Who are the Most Covered Bassists? (data inside)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Ukiah Bass, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    From my blog:

    Data provided by WhoSampled.com offers a list of the "Most Covered Artists."


    Of these, here are the "Most Covered Songs." (Notice how The Beatles have six of the top 20.)


    Based on the Most Covered Artists data, here is my list of the "Most Covered Bassists." Even though most of these bassists did not write the covered songs, their styles have influenced you and me far more than we ever will know. Based on the fact that Paul McCartney did write his songs, and that those songs are among the most covered, it's logical to award him the status of being the "Most Influential Bassist" of the modern pop era.


    (Sorry, I tried to insert it here but TalkBass's primitive interface won't allow the insertion of the interactive HTML table.)

    Attached Files:

  2. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I'm surprised Elvis is that far down on the list.
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 especially given his place on the list for record sales and popularity.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest

    This is some really cool info and a much welcome break from the "what bass is right for me?" or "I just got kicked out of my band...." threads I was just getting ready to take a Talk Bass break thank you.
  5. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Interestingly, Elvis himself was primarily a "cover musician." He wrote virtually no songs, and as for the ones he is credited with writing, I understand these were mainly deals where he put his name on it and paid someone else for the songwriting.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...in Elvis' hey-day-
    Song was composed by a composer
    Song was arranged by an arranger
    Song was eventually assigned to a performer
    IMO, performers such as Elvis, were not expected to compose anything.

    Buddy Holly & The Beatles helped change that.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Looking at the "Most Covered Songs"-
    Ok, maybe those songs have been covered by various recording artists...how many of those have a typical cover band actually played?
    I count 3 for me.
    "Ain't No Sunshine" (recent, too...revamped at that. Check out Sting's version with his Soul Cages band)
    "Light My Fire"
    "House Of The Rising Sun" (Doesn't every garage band do this?)
    I don't recall playing any of those Beatles' tunes in an actual band situation.

    What say you?
  8. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Beatles - And I Love Her, GREAT song for a wedding band AND a bar band!
  9. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    I say it's damn hard to cover the Beatles WELL. Their "signature sound" is three-part harmony. Most bar bands can barely sing in tune. Dual harmony done well is rare. 3-part harmony is -- well, the sound of the gods. Or the Beatles.
  10. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    I never in a million years would have guessed wham! "Last Christmas" would be anywhere near that list
  11. Neener

    Neener Grumpy Old Dog

    Feb 25, 2007
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Depeche Mode? I know Marilyn Manson and Johnny Cash both covered "Personal Jesus' but come on, seriously, Depeche Mode?
  12. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I would imagine "jazz standards" would beat out 'The Beatles" and "traditional folk" had it been included.
  13. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Not to mention Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and many others.

    Back in the day, many major artist's names appeared on the LP/45 labels are writers, even though they didn't write any of it. Otis Blackwell wrote some of Elvis' biggest hits, but you'll see his name AND Elvis' name on the record as writers. Even worse, Chuck Berry described how guys who "weren't within 500 miles of me" when he wrote some of his biggest hits somehow ended up with their names right next to his in the writing credits. As I understand it, it's about getting a piece of the publishing rights.
  14. I was under the impression this would be a thread about cover bands, not established artists that recorded covers or somehow sampled parts of the songs.

    I never would've guessed Depeche Mode either. I was thinking more along the lines of Michael Anthony in "Running With the Devil." Flea's cover of "Higher Ground." Stuff that bassists attempt to do ad nauseum, including myself.

    Sort of like "Stairway to Heaven" is to guitarists.
  15. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I don't know 8 of the top covered songs :-x

    What's wrong with covering Depeche Mode? They're a pretty iconic and influential band with a lot of recognizable songs. Anyone who's ever used synths/made electronic music past the 80s is probably influenced somewhat by them, in electronic they're a major influence, they're like the Zeppelin of the genre.

    Also because its all synths, i think it can be fun to try to cover them on traditional instruments. A few years ago i was working on Behind the wheel which i plan to go back to someday.
  16. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Last Christmas was the number one Christmas song:eyebrow:. I am guessing the methodology didn't count public domain songs.
  17. SlappyWhite

    SlappyWhite Banned

    Mar 6, 2014
    Who covers Led Zeppelin, besides a couple of tribute cd's?
  18. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    There are very few Beatles songs with 3 part harmony. Most of the time, there are 2 part harmonies. Generally, Paul or John sing lead, and then John or Paul sing a harmony, and if George is also singing, then it is doubling one of the parts.

    Then you have the ones where one Beatle sings a lead part, while the other two sing a two part harmony behind it, (Help!, Nowhere Man, Here There & Everywhere, etc)

    Then you have the TRUE three part harmony songs, such as Sun King, Because, and when they do that on the Abbey Road songs, they freely admit they were trying to imitate the Beach Boys, and those are truly doubled three parts, where each Beatle sang their part twice.

    Live, you rarely hear an actual three part harmony from the Beatles.

    That being said, John Paul and George were all really good harmony vocalists, which is a skill all of its own. They did unusual harmonies, and did a great job of switching majors and minors along with the guitar chords, and believe me, they didn't put much thought into it; it just came naturally.
  19. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    In the dog house.
    No Mustang Sally, Freebird, Sweet Home AL, Brown Eyed Girl...:confused:
  20. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Love Me Tender is the tune "Aura Lee" (Civil War period). Elvis was credited, along with others.

    I think that "Yesterday" has somewhere OVER 1,500 covers. This could be verified with The Harry Fox Agency, if anyone wants to do the leg work.