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Best All-Time Bass Riffs?

Billy K.

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Since we were talking about distinctive guitar riffs....let's move onto bass. Of course there are a lot of good bass fills within songs...but how about the riff that makes the song......

Of course, "Another One Bites the Dust"....which

was wrongly put in with the guitar riffs.

But here are some others:

"We Gotta Get Out of this Place"- Animals

"Dance Dance Dance"- Beach Boys

"Blood and Roses"- Smithereens

"Black is Black"- Los Bravos

Anyone can think of any more??

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Oh I have many - many - many - I'll have to sit and write down a list ahahahahhahaha - bass is my favorite instrument.

Let's start with Higher Ground either version -

Jeffrey Osborne's Stay with Me Tonight

How Many More Times - Led Zeppelin

Happy Jack - The Who

Oh my head is spinning lmfao!!!

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"Riffs" or "solos" or "laying the foundation"??!!

Well, anyway.....here are mine in no particular order (except the first one):

1. My Generation (THE reason why I wanted to be a bass player!)

2. The Real Me - The Who

3. Live With Me - Rolling Stones/Bill Wyman

4. She's Not There - The Zombies/Chris White

5. California Girls - Brian Wilson written/Carol Kaye peformed

6. What's Going On - James Jamerson for Marvin Gaye

7. Barney Miller Theme - Chuck Berghofer

8. Get Up/Sex Machine - Bootsy Collins for James Brown

9. Nowhere Man - The Beatles/Paul McCartney

10. Money - Pink Floyd/Roger Waters

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"Let's Get it On"-Marvin Gaye(but of course, Jamerson again!)

"Subculture", "Bizarre Love Triangle", and "Regret"----Peter Hook(New Order)

"Royal Orleans"-John Paul Jones(Led Zeppelin)

And who did the "Seinfeld" theme? Very recognizable little bass riff....

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Seinfeld theme should be disqualified. I once saw a piece on the guy that did the music for the show - its done on a keyboard.

Stand By Me - Ben E. King (player?)

Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding (the great Duck Dunn I believe)

Rain - Beatles

The Joker - Steve Miller Band

Under Pressure - Queen & Bowie (John Deacon)

Sloop John B - Beach Boys (Carol Kaye)

Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin - Sly & Family Stone (Larry Graham)

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Not to nitpick but Keith played bass on "Live With Me" And since we've strayed from just riffs I gotta go with (partial list - I'm sure more will come to me later):

"I Was Made To Love Her" STEVIE WONDER (James Jamerson - not Carol Kaye as she has claimed)

"Son Of A Preacher Man" - especially the fade - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (Tommy Cogbill)

"Boogie On Reggae Woman" - STEVIE WONDER (Stevie Wonder - and yes I know it's a synthesizer, but what a bass line)

"Burning Love" - ELVIS (Emory Gordy Jr.)

"Groovy Situation" - GENE CHANDLER (I have no idea who it is - someone out of Chicago I'm sure - but it's an insane bass line. Very inventive.)

"Something" - THE BEATLES (McCartney - Hard to choose just one, but if I did, it would be this)

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RP50 I think you're right about Emory Gordy playing on "Burning Love", but because Jerry Scheff toured with Elvis around the same time, I always thought it was him playing bass on the track. Either way, incredible bass line.

Speaking of tv themes, who played the bass line on the "Barney Miller" theme song? What a riff that is!

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Anything by Duck Dunn, James Jamerson, David Hood or Larry Graham

Lost Woman - The Yardbirds (Paul Samwell-Smith)

Everybody's Been Burned - The Byrds (Chris Hillman)

So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star - ditto

Changes - Moby Grape (Bob Mosley)

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I always thought Jerold Johnson(left handed Jamaican guy---also played with Dave Mason and Steve Miller later on)played the bass on "Burning Love"

There was a live video of him backing Elvis on this song, and he really SMOKED! Apparently he played live with Elvis, but not in the studio on this song, from what you guys are telling me....

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Thanks Cosmik, for bringing this up. I had no idea that the "Seinfeld" theme was done on keyboard.

Shades of the time when all these bassists were tying to bang out the line from Parliament's "Flashlight"----which was done on


Carol Kaye did the bass on "I Was Made to Love Her"----but it was the version on the Beach Boys' "Wild Honey" album.

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Carol did play on the Beach Boys version of IWMTLH but there has been a controversy going on for years between her and the Motown people because she also claims to have played on Stevie Wonder's version. Along with a lot of other famous songs that she didn't play on. I'd love to see a video of Jerold Johnson backing up Elvis. The only bass players I've ever seen him play live with were Bill Black and Jerry Scheff. Is this video you speak of on YouTube?

And I have to add another one of my favorites to the list - "What Is and What Shall Never Be" LED ZEPPELIN - John Paul Jones

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