My sister made a nice donation to a local listener run radio station and was awarded with 2 hours worth of DJ programming time, which she then gave to me and the better half. Yes, my sister rocks in a significant way.

Since I did DJ back in college, being on the air doesn't concern me at all. But I now have about 50 minutes (you have to figure in PSAs etc) of air time to fill with whatever music I so desire. What I was considering was to draw on all those great bass songs in my collection and give a hours worth of "greatest hits of bass guitar".

So my question isn't what songs have great bass lines, but if you had to pick 10 songs that gave the average listener a good cross section of how marvelous our instrument of choice is, what songs would they be? (and yes, all songs need to be 5 minutes or under). And I will come back and post in the thread after the show airs to let you all know what eventually got played....
Ooh, nice. Thank her from another bassist. :P

That's a toughy...

I'd go with (in no order):
"School Days" - Stanley Clarke, assuming there's the radio edit. If not that, "Hot Fun"
"Slang" or "Come On, Come Over" - Jaco
"Power" - Marcus Miller
"Time Is Running Out" - Muse
"Like The Angel" - Rise Against
"Two Bass Hit" - Miles Davis (not sure on time, but an absolutely killer track)
"Money" - Pink Floyd
"Take Five" - Dave Brubeck Quartet
"Schism" - Tool
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" - Blue Oyster Cult (I like the line, never really noticed it until I started playing)

That'd be mine. :P
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"Mexican Home" by John Prine.
It's nothing particularly outstanding, but it has one of the catchiest bass lines I've ever heard.

Something a little more wild is "Over the Electric Grapevine" by Primus, but it clocks in at over 6 minutes.
Scoop by Marcus Miller, a DFA79 song, like Romantic Rights, Around the World by RHCP, Orion by Metallica has a bass solo in it, right? And so does Coffe Shop by (Navarro-era) Chili Peppers. YYZ by Rush or a Primus/Les Claypool song would be good as well.

EDIT: I kno Jaco has already been mentioned, but Teen Town would be good. And maybe some Coheed and Cambria, altho the only song that i can think of where the bass is prevalent in a part is Delerium Trigger. And one of the Willing Wells, but all 4 of those come in around 7 minutes each. Also, Suture up my Future by Queen sof the Stone Age has a catchy bass line, and it pretty much drives half the song.

EDIT2: And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman by Dance gavin Dance has some awesome sections where the bass can be heard well. Its post-hardcore, but the bass player plays a Marcus Miller J bass, so he has a really cutting, trebly tone that is awesome. Starlight by Muse, or almost any Muse would be great, Stockholm Syndrome as well, b/c it has an awesome guitar riff, that loud, fuzzed-out part, and the amaaaazing piano riffs.

EDIT3: Sorry about this. Too many songs keep coming to me. If you want to show versatility, Callin' Out by Lyrics Born is an awesome hip-hop song (oxymoron?) with a cool bass intro. Love Cats by The Cure has some awesome stand-up bass in it, and so does Broken Boy Soldiers by the Raconteurs. Maybe you could play You by Bad Religion, altho it would need to be edited, and the bass is a bit faint, mainly b/c its a punk song. But the bass line is a 12 bar blues-style riff. My Generation by The Who has an awesome section from Entwhistle in it that would be great to play. OK, Im done.
Last edited by qotsa1998 at Apr 21, 2008,
Dancing in the moonlight by thin lizzy


give it all by rise against, just for the chorus
hammer smashed face-cannibal corpse..the mini bass solo is amazing..just play that part..than switch to another song
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Tetra-sync by Squarepusher.
The Dance of Eternity by Dream Theater. (Or any Dream Theater)
Squib Cakes by Tower of Power.
Psycopsilocybin by Incubus (or any Incubus really)
Lateralus by Tool (Or any Tool).
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Gotta start 'em off with Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Not too technical, and not really played on a bass, but it is certainly one of the defining bass lines in recent memory.
If you play DFA79 don't do Romantic Rights - do Little Girl or You're Lovely or something.
Steady as She goes-THe Raconteurs
She's Only 18-Red Hot Chili Peppers
Coma-Guns n roses
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Acid Rain by Dream Theater is good has a nice jazzy jam at the end.

I thought Acid Rain was by Liquid Tension Experiment but yes that song.
And the Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin. Such a sweet blues bassline.
Quote by KwikKopy
Some good suggestions have definitely been made, but if you've got the time maybe you wanna read through this:


There are some good ones posted, and then more suggestions from angry users who think the bass line they've mentioned is more "classic".

Thanks but I was looking more for what you personally would do if given 50 minutes of airtime to play your top ten. So let me know KwikKopy!

