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Thread: Bass (and other uncommon) Riffs

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Bass (and other uncommon) Riffs

    Guitar is featured in alot of popular music. Piano is another instrument that tends to dominate the scene when its present. Less common are songs that feature really cool bass lines. I have to admit I'm a real sucker for walking bass lines and will usually crank up the volume if I hear anything interesting in terms of bass riffs. Yesterday I heard the old Motown tune "Treat her like a lady" (by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose) and realized that tune is one of my all time favorites simply because of the cool driving bass line it has. Another one of my faves is "Stir it Up" (Bob Marley & the Wailers) which is carried by the bass. There just aren't that many tunes, though, that feature bass that prominently. Can you think of any tunes that have particularly cool bass lines or feature a nonstandard instrument prominently? (...I need more cowbell!)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Guitar is featured in alot of popular music. Piano is another instrument that tends to dominate the scene when its present. Less common are songs that feature really cool bass lines. I have to admit I'm a real sucker for walking bass lines and will usually crank up the volume if I hear anything interesting in terms of bass riffs. Yesterday I heard the old Motown tune "Treat her like a lady" (by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose) and realized that tune is one of my all time favorites simply because of the cool driving bass line it has. Another one of my faves is "Stir it Up" (Bob Marley & the Wailers) which is carried by the bass. There just aren't that many tunes, though, that feature bass that prominently. Can you think of any tunes that have particularly cool bass lines or feature a nonstandard instrument prominently? (...I need more cowbell!)
    What about the bass intro to Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls"?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The Who's John Entwistle had some classic riffs.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Bass

    I thought this thread was about catching Small Mouths in fast water.
    "How many more times" by Led Zeppelin
    Last edited by Tom R; 27 Jul 2007 at 8:36 AM. Reason: more stuff
    WALSTIB

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Yes - The Fish
    Stanley Clarke - School Daze
    Brunnel - Ivanhoe
    Jacos Pastious - anything he did
    Uriah Heap - Easy Livin
    old Alman Bros instrumentals feature some great bass lines.

    Just some additions that come to mind
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    The Who's John Entwistle had some classic riffs.
    I'd forgotten all about J.E.

    Boris the Spider a-bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bummm
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    THANK YOU FALETTINME BE MICE ELF AGIN Sly and the Family Stone
    The One that Got Away - Tom Waits
    WALSTIB

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tom R View post
    I thought this thread was about catching Small Mouths in fast water.
    "How many more times" by Led Zeppelin
    Oh, and speaking of Led Zep what about the 'Lemon Song'?

    [Wayne & Garth] John Paul Jones? we're not worthy....[/Wayne & Garth]
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Sienfeld

    but seriously folks...
    Zepplin tunes do have great riffs
    Atlanta Rhythm Section too
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes features a cool bass line- sounds great in headphones.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    For GREAT bass lines... seek only the man in my Avatar.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    Excentrifugal Forz/Guns of Brixton

    Excentrifugal Forz, on Frank Zappa's Apostrophe ('). Jack Bruce has a great solo. Bass solos are rare, plus Jack played a 6 string bass.

    Just listened to Guns of Brixton by the Clash, really noticed the basic but prominent bass by Paul Simonon. "When they kick out your front door..How you gunna come...With your hands on your head or the trigger of your gun."
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  13. #13
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    For GREAT bass lines... seek only the man in my Avatar.
    But then he may accidentally listen to songs from the Hold Your Fire album.....

    Definitely second the bass from Seven Nation Army.

    A historic bass driven song - Another One Bites the Dust- Queen

    And most of Red Hot Chili Peppers' songs - Flea is God.
    Last edited by mendelman; 27 Jul 2007 at 10:54 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    But then he may accidentally listen to songs from the Hold Your Fire album.....
    Go suck a lemon...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  15. #15
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post

    Definitely second the bass from Seven Nation Army.

    A historic bass driven song - Another One Bites the Dust- Queen

    And most of Red Hot Chili Peppers' songs - Flea is God.
    Damn. Beat me to all three of these. There goes my opportunity to seem cool and in touch.

