Best Bassists Of All Time: 55 Legendary Bass Players You Need To Know

Four mighty strings and 55 mighty players: the best bassists are the ones who carve out signature sounds and play as many memorable licks as the guitarists.

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Four mighty strings, 55 mighty players. Common wisdom holds that the bass player is the “quiet one” in a band, playing essential parts of a song that you don’t necessarily notice. Not the case with the 55 best bassists, who have carved out signature sounds and played as many memorable licks as the guitarists.

Think we’ve missed anyone off our list of the best bassists of all time? Let us know in the comments section.

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While you’re reading, listen to our Best Bass Guitar Riffs playlist here.

55: Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)

Steve Harris is, in many ways, Mr. Iron Maiden. He has been the band’s only constant member since their inception in 1975 and one of only two to have appeared on all of their albums, the other being guitarist Dave Murray. He’s the group’s primary songwriter, in addition to being the core of the group’s rhythm section. Steve Harris can do it all. – Sam Armstrong

54: Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth)

Billy Sheehan is a bass player’s bass player, able to effortlessly blend impeccable technique with an innate feel for groove. He’s celebrated for his use of chording, two-handed tapping, right-hand “three-finger picking” technique, and controlled feedback, but all that would be moot if he couldn’t keep a good feel for the rhythm. – Sam Armstrong

53: John Myung (Dream Theater)

John Myung, a founding member of Dream Theater, grew up playing violin before transitioning to bass in high school. Good choice. The dude absolutely shreds. That comes from none other than his ferocious work ethic and insane practice schedule. Myung ends every show by “warming down,” ending the night the same way he began it: playing bass. – Sam Armstrong

52: Marcus Miller

Look, if you’ve played with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, you’ve got to be dynamite. And Marcus Miller surely is. Not only is he a world-class film composer and multi-instrumentalist, but he’s a trusted bass player for some of the best jazz musicians in the history of the genre. – Sam Armstrong

51: Bob Babbitt

James Jamerson’s less-celebrated Motown successor deserves inclusion here. Though he began recording much earlier, Bob Babbitt really shone during Motown’s psychedelic era, where he brought some Hendrix consciousness into the later Temptations records. He also played with Hendrix – albeit posthumously, on the studio-created Crash Landing.

50: Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad)

A bit of revisionist history here: Grand Funk Railroad’s bassist, Mel Schacher, was the best musician in the band, bringing the gonzoid style of Detroit punk into the mainstream. And he was loud; throwing the bass upfront like few before him.

49: Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding is arguably one of the few modern players who are doing the most to advance the art of bass. Having recently stepped out of the purely jazz world, the singer and bass player has moved into a pop/R&B/progressive realm of her own devising.

48: Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth)

Kim Gordon’s instantly recognizable bass sound was one of three equal reasons why Sonic Youth were among the most innovative guitar bands of the past few decades. She was equally good at grounding the improvisations or jumping right into the fray.

47: Gail Ann Dorsey

A Philly native who moved to London to play jazz, Gail Ann Dorsey played with a roomful of luminaries including Gang Of Four and Tears for Fears, and recorded an eclectic solo album that employed Eric Clapton and Nathan East as sidemen – all of which qualified her to become the longest continuously serving bassist (or musician, period) that David Bowie ever worked with.

46: Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones)

The quietest of the quiet ones, Bill Wyman may invariably be the last guy you noticed in The Rolling Stones, but he was the consummate bassist in the sense that he knew how to support the songs without getting in the way. Without any flashy solos, Wyman remains underrated, but listen to any of the basslines on “Shattered” or “19th Nervous Breakdown” and tell us you haven’t missed him since he’s been gone.

45: Nick Lowe

Albeit better known as a producer (Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, The Damned), Nick Lowe not only knew how to play fluid, often sophisticated basslines in a hard-driving rock’n’roll context but mastered how to make them sound killer on record. Look no further than his solo work or with pub rock supergroups Brinsley Schwarz, Rockpile, and Little Village. Pity that he’s largely gone off bass playing in recent years.

44: Mike Watt (The Minutemen, fIREHOSE)

As co-founder of the Minutemen, Mike Watt and his cohorts made unabashed virtuosity fun again; and through his group fIREHOSE and solo years, he’s remained one of the most adventurous musicians in the indie world. Not to mention a few years kicking butt in the reunited Stooges.

43: Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull)

Both of the bands Dave Pegg played in, Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull, have a history of remarkable bassists (take a bow, Ashley Hutchings and the late Glenn Cornick). But Pegg stands out for his dexterity, his swing, and his ability to ignore any folk/rock boundaries.

42: Joey Spampinato (NRBQ)

As the longtime bassist for the cult bar band NRBQ (New Rhythm And Blues Quartet), Joey Spampinato embodied that band’s tight-but-loose mindset. Usually playing fretless bass, he had no problem putting walking jazz basslines into their most straightforward pop tunes and rocking out during their jazz numbers. After catching Keith Richards’ ear, Spampinato played on his solo record Talk Is Cheap.

41: Kasim Sulton (Todd Rundgren, The Blackhearts)

Kasim Sulton jumped in the deep end by joining Todd Rundgren’s prog-rock band Utopia, during their most complex phase, at age 20. Since then he’s been Meat Loaf’s musical director and been both black and blue – with long stints in Joan Jett’s Blackhearts, Hall & Oates, and the Blue Öyster Cult. Sulton is also one of arena rock’s MVPs and a damn fine singer too.

40: Bruce Thomas (The Attractions)

No slight meant on his solid Imposters replacement Davey Farragher, but Bruce Thomas’ bass work on all the Elvis Costello & The Attractions albums was the stuff of greatness – fluid, inventive, and always in three or four places at once. Too bad he could do everything but get along with the frontman.

39: Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead)

Grateful Dead’s bass player always sounded exactly like what he was: an experimental composer who learned bass for the sake of joining a rock band. Not for him to be the grounding force in the jams. Lesh was more a catapult to parts further out.

38: Mike Rutherford (Genesis)

Perpetually overlooked in Genesis, Mike Rutherford came up with one of prog’s most lyrical basslines on “In That Quiet Earth,” from their Wind & Wuthering album. He was no slouch in the poppier tracks, either; try the beautiful (and extremely difficult) fretless part in “No Reply At All.”

37: Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club)

Along with her husband and eternal rhythm partner, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth was largely responsible for infusing new wave with the concept of groove as one of the founding members of Talking Heads. As one of the greatest female bassists of all time – and just bassists, period – Weymouth is part of the reason why a group of cerebral East Coast art students were able to do the definitive cover version of an Al Green’s “Take Me To The River.”

36: Cliff Burton (Metallica)

Cliff Burton followed the same template as Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, but as a speed-metal bassist, he found it absolutely necessary to play a whole lot more. His too-short time in Metallica gave all future metal bassists (including his Metallica replacement, Jason Newsted) plenty to borrow from.

35: Meshell Ndegeocello

Her early 90s work set a soul revival in motion and established Meshell Ndegeocello as one of those mavericks who could build something original and modern out of the soul tradition, incorporating pop, rap, and reggae into the mix. She also happened to play with the Stones in her spare time.

34: Sting

As if a precursor to his wide-ranging solo output, Sting blended funk, punk, and reggae in The Police. While he largely moved on from playing bass during his solo career, you can always revisit the atmospheric bassline to “Walking On The Moon,” which remains a thing of beauty.

33: Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck And The Flecktones)

With Bela Fleck and as a solo artist, Victor Wooten took the Stanley Clarke style of fusion bass and upped the ante with more sounds, more flash, and a more daring style. Often described as the second coming of Jaco Pastorius, the Grammy-winning bass master is rightly beloved by the jam-band crowd and beyond.

32: Percy Heath (The Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis)

The Modern Jazz Quartet’s founding bassist, Percy Health also recorded seminal work with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. When you think of the stately, elegant sound of an acoustic jazz bass, it’s his work you probably have in mind.

31: Jerry Scheff

You could call him the man who played with Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison when they both went Vegas (he’s the mainstay of the TCB band and the studio bassist on LA Woman), but don’t forget that Jerry Scheff is also a session player extraordinaire, having appeared on record with Dylan, Costello, The Monkees, and many others.

30: Chuck Rainey

This oft-recorded master was the answer to 70s Los Angeles’ prayers. A cool jazz musician who could play rock if it was sophisticated enough, Rainey wound up doing an equal number of jazz (Eddie Harris, Quincy Jones), rock (Nile Lofgren, Dave Mason), and soul sessions, (Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin), and was largely the reason Steely Dan’s Walter Becker moved over to guitar.

