The 10 best crazy bass songs traverse a number of genres. There’s punk, funk, and hard rock. Here you’ll find slapping, flailing, pounding, popping, and running. And it is all very joyous, the sound of an instrument liberated from its traditional role as a background player.
- Graham Central Station – “Pow.” Graham Central Station was the brainchild of funk mastermind and former Sly Stone slap bassist extraordinaire Larry Graham. “Pow,” one of the band’s more well known singles, is driven by a mind melting bass line, making it one of the 10 best crazy bass songs.
- Primus – “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver.” Who even knows what the heck Les Claypool is playing half the time? On “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver,” Claypool takes to a six-stringed bass and hammers out a finger-tapped line. As with all Primus songs, the lyrics are lamentable and the musicianship unparalleled.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Aeroplane.” What’s a list of the 10 best crazy bass songs without Flea? The madman at the center of the RHCP sound fills one of the band’s forgotten hits with a gliding, melodic chorus line reminiscent of Paul McCartney and a hard hitting slap verse that would make Larry Graham proud.
- The Who – “My Generation.” John Entwhistle was freakin’ nuts. He stood there to stage right with a totally vacant expression on his face, looking like he’d rather be sipping tea than playing hard rock. Yet he was playing some of the best bass ever. His fleet fingered solo on “My Generation” makes the track one of the 10 best crazy bass songs.
- Muse – “Hysteria.” First things first: Chris Wostenholme, Muse’s quiet, virtuoso bassman doesn’t use a pick. While that’s standard operating procedure for funk, most rock bass players don’t leave home without one. Keep this in mind as you listen to the kinetic bass line for “Hysteria.”
- Rancid – “Axiom.” Bassist Matt Freeman is one of Rancid’s defining characteristics. His wild running bass lines give the band’s punk anthems a kick none of their peers can match. On “Axiom,” a driving hardcore song from the band’s second eponymous record, Freeman lets loose with a solo that will blow your mind.
- Parliament – “We Want the Funk.” The bass in Parliament’s iconic hit is all over the pace. In the intro, it’s syncopated and fleeting. During the chorus it’s tight as a drum. During the verse it’s playing a weird, very high succession of notes. All of this makes the funk anthem on of the 10 best crazy bass songs.
- 311 – “Feels So Good.” 311 were overshadowed by a number of their peers though are a great band filled with stellar musician. Bassist P-nut is no exception, and his slap work on “Feels So Good” affirms this. It is one of the 10 best crazy bass songs.
- The Clash – “The Magnificent Seven.” Completely taken with New York City’s burgeoning hip-hop scene and the mid expanding sounds of Jamaican dub producers in the early years of the 20th Century, English punks The Clash combined the two on a sprawling triple LP entitled “Sandinista!” Nowhere was this fusion more fully realized than on “The Magnificent Seven,” one of the 10 best crazy bass lines.
- Rage Against the Machine – “People of the Sun.” Rage Against the Machine bassist Timmy C. was a master at carving the middle ground in the band’s songs, somewhere between the rock solid wrecking ball drumming and loopy guitar work. In “People of the Sun,” all three of these musicians are playing something different, and the syncopation and tightness are perfect.
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