    Flea Gonzales is what makes the Peppers!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    I'm sorry !!!!! BUT LES CLAYPOOL IS THE GREATEST BASSIST EVER !!!!

    All of his "riff"s are phenominal
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  17. #17
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Guitar is featured in alot of popular music. Piano is another instrument that tends to dominate the scene when its present. Less common are songs that feature really cool bass lines. I have to admit I'm a real sucker for walking bass lines and will usually crank up the volume if I hear anything interesting in terms of bass riffs. Yesterday I heard the old Motown tune "Treat her like a lady" (by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose) and realized that tune is one of my all time favorites simply because of the cool driving bass line it has. Another one of my faves is "Stir it Up" (Bob Marley & the Wailers) which is carried by the bass. There just aren't that many tunes, though, that feature bass that prominently.

    Can you think of any tunes that have particularly cool bass lines or feature a nonstandard instrument prominently? (...I need more cowbell!)
    Not true. I think it depends on the genre of music. In popular rock music, the foundation is the lead guitar. In most 'black music', the rhythm section (lead bass and drums) is the foundation. Although earlier jazz tunes, the horn whether a trumpet or a sax is the lead. I'll go one step further, the snare in a drum beat, tells us when to change feet while dancing.

    Try researching a couple of these tunes:

    Deodato - September 13
    Tower of Power - Sparkling in the Sand
    Lee Morgan - Absolutions
    Donald Byrd - Stepping into Tomorrow
    Grover Washington, Jr. - Mister Magic
    somebody already said it, but anything by Sly and the Family Stone
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned James Brown's backup band - the JB's. His music has got to be among the most sampled in hip hop, R&B, pop, and any other genre out there.

    Isaac Hayes - "Theme from Shaft" - mean riffs throughout

    Curtis Mayfield - any of his music, but "Superfly" stands out

    Barry White - "Love's Theme" is a standout for the guitars and strings combo

    Earth, Wind & Fire - a lot of their music featured the Kalimba, an African instrument

    Roger Troutman and the Zapp Band - "More Bounce to the Ounce" - this was a rollerskating jam - their music featured the talk box (similar sound to what Peter Frampton used in his song "Show Me The Way")

    Tom Tom Club - "Genius of Love" - great beats

    I can go on and on with this list. I listen to a lot of different styles of music, so I can't be pigeonholed. However, I think the most of the coolest riffs have come from R&B/Soul music, especially from the late 60's to the early-mid 70's era.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    beat

    Quote Originally posted by the north omaha star View post
    Although earlier jazz tunes, the horn whether a trumpet or a sax is the lead. I
    In a lot of the very early jazz the guitar and tenor banjo were basically rhythm instruments.
    WALSTIB

  20. #20
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Here's my short list:

    The Daktaris (Soul Explosion) - Smokin' Afrofunk recording recently rereleased. It has been described this way: "The Daktaris
    is a well-disciplined army of two hundred African Bull Elephants marching relentlessly up your business to the beat from Funky Drummer." http://www.dustygroove.com/item.php?...&refQ=cat%3D32

    Charles Mingus - I am particularly fond of "Blues and Roots" and "Live at Antibes"

    James Brown - duh

    The Meters - double duh

    Afrikaa Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force- Especially Zulu Nation Throwdown

    Check out a great collection of Afrofunk from West Africa called Nigeria 70: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/reviews/r0902_114.htm

    Parliament-Funkadelic Groove Collective (aka P-Funk) or anything with Bootsy Collins, especially his "Rubber Band" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootsy_Collins
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  21. #21
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    I wouldn't trade our bass man, Scotty "Showtime" Carlson, for anyone. He stands right behind me and I honestly don't notice him since he is so dead on and solid.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Forgot one:

    Chic - "Good Times" - this song inspired Queen's bass riff in "Another One Bites the Dust"
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  23. #23
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Queen-Under Pressure
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I am surprised that no one has included The O’Jay’s-Money. The open guitar riff is an instant indicator of the song.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  25. #25
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Queen-Under Pressure
    I'm sorry, that bass riff was just lame. Now if you want to talk about cool bass riffs you should listen to Vanilla Ice's "Ice ice baby"!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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