r/Music Dec 05 '21 Helpful 5 Wholesome 6 Wholesome (Pro) 1 Silver 3

Which song in your opinion has the best bass line? discussion

[deleted]

6.3k Upvotes

856

u/malooga9805 Dec 05 '21 Gold Helpful Ally

The second level on Super Mario Brothers.

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1.4k

u/expanding_crystal Dec 05 '21

Flashlight by Parliament Funkadelic. Ain’t nothing but a party, baby.

211

u/Theatre_throw Dec 05 '21

Free your mind and your ass will follow!

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u/randallpie Dec 05 '21

Anything by Bootsy!

199

u/thedugong Dec 05 '21 Gold

Or was actually Bernie Worrell on keyboard. No bass guitar on that track.

75

u/Finetales Dec 05 '21

Bootsy played drums on Flashlight!

13

u/randallpie Dec 05 '21

No way! That’s so cool, thanks for the fact

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u/Finetales Dec 05 '21

My immediate answer. Nothing funkier than Bernie Worrell on a Minimoog.

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433

u/justabill71 Dec 05 '21 Silver

Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

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2.0k

u/Neon_Paisley Dec 05 '21 Gold Wholesome

Roundabout by Yes

190

u/CanadaProud1957 Dec 05 '21

Chris Squire playing anything.

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u/byingling Dec 06 '21

I'd take Heart of the Sunrise. Although the bass in Close to the Edge is just insane. But then, so are the keyboards, the drums, and the guitar.

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u/aurora4000 Dec 05 '21 edited Dec 05 '21

Love Yes, love Roundabout. RIP Chris Squire. Edit: corrected from Rick Wakeman, keyboard player extraordinaire.

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u/ramongoroth Dec 05 '21

Id personally choose Heart of the Sunrise over Roundabout but certainly his most recognized

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u/heart_of_oak Dec 05 '21 Wholesome Hugz

I want you back

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946

u/becker248 Dec 05 '21 edited Dec 06 '21 Silver

The Less I Know The Better ...and... Stand By Me

Edit: first one by Tame Impala https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PvM79DJ2PmM

Edit 2: Tame Impala also has a Song called Let It Happen, that has an outstanding bass at 6:15 of this URL https://youtu.be/odeHP8N4LKc

210

u/heyitsYMAA Dec 05 '21

I think I read somewhere that the bass riff in The Less I Know the Better was recorded on a guitar with an octave pedal.

It's still a sick bassline no matter what instrument was used.

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u/Browncheese1 Dec 05 '21

Started singing that line the moment I read post title.

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u/eltrotter Dec 06 '21

The Less I Know The Better is so clearly going to end up being a classic of this era of music

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1.1k

u/FannyPunyUrdang Dec 05 '21 Wholesome Super Heart Eyes GOAT

Fugazi- Waiting Room

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501

u/djm123 Dec 05 '21

Disorder- Joy Division

111

u/ChickenNugg420 Dec 06 '21

Age of Consent by New Order is a good one as well

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u/moreviolenceplz Dec 05 '21

Peter Hook, love him.

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482

u/Wyzard_of_Wurdz Dec 05 '21 Helpful

Tommy the Cat- Primus

137

u/paulrenaud Dec 05 '21

Jerry was a race car driver also has a dope baseline.

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u/BreatheMyStink Dec 05 '21

Hard to call what les claypool does bass lines. Something more like bass earsplosions.

37

u/Wyzard_of_Wurdz Dec 05 '21

He is definitely on another level.

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u/Cursedbythedicegods Dec 05 '21

Lee Van Cleef is amazing as well.

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u/-OccamsLaser Dec 05 '21

Hard to compete with Les Claypool

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u/Wyzard_of_Wurdz Dec 05 '21

Whether you like his music or not, there is no denying his level if skill talent is top notch.

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u/0ngar Dec 05 '21

Shake hands with beef is my personal favourite.

