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Popular Rock or metal songs played with fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jimmyjames77, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. jimmyjames77

    jimmyjames77 Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Just West of Chicago
    Not sure if this has been discussed. I'm curious just how many bass parts were done with a fretless bass on popular rock or metal tracks. By popular I mean more commercially successful tracks. Doesn't have to be a top 10 track but something familiar. To me fretless never really screamed Rock but a couple big ones come to mind. Two that stand out for me are
    "Mama I'm coming home" from Ozzy's No More Tears album. "Even Flow". From Pearl Jam's Ten album.
    zon6c-f and RyanOh like this.
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Some of the lines that Gilmour recorded (instead of Waters) for Pink Floyd were fretless.
    rickwebb, andruca, Real Soon and 8 others like this.
  3. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member

    epoxo57, Atshen, kopio and 23 others like this.
  4. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Jeff Ament with Pearl Jam
    Even flow and Alive. If I’m not mistaken
  5. gwangi

    gwangi Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    Honestly when I think of fretless bass played in Metal this is the guy I think of and he has played with a lot of artist, Steve Di Giorgio has always been known for his amazing ability on the fretless to be applied in Metal music:

    Dunyet, Atshen, kopio and 16 others like this.
  6. Lowandfat


    Jan 1, 2019
    Central NY
    Endorsed Artist Karl Hoyt Basses
    Boz Burrell - Bad Company, King Crimson
    epoxo57, Atshen, Bob_Ross and 16 others like this.
  7. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Tony Levin - lot's of Peter Gabriel and King Crimson stuff.
    Atshen, Old man, Bob_Ross and 20 others like this.
  8. DCGuy


    Apr 12, 2016
    Washington DC, USA
    I’ve always thought that the Stones’ Tumblin Dice has a fretless line. Am I wrong?
  9. A lot of Peter Gabriel stuff was on a Stick, right? Not a traditional bass, but a fretless bass nonetheless.

    As far as songs that are a bit more underground played of fretless.... "Cut you Up," by Peter Murphy. "So Alive," by Love and Rockets. The band Morphine.....

    If you are old... Peter Frampton Live had fretless.

    Pink Floyd's "Hey You" has fretless at beginning.
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  10. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    Primus anyone?
    Dunyet, kopio, Just_Ethan and 26 others like this.
  11. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Most early Stones.

    The first two Don Henley solo albums made Pino Palladino's career (and stuff like "Boys of Summer" and "Down at the Sunset Grill", even if you find them grating, are worth your study if you're a fretless guy).

    All of Paul Simon's 'Graceland' is done on fretless, and it holds a special place for me as the album that showed me I could be a fretless-only player for the rest of my life and make it happen. And I have.

    Fair amount of fretless work from Les Claypool over the years.

    Rush's "Malignant Narcissism" isn't a bad outing for a guy who by his own admission hasn't played fretless before or since.

    Some tasteful fretless work on Pink Floyd's albums, all done by David Gilmour.

    OP, if you're looking for hard rock guys, well, I'm pretty dated and it's not really my taste, but anything with Tony Franklin would be a great starting point.

    There's a lot more.
  12. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    He mainly used a Musicman fretless, a Stick, and an NS Electric upright.

    Edit: Also a MusicMan Sabre
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  13. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I'm not sure about the original albums, but Jack Bruce played fretless during the Cream reunion concerts in '05.
  14. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    One of the great rock and roll voices (Paul Rodgers). Him and James Dewar are probably my favs.
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  15. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    Dunyet, Novarocker, tindrum and 14 others like this.
  16. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Jack Bruce pretty much moved exclusively to fretless by the mid '80s.

    Wyman bass was fretless do most of the earliest Stones' recordings are fretless, with the slides in "Jumping Jack Flash" being a clue for me.

    I think Pino's name was made with the Paul Young records, notably "I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" , but the Don Henley recordings added to his noteriety. He also played on Gilmour's second [originally first, corrected to second] album.

    Kenny Passerelli used a fretless Precision with Joe Walsh, and it's all over "Rocky Mountain Way"
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  17. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Sticks are fretted.
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  18. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bauhaus, most known for 'Bella Lugosi's Dead'

    John Giblin on many tracks, notably Kate Bush and Phil Collins.

    Dave Pegg around the time of 'A' by Jethro Tull.

    Mick Karn on lots of stuff with Japan.

    Del Palmer on many Kate Bush tracks.

    Jennifer Maidman.. Lots of 80s and 90s sessions.
    Kusodensha, tindrum, Wisebass and 4 others like this.
  19. Hans Gruber

    Hans Gruber

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Pino Palladino on "Give Blood" by Pete Townsend, though with octave pedal. One of my favorite sounds ever.

  20. Some Led Zeppelin songs are played on fretless bass: "Heartbreaker" (with power chords!) and "What Is and What Should Never Be" come to mind

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