29: Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson)

Louis “Thunder Thumbs” Johnson’s affinity for smoother R&B with jazz overtones made him Quincy Jones’ bassist of choice and his pioneering slap bass landed him on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and Thriller albums. He also scored a number of 70s hits with his brother George as part of The Brothers Johnson.

28: David Hood (The Swampers)

Having toured in Traffic and most recently in The Waterboys, David Hood was the mainstay of the fabled Muscle Shoals rhythm section The Swampers. A master of slinky laidback funk and one of the most open-minded musicians around, Hood’s signature groove can be heard on everything from The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” to Clarence Carter’s “Snatching It Back.”

27: Charlie Haden

As one of the most exploratory jazz bassists out there, Charlie Haden expanded the sonic possibilities of double bass beginning with Ornette Coleman’s landmark album The Shape Of Jazz to Come. He also had productive stays with Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny, and played selectively on rock sessions, including the closing track “Ramshackle” on Beck’s Odelay.

26: Bernard Odum

Everybody who played bass with James Brown arguably deserves a place on any list of greatest bassists, but Bernard Odum was the bassist on two of funk’s most seminal texts, “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and “Cold Sweat,” thus earning himself the title as one of the most influential bassists of his time.

25: Aston “Family Man” Barrett (Bob Marley & The Wailers)

As one of the first key players to join Bob Marley & The Wailers (and still with the group now), Aston Barrett laid the groundwork for all reggae to come. Along with his brother Carlton Barrett, who played drums for The Wailers, the duo were one of the tightest rhythm sections on record. The history of groove would be far poorer without “Trenchtown Rock.”

24: Les Claypool (Primus)

Hailing from the Geddy Lee school of thumping bass, Les Claypool has cultivated a list of musical credits as wildly eccentric as he is. As the frontman and bassist in Primus, Claypool is responsible for bringing the groove to thrash metal and alt.rock with his infamous Rainbow bass and forming more side projects than humanly possible, most notably with Police drummer Stewart Copeland and Phish frontman Trey Anastasio for the supergroup Oysterhead.

23: Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane)

Jack Casady’s four-decade conversation with Jorma Kaukonen in Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna has never been less than eloquent. And his one appearance with Jimi Hendrix on “Voodoo Child” answers the question, “What if Hendrix had played with a bassist who was better than just alright?”

22: Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)

Geezer Butler is one of the great riff-meisters in rock, the main writer of a lot of Black Sabbath’s music, and a creator of the heavy-metal bass template: play only what’s absolutely necessary but play it like there’s no tomorrow. While others quietly supported the groove, Butler turned the bass into a blunt instrument.

21: John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)

He was the riffmaster in Led Zeppelin, the solid grounding to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s wild energy, the driving force behind “Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop,” and the main reason why the Page/Plant reunions, good as they were, just weren’t Zeppelin.

20: Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins got kicked out of James Brown’s band for being far too trippy, then became a key bass player in the P-Funk universe for pretty much the same reason. One of the greatest bassists of funk, he made “Super Bad” one of Brown’s defining hits.

19: Donald “Duck” Dunn (Booker T And The MGs)

Booker T And the MGs’ bass player may be the least flashy player on this list of the best bassists of all time. Though he was a big guy, you could barely see the Duck’s fingers move on the strings, even when he was playing with rockers like Neil Young or Eric Clapton. But he always kept it moving, and his time was always tight.

18: George Porter, Jr (The Meters)

The Meters’ founding bassist is also the most prolific member of his circle, leading countless spinoff bands and playing on notable sessions (including David Byrne’s Uh-Oh album). The landmark groove of “Cissy Strut” was just the beginning, and Porter, Jr, is one of the greatest bassists who embodies New Orleans’ slinky approach to funk.

17: Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Flea is as well known for his antics as his extraordinary bass playing, but his one-of-a-kind blend of funk slapping and melodic lines has made him a generational talent. Considering his essential work with Red Hot Chili Peppers, it’s no wonder he has collaborated with Atoms for Peace, Antemasque, Pigface, Rocket Juice & the Moon, the Mars Volta, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Alanis Morissette, and Young MC. Oh yeah, he also once played trumpet for Nirvana. – Sam Armstrong

16: John Wetton (King Crimson, Roxy Music, Asia)

Perhaps the most versatile bass players in all of prog rock, John Wetton could do the blazing virtuosity of Larks Tongues-era King Crimson as well as the song-oriented approach of Asia. But he earns immortality for doing both at once with Roxy Music, especially on the live album Viva!.

15: Geddy Lee (Rush)

Any mid-to-late Rush track evinces how Geddy Lee could do fiendish complexity while still rocking hard enough to drive a power trio (watch him talk to uDiscover Music about his time with the band. Instrumental tracks like “YYZ” and “La Villa Strangiato” tend to have Lee’s greatest licks, but don’t forget that he was usually doing all this while playing keyboard parts with his feet.

14: Lemmy (Motörhead)

As one of the greatest bassists in hard rock, Lemmy played the bass with more attitude than anybody, with a grisly tone that defied you to think of the bass as a support instrument. Half the times you think you’re hearing lead guitar on a Motörhead record (including the intro to “Ace Of Spades”), it’s really Lemmy wailing away.

13: Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus was an innovator in jazz and one of the more adventurous bassists in any genre. Any bass player who hasn’t absorbed “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” or “Haitian Fight Song” hasn’t explored their instrument properly.

12: Jack Bruce (Cream)

The whole idea behind Cream – a rock band consisting of three guys who could play circles around each other – wouldn’t have worked if the bassist wasn’t such a master improviser, always thinking like a lead player. Impressive as Jack Bruce’s own parts were, he also gets credit for the leads he pushed Eric Clapton to play.

11: Bill Black (Elvis Presley)

As part of Elvis’ original trio (which didn’t include drums during the Sun Records stage), Bill Black brought the essential cool of a slapback bass into 50s rock’n’roll. See the bass intro to “My Baby Left Me” as irrefutable proof. Later, he became one of the first rock bassists to lead a combo under his own name.

10: Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon is so renowned as a songwriter that his importance as one of the best bassists of all time often gets overlooked. He was key to Chess Records’ electric blues sound, playing on many of the Muddy Waters classics he wrote, not to mention the most seminal Chuck Berry tracks.

9: Ron Carter

He’s officially the most recorded bassist in jazz, with credits in early CTI fusion and modern benefits and soundtracks, but Ron Carter would still make the list of greatest bassists if he did nothing more than play in Miles Davis’ “Second Great Quintet,” where he and Tony Williams were a rhythm section for the ages.

8: Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone)

Larry Graham bridged the eras of funk by laying groundwork with Sly & The Family Stone then reappearing decades later as a key Prince collaborator, leading the fine band Graham Central Station in the interim. But no bassline defines funk better than that perfectly nasty one on Sly’s “Thank You (Faletting Me Be Mice Elf Again).”

7: James Jamerson (The Funk Brothers)

The funkiest of The Funk Brothers, James Jamerson put the swing into countless Motown classics before finally getting an album-sleeve credit on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” Nobody ever did more with one note than Jamerson on “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

6: John Entwistle (The Who)

The quintessential “quiet one,” John Entwistle could also be the noisiest one when the time was right. The Who’s “My Generation” was one of those times. How many 60s bands had an iconic bass solo in the middle of their defining song?

5: Chris Squire (Yes)

Chirs Squire’s basslines in Yes were full of melodic imagination, and often the song’s main instrumental hook (see “Roundabout”). But check out his wah-wah extravaganza on the deep track “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom” for one of prog rock’s great kick-it-out moments.

4: Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke was a bass virtuoso with a canny sense of riffs and grooves, plus a few great tricks like that finger-strum trademark. Probably not the first bass player to record a side-long bass solo (on Return to Forever’s 1978 live album) but perhaps the first to perform one you’d want to hear twice.

3: Carol Kaye

Putting the bottom end into The Wrecking Crew, Carol Kaye played the indelible parts on “Midnight Confessions,” “River Deep – Mountain High,” The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and an estimated 10,000 other tracks. Female bassists stopped being pigeonholed as a novelty the minute she picked up the instrument.

2: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney made a trademark out of the supple, lyrical bassline more than any rock player before or since, and that’s on “Paperback Writer” alone. As one of the best bass players in history, he played both lead and rhythm, and did it all ridiculously well – a trademark of everything The Beatles did.

