Back in April, I celebrated bringing my bass playing back into my life with a post showcasing some memorable bass lines in popular music. Lately, I’ve found myself especially drawn to even more fantastic and complex bass lines. I feel like the bass can definitely be an overlooked instrument, but when used successfully, the bass can add extreme depth to a song and create a more interesting sound.
Sure, there are a number of memorable bass lines that might come to mind. Queen’s, “Another One Bites The Dust” or Wild Cherry’s, “Play That Funky Music” have good bass lines, but their simplicity pales when compared to the kind of magic that I’m about to show you. I’m referring to the really complicated ordeal of a bass part. Something that blows your mind away.
First off, I’d like to highlight Uncle Lucius’ bass great, Hal Vorphal. I’ve written about this band on numerous occasions (just search, “Uncle Lucius” in the search bar at the right to see what I mean), but I’ve never given enough credit to their bassist. Recently, I’ve been completely captivated by his mastering of the bass on the song, “Got Over Myself” which is paired nicely in the below video with “Fire On The Rooftop.” The real genius of a bass line can be found in the first song, but the second song also takes advantage of a great bass line further into the jam part of the piece.
A few weeks ago I went to see The Who play at the Verizon Center. The Who performed their album/rock opera, “Quadrophenia” in its entirety which was quite a treat. The Who starts the whole album off with the powerful song, “The Real Me,” which featured one of the most mesmerizing bass presence in any song. I’ve found this video online of someone trying their darndest to keep up with John Entwistle’s original bass part. The video is pretty great because it emphasizes the bass’ role.
When I saw The Who in concert, there were a number of songs where their bassist (an Entwistle substitution) didn’t even play, and instead, the band simply played a recording of their late bass player’s original part. It seems Entwistle was such a bass whiz, that even a replacement the band has had for years, still can’t compare.