Classic Rock Junkie wrote:
Since I'm learning bass now, and have always loved Bass (and listened to it) nearly as much as I've loved drums, here's what I have to say.
James Jamerson has a solid #1, if it ever changes, everything else on the list may as well mean nothing.
Same with The Ox at #2
I love Graham, and I think he has a solid spot, but not as assured as the first two
Chris Squire is my favorite Bassist of all time, and I think he easily deserves the spot. Could you guys who are really, really good at bass and gave him a 15/15 on creativity explain to me what makes him so great? I know why I think he is, but I'd like to here from a good bassist whose been playing for years. And the roundabout bassline makes me jizz every time I hear it.
Bruce was awesome
Tony Levin is the most skilled bassist I know, he is very creative too IMO, I'd give him his spot
McCartney kicks Lee's ass IMO, and needs the 7th spot.
I'd back Lee up to number 9 actually and switch him the Johnson.
Claypool is fine.
Everything else sounds good, so what can you guys tell me about what I don't know about bass players? How ridiculous is Squire/Claypool/Graham. I listen to them, and understand them, but from a playing perspective, what do they do 'with' the bass that is so special? The more I learn the better (and I know they're all geniuses ;))
The Who is my 3rd favorite band so I know everything about Entwistle's style, playing, and best performances, since I've been listening to him all my life.
One thing that is important to remember is everyone learns from those who came before. It's kind of like climbing stairs. The present generation has the huge advantage of learning from the previous generation. I've been playing since 1972 so I'll give it a shot. I would like to add that I believe the criteria are too restrictive as I firmly believe that versatility and improvisational ability are extremely important.
Larry Graham: Invented the slap and pop style of bass playing. Inventing a new style that has become ubiquitous gives him huge points in influence, creativity and probably technical prowess. His ranking IMO is too high because he lacks versatility.
Chris Squire: Also had a unique style and rated high in creativity compared to his peers and also is high in influence but like graham seems stuck in that style and lacks versatility.
Claypool: a virtuoso with a high level of skill and versatility but quite frankly I don't like listening too him much but that is just personal opinion.
McCartney certainly does not "kick Lee's Ass" IMO but deserves a higher ranking because of his extremely high level of creativity, versatility, and influence, and musicality, especially when compared to his peers. Personally I would put him at #3.
Lee is high in creativity, influence and technical skill IMO and should be rated higher.
Entwistle is, well, Entwistle and has always pushed the boundaries to make himself better and is high in influence, creativity and musicality and deserves #2.
Jamerson deserves #1 because he almost single handedly changed the way bass is played in popular music by bringing a Jazz sensibility. He developed playing that used harmonic and syncopated rhythmic structures not used in popular music previously. There is bass playing before Jamerson and after Jamerson. Probably the only other bass player that had as much influence on Bass Guitar was Jaco Pastorious but he isn't on the list because he didn't play Rock. If he did I would put him at #2. Quite honestly I don't think Marcus Miller should be on the list for the same reason. While he did play on some Rock Sessions he's primarily a Jazz player.
Tony Levin is a solid versatile Bassist but personally he doesn't excite me in any way.
I always liked Bruce and his Jazz influenced melodic style but he never seemed like he deserved a top 10 spot except that he was good compared to his peers.