1: Jaco Pastorius

Jaco Pastorius used every minute of the short time he had to expand the technical and dramatic possibilities of the bass, giving his various clients – Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, and even Ian Hunter – more than they bargained for. Despite his overlooked status, Pastorius regularly introduced himself as the greatest electric bass player in the world, and we’re not going to argue.

Looking for more? Discover the 100 best drummers in music history.

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383 Comments

383 Comments

  1. Zawinul

    January 1, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Once again the “best of in any category” is so subjective why do people start this shit it proves nothing and what are you basing this on popularity, education, talent, creativity, or limited knowledge on your part? their are so many artists you have not heard of and it shows by not including them.

  2. Norberto

    January 3, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Bullshit!
    Only American and English people are Musicians all around the world!
    And one Canadian. Gimme a break!

    • Norberto

      January 3, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Phill Linot was an Irish man!

  3. pj

    January 13, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Verdine White is not only ‘The Best and BADEST Bass Player’ he is also a the ‘CONSUMMATE ENTERTAINER’. CHECK OUT HIS FB PAGE AND LIKE IT……

    https://www.facebook.com/OfficialVerdineWhite/?fref=ts

  4. Mike

    January 14, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    Absolutely! McCartney took the bass mainstream and turned it into an instrument, interwoven with the guitars. He played chords. And he never even wanted to be the baseplayer! I think if you asked the players on this list to vote, he would have been number one.

    • Sergey

      September 9, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Join!

  5. Mike

    January 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I’m amazed at the lack of knowledge regarding Paul McCartney’s innovative and pioneering bass playing. Without Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and Buddy Guy, Clapton and Page would just be a couple of guitar players. You have to have lived thru the 60’s to recognize the impact McCartney had on all the other bass players behind him. You cannot judge him by today’s players, because without him, all the others would be buried low in the mix, melding with the drums. There was no other rock bass player doing what McCartney was doing at the time. That’s called innovation. Just listen to two Beatles songs: Paperback Writer and Rain. Turn up the bass. For a good essay on his career see http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/paulbass.htm

  6. joe

    January 22, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Danyel Morgan – formerly of Robert Randolph and the Family Band.

  7. Darryl

    February 5, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Dudes,
    This is a tough and subjective list to comprise, but I had to throw in to this. First OF all I agree Mel from Grand Funk,( a band that doesn’t get the props they deserve), should be up here. I believe these 5 guys should be top 25:
    Dave Allen Gang of Four – Crazy funky driving bass. “Entertainment”
    Wilbur Bascomb – Session man. Jeff Beck “Wired”
    Robert Trujillo – Great dexterity. Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies
    Ron Carter – Jazz great. John Coltrane and Miles Davis and many others.
    Major Holley. A guy you don’t hear much about. Jazz bassist. Great with the bow on the double bass, (scats to the notes). “Mule” Listen to the song “Angel Eyes” the ending in particular is AWSOME.

  8. Darryl

    February 5, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Mike,
    you’re on point about McCartney getting the bass sound up front early in the game. Great songs Paperback Writer and Rain displaying signature McCartney technique and sound. To that add “The Word”, “And Your Bird Can Sing”, and the his masterpiece of the style “TAXMAN”.

  9. Randy Dannenfelser

    February 6, 2016 at 1:53 am

    How in the world could you possibly have omitted Ronnie Baker?

  10. Robert Richman

    February 8, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Indeed follks; perennial winner of best bassist in Playboy Magazine’s highly regarded Jazz and Pop music poll, was like a brilliant lead bass player, climbing and winding his way around the gorgeous, soaring vocals of the Airplane’s gifted singers. Check out his solo around the 2:17 mark of this terrific live video: http://youtu.be/LwFR5fjs8m4

  11. graham

    February 17, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Jack is still kickin’ it big time… check out White Rabbit @ 21:42

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m4vzWmDuKg

  12. Dave Craggs

    February 23, 2016 at 9:29 am

    What about the Queen of Rock SUZI QUATRO!!!! What she can’t do with a Bass Guitar

  13. Jedubass

    March 31, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    How could Jaco not be amongst the top ten? He should be number 1. Really! He’s done some much for the bass world. Where is Stanley, where is Richard Bona, Where is Talk Wikinfield? where is Bootsy?

    What kinda list is this?

  14. Steve Archer

    April 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Finally, someone recognizes Francis Rocco Prestia. If you don’t know, you don’t know.

  15. George Macdonald

    April 6, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Charlie Mingus was the greatest ever,next me of course!!

  16. Clive Ojiveojive

    April 14, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Gail Ann Dorsey – go look.

  17. erika

    April 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    idiot list
    this is a so called someone ‘s personal music taste

  18. Dave

    May 5, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Jon Camp from the 70’s Prog Rock band Renaissance should be on this list. The band, like many Prog bands of that era, the songs were long 10+minutes long, and was all about the keyboards and singer, but Bass was the lead string, guitar was just background rhythm. Few bands had a Bass player as the integral string melody.

    Listen to the first few songs (20 minutes) from this 1976 youtube concert. You can see how prominent his playing is; Outside of the angelic voiced Annie Haslem, Jon Camp is the only other player out front. Few Bass players work that hard on the frets and are that melodic. That type of playing is typical throughout the concert. Especially watch the 25+ minute “Ashes are Burning” starting at the 1:18:00 mark, where Jon Camp does a duet with John Tout’s Piano before breaking out in an extended bass solo at about 1:29:00 and plays the bass like a guitar.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onFiCvB2GOs

  19. Nuvo

    May 30, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Hahahaha you can tell this list was made by a white guy,Flea number 3 lolol my ass James Jameson not on top 10 ? Jaco not in top 10 ? you should have made this best rock n roll bass players of all time.Cause you excluded Mingus,Bernard Edwards,Pino Paladino and a few others.And James Jameson played on 37 number one albums nobody else gets close to this accept maybe Sir Paul McCartney !! Not a good list at all.

  20. Daddy Dave

    May 31, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Tina Weymouth? You’ve got to be kidding. I remember thinking when I first saw the Talking Heads that she was lucky to have friends who cared enough to be patient with her boring lines. She’s the luckiest girl in the world.

    • tmcg

      November 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Weymouth is pretty funky. Goes good with the sound of the band. I really love the bass lines. When they went increasingly world music it went even better. Boring I don’t get from it. She’s nice and loud and consistent too, it really adds the music.

  21. peter chrisp

    June 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I have a couple more but as you suggest i guess they are not in the same ball park with the ones that have been listed above, but the bands that they were i consider legendary if not for their bass playing we have Free, Robin Trower, & Grand Funk, Andy Fraser & James Dewar & Mel Schacher

  22. Glenn

    June 23, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    JJ Burnel is there at 46, should be higher of course, but where is Peter Hook? Bill Wyman is outstanding on The Brussels Affair and Lemmy deserves to be there just for his performance on Space Ritual. Where is Overend Watts? Kim Deal?

  23. rainman

    June 23, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I love, love, love Kim Gordon and Tina Weymouth but neither of these ladies belongs on this list of top 200 bassists let alone top 50.

  24. PETER CUSICK

    June 23, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    OK .. WHERE ARE MICHEAL ANTHONY (VAN HALEN) AND GENE SIMMONS (KISS) ?????

  25. dc

    June 23, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    NO ???? John McVie He should had been top ten , play strong go back and listen
    John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (1965–1967)
    peter green -Fleetwood Mac (1967

  26. Michael Martinez

    June 23, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    you mean Mel Schaeffer with Don Brewer and Mark Farner. Mel changed the way bass players held the bottom and also added great phrasing. Too sad we didnt make it much less the top ten. N
    ot many are better than him.

  27. Darrell Guessford

    June 24, 2016 at 3:07 am

    No Ron Carter or Jack Casady? A flawed list in my opinion.

  28. Southbayrik

    June 24, 2016 at 4:37 am

    The list is missing Alphonso Johnson and Mike Watt.

  29. joseph kirley

    June 24, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    What about the bombastic bass playing on what I consider to be one of the most energetic live albums ever, Grand Funk Live Album, witch features Mel Schacher on bass? I consider him to be severely over looked!