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u/Wyzard_of_Wurdz Dec 05 '21

Mine is actually Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers.

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24

u/matadorobex Dec 05 '21

It is a scientifically proven fact that Les Claypool is the greatest bass player to have ever lived.

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118

u/LordFlarkenagel Dec 05 '21

Anything by Primus = Bass line reinvented. (My Name is Mud)

70

u/Judazzz Dec 05 '21

Yes, Primus absolutely slaps! "Wynona's Big Brown Beaver" also has a uniquely distinct bass line.

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u/Kimdracula8 Dec 05 '21

Psycho killer - talking heads

192

u/fitoman5000 Dec 05 '21

Good call…..However, Tina really lays down the groove on Life During Wartime…

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u/MorrisBrown Dec 05 '21

Also, fuck me, the live “Born Under Punches”. It’s a looping bass line but holy fuck it holds me down. I don’t know what I mean by that but I know what I feel.

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u/Rulligan Dec 05 '21

Tina may never have really gone crazy like some others but she held the bottom down like a rock.

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u/mrflouch Dec 05 '21 Silver

When I got a bass the first thing I tried to play was Rio by Duran Duran. John Taylor has all kinds of good bass parts and did some YouTube vids breaking them down and talking about what influenced them. Really good stuff.

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u/fooeyandnuts Dec 05 '21

Rio doesn't walk so much as it fucking flies, and then resolves so naturally into the chorus. It is dope as hell.

57

u/SamantherPantha Dec 05 '21

I’m so glad to see Rio and John Taylor mentioned, he is a phenomenal bass player who I find is often overlooked. This would be my pick as well.

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u/MarlonElliot Dec 05 '21

I must have listened to that song a hundred times before I paid close attention to the bass and realized how amazing it is.

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u/jbarinsd Dec 05 '21

Rio is always my answer to this question.

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u/wc10888 Dec 05 '21

John Taylor was also one of my favorite bassists back in the early 80s.

12

u/Yak_Mehoff Dec 05 '21

I came to post Rio, so good!

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515

u/ToddBradley Dec 05 '21

Chameleon by Herbie Hancock, of course

126

u/crawfication Dec 05 '21

Another good one is Watermelon Man, super slept on.

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358

u/jiimmyyy Dec 05 '21

The ending to The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.

To me, that piece of music is the epitome of bass guitar. It's hard to describe, but it's like the bass line, if translated from music to the English language, would be saying something like "I am bass guitar personified". If the whole concept of a bass guitar could be abstracted and then turned into a piece of music, it would be that bass line.

I think I have vague memories of it from being very young, and it probably embedded itself into my psychology in a weird way. Now my brain basically thinks of it as being the bass line.

63

u/--GrinAndBearIt-- Dec 05 '21

Dummmmm dum dum dummm dum dum dum dum dum dummmmmmmm

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u/CallusTheHorse Dec 06 '21

Knew this one would be here, first song i thought of.

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u/hesnothere Dec 05 '21

Spacehog - In The Meantime

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u/Secular-Flesh Dec 05 '21

This was going to be my answer! So happy to see this here.

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u/thesiekr Dec 05 '21

Eminence Front by The Who is killer

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u/enderocelot101 Dec 05 '21

Just rediscovered that song after forgetting about it for a few years. All the parts of that song work so well together to make it the perfect night driving song.

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u/basketcase91 Dec 05 '21

Would also nominate "Sister Disco" or "The Real Me". Or just about any other song Entwistle did.

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u/sakanasugoi Dec 05 '21 Silver

Would? - Alice in Chains

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u/Tylensus Pandora Dec 05 '21

Alice In Chains has a ton of great bass lines. Nutshell (especially the MTV Unplugged recording) has such a warm and full tone, and is one of my favorites from them.

