Classic rock: top of the best bass lines in history
The best bass lines in classic rock - who do they belong to? What songs include them? How do those strong bass lines sound? To begin with, there is a popular trend in music (and this applies not only to rock) to focus on what is in the center of attention. Sharp guitar solo, high pitched vocals, insane drummer on the kit… But… much less often we encounter an emphasis on bass guitar, don't we? Often holding the groove and providing a solid foundation, the bass player works as a unit with the drummer, creating a foundation for the rest of the band to work on. As the old quote, popular in the world of music, says:
“When you do everything right, people won’t be sure at all that you did something ...”
In most cases, this is true. However, there are also such rare cases when bassists are in the spotlight! And today we will look at the most striking examples of such magic ... So: this is the top of the best bass lines in the history of classic rock!
Entering after a slow, dreamy-sounding intro, Chris Squire jumps straight into a dynamic groove! This driving, funky bass line accompanies the first half of the song. In the second half, she dominates right along with the guitarist! Sadly, Squire passed away in 2015, but his contributions remain timeless... There are countless bass covers of this song and it's still incredibly popular to explore!
"Roundabout" is a jewel in Yes's repertoire: the band has played their hit track at literally every live show since its release. The song peaked at number 10 on the Cash Box Top 100 and entered the top 20 on the US Billboard. Later, Steve Howe and John Anderson - the authors of the hit - were awarded the BMI! The composition itself has not lost popularity over the years, but on the contrary, it has often been used on television and in films.
"Money" (Pink Floyd)
It can rightly be argued that this is one of the most iconic bass parts in the history of music. She makes the track instantly recognizable... Roger Waters creates a surprisingly dirty, greasy Wall Street vibe. Flawless, what else to add?
Is it that the track itself was a big break for Pink Floyd: in total, David Gilmour performed "Money" about 800 times! Needless to say, this work has become an adornment not only of The Dark Side of the Moon album, but also of the band's live performances?
"Come Together" (The Beatles)
There is nothing fast, complex or unusual in this track, in particular - in the bass part. Instead, a crisp, focused bassline was used that propels the entire song forward from start to finish...
Speaking of the song, this is the first track from the album Abbey Road that managed to reach the top spot in the United States! In the band's homeland, the UK, the song entered the top 5 best singles! Today it is included in the legendary list of Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Among the artists who recorded their covers of this hit are Nazareth, Guns N' Roses, Marilyn Manson and even Boris Grebenshchikov!
"The Guns of Brixton" (The Clash)
This reggae-inspired bassline gives the entire band an incredible rhythm to work with... The end result is a uniquely catchy song, definitely one of the crown jewels of The Clash's repertoire. Paul Simonon's creative bass lines helped the band develop their own sound and achieve wide popularity and recognition!
This song was written by Simonon, who spent his entire childhood in Brixton. "The Guns of Brixton" became the basis for most of the band's live performances. Notably, Paul Simonon was forced to switch instruments with Joe Strummer, as he couldn't play the bass line while doing the lead vocals.
"Dazed and Confused" (Led Zeppelin)
This bass line has been listened to for decades, and probably continues to listen to this day. Strong, lethargic and booming, this line starts from a powerful position and continues to evolve as the song develops... The track is constantly evolving and takes the listener on an auditory rollercoaster!
Notably, "Dazed and Confused" was written by American author and singer Jack Holmes. Jimmy Page later reworked it and the Led Zeppelin version became a real hit! By the way: as the author, Page indicated only himself ...
"Another One Bites the Dust" (Queen)
And the icing on the cake is John Deacon's legendary bass line from "Another One Bites the Dust"! Deacon, the songwriter, admitted that he wrote "Another One Bites the Dust" under the influence of the track "Good Times" by the disco group Chic. Subsequently, when the song became a big hit, many listeners who had never seen Queen mistakenly believed that this was a black band! This amused all the participants, in particular, frontman Freddie Mercury ...
Released as a single, "Another One Bites the Dust" is Queen's biggest selling track in the United States! Due to the song's success, Queen decided on "Hot Space", another hit dance-beat track, released in May 1982.