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I would like to hear basslines like we had in the 80s..

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Danhorse, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Danhorse


    Jan 30, 2012
    Ok, Im fairly new here and been out the loop on playing and bass for over 20 years so be gentle ;)

    But now that I am back in the fold re bass, what influences do I still go back to for inspiration and general bass listening pleasure?

    The 80s..... John Taylor, Mick Karn, Pino, Mark King. Man, bass had that great period of being more upfront, often used as a melodic lead instrument too.

    Now, I know music changes to fashions and trends, but I have not seen a return of the bass used in this way - in general - to date since then. Of course there are always the great bassists who we admire and have been around for years, but I am talking more mainstream, not Jazz fusion!

    As an example: Usually, when searching youtube for certain music you get suggestions of other acts similar, but I dont get that when looking up Japan, Duran Duran, or bass covers, no suggestions for other similar music from more recent times as a general rule.

  2. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    Dubstep :ninja:
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Some of the older Madonna stuff has killer bass (albeit sequenced, not real).

    "Holiday", "Borderline" and "Like a Prayer" will bust your balls if you really want to try copping them note for note.

    Even though the sounds aren't happening and the feel is kinda stiff, you can tell that whoever came up with those basslines has a real grounding in old-school bass.
  4. NCD


    Mar 19, 2011
    You've expressed one of the most common grumbles on the site, and of bassists in general. Victor Wooten even commented on this in a workshop on Truefire, saying that he thinks the tide is going to turn back that way because bassists are demanding a more active role.

    I personally go back further than the 80's, but I do also enjoy Huey Lewis and the News (IE "So Little Kindness" for a simple groove with just enough embellishment). Additionally, I look to Motown, Supertramp (IE "Take the Long Way Home"), most songs from early Kansas (Dave Hope was unreal), and Marcus Miller did a lot of great stuff such as "Never Too Much" - Luther Vandross.
  5. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I think the days of pop music featuring a prominent bass part are gone because most people don't play back music on devices that can reproduce bass very well.

    If you do still want a bit of clever '80s-influenced pop, Everything Everything might do it for you. Excellent bass player too.
  6. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If you really want fun go back to the 70's. Ronnie Lane, Greg Ridley (Humble Pie), Foghat, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk. They weren't afraid to play bass. Not like a lot of players today who seem to pee their pants at the thought of playing one extra note and getting noticed.
  7. Check out anything by The Roots, or Eryka Badu (especially the live version of Honey). Killer, killer bass lines.

  8. Pop stuff from the 90s & 00s with interesting bass parts... Nirvana, Cake, Beck, 311, Deftones, Sublime, Incubus, Stone Temple Pilots.

    Since then... Can't tell you, man. I kinda quit paying attention to pop/rock a while ago.
  9. Check this video

  10. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    This has been true for pop music ever since its invention. Still didn't stop motown or stax! So I'm not sure if that's actually a valid factor.
  11. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Indeed, I've had this discussion before, but more in regards to bass sounds. I actually think bass in general (bass guitar and synth) is pretty out front in lots of popular music these days, but it's certain kinds of tones....
    A bright, pick-driven P-bass with rounds and a little overdrive sure jumps outta tiny laptop speakers better than one with old flats and all the treble rolled off. And of course, dubstep---those bass parts have gobs of mids and highs in them--of course they are designed to rattle the foundation when on a big system, but also to jump out of small speakers (at least what's currently considered "dubstep" but I won't go into that;)
    Of course there's plenty of new music coming out that features "bassy" bass tones, but I would suggest the more treble-friendly tones are so popular these days in part BECAUSE of the playback devices.
  12. There's plenty of bass out there today, it's just that its is keyboard dance centric music.
  13. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Here's three bass fronted bands, may not be your cup of tea, but they're out there.
    Look harder.

    Big Business
    Lightning Bolt
    Death From Above 1979
  14. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    What's interesting from an EQ/tone/production perspective is that in some of the older stuff the bass guitar reproduces better on small speakers than the more modern productions. There's a more narrow frequency range in the older stuff overall, and the bass is often more mid-rangey and just "speaks" better on small speakers than a modern sound, in particular one with huge lows, bright highs and a scooped middle. Lotsa stuff from the 60's-70's with a warm punchy bass sound--some of that bass really pokes out quite nicely even on freakin' phone!
  15. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    A big part of the problem is that Youtube is so heavily monetized now, search results and "related" videos are no longer what they used to be. Half of it is prioritized, due to being payed for or getting tons of views and thus, indirectly paying for priority. Youtube is essentially ruined. its hard to find stuff now, unless you were already searching for it.
  16. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    the past few days I've been listening to a CBS station called Classic Live 105 and it's "alternative" radio from the 70's and 80's....Ramones, Smiths, The Alarm, The Cure, Clash, etc...there are indeed some interesting bass lines...it's also interesting to hear that a lot of that plastic New Wave was still grounded by a P-bass with a chorus slapped onto it. Synths couldn't kill a standard.
    And hey....if you like reverb.... ;-)
  17. Danhorse


    Jan 30, 2012
    I appreciate all your replies guys and gals, its a good discussion.

    And thank you for the band suggestions, I have the day off today so shall be looking into those.

    'Look Harder' on Youtube isn't easy as has been stated, try putting in melodic bass music, you don't get much return, yeah the search is poor now on YT.

    I think the Arthouse/New Romantic movement was so strong and guys like John Taylor and Mick Karn stood out so much that even now that 'wave' has not come back into fashion, it would sure be interesting to see a modern wave of similar music/bass.

    Yeah, thinking about it I dug a lot of 70s bass, have to say I was and am a huge Chic fan too.

    I listen to a lot of prog, got me thinking, it would be great to hear melodic prog but with bass/fretless as the lead.

    I just miss the odd really good bouncy catchy bassline, remember Jimmy Nails 'Ain't no Doubt' and 'Sweetness Is My Weakness' by Michelle Gayle? loved that kind of bass.

    Recently I nearly fell off my chair at a stomping great bassline done by Nick Beggs on the Stick for the recent Kompendium album. The 1st vid below show him doing the session track, the 2nd one is the finished track and....... oh dear, the bass is pushed so far back it almost inaudible. A real shame to my thinking..

    Ahem...you can see me kicking off about the fact in the 1st vid comments.... :bawl:


  18. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma

    Another one is a Japan band I really dig called Tokyo Jihen (Tokyo Incidents to some), killer bassist.
  19. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Recent mainstream music with busy basslines that are really played by real bassists on real basses? The first thing that comes to mind is Michel Teló, who had the biggest global hit of late 2011, though he doesn't seem to be as popular in English-speaking countries.

    This might not seem popular enough to call it "mainstream" with only 17 million Youtube views, but there are other versions with 16, 20 and 24 million, so add them all up and it's pretty decent. Oh, and if you do this song, change the lyrics from "Gusttavo Lima" to "Adriana Lima".
  20. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    I'm not sure what that was, but I think I like it.