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Where have all the good basslines gone?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Tsal, Jun 1, 2003.

  1. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Listening to today's list pop saddens me. There seems to no longer be basslines there, if you compare todays MTV stuff to what was 'cool' in 70's and so, especially the whole disco and funk era like Rick James' 'Superfreak' (sampled in U Can't Touch This) or Lipps stuff or Kool & The Gang. It's just some pathetic kickdrum here and there, sometimes even not that. Only electric bass you hear is in pop-rock or wannabe-punk like Avril Lavigne or whatever - if it's not mixed under the guitars! :bawl:

    So are there any hit songs with identifiable basslines out there anymore, or will the youth to come know a classic bassline as what Slipknot comes up with their 7-string guitars? :confused:
  2. D'Angelo, "Devil's Pie."

    The four-hooker version of "Lady Marmelade" (admittedly on synth bass, but it's kickin' on 5-string).
  3. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Not only does Slipknot not use 7-string guitars, but they have mentioned in an interview that really hate the use of 7-strings in nü-metal.

    I realize that you made that as a generalization, but I think it's silly for those who are unacquainted with a kind of music to make comments based on a lack of knowledge. If I were to ponder why John Coltrane would choose to play such an awful-sounding instrument as clarinet, I would likely be attacked for such an ignorant comment. I'm not yelling at you, or anything, :) far from it. I just don't like to see people misrepresented.

    To be more on-topic, pop music isn't the place to look for good anything. If you refuse to heed that warning, check out poppy electronic music.
  4. good lines are out there...you just gotta look for 'em.

    some simple,and you can hear 'em good...and some complex and you can sorta hear 'em.

    I don't like the whole drowning out the basses thing w/ guitar. I think the guitar should be at a reasonable level...same as the bass.

    that said...I think Mudvayne does that quite well. the bass cuts through like a beotch. and the guitar is at a reasonable level(Live and on the album). I think all 'society' wants to listen to is easy guitar riffs,easy songs,crappy a$$ teenage lyrics,and punk BS...


    when I wanna hear a good bassline,I usually play something from the 80's-mid 90's...

    like I said,yah just gotta look for it.
  5. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    Pop music is mostly horrible, but it's what makes these people money. skill is not a factor, nor is the bass anymore really. it's all about evil subliminal messages and really simple repetitive tunes that stay in your head, therefore implanting those messages even further. These brainwashed people then feel the need to buy the cds, making the talentless "artists" that much richer, and that much more popular, seducing millions of brainless pre-teens into buying.

    let's hope the few that still believe in talent stay around.

    slipknot may not use 7 string guitars, but they have like 3 of them, and like 2 drummers. if an extra string is bad, why is an extra drummer not? that's what I want to know.
  6. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    1. I find it funny that I am the Slipknot spokesperson. I'm not really a fan.
    2. Slipknot has 2 guitarists and 1 drummer. They have 2 auxilary "percussionists", though, and I assume that's what you're talking about. Latin musicians often have 4 or 5 percussionists playing at once... does that mean they're wankers? I think the percussion is one of 2 redeeming qualities of Slipknot. Since we're already in the middle of a list, let's see if we can start a sub-list, shall we?[/list=1]
      • The aforementioned percussion. They could probably do with just one regular drummer, but it's a nice dense sound you get with 1 regular and 2 extraneous drummer.
      • Some of those guys know what they're doing. My guess is that one or two of them is/are really knowledgable about theory. The arrangements are pretty well-done (on the first album; I've never listened much to Iowa), especially considering the 9 members. They can put things together pretty well. The "vibe", lyrics, image, and all that are quite stupid, though.

      Even if they had 3 guitarists, I don't think that would be a fault. Tom Petty does some great stuff with 3 guitars, among plenty of others. Wow, a post that mentions Slipknot and Tom Petty. Bizarre.

      I think the point that they were making was that it's stupid for people K to o play r 7-strings n when they are only using 3 of those. Sort of like it's stupid for people F to i play e 5-string lbasses d when y they only use one.

      wow, far too much code
  7. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Fieldy does appear to use all his strings, he just doesn't get any pitched notes out of the higher ones, they're purely used for percussive effects.


