The lead singer is often the frontrunner and face of every band, but the bassist is equally important in the group. They have that steady presence in a group that holds it together and they tend to be the actual leader behind the scenes.
The deep strum of a bass guitar may not dazzle everyone like a good electric guitar riff or throaty singing in the mic, but it enhances the song from the shadows. The bassist lurks in the background, armed with their guitar and vibing with the music mysteriously.
Here is a list of a few songs that will explain how a good bass line takes a song a level above, from good to perfect.
Get ready to get blown away by some good music and beats that will raise the admiration you hold for both the instrument and its player.
16 Songs With Good Bass
Song # 1: Superstition by Stevie Wonder
It is hard to choose only one of Stevie Wonder’s songs to include in the list as an excellent underlying bass line is a hallmark of his. Stevie Wonder’s jazzy voice goes perfectly with the bass, making it a wildly popular hit.
Song # 2: Money by Pink Floyd
You will rarely find bands where the bassist is also the lead singer. This is why it comes as no surprise that Pink Floyd ended up defying all odds to become one of the few bands that do.
Roger Waters filled in as the leader that took Pink Floyd to new heights, all while playing his guitar and occasionally singing alongside Richard Wright.
Their song Money is famous for its iconic bass that resounds well when you listen to it with its official video.
Song # 3: Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
When you say Queen, Freddy Mercury automatically comes to mind. He is arguably the best frontman of a band to ever grace the stage.
However, while his vocals were a very strong point, they often took away the spotlight from equally talented band members.
Another One Bites the Dust is the perfect example of how the upbeat music and bass of John Deacon made a song the hit it is today.
Song # 4: Come Together by The Beatles
It comes as no surprise that The Beatles make the list. They were the band that singlehandedly revolutionized the whole music industry.
Their rock-n-roll songs, coupled with Paul McCartney’s iconic bass line, made Come Together just another one of the Beatle’s routine hits.
Song # 5: Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz
What makes the Gorillaz one of the most fabled bands is that we have not been able to put a face to their voice.
Their animated music videos and elaborate storylines that follow their songs are mysterious and exceptional enough for us to love them.
Song # 6: Give it Away Now by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Let’s be honest; Red Hot Chilli Peppers deserve a whole new list of the best bass songs ever made. Even then, their next strongest competitor will still end up being the Red Hot Chilli Peppers themselves – that’s how good they are!
Flea is right up there with the best bassists ever, and his bass lines are what set Red Hot Chilli Peppers apart from other rock bands.
Song # 7: Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
The song starts with an upbeat bass line which is probably the most famous and recognizable everywhere in the world.
This song became an instant hit, and what makes it a classic is that it introduced us to Michael Jackson’s famous Moonwalk.
Song # 8: The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is a very underrated band which is a pity. They are unique in the sense that they often sing together in a group instead of having a solo lead vocalist.
The bass lines of this song go perfectly with the rise and fall of their voice pitches.
Song # 9: So What by Miles Davis
Even if you are not into jazz, you can’t escape this song. So What is the most famous jazz song in the world, and its alternating piano and horn are further enhanced by the masterpiece of a bass line.
It is true that you probably hear the horn the most throughout the song, but its deep bass made it one of the most recognizable songs in the world.
Song # 10: My Generation by The Who
The Who walked so My Chemical Romance could run. Not many people know this but The Who were the front runners of punk rock music and incorporated bass into it.
The Who created a classic rebellious punk rock song showered here and there with a few solo bass parts, which just goes to show how talented John Entwistle was.
Song # 11: Ramble On by Led Zeppelin
John Paul Jones is widely recognized as the most influential bassist, and this song showcases his expertise.
Led Zeppelin wouldn’t be one of the best rock n roll bands today if Jones couldn’t harmonize his bass with Jimmy Page’s guitar and Robert Plant’s voice.
Song # 12: Hysteria by Muse
This song ranks on top of the list of the best bassline of all time. You will probably agree with the ranking if you have heard the song too.
Chris Wolstenholme let’s all his talent flow through his hands as he absolutely nails the masterpiece.
Song # 13: The Ace of Spades by Motorhead
Motorhead is the second British rock band to be included in the list. Lemmy Kilmister, the frontman of the band, singer, songwriter, is also the bassist.
The wild bass line is so skilled that it almost makes you believe you are hearing somebody shredding a guitar and is the reason behind this being Motorhead’s most hit single.
Song # 14: Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen
When two legendary rock stars come together, it can only result in the production of a legendary song. This is exactly what happened when David Bowie and Queen collaborated during Under Pressure.
The song was an instant hit, and its introductory bass line was one of the main reasons why. It proved instantly popular, and many other artists copied it to include it in their songs too.
Ever wondered why Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” sounds so familiar? It has the same bass line as Under Pressure.
Song # 15: What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
No, it’s not that song by 3 Non-Blondes, but it’s just as good. What’s Going On kick-started Gaye’s illustrious career and proved that good bass lines don’t exist in rock songs only.
Song # 16: Come As You Are by Nirvana
We simply couldn’t conclude the list without including the rock legends Nirvana in it. Nirvana had a career that burnt like a fire short but very bright. They were at their peak in the ’90s when Come As You Are was released.
The song had an epic opening bass line followed by a set of lyrics that took the world by the storm. The lyrics complemented the bass line and vice versa, making this song perfect.
The Bass Line
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on ’16 Best Bass Songs’ and will definitely add some in your playlist.
Which one of these songs is your favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.