McCartney.

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 11:12:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2011 11:16:36 PM PDT
Many great players mentioned - BUT - Why Geddy Lee is the only modern bassist that matters nowadays... The guy's playing is just incredible and evolutionary. If you're a Rush fan just examine the catalog from 1974 to today and listen to the evolution (or revolutionary) bass playing. Early Rush featured Lee laying down very slinky, very melodic (had to be in a 3 piece band) and very rhythmic driving bass work - very much a conglomeration of his then current bass heroes i.e. Squire, Entwhistle, McCartney, Bruce etc... Next phase (Farewell to Kings and onward) featured Lee again the driving force behind the band and with a more upfront "progressive" sound - using more modal playing, counterpoint, hints or shades of funkiness, definite jazz influence (Hemispheres is the pinnacle of this phase). Next phase - Moving Pictures to Presto we see the Ged man refining his playing to the point of his bass playing having a true identity - a personal style that became unmistakeably Geddy Lee. Stylistic refinements - a much more 'funkier' feel to his playing. Lee has never used a guitar pick to play bass - instead relying on just 2 or 3 fingers. That right hand technique over the years has just become amazing. From his playing in the 80's and 90's he developed this weird finger picking style that was no doubt classically inspired but on the bass just sounds so funky. I remember quite clearly sitting at the 6th row in the then Meadow Lands Arena in NJ on their stop on the Power Windows tour and watching Mr. Lee quite intently. On the song 'Middletown Dreams' I remember being blown away by his right hand technique - almost a complete blur in some parts, the speed and clear DEFINITION.
Then again in the 90's - no doubt from watching guys like Les Claypool, he incorporated this 'flamenco' style right hand strumming style - keeping the finger nails of the right hand long, Lee began 'raking' them across the strings for some innovative rhythmic sounds - occupying more than just one role of the sonic spectrum - this current style fills the role of not only just the bass but perhaps rhythm guitar. (Check out Test For Echo for the best examples). Geddy also does all this stuff while singing lead vocals, triggering midi events, bass pedals, playing keyboards.

Posted on Jul 26, 2011 11:28:06 PM PDT
Daniel Allen says:
John Paul Jones.

what's with so many people posting Paul McCartney? He is about the most unremarkable bassist there is.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 1:57:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2011 2:20:24 AM PDT
valis says:
I agree, McCartney is an amazing overall musician. He can go into a studio, write, play bass/drums/guitar/piano, sing and churn out pop gold. But he's not particularly proficient at any one instrument.
He's a great melodist, and he brought those ideas to the bass naturally. A truly gifted and admired musician.

Someone said Phil Lesh...really? The guy can't groove to save his life.
My votes:
Alphonso Johnson-will out-groove anybody-so much attitude
Nathan Watts-killin it with Stevie
Jaco Pastorius-One of the most influential player/composer. A real innovator, and rocked harder than most rock players
Stanley Clarke-plays like a fire breathing dragon
Louis Johnson-AKA "thunder thumbs", nuff said
Larry Graham-Another godfather of hard-hitting thump and pluck
James Jamerson-Truly gifted and amazing. The father of modern electric bass.

These are my Rock guys, even though most here would not classify them as that. They embody what Rock & Roll is all about to me.

Oh, and Tanya Harding and her Hub Cap Band of course

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2011 5:31:59 AM PDT
Snoo says:
Daniel Allen,

Agree 100%. Because he can play drums ,write songs, play guitar and because he was a Beatle ....... that makes him a great player. NOT !!

The same goes for the other three Beatles.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2011 5:59:32 AM PDT
Stranger says:
Berry Oakley - Allman Brothers band. RIP.
Allen Woody - Allman Brothers Band, Gov'y Mule. Rip.
David Schools - Widespread Panic.
And of course - Geddy Lee, John Entwhistle, Jack Cassidy, Chris Squire. Those are a given.
I'm probably missing a few.

Check out "The Deep End" series by Gov't Mule. A different bass player on every song !
The Deepest End provides a live concert of a parade of some of the best bassists around.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2011 6:01:24 AM PDT
Stranger says:
I agree about Paul McCartney.
Check out "Magneto and Titanium Man" from Venus and Mars.
Way underrated.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 6:02:45 AM PDT
Fischman says:
Thanks to all who have brought some sanity to the McCartney discussion.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 6:21:24 AM PDT
lowriderman says:
Paul McCartney's "walking Bass Line" Style of play such as in "Taxman" "Lady Madonna" and "Come Together" may not have been flashy or as technically proficiency as some of those above but it was creative and innovative in a manner that helped lay the foundation for power pop.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 3:02:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2011 3:12:38 PM PDT
N. M. Naske says:
Les Claypool
Bill Laswell - Why no one has added BL to the list before is mind-boggling!
Tony Levin
Geddy Lee
Bootsy Collins (!)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2011 3:28:24 PM PDT
erik brower says:
LOL!! I used to make fun of of a friend in high school who worshiped Kiss. Everytime he said something about them I would mimic the same bass solo you described above!! and this was 20 years ago!!

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 3:47:40 PM PDT
Fischman says:
". . . helped lay the foundation for power pop."

And that's a good thing?

Even if it is, it still doesn't qualify one for inclusion on these lists. IMO, to make the discussion, one should have both musicality and chops. Paul scores high for musicality, but he ain't got the chops--least not so much as to be discussed in the same league with Lee, Entwistle, Jones, Squire, Butler et al.

BTW, "walking bass lines" preceded Paul by quite a few years.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  127
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Initial post:  Jul 15, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 11, 2013

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