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u/Daritone Dec 05 '21

My pick too; as teens we used to cover this song and our bassist would always struggle and say that something about the rythym made it "tough to get his would? on"

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '21 edited Dec 09 '21

[deleted]

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u/Dflake Dec 05 '21

It also has the best ending to a song, ever!

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u/Kipsydaisy Dec 05 '21

“Pump It Up” by Elvis Costello (Bruce Thomas, bass)

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u/belowsubzero Dec 05 '21

The bassline to September by Earth Wind and Fire is my favorite and it's seriously understated. I think a lot of people don't realize that aside from the incredible vocals, that high energy, insanely cheerful bassline is half of the reason that song is so amazing!

188

u/Nigel_IncubatorJones Dec 05 '21 edited Dec 06 '21 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

The Real Me - by The Who

34

u/youseekyoda2 Dec 06 '21

It's just "The Real Me", but yeah just hearing Entwhistle and Moon go nuts at the beginning of that track on the bass and drums respectfully always gives me chills

15

u/Bears_On_Stilts Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

I love when Entwhistle would play the extended bass solo on 5:15, and the camera built into his bass would pick up his fingers as they worked.

But The Real Me? Once you heard it live with Rabbit Bundrick joining the band on keys, it’s hard to go back to the sparser studio version. Bundrick’s wild piano/organ style (he’s the keyboard soloist from Rocky Horror Picture Show) fit perfectly with The Who’s all soloist, no rhythm section approach. (Edit: the version with Bundrick on organ is on “Blues to the Bush Live.”)

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316

u/FlaminHotSkittles Dec 05 '21

Sabotage by Beastie Boys

51

u/k33pthefunkalive Dec 05 '21

The little lick before "Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" is dope. Love the overdrive on it

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u/wilsonn2 Dec 05 '21

N.I.B.- Black Sabbath

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u/picklesgarage Dec 06 '21

Ozzy and Primus did a version of this. Les playing base on it just adds a whole dimension to it

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u/Aggressive_Ad5115 Dec 06 '21

Geezer Butler

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354

u/devilinyourbutt Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

Maxwell murder rancid

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u/GownedEstablishment Dec 05 '21

And that Freeman solo…perfection.

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u/gimmethemarkerdude_8 Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

Matt Freeman is one of the best bassists out there, period.

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u/not_ray_not_pat Dec 05 '21

Yeah there's a half dozen tracks on that album that could show up here. Maxwell Murder has the flashy solo though.

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u/wolvinov Dec 05 '21

My first thought was "Journey to the End of the East Bay" because of that intro, but Maxwell gets the nod for the solo, that whole album was pretty good.

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u/didba Dec 05 '21 Take My Energy

Hey by the pixies

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u/averageduder Dec 06 '21

Man fucking absolutely. God this song is perfect

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u/randeylahey Dec 05 '21

Parallel Universe - Red Hot Chili Peppers

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u/wc10888 Dec 05 '21

All around the World for me.

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u/Salty_armadillo Dec 05 '21

Honestly their bass line in general is so iconic

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u/SkiptomyLoomis Dec 06 '21

You mean their bass player? Lol yeah Flea is an absolute legend

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u/RatherNerdy Dec 05 '21 Gold Rocket Like

Them changes by Thundercat.

https://youtu.be/GNCd_ERZvZM

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u/chromehandz Dec 05 '21

Finally some Thundercat love! I always see him and FlyLo everytime they tour.

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u/sadchoklate Dec 05 '21

Thundercat is amazing.

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u/WAR_T0RN1226 Dec 05 '21

I was gonna go with Thundercat's bass on the Kendrick track Wesley's Theory

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u/cricket9818 Dec 05 '21 edited Dec 06 '21 Helpful Starry This

Hysteria- Muse

Edit: long time lover of Muse. If you’re not familiar with their work, go check them out. Their early albums are fantastic especially on the baseline.

