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Rolling Stone Readers Pick Top 10 Bassists of all time

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by carlthegroover, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Many of you might have already seen this list, but I'd like to know what you TB'ers think of it. You agree with this list?

    10. Victor Wooten
    9. Cliff Burton
    8. Jack Bruce
    7. Jaco Pastorius
    6. John Paul Jones
    5. Les Claypool
    4. Geddy Lee
    3. Paul McCartney
    2. Flea
    1. John Entwistle

    IMHO, notable absentees: Chris Squire, James Jamerson, Geezer Butler, Carol Kaye, Steve Harris, John Myung, Larry Graham, Tim Commerford, Matt Freeman, Charles Mingus.

    Here is the page of the list if you're interested:

    So... perhaps a Top 10 falls short, and it should have been a Top 20 or 30?
  2. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    The idea of doing a top 10 bassist list is stupid. They're all stupid.
  3. You said it.
  4. Yep. Asking music fans to rate musicians is like asking Stevie Wonder what the top ten most beautiful paintings are. On the other hand, I'm glad to see the list full of genuinely talented players, rather than people like Pete Wenz.
  5. HuntYouDown


    Jan 3, 2012
    Tampa, FL
    Some good people, but they left out some of the best, like James Jamerson. Also, their order is screwed up in my opinion. Not bad though, I guess if you look at it from a songwriting perspective andnot skill level, then its good.
  6. Come on, guys, we can entertain the idea of having a Top Something Bassists of All Time list, perhaps chosen by more knowledgeable people such as posters here. If only for the kicks and giggles (and maybe to recognize the people that have made some important contributions to our instrument of choice).
  7. If I were to list my favorites, seven of those ten would be on my list.

    To make a list of the top ones doesn't make much sense to me. I don't think in terms of who is the best. I think in terms of who I like to listen to the most.
  8. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Top 10 lists suck.
  9. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Any "Top 10 bassists of all time" list with Les Claypool on it can't be taken very seriously. "Notable absentee... James Jamerson". You know the list is nothing more than a punchline to a joke now!!
  10. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    Just Pop culture....
  11. Play Less Cool

    Play Less Cool

    Jan 22, 2013

    he may not be a traditional bass player but he does plays bass and he is talented as f*ck.

    its 'cus he slaps to much aint it?
  12. "Best musician" lists are stupid, and so is this one.
  13. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Flea second place... says it all.

    No doubt the cats on the list are all very talented, but in my very humble opinion a huge element of making the list should have been that the entree made a game changing impact on bass playing. Thus I honestly cannot see claypool or flea on the list. How about Larry Graham instead if slappers are to be mentioned? Not dissing the two but I am too underwhelmed by their artistic contribution to the instrument on a historical scale. Same deal with Wolstenholme and Chancellor, great players in their own right but They would stay off my list as well...I hope you get the point I'm trying to make here.

    Also pretty funny there are none of the jazz cats on there, no carter or mingus or anything (wooten and claypool don't count) But the underlying bias has been mentioned.
  14. Not too bad. I think this list is actually more relevant than if you asked musicians, because then it would go something like this:
    1. Jamerson
    2. Jaco
    3. McCartney
    ... and 7 guys who are great technicians and know their theory but didn't contribute to music as a whole all that much.

    Like it or not Flea is much more influential than the thousands of fusion players who could play circles around him technique and theory-wise but could never contribute to something as simple and beautiful as Soul to squeeze or Give it Away. The same goes for the other more mainstream players on the list.
    Jamerson is not included because people don't know about him, since most of his work was done in the studio and Motown didn't want to make their musicians famous.
    Although the idea of a 'best musicians' list is somewhat stupid, this list is pretty good.
  15. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    I call SHENANIGANS! On this and every other web based Top Ten list. They're blatant exercises in trying to stir people up so that websites can seen an uptick in traffic. A pox on this and every other Top Ten list that attempts to do so.

  16. sok monkee

    sok monkee Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Burlington N.C.
    I hate these sort of lists. I would be curios to know just how many names total did turn up in Rolling Stone response list:meh:
    A better question for that group: How many bass players can u name?;)
    I don't think the list would be much longer!!!
  17. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    They forgot Fieldy...

    ...just kidding of course.
  18. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Where's cliff Williams?
  19. braud357

    braud357 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Gonzales, LA
    The list needs to start with James Jamerson and Jaco. Every other pick would be subject to conjecture - too many influential players for the remaining 8 slots.
  20. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Not bad, I'd sub Jamerson for Les, but can understand what this list is, these are the Top 10 "Recognizable" bassist, that people have seen. Also I'd probably switch out Wooten for Marcus Miller, and add Sting in there. If you went all around the world, the top 5 recognizable bassist would be Sting, McCartney, Geddy, Harris and Flea without a doubt.
    But look bass is not all about technique and flash, frankly Flea's playing hasn't been great since Aeroplane, but he is a "showman".