    P.S. "Fieldy only needs 5"

  8. And Korn guitarrists also play all of the 7 strings on their guits. but most of their main riffs are based on the 7th.
  9. I see where Tsal is going here.

    Back in 1983, Duran Duran was such a hit... with very good basslines coming from John Taylor. As a matter of fact, one hit (Rio) having a sax-bass combo that you rarely find in today's pop.

    From 1977 to 1982 The Jam made an impact if only on the UK (if only? what am I saying? The UK is cool!!!)... and Bruce Foxton's lines were very notable (i.e. kicked some mighty serious behind)...

    Ah, yes may we add three guys who called themselves...The Police? Yeeeeeesss, Sting was getting busy in the day and makin' serious cash.

    Today you have... er... well, indie stuff only...

    Part of the problem is nu-metal's habit of burying bass under the guitars. Another problem: a lot of commercial hip-hop going against the rich funk tradition by not having any bass or synth-bass. Just a wimpy drum machine rhythm and a piano or sample. Nothing In between acting as glue...too dry and lifeless.

    So Tsal I feel ya: I myself had to turn to the older stuff because today the marketing has ruined music...

    go indie.
  10. Coypu

    Coypu Banned

    Feb 24, 2003
    Solution : Don't listen to pop music. All the good basslines have gone to progressive metal so check there instead.

    Spiral Architect is a good example.
  11. There are still some excellent bassists and basslines in indie rock--do yourself a favor and check out Fugazi (with Joe Lally on bass), The Sea and Cake (Eric Claridge), and the Dismemberment Plan (Eric Axelson).

    I don't think the practice of burying the bassline is really limited to nu-metal. However, given that nu-metal is really just hair metal with worse guitarists, better drummers, and different cosmetics, how is it surprising that nu-metal mixing practices are identical to those used in hair metal?
    DjangoKid likes this.
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Nostalgia is a treacherous thing.

    Admittedly, most of today's pop is bad, but so was most of 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s pop. You just tend to forget about the bad stuff and remember the good ones.
  13. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    I think Canada is the place to go for cool bass lines lately. The Tragically Hip, simple yet grooving. Grace,Too is one of THE coolest bass lines. Also, a friend loaned me some Our Lady Peace cds. I was listening in the car and made a mental note to play along at home when I get the time. It's been a long time since a recording made me want to do that!
  14. JMX well that's a very good point.

    The thing is marketing has never been as developed and important as today. So that may have amplified the crapiness of pop.

    Oh yeah there was very bad stuff in the 70s and 80s (I did not live the 60s) and there is good stuff out there today although you have to go indie as Peter McFerrin said.

    But again with entertainment marketing having developed to obscene levels... just made it worse. Video sure hurt too.
  15. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I was in the photo lab and the radio was on a pop station and a Justin Timberlake song came on and it had an ASS KICKING bass line. It funked the ass of anything I'm capable of playing. Great tone and groovin' playing. Whoever the studio guy was... is awesome.
  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Though I guess Mr. Timberlake basses it up on occasion... but I doubt he's you know... hulk hogan or anything.
  17. This is key. As I've always said, it's important to remember that the Beatles' chart competition came from Herman's Hermits and "Harper Valley PTA."
  18. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    The Allman Bros, that's why not :)

    seriously though, oteil's playing on the new one is quite good.
  19. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Sorry, so let's swap 'Korn' in place of 'Slipknot' and everyone will be happy, no?
    7-strings, heavy downtuning.. what's the difference? ;)

    But where's the groove? Will future generations lack bass players, for kids don't hear solid bass grooves to get them exited?

    And oh, I don't think Timberlake's stuff counts, nowadays he's just a Michael Jackson clone.. who by the way HAD nice bass grooves in his songs back in the day, if I recall correctly.
  20. Albini_Fan

    Albini_Fan Banned

    Jan 26, 2003
    Beneath Below
    Micheal Jackson wannabe or not, the latest Justin Timberlake single on the radio GROOVES!