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Where’s the BASS at? Ten remarkable bassists…




We’ve all heard music change through the years, it doesn’t matter if your genre of choice is country, gospel, R&B, rock, pop, or rap. They tone and lyrics are drastically different from those that were at the top of the charts at the beginning of recorded music well into the 20th century.

But who’s had the biggest bass boost across the charts for the fans of the booty poppin’, body droppin’ dance scene and who’s who in the super bass current music industry?

The 11 I’ll list are in no particular order or genre preference and some may just surprise you. First up, Beastie Boys “Sabotage” which won the 1994 group of rappers a 2009 Best Video Award at the MTV Video Music Awards after several prior nominations through the years and went certified gold. “Brass Monkey” was another hard-hitting single released by the group.

Next up, Rick James and “Give It To Me Baby” circa 1981. The song earned him top honors on the US R&B charts peaking at #1, while it peaked on the US Billboard charts at #40 and #47 on the UK charts. Released in the same light as popular song “Super Freak” which earned the #1 spot on the US Dance charts and peaked at #3 on the US R&B charts as well.

Diving into the alternative rock world head-on, “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes makes the list and tops charts across 7 charts worldwide all peaking below the 100th position. This rock duo consists of Jack and Meg White, a husband-wife team who have released 6 studio albums, 2 live albums, 1 EP, 28 Singles, 4 video album and 15 music videos…. They’ve been making music together since 1997 including a breakup in 2000 and many works together over the years since then.

Let’s stick to rock for a moment and lighten it up just a bit by further nominating Queen and “Another One Bites The Dust”, this thumping bassline is unmistakably why the song was the group’s biggest single. The song took inspiration from one of our other nominees (Chic). Furthermore, it was released by suggestion of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. (Guess what!? MJ is yet another nomination!)

If those four haven’t given you the body soothing vibrations of a master masseuse, we’ll go ahead and discuss contributions by Michael and Chic since we’ve mentioned them. The King of Pop makes the list for the first breakout hit on the Thriller album, “Billie Jean”.  Released by Epic Records on November, 30, 1982, the pop, R&B, rock, funk musical genius, dance inventor, and monster creator delivered mind-blowing bass with the creatures of the night.

Chic is nominated for “Good Times” a golden oldie from 1979. Ahh, the good ole days of Soul Train… and funky cats getting’ their groove on…. Still very effective when played in the club or at a wedding to get your guests doing their own disco fever impressions or blending the current hip-hop artistry with the back-in-the-day swagger. (Do you hear a hint of Queen’s baseline nomination? How could we leave the originators off the list!)

Perhaps the oldest song to make the list is credited to the Parliament (more notably known as George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic) having been released in 1978. And was featured predominantly in the #1 position on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles from March 4 – 25, 1978. Aside from a booty shakin’ baseline that’s actually played on a keyboard, the song also incorporates some mad brass skill.

The last of our retro groups nominated is Earth Wind & Fire with their futuristic styled “Let’s Groove”. This song was also featured on Soul Train as it was the largest visible community of dancing and reality TV of the times. Unlike our reality shows, there were no one person acts that were judged and a winner crowned or rewarded, it was simply a dance extravaganza that one was honored to be part of and everyone enjoyed their camera time.

Fast forward to current day musicians like the outright wild Red Hot Chili Peppers, who mux funk, rock, and alternative genres to create what sometimes comes across as one Hot Mess. Members of the band include Anthony Kiedis (lead vocals), Michael “Flea” Balzary (bass), Chad Smith (Drummer) and John Frusciante (guitarist at the time), who left the band mid-tour in 1992 and returned in 1998 only to leave again in 2009. The single “Give It Away” makes the list for the bone rattling bass thumps that are only accentuated by the sweet sound of “Flea” on bass. 

And finally Green Day with “Longview”, in just the opening you hear the beat of a bongo, the individual strums of each guitar chord, that seem to “take you away”. Allegedly the looping bassline was written by the Bay Area punker Mike Dirnt while reportedly tripping on acid. But hey, it put these boys on the map right?

Who would you add to this list?

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