  30. G Hester

    June 24, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Having grown up in the 60’s I agree with Jack Bruce and John Entwistle – However I agree that Leon Wilkeson should definitely be on the list – what he did on base for Lynyrd Skynyrd is beyond belief and to not be included – criminal

  31. JR

    June 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    No Keith Ferguson? Not completely legit list. Duck Dunn near 50? And you have Duff (G n R) in the top 20? Please. I guess it all depends on what the individual wants in music, and what they actually hear.

  32. Saw4fire

    June 26, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Yeah, Jack Casady should not only be on the list, but should be very high on the list.

    Most of the players on the list would rate Jaco Pastorius at the top of the list. He changed how the instrument was played, just as Hendrix changed how the guitar was played.

    Two more missing names: Tal Wilkenfeld and Charlie Wooten.

  33. Another Jerry

    June 26, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Andy Fraser, Greg Ridley…but without doubt the biggest omission is Peter Hook from New Order. The list may be American, but surely he has some exposure over there?
    Jah Wobble is worth a mention also.

  34. Glenn

    June 26, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Another bullshit list based upon what, if you are going create such lists lets base it on criteria that people can put a score to.. PAul Mccartney a great bass player … hardly

  35. Patrick Longworth

    June 26, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    I admit I am not as familiar with bass players as I am with lead guitarists, even with my favorite band Survivor. Jack Bruce I am familiar with and generally I’ve been impressed with what little Cream I have heard. As for the Beatles, I am not so sure about the effect of the bass on the music. During his solo career, did/does McCartney still play the bass guitar or did/does he play lead for his songs, I wonder?

  36. heavyhry

    June 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Flea??No way.Not in the best 100 either.Chris Squire is the best one followed by Paul Mac Cartney.

  37. Jaydog

    June 30, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    LARRY GRAHAM @26????

  38. Peter Friberg

    July 1, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    True! Without Jet Harris there wouldn’t be one single British name on this list!

  39. Peter Friberg

    July 1, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Whitout whom there would not be one single British name on the list …

  40. Dave

    July 3, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Chris Squire, Jaco pastorius, Charles Mingus, Ray brown, and James jammers should be in the top ten. They would totally shred many of the rock players listed. Another bass player you might have missed because the genre he plays – gospel music – Abraham Laboriel. Check him out. he is a killer bass player, endlessly inventive, driving,and creates killer sophisticated grooves.

    • Dave

      August 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      I meant James Jammerson. Spellcheck does NOT know bass players!

  41. cworsf

    July 7, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Leo Lyons from Ten Years After should be on the damn list!

  42. Louis Almond

    July 11, 2016 at 3:28 am

    I never knew much about bass players because they were unsung heroes, but growing up in the late 60’s/early 70’s, my ears really picked up on John Entwistle of the Who and Mel Schaker of Grand Funk as standing out and dominant … but I am NOT a musician!!!

  43. Martin Johansson

    July 12, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I would say that Abraham “Abe” Laboriel is missing

  44. Matt

    July 12, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Might want to consider flipping Bernard Edwards of CHIC with Flea. Edwards is worthy of the top spot, actually. Good call on Steve Harris… he is the driving force behind the true Gods of metal music.

  45. parnell-marco laporte

    July 25, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Where are those names ?
    RON CORTER
    ALPHONSO JOHNSON … ETC.
    I DO BELEINE THAT YOU MAY MAKE AN OTHER LIST .

    • Neal

      August 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm

      Absolutely agree about Ron Carter, what an inventive bassist!

  46. Dan Kibler

    August 2, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    My brother Bob Kibler, was one of the finest bass guitar players of all times. He gained the most noteriety when playing in a New York based band called Taxi. They backed up Gary U. S. Bonds, The Shirelles, Chuck Berry, etc. during a revival of the fifties and sixties. They also played in concerts with many current artists.
    Bob passed away at age 57. I’ll miss him forever.
    Love,
    Brother Dan

  47. jenni riley

    August 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

    What about herbie flowers? Not complete without the master

    • Derek Marshall

      November 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Many good suggestions below, but I agree Herbie Flowers must not be omitted. Who has not got the start of Walk on the Wild Side in their head somewhere!

  48. Tim Forney

    August 11, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Where the hell is Noel Redding?

    • Sergey

      September 9, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      All folks were born at 1999…

  49. Neal

    August 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    How about Fernando Saunders who played lead bass (no other way to describe it) with Lou Reed’s band?

  50. Neak

    August 12, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Probably should just list them alphabetically since ‘best’ is the most subjective word in the English language! Also should include an honerable mention list for those not quite at the list but instantly recognizable.

  51. Angelo Hamm

    August 24, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    You’re telling me that Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke didn’t make the top 10, and paul mc cartney is #1…

    • Mange

      August 31, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Yeah – it’s almost funny… it’s like comapring… well lets say me with Ludwig Van Beethoven…
      Stanley Clarke is awesome…

  52. Don

    August 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Noel Redding is better than MOST of the ones you put up there………and he was doing it long before MOST of the ones you put up there………yet……he wasn’t up there…..he complimented Mitch Mitchell and Jimi beautifully……..Rainy Day……1983……..Crosstown Traffic……..all great stuff by Redding…….among the other 50 or so songs that could be added here !

  53. Mange

    August 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    This is total bull…
    Cliff Burton and Steve Harris better than Tony Levin, Phil Lynott and Billy Sheehan…? Rubbish.
    Tony Levin should be top 5.
    Billy Sheehan should be at least top 10 and that goes for Marc Anthony (Van Halen) as well…
    Phil Lynott was way better than Harris and Burton…

    And however much I lika Lemmy – he’s NOT top 50 on this list in my opinion… but he was the no. 1 on the “coolest dude”-list… 😉

  54. Mange

    August 31, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    …and besides – Flea doesn’t deserve 3’rd here…
    He’s awesome – but not 3’rd… probably top 20 though…

  55. Brad

    September 1, 2016 at 1:53 am

    How Chris Squire is not #1 is beyond me!
    Love the Who, but Chris was the best!

  56. Dan

    September 1, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Where is the mighty Scott Reeder from Kyuss and many other bands????

  57. mike

    September 2, 2016 at 7:09 am

    what about Prakash John, Fernando Saunders, Sal Madia, Pat Kilbride just to name a few very capable omissions

  58. Cor

    September 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Chris Squire should be on #1. Paul Newton (Uriah Heep) is missing on the list and should at #2….

  59. Gavin Mutch

    September 5, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    50 Bassists, and no John McVie?…….come on.

  60. Peter Feldman

    September 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Bob Mosely (Moby Grape)
    Chris White (Zombies)
    Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power)
    Edgar Meyer

  61. Erik

    September 6, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Clayton had to learn on the fly. When U2 first started he didn’t know what he was doing, he was just good at acting like he did. He never received any training until the mid 90’s. In an interview, Bono claimed that he was accepted into the group because he was the only one with an amp.

  62. Erik

    September 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    One guy often overlooked (perhaps because of who he played with and that type of music) is John Taylor from Duran Duran/Powerstation/Nuerotic Outsiders, etc

  63. Patvyn

    September 7, 2016 at 11:16 am

    John Myung?
    Chris Squire?
    Tal Wilkenfeld?

  64. miles

    September 7, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Jack Casady, Rick Danko, and Andy Fraser are the obvious omissions but one of the best I ever saw was Mike Mesaros of the Smithereens

  65. Alex

    September 8, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Missing: Peter Overend Watts by Mott The Hoople, Gene Simmons by Kiss, Trevor Bolder by Spiders from Mars, Raf Benson by Latoscuro, Faso by Elio e le storie Tese, And many others. I believe there are tons of great bass player all over the world better than the 50 on list, but are they popular? Or famous? Who did the riffs we all remember or we recognize just few notes? Another one bites the dust? I was Made for loving you? My generation? Who was a rock and roll star on stage?

  66. The Clemmer

    September 8, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Tim Bogert???!!!

  67. Danny P

    September 8, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Heck, I’m gonna add about anyone who played bass with Tull. Much can be said about Ian Anderson, but he always brings the best musicians. Tull bassists were always expected to be well rounded – even down to wielding the stand-up bass when needed. Listen to the many renditions of “Bouree” for examples.

  68. Danny P

    September 8, 2016 at 6:36 am

    As a bassist – yeah. Paul McCartney is a great in the rock world, no doubt, but bass is just what he did because The Beatles needed a bassist.

    McCartney has a bigger musical impact, but strictly speaking, Flea is hard to top as a bassist.

  69. David Arnson

    September 8, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Jack Casady being omitted is pretty glaring…

  70. Monica

    September 8, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    STU HAMM.

