A history of the bass in popular music, from the CDZA web video series


I love anything that starts out with a festooned viol. They should have gone to a 16’ violone after that, though.

I think they left out a few vital names there.
Off the top of my head I’d say:

  • Lemmy
  • Paul McCartney
  • James Last

further suggestions?


The Bass is awsome…wait…we’re talking about an instrument? nevermind.

Sting had some of the best New Wave bass riffs in the late 70’s/early 80’s.

Wasn’t Paul McCartney the “mop top” of the 1960s to whom they referred?

Very cool, even if they spelled King Crimson wrong.

John Jenkins, Christopher Simpson, Marin Marais, Antoine Forqueray. Carl Friedrich Abel?

Very cool. Brother Watt!

Absolutely yes they were referring to Paul McCartney.

This was the best thing I’ve seen all week! Of course, everyone will have opinions (mine is that I think they should have included Geddy Lee) but it was just fabulous. That is one talented bass player.

Les Claypool


Carol Kaye? (The Wrecking Crew)

Les Claypool? (Primus)

Kevin Rutmanis? (Melvins and Tomahawk)

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I don’t know if Scott Thunes was an innovator, but he deserves props for “Valley Girl,” which is one long bass solo.


I’ll throw my votes behind Claypool, Geddy Lee, and Lemmy as well. On the rock side, those guys did much to reinvent the instrument in terms that huge audiences were able to appreciate.

I remember how the very first version of iTunes I ever used had a great many different musical genres listed, but “Primus” was the only band that was its own genre.

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Since were all fussing about our favorites being missing, how come no Jamaican players there?

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