Another list: Song-defining bass lines

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Raman, May 25, 2018.

  1. Raman


    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Yeah, so bass lines that are neither just a supporting part, nor a solo, nor just an intro. Where the bass is the main riff: The part that people remember the whole song by at 1st thought (or if not 1st, then at least equally with the singing or guitar parts). Any style: rock, jazz, classical, etc...

    I'm curious to hear your picks. :)

    Mine (not exhaustive and in no particular order):

    Walk on the wild side - Velvet underground
    Money - Pink Floyd
    Come Together - Beatles
    A Forest - The Cure
    Dazed and confused - Led Zeppelin
    Badge - Cream
    Higher Ground - Red hot chili peppers
    Careful with That Axe, Eugene - Pink Floyd
    White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
    Stagger Lee - Nick Cave
    Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin
    Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
    Cannonball - Breeders
    Another one bites the dust - Queen
    Lemon Song - Led Zeppelin
    YYZ - Rush
    Come as you are - Nirvana
    New Year's Day - U2
    I Wish - Stevie Wonder
    Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
    Motörhead - Ace of Spades
    Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
    Chicken - Jaco Pastorius
    Roundabout - Yes
    Melody Nelson (album) - Serge Gainsbourg


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  2. Raman


    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Mean, mean bass!

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  4. rowsi


    Jan 31, 2018
    Alice Merton - No Roots

    Calvin Harris - Feels
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  5. guitarflinger

    guitarflinger Not all who wander are lost Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Front Range, Colorado

    Jethro Tull
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  6. Russell Ward

    Russell Ward

    May 2, 2018
    Hi I read your list and agree with all, you may also consider :

    Roy Budd, Get Carter theme tune.
    Geezer Butler , N.I.B ( Black Sabbath).
    Peaches, The Stranglers.
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  7. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Elvis Costello, “Pump It Up”
    Rolling Stones, “Live With Me” and “Sympathy For The Devil”(both ironically featuring Keith on bass)
    Beatles, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Rain”
    The Who, “My Generation”, “Heaven and Hell”, and “Can You See The Real Me”
    The Stranglers, “Peaches”
    Four Tops(Jamerson), “Reach Out”, “Bernadette”, “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”
    Marvin Gaye(Jamerson), “What’s Goin’ On”
    Supremes(Jamerson), “You Keep Me Hanging On”
    Sonny and Cher(Kaye), “The Beat Goes On”
    Beach Boys(Kaye), “Good Vibrations”
    Fifth Dimension(Osborne), “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In”
    Los Bravos, “Black Is Black”
    Spencer Davis Group, “Keep On Running”
    Allman Brothers Band, “Whipping Post”
    The Clash, “Guns Of Brixton”
    Nancy Sinatra(Berghofer), “These Boots Are Made For Walking”
    Wilson Pickett(Dunn), “In The Midnight Hour”
    Eddie Floyd(Dunn), “Knock On Wood”
    Otis Redding(Dunn), “I Can’t Turn You Loose”
    Archie Bell/Drells, “Tighten Up”
    Fontella Bass, “Rescue Me”
    Etta James, “Tell Mama”
    The Rezillos, “Flying Saucer Attack” and “Can’t Stand My Baby”
    Velvet Underground, “I’m Beginning To See The Light”
    Joy Division, “She’s Lost Control”
    Charles Mingus, “Haitian Fight Song II”
    Miles Davis(Chambers), “All Blues”
    Jeff Beck(Chen), “Freeway Jam”

    I could do this all day, but I have to go to the bathroom.
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  8. Raman


    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    By all means, go !
  9. Can't believe nobody has posted this (or mentioned it) yet...

    And then there's this awesome track, which isn't nearly as well known...

    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  10. Thanks - I'd not heard this before. I've now converted it for Rocksmith and it seems to be going down rather well :)
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  11. danesdad


    Feb 24, 2018
    Western PA
    The Smithereens- "Blood and roses".
  12. Raman


    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc

  13. consectaneus


    Sep 23, 2016
    Best example I can think of is My Girl.
  14. Beetfarm615


    Feb 15, 2017
    Attention-Charlie Puth
    All about that bass-Megan trainor
    I’ll take you there-staple singers
  15. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Pownal, ME
    Theme from Mission Impossible
    In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly
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  16. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    Here a few to start; I'll edit my post. as I think of more.

    Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie
    Sue (or in a season of crime) - David Bowie
    Ashes to ashes - David Bowie
    Lazarus - David Bowie
    Walking on the moon - The Police
    Roxanne - The Police
    Voices inside my head - The Police
    Shadows in the rain - The Police
    Tea in the Sahara - The Police
    I want you back - Jackson 5
    With or without you - U2
    Taxman - The Beatles
    Ballad of John & Yoko - The Beatles
    Root Down - Beastie Boys
    Sabotage - Beastie Boys
    Come and get your love - Redbone
    Hey - The Pixies

    Lovesong - The Cure
    Close to me - The Cure
    Just like heaven - The Cure
    The lovecats - The Cure
    Primary - The Cure
    Fascination street - The Cure
  17. NMTB

    NMTB My other account is a Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2018
    Just about any song by The Jam...

    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  19. Julian G

    Julian G

    Mar 16, 2017
    Can't believe that none of the lists have anything by Stevie Wonder on there.
    Superstition, I Wish, Higher Ground all songs defined by great bass lines.

    Oh and anything by Royal Blood.... they're only bass and drums in the group so reckon their songs are pretty much defined by the bass!!
  20. Raman


    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    I kinda... I listed Higher Ground, though I credited RHCP because their version is a lot more bass oriented.