Muscle museum, hyper music, dark shines, time is running out are more bangers

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u/nishesyndrome Dec 05 '21

Most muse songs have amazing bass lines. My personal favourite would be the one in Hyper Music

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u/Themaple98 Dec 06 '21

Yes! Hyper Music is the most fun to play tbh

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u/pasitopump Dec 05 '21

Scrolled too far down for this! In my top 5 all time favourite songs too

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u/fingerwringer Dec 05 '21

Most muse songs!!! They’re the band that made me discover how important the bass can be

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u/panphilla Dec 06 '21

Same! I took up playing bass (well, dabbling in it) as a result of getting into Muse.

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u/9LivesAndCounting Dec 05 '21

One of my absolute favourite songs to cover. I could watch my bass player play that riff for hours.

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u/Voyden Dec 05 '21

I particularly love the version from their Live at Wembley! Still gives me chills.

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u/Matt_McT Dec 05 '21

Figured this would be near the top. I remember hearing that riff early on when I was first learning guitar and being amazed.

For anyone who doesn't know

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u/IISerpentineII Dec 06 '21

Futurism is up there too

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u/mab1376 Dec 05 '21

I always liked the song cave too

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u/Reidhawk Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

Silly Love Songs - Wings

Paul absolutely goes off

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u/ohboythisisawkward Dec 06 '21

It's a bummer Paul isn't getting much love in here.

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u/aMAYESingNATHAN Dec 06 '21

Don't Let Me Down is a fantastic bass line.

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u/Wuzzy_Gee Dec 05 '21

What a great thread! Almost everything that you all are listing here is GREAT!!! GG, folks!

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u/cannotbefaded Dec 05 '21

"money" by Pink Floyd

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u/pooptheater Dec 05 '21

Was about to say this

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u/ZenoxDemin Dec 05 '21

Superstition Stevie Wonder.

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u/chagachaganow Dec 05 '21

You can call me Al by Paul Simon

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u/crawfication Dec 05 '21

Fun fact - the second half of the bass solo is just the first half in reverse. That's why so many bassists have trouble learning it (correctly).

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u/PrimeIntellect Dec 05 '21

There is a really awesome alternate version of diamonds on the soles of her shoes that is basically just the bass and Paul Simon singing and it's so fucking good

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u/CallMeStarr Dec 05 '21

Grace, Too - Tragically Hip

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u/clgc2000 Dec 05 '21

That's what I'm here for.

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u/gk101991 Dec 05 '21 Platinum Wholesome

Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz

Not necessarily the best, but one of my favorites in recent music (21st century)

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u/tacozi Dec 05 '21

Is this it by The Strokes

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u/subrhythm Dec 05 '21

James Jamerson on Ain't No Mountain High Enough, wonderful playing, there's a great visualisation of the baseline on YouTube.

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u/Lobi-Wan Dec 05 '21

That video is so satisfying to watch. It also illustrates how that bassline is insanely busy but still somehow manages to stay out of the way of all the other instruments in the song. That's hard to do

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u/D-redditAvenger Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAT3aVj-A_E

I believe John Entwistle of The Who said James Jamerson taught a whole generation of Rock greats how to play base.

Makes sense when you watch this.

https://youtu.be/80dsyo2Ox-0?t=104

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u/eye-am-the-senate Spotify Dec 05 '21

Longview, green day.

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u/OphidianZ Dec 05 '21

He wrote that baseline on acid and recorded it. He had to figure out how to play it from the recording.

It's cool to play once you get the rhythm down for it.

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u/vitor_sk0m Dec 06 '21

'Warning' is pretty catchy

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u/SnooCats2404 Dec 05 '21

Lemon Song. Led Zeppelin

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u/seank11 Dec 05 '21

I'd go with how many more times, but lemon song is my 2nd choice

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u/DJHefaConQueso Dec 05 '21

It’s my life - Talk Talk

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u/The_Enlightened_Pod Dec 05 '21

Come together

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u/redLadyToo Dec 05 '21

Come Together and Taxman are both killer regarding their bass lines.

