Whatever happenend to the bass?? Or...I think I miss the 80's.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by mmbongo, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    What the heck happened?? I recently had a revelation. After hooking up with a band that wants to do a set of just 80's songs, I've been digging back through and finding some good songs for us to do.

    Now I was 14 years old in 1984 just to give you an idea. I did not pay bass at that time, but I was certainly aware of it. I discovered Rush in 1987 and from there it was on.

    But what I was looking for were great 80's songs that were somewhat popular. Songs most folks probably loved back then but haven't heard since then, and when we do them it will trigger something in their brain!

    So here's what I discovered...there were some GREAT bass players in the 80's. Back then, bass was at the forefront. You could hear it. It drove the song. Nowadays (jeez I sound old) the bass is buried in the mix, you can't hear it, and it just sounds like they hired the first guy to show up with a P-Bass strung with flats so he could hide in the background and not stir up any trouble.

    So whatever happened to bass parts like THESE? (I'm not including stuff like Rush or Iron Maiden...not popular enough for the general public, plus we already know these bands are led by bass monsters anyway!)

    If you've never really sat down and listened to the bass in these songs, please do. And if you have similar songs to share, please do.

    The Fixx - Red Skies
  2. Clank


    Jan 7, 2008
    Huntington Beach
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Strings
    Anytime people want me to teach them about bass and what it does in a song I show them "Rio"
    they can pick it out right away and it teaches them about locking in with the kick drum and how to swing without me getting over wordy about it. A great tune.
  3. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Not big on '80's music myself, but Save a Prayer by Duran Duran was a pretty cool bassline. And don't laugh - but Livin On A Prayer has a great Motown-ish element to it, especially compared to all of the pumping 8th notes most other rockers were doing back then.
  4. Queens of the Stone Age has some pretty cool bass parts.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Missing Persons w/ Patrick O'Hearn...check out "Give".

    The Producers w/ Kyle Henderson..."Certain Kind Of Girl", "Body Language", "Back To Basics", etc.

    '80s Bands like Madness, Haircut 100, The Specials, The Beat, etc were cool for infusing Pop w/ Ska.

    By now, most are familar with Kajagoogoo & Nick Beggs.

    If you like Duran Duran, check out Japan w/ Mick Karn.
  6. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Funny enough, I was 14 in 1984 and wasnt playing bass yet, but was definitely aware of it. And I discovered Rush in 86 and have been a huge fan ever since. But, it was the 80's music, notably the early stuff from John Taylor that made me want to play bass! The bass in DD's songs were so upfront and cool that I had to do that. I started playing in 86 and still love playing stuff like Rio for example.
  7. Demon_Hunter

    Demon_Hunter Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    The original version to Red Skies is way better

  8. NineSpine


    Jun 19, 2007
    Sounds to me like you are just listening to the wrong music. Turn off the radio and look online.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

  10. Mr wiggl3s

    Mr wiggl3s Inactive

    Feb 27, 2009
    You've got it all wrong. Rock has never really been a genre for technically skilled musicians, and it doesn't need to be. But, if there are skilled members, it's usually for the guitar though sometimes even that's not really that much needed (AC/DC for example).

    Still, if you're looking for skilled rock musicians, check out Rush.
  11. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ
    The 80's...ugh.
  12. tekhedd

    tekhedd Tone chaser Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Colorado, USA
    Owner/operator of BYTE HEAVEN
    Perhaps, but they are truly awesome live. :)
  13. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater

    May 20, 2005
    I think you guys are missing the point...or didn't read the post. The OP is obvisouly already a Rush fan.

    What you say about it being all about the guitar might be right, but to me the point was that during the 80's, lots of 'mainstream' music had great bass. The kind of bass you get from bands like Porcupine Tree, Umphrey's McGee, Coheed & Cambria, or Spock's Beard today. But outside of a comic book shop or jam band festival, where do you see those bands?

    I agree. I think bass has regressed over the years. It's lost it's edge. It's no longer progressive. There, I said it! Outside of the bands mentioned above, and a handful of others, I'll bet most bass players today wouldn't be able to play Rio.
  14. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    Pearl Jam and Gogol Bordello are two good post-80's bands where the bass is not only noticeable, it usually carries the songs. Obviously, there are many more, but those are two that pop into my head where you can listen to just about any song and hear good bass.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    I knew there was something I liked about Tears For Fears bassist...check out that Warwick! Gotta be one of the earliest Streamers. And could this song BE any more like Sgt. Pepper?

  16. change-jug


    Oct 11, 2008
    The earlier version of Red skies is way better than the newer one. And this is my first time listening to either of them. What the hell is up with the bearded,caped,Zoro looking bassist? Jeeze.
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Yeah like you don't wear a cape when you play.
  18. I doubt it, man... I've seen a good deal of really good bass players over the years. None of them are in the pop/rock realm unless you lump the Foo Fighters or Jane's Addiction in that group. Not to mention all of the ridiculous metal bass players around these days.
  19. Mr wiggl3s

    Mr wiggl3s Inactive

    Feb 27, 2009
    In the mainstream genre's, what instrument has excelled?

    Auto-tune. Everything else is on the decline.
  20. how comes the 80's is back in fashion

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