Top 10 motown basslines

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by troyus, May 22, 2009.

  1. troyus


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Diego, CA.
    I'd like to get some opinions on this, mainly, in case I've missed anything. ;)
  2. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Interesting that you would post this. I'm getting ready to school my son in the fine art of bass and plan to start with a healthy dose of Motown. Here's my list for starters:

    My Girl
    Get Ready
    It's the Same Old Song
    Reach Out, I'll be There
    I Want a Love I can See
    For Once In my Life
    Twenty Five Miles
    Just My Imagination
    Never Can Say Goobye
  3. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Does Sly Stone count?
    Thank u fa lettin me b mice elf. (yeah I didn't look it up, I'll bet I spelled it wrong)

    If you want me to stay.
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Sly was not Motown.

    Motown was home of.......

    The Temptations
    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
    The Four Tops
    The Supremes
    Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
    Jackson 5
    Marvin Gaye
    Stevie Wonder
    Lionel Richie
    The Commodores,
    Rick James,
    Teena Marie

    among other acts.
  5. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    Motown has so very many great tunes and singers. Strictly looking at bass lines, however, the aggressive playing on "Reach Out, I'll Be There" makes up at least 50% of the tune!

    My 2 cents,

    Paul (Eh_train)
  6. azarias


    Mar 19, 2009
    Top 10 motown basslines
    Nice Topic!

    No specific order here

    Aint no mountain high enough
    Aint nothing like the real thing
    Dont mess with bill
    For once in my life
    It's a shame
    I heard it through the grapevine
    What's going on
    Tears of a clown

    a few i like : )
  7. Bluesbreaker5


    Mar 24, 2006
    Soul Man
    Chain of Fools
    Ain't Too Proud To Beg
    What's Going On
    Papa Was A Rolling Stone
    Reach Out, I'll Be There
    Time Is Tight
  8. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    "what's going on"
    awesome motown song
  9. Sithian

    Sithian Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    New Jersey
  10. soulplane83


    Aug 16, 2008
    Portland, OR
    If I were making the list I'd probably include

    I Was Made To Love Her - Stevie Wonder
    Mutiny - Jr. Walker and The All-Stars
    Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson
    Bernadette - The Four Tops
    What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
  11. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
  12. Ace Of Bass

    Ace Of Bass A Rooster Illusion

    Jun 27, 2006
    Off the top of my head:

    Darling Dear: Jackson 5

    Sparrow: Marvin Gaye

    I Like It: DeBarge

    Bernadette: The Four Tops

    On & On: Gladys Knight & The Pips

    Let's Get It On: Marvin Gaye

    Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: The Jackson 5

    All I Do: Stevie Wonder

    Contusion: Stevie Wonder

    Do I Do: Stevie Wonder

    And so on...
  13. Toronto Bassist

    Toronto Bassist

    Jan 9, 2008
    Darling Dear
    I Was Made To Love Her
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
    Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
    Road Runner
    Heat Wave
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Diana Ross)
    Reach Out (I'll Be There)
    Ain't That Peculiar
  14. :DChilis:D


    Dec 23, 2006
    I swear The Funk Brothers played on everyone of those records. James Jamerson is still the man in my heart.
  15. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Just a BassGuy! Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Since You've Been Gone (Aretha) is one of my all time favs
  16. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Aretha is not Motown.
  17. jacoman


    Sep 7, 2007
    neither were sam and dave
  18. Yeah, great mentions so far. I'm going to +1 on a few and maybe add a new one or two

    Reach Out I'll Be There (Four Tops)
    Bernadette (Four Tops)
    My Cherie Amour (Stevie Wonder)
    I Was Made To Love Her (Stevie Wonder)
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours (Stevie Wonder)
    You Are The Sunshine Of My Life (Stevie Wonder)

    I think "Bernadette" and "I Was Made To Love Her" are some the BEST examples of that classic James Jamerson sound! He had busy fingers but it was ALWAYS groovy!:bassist:
  19. Shadi

    Shadi Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 22, 2008
    Carbondale, IL
    Endorsing: D. Lakin Basses
    Soul Man and Time is Tight are STAX tunes played by Duck Dunn

    Respect, Think, Chain of Fools(really?! I think the bass line sucks) were likely played by David Hood of the Muscle Shoals rhythm Section.

    The rest were James Jamerson.
  20. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    'Think' was Jerry Jemmott. And IMO the bassline to 'Chain of Fools' was appropriate to the song.