What are some Must Have Bass Albums?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by 98dvl, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. 98dvl


    Jan 31, 2002

    I'm just getting back into playing my bass after not even picking it up in the last 4 years or so.

    I'm sure the discussion has been brought up before, but I can't seem to find anything in the archives (I tried searching for "must have" and nothing came up).

    I'm hoping to go buy some new CDs this weekend. I'm hoping you guys can recommend some stuff.

    Basically, I'm looking for the most influential/'best albums out there where there's some good bass playing to be heard.

    I've got a lot of Primus and RHCP stuff, so no need to post any of those titles. And, I'm open to all types of music.

    I've heard a lot (but never heard them play) about Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, and I hear about Bela Fleck and the Flecktones a lot. Are there any recommended albums by these guys? Who else is on your "must have" list for listening?


  2. Well, by Jaco Pastorius i can recommend:

    Jaco Pastorius - "Jaco Pastorius"
    Weather Report - "Heavy Weather"
    Weather Report - "8:30" (i think)
    Joni Mitchell - "Shadows and Light"
    Joni Mitchell - "Hejira"
    Joni Mitchell - "Mingus"


    Led Zeppelin II
    The Beatles - Revolver
    Pearl Jam - Versus
    Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
  3. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    Any Rush album produce before 1981 or so.
  4. Frank Zappa - "The best band you've never heard in your life" or "Does humour belong in music?". These album has a large variety of songs and styles that are fun to play along with and some songs that are really challenging.
    The three latest Toto albums (Gift of faith, Tambu and Mindfields) have also influenced me alot.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones - Live Art - Vic live - 'nuff said.

    Stu Hamm - King's of Sleep - This one influenced me a lot, and I don't mean the tapping (only). From his Kubicki day, so he sounds amazing.

    I agree with the Toto stuff, either with Simon Phillips or one of the best rhythm sections ever, Jeff (RIP) and Mike Porcaro.

    to be continued...
  6. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    Yes - Fragile
    Yes - Drama
    Yes - Close To The Edge
    Les Claypools Flying Frog Brigade - Both Discs
    Pink Floyd - Animals
    Any Vanilla Fudge

    As said before, more to come........
  7. must haves....hmm...get some red hot chilli peppers, Incubus-S.C.I.E.N.C.E., and get something you'll enjoy playing.
  8. How about:

    Donny Hathaway Live
    Steely Dan Aja
  9. anything by Sublime is a good bet...
  10. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Anything by "The Who". Live recordings sometimes hide Entwistle's playing, but he plays more interesting lines.

    A favorite recording for me is "Quadrophenia". The raw energy, yet sophisticated writing is a tremendous platform for Entwistle's showcasing abilities!:D

    If you like more modern stuff, one that has me thoroughly impressed is Juan Nelson's bass playing on the CD "Live from Mars" by Ben Harper. He gets a killer tone and is just groovin' the heck out of that band!:D
  11. Definately listen to Ricky Showalter of Liquid Soul.. he has the groove.. The Radiators can be fun, Macy Gray, any Aretha and Wizzard from Mothers Finest.
  12. oozon


    Aug 11, 2001
    Sweden, Malmo
    I would recommend M2, Marcus Miller's latest CD and also a Grammy winner this year.

    By Vic, I would recommend A Show of Hands, his solo bass album, and Live in Amerika, double Live CD.
  13. rhythmrod


    Oct 27, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    Stanely Clarke
    Bootsy Collins (Ahh, The Name Is Bootsy, Baby)
    Mother's Finest
    Rare Earth (Get Ready), if you can find it
  14. anything by George Clinton and Parliament will give you a good concept of funk bass, but i think that a must have album as far as music in general goes (not bass), would be anything by Nine Inch Nails.
  15. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    1) Jonas Hellborg's Temporal Analouges of Paradise. (or most anything else by him.)
  16. 1.the Who - Live at Leeds - smokin', this is the record that got me playing seriously
    2.Yes - Relayer - most obscure Yes but great bass
    3.Jeff Berlin - Pump It! - hard to find but killer, killer bass in Manos de Piedra, Bach, FreightTrain Shuffle.
    4.Jaco Pastorius - if only for 'Portrait of Tracy'
    5.Any of the Miles Davis records w/Ron Carter (I like Miles Smiles and Nefertiti)
    6.Bela Fleck and the Flecktones - Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
    7.RHCP - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
    aside from those, check out these people:
    Andrew Levy - Brand New Heavies
    Oteil Burbridge - ARU and Allman Bros.
    Adam Nitti solo records Balance and Evidence
    Geddy Lee - old Rush up to Signals

