Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rock Revival's Top Twenty Bass Players of All Time

I have not kept this list to rock but rather tried to look at the best players in any genre. This one took alot of thought, let me know what you think.

1. Charles Mingus


The ultimate bass prodigy, played with Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton in the 40's, a legend of hard bop and free jazz but a man who could swing (see Blues and Roots Album, wow !)

2. Billy Sheehan

Played with Talas, David Lee Roth, Steve Vai and G3 and perhaps most significantly the brilliant jazz-rock fusion band, Niacin. The timing and sheer funk power of his playing with this band gives him the #2 spot

3. Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone)

Funk pioneer who invented the slapping sound, which he calls "thumpin and pickin'

4. James Jamerson

As the uncredited bass player on so many Motown hits he is probably one of the most important bass players there has ever been; prime influence on 2 above, on John Entwhistle.

5. Marcus Miller

Marcus's music falls squarely within the popular fusion mould and while the music itself may not be to everyone's taste the bass playing is beyond belief

6. Eberhard Weber

ECM Jazz player; he plays it like a synthesiser, with a bow and electronics attached, waves of sound, a heart wrenching that has the same effect as the sax of his colleague Jan Garbarek

7. John Entwistle - The Who

Known as The Ox or Thunder Fingers, he did what a rock bass player does best. He's the safety net that hangs things together while Daltrey, Moon and Townhend walk the tightrope

8. Ron Carter

I'm picking him almost purely because of a Live in Montreaux tape I once had of him with Milt Jackson, but he is one of the premier bass players in Jazz, also plays the cello, does classical, etc.

9. Stanley Clarke

Listen to him on the Return to Forever and Light as a feather albums with Chick Corea from the early 70's......the Jimi Hendrix of the bass

10. Chris Squire - Yes

I'm choosing him because the bass was integral to Yes's sound, the complexity, the changes in time signatures, all add up to a genius bass player

11 Geddy Lee (Rush)

Probably better known for his vocals voice, he's lited because the band has only three members, making the bass a critical instrument for a band who'se music is complex prog. Listen to him on Permanent Waves

12 Bootsy Collins (Parliament/Funkadelic)

The funkiest band that was ever beamed down to earth; bass critical

13 Jaco Pastorious

Takes the bass places where it never went before; incredibly intricate solos and master of harmonics

14 Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad)

Incredible grooves that defined the band; heavy as hell, makes your bones shudder

15 Jean-Jacques Burnel (The Stranglers)

The bass also defines the Stranglers in their first punk phase; a menacing sound at the forefront.

16 Roger Glover (Deep Purple)

One of the masters and one of the few who could keep up with Richie and Iam Paice.

17 Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)

Listen to the Intro of Waiting for an Alibi; enough said

18. Victor Wooten

Three times winner of Bass Player of the Year from Bass Player Magazine. He's number 18 because his constant slapping seems a bit anachronistic; he is a technical genius

19. Aston Francis Barrett

It's impossible to talk about the bass without including reggae and he is the master. I've seen the wailers live and he makes your teeth hurt.

20. Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

Can't stand their music to tell you the truth but his funky bass playing needs credit.

13 comments:

ArtSiren said...

I can imagine you put a LOT of work into this list! Thanks! Some great bassists, including a few of my favourites - Stanley Clarke, Louis Johnson, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten. I'd have slipped Mark King into the mix as well. Good job though!! I enjoyed discovering some new ones.

Richard Salit said...

You missed a few that I would include: Jack Bruce, Phil Lesh, Danny Thompson, Jack Casady, Paul Chambers.

pcw said...

glad you included Geddy Lee in that list.

Anonymous said...

I'd rank Mark King up there too.

Anonymous said...

I just read a list of a so called 100 top rock bassist and Mel Schacher wasn't on there. I discarded the picks as bogus. So glad to see you understand what a bass plyer is supposed to be.

Kathryn said...

Ouch....No John Paul Jones. Can't have Entwistle and not JPJ.

Anonymous said...

I would've thrown Geezer Butler in there somewhere, but there are so many other greats on the list, I'm not sure who I'd remove.

Anonymous said...

wheres BOOTSY he's got the FuNk, not stupid flea.

Anonymous said...

dude where is les claypool?

Anonymous said...

Where the hell is John Paul Jones!? The mighty Jonesy, easily top 5.

Lucas said...

As far as the Funk, Chops and overall master of the instrument is concerned, you must have Rocco Prestia of Tower of Power. He is hands down one of the most powerful bass players of all time.

oceantracks said...

No McCartney?

Hysterical.

TH

Anonymous said...

how is les claypool not on there you guys are nuts and flea, les claypool, and geddy lee should be 1 2 and 3