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u/The_Enlightened_Pod Dec 05 '21

Taxman is super underrated. Paul’s lead line is also incredible.

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u/HellTrain72 Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

I really enjoy the bass line during the end breakdown of Hummer by Smashing Pumpkins. The Day I Tried To Live and Fell On Black Days by Soundgarden. Give It Away by RHCP. Schism by Tool and all time best is a tie between Orion or Four Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica. Honestly nothing tops Cliff Burton RIP.

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u/ARetiredgroomer Dec 05 '21

Whipping post! Allman Brothers…

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u/_Abe_Froman_SKOC Dec 05 '21 edited Dec 05 '21 This

Tool- Forty Six & 2

The whole song is great, but that bass line is perfection.

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u/tbrooks9 Dec 05 '21

Really good choice! Also I like the bass line from "The Pot"

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u/ThirdRevolt Dec 05 '21

The Pot, to me, has the best baseline from Tool. It's just so deep and groovy.

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u/naked-_-lunch Dec 05 '21

Love playing Schism as well

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u/blageur Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

YYZ by Rush

or is it Running with the Devil by Van Halen....

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u/Raisin_Bomber Dec 06 '21

"and no, neal peart stands alone"

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u/Hollygrl Dec 05 '21

Free Will - Rush. Actually, almost anything by Rush.

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u/Rulligan Dec 05 '21

Dreamline has a super underrated bass line.

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u/Clyde_Frog_Spawn Dec 05 '21

Rush in Rio

Their best live album with Geddy in full force especially with the song Driven.

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u/Cinoclav Dec 05 '21

I had to scroll too far to find this. All hail Geddy.

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u/baochickabao Dec 06 '21

Agreed. Freewill and YYZ have killer bass lines.

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u/nerfthebandaid Dec 05 '21

The New by Interpol

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u/Manic_42 Dec 05 '21

I was thinking Evil by Interpol.

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u/DogmanDOTjpg Dec 06 '21

Obstacle 1 wins them all imo

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u/TsuDohNihmh Dec 06 '21

The last half of PDA is hands down one of my favorite musical moments of all time.

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u/karbonator Dec 05 '21

The Seinfeld theme.

(I'll show myself out :) )

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u/john_doe11081 Dec 05 '21

The dude slapped so hard he didn’t even need a real bass!

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u/K-DotzReturnz Dec 05 '21

Blur - Girls and Boys The bass line is pure sex

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u/aftrthehangovr Dec 05 '21

Sledgehammer is dope. Totally forgot about that song

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u/Neon_Paisley Dec 05 '21

The music video is equally as dope!

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u/xXAfghanDanXx Dec 05 '21

Tony Levin is a beast

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u/redditoramatron Dec 05 '21

Thank Tony Levin for that. I would say he is one of the best bassists ever. He’s also in King Crimson.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '21

Orion - Metallica.

Give it Away - Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Another one bites the Dust - Queen.

Billie Jean - Micheal Jackson

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u/ElPenedeMuerte Dec 05 '21

Love that you put Orion first. That first solo he has is what I hear in my head when I see this question.

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u/quaste Dec 05 '21

Had to read way to far down to find a RHCP song

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u/HardbodySlenderson Dec 05 '21

Soul to squeeze - Red Hot Chili Peppers

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u/hank_moody12 Dec 05 '21

London Calling- The Clash followed closely by Lounge Act - Nirvana

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u/bigsassy Dec 05 '21

D.A.N.C.E. by Justice

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u/AmigoDelDiabla Dec 05 '21

Peace Sells by Megadeth.

