After a really good discussion about drummers a few weeks ago (thank you all very much for adding to it), how about the best bass players?
I know, I know. Difficult. Divisive. Just list your favourites, if you want to.
As today is Mark King’s birthday, here he is proving why he should rank highly on such a poll, explaining one of the techniques that puts him there.
A few more talented bass players that, I believe, should occupy positions in a suitably-titled Top Ten (strictly in alphabetical order, I’m not stupid) are:
– Jack Bruce (Cream)
– Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone)
– Geddy Lee (Rush)
– Lemmy (Motörhead)
– John Myung (Dream Theater)
Two of the above-mentioned, you may also have noticed (in which case, you might want to take the advice that I’ve just given myself upon such realisation and get a life!), appeared with David on that cherished French & Saunders comedy sketch.
I haven’t overlooked the many fine players with whom David has frequently shared stages, studios and session musician acknowledgements down the years (thinking mainly of Guy Pratt, of course, as well as Cardiff’s finest, Pino Palladino). Examples of what you consider to be their best work would be especially nice to read about.
By the way, if you missed them, there are a few bass-related answers from Guy in response to the questions that you put to him back in 2006 – here.
If mouse-clicking and -dragging is all your cold fingers can manage on this chilly October afternoon, here’s the NME’s latest poll, should you wish to contribute to it. As soon as you vote for one by choosing how many stars he or she deserves, another will follow. Stick with it; I don’t know who many of them are either, but the ones you’re most likely to be thinking of will appear soon enough (although, at the time of writing, there is an embarrassing misspelling of the name you’re probably waiting for with most curiosity).
You might want to do what I did: keep going until boredom sets in, then shamefully realise that you’ve ruined the results because you’ve been giving mediocre ratings to the ones you don’t know just because you don’t know them.
If you do know some of the younger, hairier, more tattooed, pierced and masked bassists featured in the NME poll, and are familiar with their work, please recommend a track or two that best represents them for the rest of us to try.
If you don’t know of Nicky Wire, for example, have a listen to ‘Archives of Pain’ by the Manic Street Preachers; that begins with an eerie and infectious bass line.