Bass for '80s revival band?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ryandude713, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. ryandude713


    Aug 15, 2003
    im starting an 80's revival band with my friends, and i want to know what type of bass you guys would reccommend for a good 80's sound. I have a Fender Precision, but I was wondering what other basses would be good? :bassist:
  2. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    Speaking as someone who had an Eighties band in the eighties, and as a confirmed NYC club hopper, I can tell you that basses ran the gamut. Ricks were very popular (The Jam, The Knack for example), Aria (Duran Duran), Fender P-bass (The Joe Jackson Band), Fender-J (Sting). I could go on and on. A big part of the eighties sound was the use of the pick, and what was probably the first extensive use of slap and pop by rock bass players. The main thing that I remember from that period is the quality of the rhythm sections and the high level of experimentation with ethnic music and drum patterns (Bow Wow Wow.) Get yourself some retrospective collections and you will see what I am talking about. :D
  3. Hmmmmm..... excellent question :) .

    Mmmmaybe a Steinberger or Kubicki, they were wildly popular in the 80's. Then again, my current main bass (Pedulla Thunder) has a similar vibe when slapped / popped or played with a pick. It has that midrange 'curl' that sounds like White Zinfandel tastes.

  4. Spector!!!

    or Rickenbacker.
  5. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    A Daion! Duran Duran used them quite a bit....
  6. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Also for looks, headless steinbergers. (Think Geddy Lee of Rush in 1985!) If you wanna go into the hairmetal looks or sounds, find an eighties (USA made) Charvel, jackson, BC Rich, or Kramer. Rock on! And please, please outdo "The Darkness". They are a joke IMO.
  7. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    BC Rich! Pointy, pointy, POINTY! :eek:
  8. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Definitely a Steinberger XL-2.
  9. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    What type of material will your band be doing??
  10. Franklin229

    Franklin229 Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeast USA
    Musicman Stingray if your playing funky dance stuff, like Haircut 100, Duran Duran, Fixx, etc. P-Bass w/wo a pick for more "folky" stuff like REM, Smiths, . Jackson, Kramer, BC Rich for Hair Metal.
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Gibson 20/20. Dorkiest '80s bass ever.
  12. I second this vote, since I played a Steiny in the 80s.

    But, I think that a Kubicki X-factor is a quintessential 80s bass. The Steinberger is more timeless and not as interconnected with the 80s sound.
  13. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    Wow, an 80s band would be fun. I play in a 70s classic rock band that didn't have the diversity of bass sounds of the 80s.

    I just got a BOSS ME-50b, which reminds me of the bass sounds of the 80s. Syth bass was all the rage and a threat to us electric bassists. We fought back by detuning down to D or lower and trying pedals to emulate that Moog bass sound. With my ME-50b I get that sound although you could get the same effect with that Akai pedal. Obanez make an inexpensive bass synth pedal. You might want to get a cheap/obsolete keyboard and do sythi-bass on that.

    Even regular elc bass seemed to have a lot of effect to get a similar sound while retaining its own indigenous sound: a lot of compression and flange/chorus

    Fretless bass was popular in the mid-late 80s. Think of (Pino Pallidino on Don Henley’s New York Minute, Boys of Summer and Paul Young’s “Every Time You Go Away”). The ME-50b has a defretter effect but playing 8ps might be a good excuse to buy a fretless too.

    Style wise, slap/pop was all the rage. It sounds dated now but it was soooooooooo much fun to play back then!
  14. Oliver


    Jun 21, 2003
    Perth, Australia

    think Bon Jovi
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think the 80's bass was the Steinberger. Between 1982-85, everybody from Sting to Jamaladeen Tacuma played a Steinberger. A headless Status or Kubicki would cool too.
  16. Was the headless ever cool? :rolleyes: imo
  17. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    if it's butt-rock, you GOTTA play a spector! :D

    (and i almost typed "butt-rick" for the second time. lol.)
  18. Franklin229

    Franklin229 Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeast USA
    I gotta say-to each his own opinion but it would serve to look at the basses that pop bands used. Regarding the boutique basses that we wish they all used-a lot of the headless basses/high end basses were certainly lusted after then and now but I do not think they were very much behind alot of the sounds we here when listening to 80's pop stuff. Sure-if you look at Stu Hamm and Level 42 and the like they were there-but not with most of the top ten Billboard artists.
  19. Walbassman


    Nov 27, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Most of the stuff from the mid 80's had the old Yamaha BB series basses. Those were cool if you got the early runs from the late 70's through about 85. THe BB5000 found its way on a LOT of records. I have had 3 but the spacing is a little tight for my hands. The BB's are all over and they can be purchased fairly inexpensively...