And I'll probably pull at least a JPJ on my list, but it won't be Dazed and Confused, lol.
I'd possibly pick some of the following:

Queens of the Stone Age - God is in the Radio
Kyuss - Phototrophic (or Jumbo Blimp Jumbo or maybe Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop)
Death From Above 1979 - You're Lovely (but you've got lots of problems)
Black Sabbath - Electric Funeral
Portishead - Glory Box (it's probably a sample, but I don't know where from if it is)
Sleep - Dragonaut
Masters of Reality - Rabbit One
Mastodon - Seabeast
Mark Lanegan Band - When Your Number Isn't Up
Rammstein - Seemann (I always mention that song, but it's such a great lick on bass)
I think this kinda stuff needs some flow to it - grab the listener first, and once you have their attention, THEN stretch out. Nobody's gonna listen to a Cannibal Corpse bass solo as a first song, or Slang. I think you want some "songy songs" before you start getting out there. However, I like playing songs that are... recognizable by fans, but not by mainstream dudes. You might remember the song from somewhere, or heard the band play another song. However, I think you gotta throw in a classic every now and then.

1) I'd start off with Jump Into The Fire (single version) - Harry Nilsson. I always hawk this song, and nobody says anything about it. It's the best bass line ever. And it was in Goodfellas.

2) The Real Me - The Who. I love the "lead bass" verse, and I think the pedaling in the chorus is just fantastic - I just wished Enty did it some more.

3) Maxwell Murder - Rancid. Love it, hate it, I think it's a blast. The song's really really happy, bouncy, cute and fun - and the bassline's the reason why.

4) Big Bottom - Spinal Tap. Explanation needed + is = no.

5) Bring it On Home - Led Zeppelin. A great bassline, and it's clear that the song doesn't start to get good or heavy until the BASS kicks in.

6) Take a Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed. Lou Reed was a great lover of the bass and this one has both an upright and electric fretless doing some incredible but simple work. If only Lou cared about lyrics and his own guitar playing like he did bass...

7) Hejira - Joni Mitchell - The bass makes this song fantastic. It takes something special to make a Joni Mitchell song sound fantastic. Yeah, a bit over 5 minutes.

8) Birdland (single) - Weather Report (live, off 8:30). Best drum/bass combo EVER. PERIOD.

9) Kuru - Jaco Pastorius. OK, take out "Speak Like a Child" to get it under 5 minutes. Purely intense and very driving without being overly fancy - until he follows with the strings and blows your mind. Great mix with the drums/percussion too.

10) The Enormous Room - Micheal Manring. A very interesting and beautiful piece that would be a great ending while introducing the listener to something they've never heard anything like and probably never will again.

OK, I cheated a bit, but that's how I'd play it. Start off straightforward, and then loosen it up a bit. When you're trying to highlight an instrument, you want to show it's cool, jazzy, heavy, and most importantly, FUN. That was one of the things that made Van Halen so important - it made the guitar fun again.
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gotta have working man and yyz by rush...my generation by the who
Last edited by Crazy Horse at Apr 21, 2008,
I agree with Fitz that the playlist has got to flow somehow, but I can't give a list of songs that DO flow together. So here are my suggestions:

- "Waiting Room" by Fugazi. Great memorable bass intro, good song by one of the leading post-punk bands that influenced countless others.

- "Disposition" by Tool. JC's exploration of effects and harmonics to create sound textures on the bass are a must.

- "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson.

- "D.A.N.C.E" and "DVNO" by Justice both have amazing basslines.

- "Disco inferno" by the Trampps. A classic.

- "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson. One of the best pop basslines ever.

- "The Widow" by The Mars Volta. Beautiful fretless work

- "Adhan" by Michael Manring. Probably the most beautiful song I've ever heard on bass.
exactly what fitz said but power by marcus miller instead of hejira by joni mitchell
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Thanks but I was looking more for what you personally would do if given 50 minutes of airtime to play your top ten. So let me know KwikKopy!

And I'll probably pull at least a JPJ on my list, but it won't be Dazed and Confused, lol.

Ohhh okay. Well in that case I would play "Power of Equality" by Red Hot Chili Peppers... for 50 minutes!
dance dance-fall out boy
insert sarcasm here^
primus would be good, maiden would be better im thinkin- phantom of the opera but its over 5 min u could just play that much though
A great song with a great bassline, by a band I'm sure a lot of Americans know about- Not Falling by Mudvayne (or World So Cold, it's a little less harsh). We all know how good Ryan Martinie is, nd this song shows it. A great line in the verse, some time changes, and a great presence.
hyesteia by muse
mr pink by level 42
young lust by pink floyd
take the powe back by rage

also i agree with the rush suggestions and seemann by rammstein!
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Around the World - Daft Punk
Take a walk on the wild side - Lou Reed
Another one bites the dust - Queen
Money - Pink Floyd
Good Times - Chic/Rappers Delight - The Sugarhill Gang
Take the Power Back - Rage Against the Machine

Heres a website with "the 100 greatest rock basslines"
I suggest some Coheed & Cambria. Maybe The Running Free, awesome example of how the bassline makes everything else sound good.

And of course - One Better, by Les Claypools Fancy Band. I will get very sad if it isn't played.

On top of that, i would suggest pretty much everything else thats already been posted here. But that would be kinda pointless, wouldn't it?
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