    I know I'm forgetting some...
  17. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    I'll put in my 2cents:
    For a great exposure to upright bass playing-(straight-ahead as good as it gets):It's
    worth listening to anything by the Ray Brown trios.

    Stanley Clarke-"School Days" kinda a milestone for Fender, but you gotta listen to James jamerson on Motown to hear where it begins.

    For more modern "trends" in jazz (modal, etc)
    any of Miles' groups, with Ron Carter or the electric stuff like "Bitches Brew" or "Live-Evil"

    Contemporary ass-kickers include Gary Willis, Alain Caron, Richard Bona e.g.

    And for a hallucinogenic experience (theoretically)
    check out Michael Manring's chops.

    Of course there are many more- Wish I could say I'm one of them!!

  18. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Random List:

    Stanley Clarke: School Days, Stanley Clarke;
    Level 42: Level Best;
    Tony Levin/Peter Gabriel: So;
    Michael Manring: Drastic Measures;
    Marcus Miller: Tales;
    John Patitucci: Chick Corea Elektric Band/Inside Out
    P-Funk: Da Bomb;
    Police: Zenyatta Mondatta, Ghost in the Machine;
    Jaco Pastorius/Pat Metheny: Bright Size Life;
    Who Loves You? (Jaco Pastorius Tribute).
    Victor Wooten: Show of Hands.

  19. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Jaco Pastorius
    Weather Report - "Heavy Weather" (with Jaco)
    Led Zeppelin II
    Rush - "Moving Pictures"
    Live Cream
    Gov't Mule - "Life Before Insanity" (with Allen Woody)
    Gov't Mule - "The Deep End Volume I" (with 12 different great bassists)
    Dave Pomeroy - "Basses Loaded" (bass is the only intrument used on this album)
    The Firm - "The Firm"
    Beatles - pretty much any album, particularly "Sgt. Pepper"
    Any of the Motown recordings that James Jamerson played on
  20. Jonas Hellborg: "The Silent Life", this is his third solo bass album, recorded live without overdubs with a Wechter acoustic bass guitar. "Roman" is probably the most beautiful song I've heard performed on a bass. I must say that I prefer Jonas' more acoustic albums over the shred jazzmetal of say "Temporary Analogues of Paradise", but obviously YMMV. Another brilliant album is "The Word", produced by Bill Laswell. I've never heard such an ambitious drummer anywhere, if there's a space, he's right there to fill it. "The Word" is also recorded with an interresting ensamble, acoustic bass guitar, drums and a string quartet...

    Tony Levin: "World Diary", to begin with it's an interresting concept, most of the song are recorded in hotel rooms with local musicians, while Tony was on tour with King Crimson. That leads me to the next tip:

    King Crimson: "Thrak", rhythmically amazing. All hail the double trio.

    Galaxie 500, any album will do, also check out Damon & Naomi's albums. If there's a more melodic bassplayer than Naomi Chang out there, I'm yet to hear her/him.

    Spain: "The Blue Moods of Spain". Spain pretty much lost their uniqueness, and more importantly soul, after their first album, so avoid the later offerings. Sparse is the only way to describe both the songs and Josh Haden's (yes, he is Charlie's son, and dad has even put a cover of Josh's "Spiritual" on "Beyond the Missouri Sky", another great album BTW. There's another version of that song on Johnny Cash's "Unchained", with Flea playing the bass. None of those version are even half as good as the original though) playing. He's also got the best tone I've ever hears, or at least the most appropriate.

    No votes for Rush from me. ;)