  71. Alex Webber

    September 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Mel Schacher
    Roger Glover
    Tony Levin
    Colin Hodgkinson

  72. Jed Mitter

    September 8, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Andy Fraser – Free – He had Funk, before there was Funk!!!!

  73. Nelson Smith

    September 8, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Where is George Porter Jr (The Meters)???

  74. Ken Soderlund

    September 8, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    To your argument, any list excluding John McVie, in my opinion, is not valid. McVie honed his craft with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers ~ a group that influenced almost every rock band in the 60’s. And, with Fleetwood Mac? …enough said.

    • janet

      October 12, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Jaco Pastorius!!!!!

  75. Duane Albert

    September 8, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    No Jack Casady? No Greg Ridley? No Andy Fraser? No Felix Pappalardi?
    This list is pure BS!

  76. Keith McElyea

    September 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Gary Thain, Joey Dimaio

  77. Ruprecht Raoul

    September 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Phuck Phish!

  78. Steve Chase

    September 8, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Tom Fowler, Alphonso Johnson, Patrick O’Hearn, Ryan Stasik

  79. John Lloyd

    September 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    OK all you young people – Where is JET HARRIS ???

  80. juan carlos

    September 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Percy Jones of Brand X ?? One of a kind and not in the list ??

  81. Bob Trezise

    September 8, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I’ve gone down the entire reply list of this obviously celebrity driven list and I was perplexed to find no one mentioning the incredible Chris Hillman. Next time “Eight Miles High” crops up on your oldies station stop and take a listen. For the Byrds, the Burritos, Manassas and his own solo and Country career, Chris’ bass chops are incredible.
    And thanks to all the mentions of the incomparable Rick Danko of the Band. Most notable moment? Listen to the live “Don’t do It” from Rock of Ages. Brilliant.

  82. William Fletcher

    September 8, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Jack Bruce should be Higher on the list, and Felix Pappalardi from Mountain, who also Produced Cream, should be right there also!

  83. C.Hardy

    September 8, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Phil Lesh way to low. He should be top 5. where is Jack Cassidy, John Khan.and Rob Wasserman. I mean what is the point of even commenting?

  84. Rob

    September 8, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Yeah that is outrageous!! Clear #1 in my opinion. Followed by Claypool at #2.

  85. Robert Roder

    September 8, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Jaco should be in first place.
    Chris Squire, 2nd.
    And where is Jeff Berlin?
    No doubt, he is one of the greats!

    • Mike

      October 26, 2016 at 3:37 am

      Look most of these list that are on the web today are popularity contest of pop culture. We stopped educating out kids on music diversity a long time ago. So yes those with a broad range of understanding and experience would would never rank Jaco lower than 2nd.

      But remember this is a list compiled by people with a small amount of musical education and even smaller amount of experience.

      So base it off current “here and now” influence. I’m not surprised.

      Based on skill and creativity. Well the list is not even in the same reality.

  86. Nf martinez sR

    September 8, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Primus sucks!

  87. saanzacs

    September 9, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Ronald LaPread from the Commodores should’ve got in there, Brick House was his finest hour!!!

  88. D. A. Ocando

    September 9, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Bullshit!!! that fucking list!!!
    Where´s Mel Schaher? He´s my number one

  89. Nicolas Liautaud

    September 9, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Jack Casady is clearly missing, and he should be high ranked. You can even see bassists in U2 or in McCartney’s Band playing on a Jack Casady Model on stage ! The article says “sometimes they step out into the spotlight, like Paul Mc Cartney, Lemmy, Sting or Roger Waters”. Let’s be honnets, they didn’t step out specilally because of their bass playing, they were all singers-songwritters in famous bands…

  90. Bob

    September 9, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Tal Wilkenfeld. I think the voting is a popularity contest more than anything to do with talent. Tal is in a different class than just about anybody on this list.

    • jeff ziemke

      September 9, 2016 at 3:36 am

      I agree, she is a class to herself. She is young and female, those 2 things kept her off the list, not talent.

  91. Tony

    September 9, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I agree, Mel Should get his props! Unfortunately, since the Ashhats at the RRHOF always pan GFR, that’s probably not gonna happen.

  92. Patvyn

    September 9, 2016 at 9:54 am

    + any Zappa-bassplayer!

  93. Patvyn

    September 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    any Zappa-bassplayer!

  94. david valentine

    September 9, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Not sure what number but Michael Anthony, from Van Halen should be up there, somewhere.

  95. Katherine white

    September 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you for saying Mel shocker GFR is so underrated!!!

  96. CARLOS

    September 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    well… in Argentina have a PEDRO AZNAR…

  97. Lars Marke Otzen

    September 9, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    John Entwistle is my man… Unfortunately the best basplayer ever…….

  98. Aris

    September 10, 2016 at 1:23 am

    Placing Cliff Burton ,Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones over Jaco Pastorius is just insulting.

  99. Dennis Redman

    September 10, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Hate these lists! They rarely get anything right. Jamerson for example, influenced many of the players listed above him. Technically Jaco would have to rate near the top. However I do not think his tone and sound has aged very well. I love Roger Waters, but do not think for one minute, he belongs on this list. I’m sure he would agree with me. Popular and greatest are not the same thing. Where’s Eberhard Weber?

  100. Zython

    September 10, 2016 at 8:55 am

    et Andy Fraser et Tim Bogert ???

  101. Rich

    September 10, 2016 at 11:20 am

    David “Leo” Lyons, Ten Years After
    “Going Home”-My favorite Bass Riff of all time. Woodstock, The man deserves an award for keeping up with the late great Alvin Lee.

  102. Ricky

    September 10, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    What about Dug Pinnick from KingsX

  103. Gregg

    September 10, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Exactly…..TIM BOGART not in the Top 5????? Is Sacrilege……definitely Top 5 with John Paul Jones and Entwistle.

  104. Gregg H

    September 10, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Tim Bogart is undoubtedly the greatest I ever heard live. Whoever made up this list never listened…I mean REALLY listened to any Vanilla Fudge or Cactus or Beck, Bogart, Appice….and Ronnie Woods??? Bass with the Jeff Beck Group w/ Rod Stewart and then guitar with Stewart and Faces and then the Stones?? Pretty versatile. I could name a dozen who belong on this list, as have others, BUT, not including Tim Bogart??? Come on

  105. Erik

    September 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    No GPJr is absolutely awful. Same with Jack Casady and Ron Carter. Oteil Burbridge and David Schools….was Willie Weeks on here?

    List is atrocious.

  106. brad

    September 13, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    WTF you put flea before Entwistle hes far better than flea, to be honest hes far better than geddy lee as well. he revolutionized the sound of the bass and showed how a bass could be used in music, inspiring many including geddy but will always out shine geddy

  107. Robert L.

    September 13, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Where’s John Lodge of The Moody Blues? He’s as good a bass player as most of these guys.

  108. Mick DeLeon

    September 14, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hmmm, no love for Funk Brother James Jamerson or Bootsy Collins? Entwistle on top, for sure.

  109. Eric Chatham

    September 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    So Les Claypool… I understand 6th is up there in a list of 50 but, come on below Flea? As far as talent. He writes most if not all Lyrics, most tunes, Self taught, Creates the claymation videos, Lead Singer and makes the bass the primary instrumental. No other band puts Bass in the front. Oh and Primus Sucks!

    • David Joyce

      January 5, 2017 at 12:44 am

      That’s because Claypool’s songs suck. His playing is so far removed from anything resembling normal bass lines that many people just scratch their heads as he chirps and thumps every fret of an 8 string monstrosity.

      • Michael Gilmore

        July 4, 2019 at 5:58 am

        You are missing the point with Claypool and are hopeless because of it. Hey Hey, we’re Primus and we Suck. That’s short hand for if you don’t get it, you suck. Go away…this list sucks anyway. Whomever constructed it ought to he feed to Tammy Fae Baker inbetween make up sessions.

      • Tolli

        May 25, 2020 at 6:09 pm

        Nobody heard of Nathan East?Who made this list?

  110. Ian Mitchinson

    September 21, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Jamerson at 19? The man who influenced most on the list inc McCartney, Flea and Entwistle.

  111. Chris

    September 22, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    I have not read any of the comments to not be swayed:

    It’s mostly the right people, but it’s a popularity contest. The order is completely jacked. Victor Wooten is arguably the most technically accomplished of any living bass player on this list. And Jaco is the greatest who ever lived—he did more to shape the world of electric bass than anyone on this list. He is the gold standard, and has been since the late 70’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love Geddy and Entwistle, too—but I am sure they would agree that Jaco, Victor or Les could mop the floor with them.

