Top 10 Best Bassists of All Time

Bass players on instruments like bass guitar, keyboard bass, tuba and several other instruments are an important and integral part of almost all musical genres including rock&roll, heavy metal, soul, jazz or classical music. Bass players vary as instruments and genres mentioned above. Some of them are always in front of the band, others are rather in the background. Among the widely recognized greatest bassists, you can find names of the superstar status known all around the world as well as unknown musicians usually performing in small clubs for an audience of few dozens of people. Let´s read our list of all-time best bassists. How many of these musicians are known to you? Who is your personal favorite? Don´t hesitate to let us know in the discussion.

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10. Donald Dunn (1941 – 2012)

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Donald Dunn, nicknamed „Duck“, was a bass guitar player who played with names like Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas, Albert King or Elvis Presley. Donald was one of many musicians born in Memphis, Tennessee. He was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. He became a legend has a rightful place among all time best bassists.

9. Geezer Butler (*1949)

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Everyone knows Geezer Butler as a bassist for Black Sabbath and also the author of lyrics for the band. Surprisingly for some people, this heavy metal legend was influenced by John Lennon and is strčit vegan and fighter for animal rights.

8. Peter Hook (*1956)

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Peter Hook is another of the English musicians best known for his engagements with Joy Division and New Order. Except playing, he also lectures the master´s degree program at the University of Central Lancashire described as „Music Industry Management and Promotion“. Not bad to be lectured by one of the best bassists ever, don´t you think?

7. Tina Weymouth (*1950)

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Tina Weymouth had no significant ambition to became a professional musician. But when her boyfriend – the drummer Chris Frantz – let her try an instrument and her life has changed. Her natural talent blossomed out and Tina with Chris (who is now her husband) made their success with the Talking Heads band. Despite no musical education or early training, Tina Weymouth is considered to be one of the greatest bassists ever.

6. Mike Watt (*1957)

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Mike Watt best recognized engagement was with rock band Minutemen and Firehose but he plays also on the jazz or punk scene. In 2000, he defeated serious illness and returned on the stage. Mike Watt´s favourite book is Dante´s Divine Comedy which inspired him significantly during work on his The Secondman’s Middle Stand albul.

5. James Jamerson (1936 – 1983)

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Despite being introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and being considered by hardcore musical fans to be among greatest bassists in history, James Jamerson is one of those players virtually unknown to masses. It is because mostly uncredited on many records due to the policy of Motown label. Among records he contributed to, we can find gems like „You Can´t Hurry Love“ or „I Was Made To Love Her“.

4. Paul McCartney (*1942)

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Paul McCartney i sone the most famous musicians of all time. As a member of The Beatles, he entered the pantheon of immortal musical classics. Although it is usually not being mentioned specifically, he is considered to be one of the best bassists ever thanks to performances like his famous Abbey Road Medley.

3. John Entwistle (1944 – 2002)

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John Entwistle was an English artist active not only in music but only in the film industry as a producer. He is best known for his engagement with The Who. In 1990, Entwistle and other members of the band were introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2011, John was voted to be the greatest bass guitar player in history by the readers poll in the Rolling Stone magazine. Any list of all time best bassists can´t be complete without him.

2. Charles Mingus (1922 – 1979)

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Charles Mingus was one of the most prominent jazz musicians and composers. He was strongly influenced by Duke Ellington. Mingus was nicknamed „The Angry Man of Jazz“ because of his temperament. His works made him one of the most influential jazz musicians and one of the greatest bassists of all times.

1. Bootsy Collins (1951)

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Bootsy Collins is one the best bassists ever yet his name is not fully established in the common knowledge. He started his career in the Pacemakers, the backing band of famous James Brown. After this experience, he was active in bands like House Guests, The Spinners, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, GrooveGrass Boyz and others. In 1997, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Now when you know our opinion on the best bassists, what about checking our take on Top 10 Drummers of All Time?


Post Author: SparkInList Staff

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