Slappin’ Da Bass: 8 of the Best Bass Lines of All Time

Let’s face facts, the bass is the most underrated component of any successful rock band. Bassists tend to fly under the radar while the front man or guitarist gets all the glory. It’s time to put a spotlight on the instrument that is the backbone of any great song, here’s 8 of the best bass lines of all time.

The Beatles – Come Together

One of the most popular songs off all time starts things off as “Come Together” was deliberately recorded with a heavy bass line to avoid similarities to Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me”. In 1973, Chuck’s publisher sued anyways and settled out of court. Here’s John Lennon playing the classic below.

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

The bass line pretty much is this entire song, as the synth ends up replicating it for the chorus. Peter Hook has always been a top regarded bassist and this song is his first true masterpiece.

New Order – Blue Monday

Moving into the 80’s, New Order transformed their sound post Joy Division and a shining example is “Blue Monday”. While the rest of the band experimented with new synthesizers, Peter Hook and his trusty bass laid down one of the best bass lines of the 80’s. Dance your rainy day away below.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way

It wouldn’t be right if Flea didn’t make the list. I’ve always wondered how he got that nickname – apparently, parts of the band were on a ski trip and Kiedis gave him the name Flea because he was always bouncin’ off the walls. Not surprising not hear considering his wild on stage presence.

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust

Yeah, you could easily sub in “Under Pressure”, but there’s something about this song that brings out some serious attitude. John Deacon was not only the long time bassist of Queen, but also a major songwriter. He wrote this song along with a few other big hits for the band.

Pink Floyd – Money

Talk about an opening bass line that sets an attitude, “Money” was Pink Floyd’s first big hit as it reached to tenth in the charts. Recorded in 1972 at Abbey Road Studios, it set a precedent that Pink Floyd was big and there to stay.

Interpol – Evil

One of the most underrated bands of all-time, Carlos Dengler’s epic bass line serves as the backbone to their most popular song. It also produced a pretty interesting music video, check it out below.

Gang of Four – Damaged Goods

My obsession with this song is why it’s closing this thing out. Top 5 punk rock songs of all time, IMO. It’s one of the few songs where your ears focus on the bass the whole time instead of the guitar riffs. Gang of Four is still touring as we speak, but unfortunately without original bassist Dave Allen.

More from Andy Koval
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