  112. Chris

    September 22, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Respectfully, you’re insane. Victor destroys Sheehan. Sheehan has nowhere near the musical vocabulary that Victor does. Victor is the best living bass player on the planet (Stanley Clarke probably a close second). Sheehan is great, and a super nice guy, but he simply could not do what Victor does. I have met and hung out with them both, and have seen them play in may scenarios. Sheehan can’t swing, and he is too much of a stylist.

  113. Mr. Lama

    September 28, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Oh man ..you missed a lot, to name a few.. Richard Bona, John Patitucci, Jimmy Haslip, Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Gary Willis, Sean Malone, Esparanza Spalding, Avishai Cohen
    & there’s much more. Jaco should be in No.1.

  114. Jen Moore

    September 29, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Agree Peter Cetera should absolutely be on this list, phenomenal player

  115. gary

    September 30, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Im a bass player also, my brother played bass for the righteous brothers in the 60s and mack davis to name a few, my point is ive listened to a lot of bass players over the yrs. My two favorites are paul and peter, the beatles and chicago. Jason who took peters spot is great also, his dad was the b p for elvis. Dont forget the STYLE of the bass player is very important.

  116. Greg Newsome

    October 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Mark Hans Solar of Slave should be on there too.

  117. JimiX

    November 2, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Victor Wooten is nice but cannot play like Les Claypool in many ways. One is very technical and a bit boring and the other is a technical mutant of very strange music which can play such crazy solos which nobody could play today (just check his tommy the cat solos…). Flea is the most entretaining but his creativity is limited without John Frusciante and he usually play similar riffs.

  118. Mikey Nails!

    November 2, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I scanned through the list, finding almost everyone I thought should be on here. Then I did a page search for Jerry Scheff. Which brought me to your comment.

    Agreed.

  119. Ole

    November 2, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Yes just like the last time Jack Casady is missing, and loads of others..Besides bassplaying is not only reserved for the british, americans and canadians !! Again i must insist that you recognize our german friend Hellmut Hattler here as one of the best ever, (go 6 min into this video) :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J75alNHjmcM

  120. Sam

    November 2, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Willie Weeks… Abe Laboriel… Rocco Prestia… Rhonda Smith… ?

  121. Eric Hall

    November 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Paul McCartney number 5? You’re having a laugh!
    And Chris Squire only at number 16? That’s pretty hilarious too.
    And I’m disappointed that I didn’t make the list 🙁

  122. Geert Aerts

    November 3, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    And, of course completely forgotten, on Number 1A: Robbie Shakespeare! 😉

  123. Matt

    November 5, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Agree 100%. It’s astounding to me that Adam Clayton never makes any of these lists. He’s been the rock solid backbone of the best rock band of the last 30 years, yet he gets zero recognition. Same with Larry Mullin. Also, Jack Bruce at #8??? Just stop…. top 3 minimum.

  124. blankend

    November 10, 2016 at 7:49 am

    I am glad to see Entwistle at the top where he belongs. I also agree that Jack Casady is a glaring omission, and people seem to be underrating Paul McCartney’s contributions just because of his high profile as a Pop musician. Just listen to his workout on John’s ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ from Abbey Road. Like was mentioned, Paul really didn’t want to be a bass player, he just got assigned the role after Stu Sutcliffe, who couldn’t play bass, by the way, left the band in 61. Paul was actually a better guitarist than John, but John had a brand new Rickenbacker and he was the leader at that point, so Paul went to bass duty. As a guitarist, he winded up doing some interesting and progressive things at bass, much like Entwistle did with The Who.

  125. Brian

    November 14, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    What, no Meshell Ndegeocello? Her bass-work is sublime. Agree with all the above, especially on Casady.

  126. Sherri

    November 14, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    My favorite bass player was left out. Allen Woody from, the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule.

  127. tony wright

    November 14, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    so true,but where is felix pappalardi?

  128. tony wright

    November 14, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    agree agree agree,overlooked always,where have these experts been living?

  129. tony wright

    November 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    you are so right,his bass playing live was amazin.

  130. tony wright

    November 14, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    you do not need to say anymore.

  131. Steve

    November 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    No electronica players? Joke right there, out and out crime not having Peter Hook at least mentioned.

  132. Roger

    November 15, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Nobody mentioned Andy West of the Dixie Dregs… Until now?

  133. Declan

    November 15, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Paul Chambers? Anybody??

  134. alexander morton

    November 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I know he couldn’t compete technically with many on your list but as for being important in the history of our music he cannot be denied….Bill Black, the late eccentric double-bass player for the Hillbilly Cat, certainly deserves a mention.

  135. Keith Williams

    November 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Justin Meldal-Johnsen (JMJ)…is certainly a force

  136. John Aage Nilsen

    November 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Norman Watt-Roy from the Blockheads….
    https://www.mixcloud.com/sohoradio/free-seed-on-soho-ep-10/

    • Steve Milner

      December 15, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Norman is probably in a league above this one!

  137. MIke Christopher

    November 15, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    George “Mel” Schacher of Grand Funk Railroad fame.

  138. D.E. Ankele

    November 15, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Classically trained rocker/jazz bassist, Jack Bruce is tops for me! Carol Kaye very impressive, but mostly in studio, she played on so many of the big hits. She is very high on my list as well. Look her up on YouTube. Cool to see all the top hits she played on, especially Motown.

  139. Jeremy Montague

    November 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Glenn Cornick (Jethro Tull 1967-1970) should be on here IMHO … Bouree, Living In The Past, Teacher, To Cry You A Song, Nothing is Easy, Driving Song, Wonderin’ Aloud, A Song For Jeffrey, New Day Yesterday … great, great contributions to the art of rock bass!

  140. Marcos

    November 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Tal Wilkenfeld

  141. lkybuck

    November 15, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    50 rock bass players are better than Barry Oakley, not sure about that. Sat in the pocket between two of the best lead guitarists ever.

  142. Doug Horspool

    November 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    The”Johns” are absolutely correct…Entwistle first, then John Paul Jones! I saw them both in concert three times and never was less than amazed! Missing is Paul Newton, the original bassist from Uriah Heep. Casady, Geddy Lee, the guy from Van Halen…meh! This coming from a long-time bassist.

  143. Tmcg

    November 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    McCartney is a very, very good bassist. He is not a technical wizard, but very solid. He would still be on this list, I think, without being in the Beatles, and probably be regarded better as a pure player. Very emotional bass lines as well, and an innovator.

    Chris Squire, etc, of course, was a “better” bass player. They have Roger Waters above Chris Squire, which is wrong in terms of playing the bass, although Waters was the prime mover of a more popular band. Again, however, Waters is solid on the bass and very loud. Notice much lower on the list you have some very professionally oriented bassists like Mike Rutherford, not to speak of Pino Palladino a little higher up, buried, and very distinct, enjoyable bassists like Tina Weymouth as well. It’s a bit of a popularity contest.

  144. Mike

    November 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Chris Campbell for his work in the silver bullet band
    Jim Kale for his work with The guess who and my favorite live album live at the paramount
    Tommy Caldwell for his work in the Marshall Yucker band

  145. ed brunk

    November 15, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Mel Schacher-Grand Funk Railroad, Geddy Lee-Rush, John Paul Jones-Zeppelin, Ben Shepherd-Soundgarden, Mike Commerford-Audioslave……the top 5

  146. randy reno

    November 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Jaco should be in the top 10 and so should Leland Sklar…..at 49 that’s just plain insulting and forced me to make a comment

  147. Casey

    November 15, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    all these lists have a very high Anglosaxon (Am/Brit) content. Possible there are no bassplayers in the rest of the world. Pooooooooor!!!

  148. steve

    November 15, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    To me you forgot two icons…. Greg Lake (ELP) and Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy – Quiet Riot…)!

  149. Alan

    November 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Jamerson was the bassist who changed the way we envisioned playing bass. Just the best.

  150. Mike Zammit

    November 15, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Francis Rocco Prestia from Tower of Power
    and Ray Shulman from Gentle Giant should definitely be on this list.

  151. peter grove

    November 15, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Don’t rate McCartney, he was in the right band at the right time. Carol Kaye probably played bass on more albums than anyone else

    • crzyhors

      November 16, 2016 at 2:49 am

      Many of the others may have never picked up a bass guitar if it weren’t for Sir James Paul McCartney!

