The bass guitar is one of the most exceptional instruments of them all.
Whether you enjoy playing it or simply listening to a song with a remarkable bass line, this list is for you.
Next time someone says that bass cannot be heard, simply show them any of these songs.
1. London Calling – The Clash
An all-time classic from one of the biggest bands in punk rock music.
The soft-reggae-like guitar chords in this song help make the bass line stand out.
2. N.I.B. – Black Sabbath
The first Black Sabbath album presents this track with a powerful bass intro created and played by Geezer Butler.
It’s a great bass intro for musicians trying to move between intermediate and professional playing levels. However, it’s worth pointing out that the bass line throughout the rest of the song is relatively easy to play.
- Although the intro and the song are one and the same track, in early US versions of the album they appeared separately, being “Bassically” the title given to the intro
- The song is about Satan falling in love with a human being. So, we could point out that this is arguably the first metal love song in history
- The name of the song is an internal joke. It’s simply referring to drummer Bill Ward’s beard, which resembled the pointed end of a pen, also known as a nib. According to bassist Butler, the dots between the letters were added later on just to make it more intriguing
3. My Generation – The Who
John Entwistle is recognized as one of the best bass players in rock music. So, we might as well mention the entire The Who’s discography.
We select My Generation not only because it’s one of The Who’s ultimate classics, but also because of the bass solo coming after the second chorus.
- Singer Roger Daltrey’s stuttering is made on purpose to resemble a person on drugs having difficulties modulating properly.
4. Around the World – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Yet another band whose bassist is so exceptional that choosing just one song feels illegal.
Nonetheless, we strongly believe that Around the World is a worthy selection for the list.
5. Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz
The second Gorillaz album Demon Days is packed with hits.
In the case of this particular track, the main reason it turned into a classic is its catchy and memorable bass line.
Plus, it’s really easy to learn it, even for beginners!
6. Give It To Me Baby – Rick James
The very first seconds of this song are an invitation to dance.
What can we say? Bass just fits like a glove with disco and funky music.
7. Sure Know Something – KISS
This iconic hard rock 70’s band decided to give a try to pop and disco in their album Dynasty.
Naturally, if they were aiming for disco-like hits, it was obvious that they would need a memorable bass line in their songs.
Needless to say, they achieved the results with this one successfully.
8. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
Take it easy. We were not going to leave this one out at all!
If Queen was a hit-maker machine, it was just a matter of time before they released one with an unforgettable bass line.
40 decades after its release, Another One Bites The Dust is still on the top as the queen of bass lines in music.
9. Hysteria – Muse
In 2003, British hard rock band Muse released their third album Absolution.
It contained one of the most noteworthy and aggressive bass lines in any rock song: Hysteria.
Ever since its release, plenty of guitarists switched to bass just because of this song. Are you one of those?
10. YYZ – Rush
Geddy Lee is considered one of the best bass players in history.
But don’t believe our words. Instead, believe your ears.
Listen to this Rush’s instrumental and confirm what we just said.
11. Radioactive – Imagine Dragon
Radioactive might not have such an outstanding bass line in comparison to any other song on this list.
However, that doesn’t stop Imagine Dragons from gaining a position here. After all, the bass sound is solid throughout the entirety of the track.
Remember: More often than not, less is more.
12. Longview – Green Day
Mike Dirnt is an exceptional bass player, and in this song, he highlights his playing abilities.
The fact that Billie Joe Armstrong doesn’t play guitar at all during the verses only makes the bass line more significant still.
- Mike Dirnt created this line while on an acid trip. However, he couldn’t remember all of it once he was sober the following day. The final result (the cut we got in the album Dookie) is what he could remember of it
- Longview is Green Day’s first music video
13. Maxwell Murder – Rancid
Bassist Matt Freeman demonstrated that you can be punk and still create a complex bass line.
But for those who were still dubious, he also provided an insane bass solo in the middle of the song. You know, just in case.
14. Lights Out – Royal Blood
At first sight, this song doesn’t seem to have great bass. That is until you realize Royal Blood doesn’t have a guitar player, and that every string arrangement is made with a bass!
Oh, and it has a cool solo too!
15. Around The World – Daft Punk
We’re starting to believe that every song titled Around The World is bound to have a fascinating bass line.
One way or another, this place in the list is not a surprise. C’mon, we’re talking about Daft Punk!
16. Schism – Tool
Metal lovers who start playing bass guitar do it because of this song.
Well, at least it’s one of the many reasons they pick bass.
17. For Whom The Bell Tolls – Metallica
Let’s spice up things a little bit more.
While Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls is not as radio-friendly as the rest of the songs in this list, it’s impossible to leave this track out. After all, it has one of the key bass lines in metal history.
But it’s not a surprise considering how good of a bass player Cliff Burton was.
18. Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
Just when you think we run out of memorable bass lines in pop music Billie Eilish appears and shows us we were wrong.
19. Disco Heaven – Lady Gaga
A bit of a hidden gem in Lady Gaga’s song catalog.
Once you listen to this catchy and prominent bass line, you will wonder why this song is not at the level of tracks such as Alejandro, Poker Face, and Judas.
20. Come Together – The Beatles
The opener track to The Beatles’ Abbey Road.
Paul McCartney has hundreds of incredible and complex bass lines, but the one in Come Together is just too recognizable to leave behind on the list.
21. Roundabout – Yes
Prog-rock enthusiasts know this song because it’s a Yes classic.
The rest of the world knows this one because of the meme.
Either one or the other, you already know this bass.
22. Money – Pink Floyd
Drums and bass guitars go hand in hand. Nonetheless, Pink Floyd thought that cashier boxes were more suitable than drums.
It’s hard to argue that after listening to this track.
23. Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa
Every single note on this song makes you want to stand up and dance all night long.
But all in all, the main moving motor is the fabulous bass line; a perfect balance between complexity, octaves, and rhythm.
13 More Songs With Great Bass
|Billie Jean||Michael Jackson|
|Come As You Are||Nirvana|
|Fall Back Down||Rancid|
|Go Robot||Red Hot Chili Peppers|
|Are You Gonna Be My Girl||Jet|
|Stone Dead Forever||Mötorhead|
|Easy As It Seems||KISS|
|Think For Yourself||The Beatles|
|Psycho Killer||Talking Heads|
|Emergency on Planet Earth||Jamiroquai|
|Got The Time||Anthrax|
|Crazy Train||Ozzy Osbourne|
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.