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u/evank1254 Dec 05 '21

Any song by Primus. Les Claypool is an insane bassist

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u/jcpahman77 Dec 05 '21

No More Tears -- Ozzy Osbourne

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u/bs2785 Dec 05 '21

I was thinking war pigs by black sabbath

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u/hamsterwheel Dec 05 '21

I don't think there's a bass line in that song. It's basically one long bass solo

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u/inferno493 Dec 05 '21

Cake's cover of "I will survive"

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u/beari_tonezNFT Dec 05 '21

Great topic. James Jamerson of the original Motown "Funk Brothers" greated SO many incredible basslines, it's hard to pick just one, so I'll toss out a few.

  • You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
  • For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder
  • Bernadette– The Four Tops
  • What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
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u/jkj90 Dec 05 '21

Hey Bulldog by the Beatles is up there for me, such a sweet bass part

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u/fgcguitar Dec 05 '21

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye (James Jameson on bass). By far some of the most beautiful bass playing to exist.

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u/Mike4992 Dec 05 '21

Radiohead - The National Anthem. I'm not sure if it's the best one, but I love it.

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u/underthere Dec 05 '21

Radiohead have come up with some GREAT bass lines, but I gotta say I think Myxomatosis has the best bass part of any Radiohead song.

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u/think_long Dec 05 '21

Where I End and You Begin

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u/Samteria Dec 05 '21

War Pigs by Black Sabbath

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u/Wiskoenig Dec 05 '21

No One Knows by Queens of the Stone Age

Rosanna by Toto

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u/bradyba Dec 05 '21

Give it Away by Red Hot Chili Peppers Under Pressure by Queen

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u/SayethWeAll Spotify Dec 05 '21

I had to scroll way too far down to find Flea. One of the best.

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u/Frosty_Advance9704 Dec 05 '21

Digital by Joy Division

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u/kelsheyyx Dec 05 '21

Christmas wrapping by the waitresses.

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u/sharpyboy Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

Lou Reed walk on the wild side, simple but mesmerising, apparently a mix of double bass and electric bass.

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u/red2xwing Dec 05 '21

I know nothing about playing bass, but I love the bass line from "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. It really gets the song moving.

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u/Ok-Impress-2222 Dec 05 '21 Wholesome

Tool - Forty Six & 2.

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u/moongrdnr Dec 05 '21

Short Skirt, long Jacket by Cake

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u/madhouseangel Dec 05 '21

Mellowship Slinky in B major by RHCP

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u/jacob_fritchie Dec 05 '21

transmission - joy division

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u/Sparrow1491 Dec 05 '21

Billie Jean of course

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u/Enoehtalseb Dec 05 '21

Stayin Alive-Bee Gees

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u/Few_Information_4093 Spotify Dec 05 '21

Rock Lobster by the B52's

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u/tall_people_problemz Dec 05 '21

Something- The Beatles. Paul McCartney full blown genius

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u/deanburns Dec 05 '21

Pixies - Debaser. Kim Deal is a genius bass player.

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u/[deleted] Dec 05 '21

Daft punk - Voyager

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u/chrized Dec 05 '21

Forget Me Nots - Patrice Rushen

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u/hahaBANGBANG Dec 05 '21

Always loved the acoustic bass on "Please Do Not Go" by the Violent Femmes. Amazing bass solo too.

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u/_Kay_Tee_ Dec 05 '21

Rio, Duran Duran. John is finally getting some of the critical acclaim he deserves, too.

Listen to the breakdown.

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u/currentlystupid Dec 05 '21

My name is mud intro, man that smacks!

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u/didba Dec 05 '21

Also black cow by Steely dan

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u/Hottubsorethroat Dec 05 '21

The bridge from The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. Also Hawk as a weapon by Conan.

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u/Kzrockstar Dec 05 '21

Roundabout by Yes, easily. It’s just so groovy and goes along with the fast pace of the song really well. So does the bass solo, because it was the 70’s and every instrument had a solo lol

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u/ccscomets18 Dec 05 '21

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

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u/John_Martin_II Dec 05 '21

You know it's played on a regular electric guitar? (not saying it doesn't slap though)

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