    • Uncle Funk

      July 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      I believe Ron Carter appeared on more albums than anyone else.

  152. Chip

    November 15, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Tal Wilkenfeld and Jack Casady.

  153. Val Williams

    November 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    What about Dale “Bugsley” Peters of The James Gang?

  154. Steve

    November 15, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Glenn Cornick
    Ray Shulman
    Peter Mars Cowling
    Tim Bogert
    John Wetton
    Stephen Stills
    Greg Lake
    Jimi Hendrix

  155. Sigi Hümmer

    November 15, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    A good List

    But i am looking for:
    JOHN WETTON – TIM BOGARD – JIMMY LEA – FELIX PAPPALARDI – HELMUT HATTLER
    and Robert „Robbie“ Shakespeare

  156. Christel Combs

    November 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    What about Peter Steele of Type O Negative?

  157. Dan Frederick

    November 15, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I can’t believe you overlooked James Dewar

  158. bblgumtaco

    November 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Are you nor familiar with Geddy Lee’s playing? He deserves that spot at the very least!

  159. Dale

    November 15, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Esperanza Spaulding

  160. Will Sullivan

    November 15, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Jack Cassidy, from the Airplane and Hot Tuna, should be in the top 10, but he’s not even on the list! He was also the bass player on Jimi’s famous Voodoo Chile recording.

  161. Michael

    November 15, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Surprised that Noel Redding isn’t on the list.

  162. Chris

    November 16, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Jack should be number one if the Jazz players like Jaco weren’t on there. This list is a joke !!!
    If you are going to have Jazz Musicians on a list like this, you have to put them all at the top of the list. Come on. Paul M is better than Jaco ? Give me a break !!!!!

    • John Lodge

      October 25, 2017 at 12:05 am

      So where then is the brilliant Cecil McBee, Buster Williams, Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine, Jannik Topp ex of Magma and Magma’s current bassist who is truly mind blowing. His name evades me.

      • Chris

        January 25, 2021 at 10:31 pm

        Andy Fraser

    • Rob MacNaughton

      January 25, 2021 at 7:32 am

      So true McCartney is a light weight.

  163. integam

    November 16, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Glad somebody else caught this. Gary Thain was a monster with Heep.

  164. Robert

    November 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Tal wilkenfeld should be considered

  165. Greg Osborne

    November 17, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Dennis Dunaway PERIOD.

    • K_G_Gecko

      December 5, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Right on Greg, totally agree! Cheers

  166. Greg Osborne

    November 17, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Thanks for the Overend “Pete” Watts shout out!

  167. Greg Osborne

    November 17, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Yes! I can listen to that record for the bass alone.

  168. Mark

    November 17, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Mick Karn-Japan, Dali’s Car, Rain Tree Crow

  169. Victor

    November 18, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Stanley Clarke number 17 you have got to be kidding!!! Victor Wooden learned from him . You guys have got to be kidding

  170. John

    November 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I always love the bass on story in your eyes by the Moody Blues.

  171. Scott

    November 22, 2016 at 10:05 am

    McCartney is the best. It’s not about HOW he plays; if so, this list should be populated by 50 unknown session bassists. It’s about WHAT he plays.

    And Steve Harris is shit.

  172. Steve Jordan

    November 25, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    A one! Peter “Mars” Cowling could teach ’em all.

  173. Sarah Sutherland

    November 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Mick Karn (Japan) & Jerry Casale (Devo) should be there

  174. K_G_Gecko

    December 5, 2016 at 8:27 am

    On my list I would slot in Dennis Dunaway from the original Alice Cooper Band in top 20. Give the Schools’ Out album (and others) a listen for some of the best rock bass work ever!

  175. P, F. Anderson

    December 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    This listis about half right. Still 50% is a FAIL! Yes agood case can be made for putting Entwistle on top. But a better case can be made forMcCarney, IF you are talking rock. But ya got jazz& other styles sprinkled iin there. You cannmot put Ray Brown and Stanley clarke ubder a phil Lynott for crying out loud! And you may only put Chris Squire below McCartnet & Entwistle in rock. But since you had to go & sprinkle other styles in there anda session guylike Sklar (who is too low), then where the heck are Edgar Meyer? Abe Laboriel?

    This list is skewed to havor hard rock and metal.

  176. Jim

    December 29, 2016 at 7:16 am

    This list has obviously been made based on fame and poor research. Honestly Victor Wooten alongside Marcus Miller and Jaco pastorious and others should be at the top to say the least. I don’t think Paul McCartney could ever outplay those guys, not just Paul, he’s just an example but mostly all of them who are placed in top ten. Anyone whos not a bassist or know little about the bass and who weilds it, never use this list of bass players as a reference of who’s better than who. I hold nothing against the famous band bass players , I love their stuff but this list is not correct.

  177. VintageRocker

    December 31, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I know it’s been mentioned before, but how can you leave Felix Pappalardi off this list? He should be in the top 25 at the very least.

  178. WVA

    December 31, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    wheres Randy Coven??John Pattitucci,,,Bronson Begay,,Alain Caron,,,Tom Peterrson,,Pete Way

  179. Chuck foxwell

    January 1, 2017 at 12:46 am

    John Paul Jones to win Getty Lee runner up SuzI Quatro deserves to be on the list

  180. David Joyce

    January 5, 2017 at 12:53 am

    What about Matt Freeman of Rancid?

  181. Doug Rea

    January 17, 2017 at 1:22 am

    All these comments, and no mention of the late, great Helmut Koellen of Triumvirat, my favourite bassist, who puts the “awe” in awesome!

  182. cornelius Brown

    January 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    I think Stanley Clarke should be number one !!!!!!!!!

  183. Rev. Kelvin McKisic

    January 19, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I don’t know who was surveyed and how you judged the meaning of best, but bassist number 12 through 32 would eat numbers 1 through 9 for lunch. To put Stanley Clarke at 17?! His bass skills actually surpass the skills of the 6-string guitar players for the bands in numbers 1 through 9.

  184. Tim

    January 25, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Glen Burtnik from Styx ELO/The Orchestra and The Weeklings.

  185. Ram

    February 5, 2017 at 11:59 am

    everyone needs to understand this
    1.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    2.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    3.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    4.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    5.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    6.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    7.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    8.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    9.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    10.) Alex Webster-Cannibal Corpse
    Alex Webster of Cannibal corpse skill wise in layman’s terms shit over all of your bass player full stop no argument he just wins by default he is a more skilled bass player than anyone need proof listen to Frantic Disembowlment

  186. FERNANDO COSTA

    February 17, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Noel redding!!!!

  187. Dave Haladay

    February 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Where is Felix Pappalardi from Mountain? Jack Bruce listed behind Flea? Shameful.

  188. Bruce Shaakhal

    February 17, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Where are Tim Bogert, Rick Laird and Paul Jackson ?

  189. Henry Gutierrez

    February 18, 2017 at 2:54 am

    I used to think Jack Casady was pretty good until I found out that Jimi Hendrix had 2 bass strings on his guitar during Electric Ladyland

  190. kirk baldwin

    February 18, 2017 at 4:04 am

    How could you leave out Ron Carter?

  191. J D Spurlock

    February 18, 2017 at 4:54 am

    John Paul Jones better than JACK BRUCE — my ass.
    And where is JACK CASSIDY?

  192. Dennis

    February 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I can’t believe no-one mentioned Tim Bogert from Vanilla Fudge. He was amazing.

  193. Mike Vande

    February 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    You people are out of your friggin’ minds. Jaco Pastorius at 12 behind FLEA, for God’s sake, and James Jamerson isn’t even mentioned?

    What a load!

  194. Juan C.

    February 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Not Jeff Berlin and Alain Caron on the list, this is a shit.

  195. Juan C.

    February 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Not John Patitucci also.

  196. Prinz H.

    February 19, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I miss Melissa auf der Maur on this list so Tina weymouth might not be alone.

  197. Greg B

    February 19, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Donald “Duck” Dunn should be in the top ten.

    And including Charles Mingus is just silly – not because he isn’t a great bassist, but because he is clearly the only jazz bassist you knew. So why even open that door? Where is Paul Chambers? Scott LaFaro?

  198. Tall Paul

    February 19, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    No Bruce Foxton? How? FAIL

  199. john

    February 20, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Percy Jones!!!!!!!

  200. John O

    March 7, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Greg Ridley from Humble Pie and Spooky Tooth, Mel Schacher from Grand Funk, Pete Way from UFO, Andy Fraser from Free, Martin Turner from Wishbone Ash, Pete Agnew from Nazareth, Harvey Brooks of The Doors, Electric Flag, and Super Session, Francis Bucholtz of The Scorpions, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, Noel Reading, and Billy Cox with Jimi Hendrix, Rick Danko of The Band, Jim Kale of The Guess Who, John Myong of Dream Theatre, Robert DeLeo of STP, etc…a top 50 list is too debatable!

  201. Richie

    March 9, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Blues anderen Soul – Felton Crews

  202. roy evans

    March 13, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    A little nod to a great bassist Gordon Rawley from Striffe, Razorback, and Nightwing.

  203. Whom'std'd've!

    March 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Where’s Garry Tallent!?!?!?

  204. dave hupe

    April 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    GERRY MCAVOY, from the Rory Gallagher Band has to be there. I really don’t think paul Mccarthy should make it on a 50 most honourable mention list after the 50 greatest list.. List not serious.

  205. michael olpp

    April 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    what about harvey brooks? cmon…

  206. Joe

    April 25, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    This list is a joke. FLEA better than Jaco…..PLEASE

  207. Robert Hooker

    April 25, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    What about Greg Lake? He has got to be considered in this list.

  208. Paul Dooley

    April 26, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Andy Fraser-Free
    Felix Pappalardi-Mountain

    • Glenn Goldsmith

      October 29, 2017 at 4:02 am

      Thumbs up for Andy Fraser.

  209. Bob Davison

    April 26, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Dennis Dunaway

  210. Dennis

    April 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Great list. However, what about Dennis Dunaway? Some great bass lines in the early Alice Cooper Band.
    Lists like these are tough, you’re always going to leave someone off that people like and you’re always going to rank someone higher than they should be.

  211. David Brehaut

    April 27, 2017 at 10:21 am

    There’s a few of the guy’s I’ve not come across before but, I’d of of had Greg Lake, John Wetton, Dave Pegg and Jimmy Lea in there somewhere!

  212. Matt Channing

    April 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Jaco. Pastorius. You. Boobs….

  213. TheKunig

    April 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Tal Wilkenfeld and Mohini Dey –

  214. Lars Arnwald

    April 30, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I heard Casady with the J. Airplane in -68. Full-bodied sound like no other. Short THUMPS on all the right places.Talk about understated bass. Millions to say about all others. I abstain.
    A big smile on my face with 30/40-ies geniuses like Basie’s Walter Page and Ellington’s Jimmy Blanton (+ 1942) mentioned here. I would never dream of it. Still on the jazz side, I’ve heard Milt Hinton do acoustic slap bass like none on the electric side. Still, I try not to compare these different instruments
    So what did Ray Charles have in common with Frank Zappa? Aside from his big band w. the Raelettes, Ray also had a quartet for 35 years. I had almost given up finding the link between the RC 4-tet and FZ. Finally it popped up, Tom Fowler. (So did also Harvey Brooks). Big Thanks! Check out FZ:s 1974, 6 pc band, (G. Duke, Napoleon MB, Ruth U). How Tom and drummer Chester Thompson really pump thru all tricky FZ trade marks.

  215. Andrew Blegg

    April 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Where’s Glenn Hughes & Jason Newstead?

  216. Richard P Heine

    May 1, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Jaco only made #12? Unbelievable! Who used harmonics on a Bass before he did?

  217. Richard

    May 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    So, where are the Ink Spots playing 1 of the best songs (45 RPM) SeaOfLove ?

  218. jon donoghue

    June 9, 2017 at 10:57 am

    tony reeves greenslade was a good classy bass player.

  219. JD Hoskins

    June 28, 2017 at 2:15 am

    I see Carol Kaye, Duck, and James Jamerson but didn’t see David Hood’s name, seems like an oversight to me.

  220. Lgbpop

    June 29, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Wow, the voices sure get loud for those omitted. I don’t have all day to red the previous answers, so if Jim Rodford was mentioned – sorry about that. Anyone good enough to be in the Zombies, Argent and the Kinks knows what he’s doing in my opinion though. He could play a lead bass as well as Entwistle, and had licks as good as McCartney or Casady. Another Kinks bassist – John Dalton – never will get any recognition except for right here – so, here’s to you, Nobby!

    P.S. – for those of you in the UK, Dalton and Rodford still are Active in the Kast-off Kinks. Go see them, they get better with age!

  221. john

    June 29, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Surely there are some great bass players listed here. While I won’t comment much on the order I will suggest two giants missing from the list: Nathan East and James Jameson. I do think Victor Wooten and others are too far down.

  222. Jim

    July 26, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    So ridiculous! Jack Casady & Willie Weeks not even on the list. Lee Sklar at 49? Paul McCartney at 5? Flea at 3? C’mon!

  223. Gary

    August 2, 2017 at 4:53 am

    What about Greg Lake of EL&P ?

  224. ShortLegs

    August 2, 2017 at 10:05 am

    There is one great Bass player omitted, that being session bassist, Carol Kaye!!!

  225. ShortLegs

    August 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Agree D.E. Carol Kaye is an unsung bassist, & like you say Jack Bruce is a multi-instrumentalist, classically trained.

  226. Hill

    August 4, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I am not not a huge Van Halen fan, but a passive fan. But you are wrong, Michael Anthony is a very good bass player, deserves to be on this list somewhere. Listen, i mean really listen to some of his bass work on Fair Warning and 1984 (no, not “Jump”!), he really puts in some nice bass lines.

  227. James

    August 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    100% agreed.

  228. Veronica

    August 20, 2017 at 6:42 am

    No Maurice Gibb of the BeeGees? He had some of the most complex, melodic basslines ever. Listen to albums Main Course, Children of the World, and, yes, Saturday Night Fever.

  229. Alex

    August 22, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Geezer Butler better than Charles Mingus!!! Just repeat this sentence if you can. Not to mention Paul McCartney better than Jaco… Do you know anything about music? athough NO is so obvious answer

  230. Alex

    August 22, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Geezer Butler better than Charles Mingus!!! Just repeat this sentence if you can. Not to mention Paul McCartney better than Jaco… Do you know anything about music? Although NO is so obvious answer

  231. Peter Ellis

    September 22, 2017 at 1:12 am

    To not include on a list of bass players the genius who changed Jazz bass playing, and brought it to where it now stands is either a huge mistake, or complete stupidity…where on earth is Scott la Faro???????

  232. Kaman

    October 25, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Interesting list!!!

  233. Shane Sikes

    October 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Mel Schacher of Grand Funk Railroad

  234. Timothy Schubert

    October 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    I would put McCartney at number 2 and Willie Dixon at number 3. Otherwise, a good list.

  235. Hari Mwell

    October 27, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Si vous ne connaissez pas JIMMY BLANTON, votre culture musicale est très insuffisante excusez-moi…

  236. Glenn Goldsmith

    October 29, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Andy Fraser (Free). No drop out on his top end. Pumping all the way through, the perfect bass player for a four piece,

  237. Glenn Goldsmith

    October 29, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Must not forget Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention/Jethro Tull) or Ron Carter (Best sound of any upright bass player I have ever heard).

  238. Andrew Gates

    November 12, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Spot on Craig!!

  239. Ally

    December 10, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Joke of a list to be honest. The placements are all out of whack and where are Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Eric Avery (Jane’s Addiction), Chuck Rainey (did some great work with Steely Dan), Colin Moulding (XTC) and Pete Quaife (The Kinks) to name but a few? Too many omissions to take seriously to be honest.

  240. Steven Montalbano

    December 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Berry Oakley at 41 is just ridiculous
    He is a top 5 easily. Stanley Clark is a Master. These list are so subjective and personal to the music of the listener.

    • Galen mccall

      September 25, 2019 at 7:21 am

      Barry Oakley was real good

  241. Mark

    December 13, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Paul McCartney just behind Geddy Lee and Flea? Give me a break. McCartney was a great song writer and singer, but can’t think of anything in his music that screams “Great Bass Player”. Not a single Frank Zappa bass player on this list. Tells us everything we need to know about this list. About as credible as the Rolling Stones top 100 Guitar Player’s lists.

  242. Adrian Cunliffe

    December 13, 2017 at 8:04 am

    You’re right. The best bass guitarist ever.

  243. Dan

    December 13, 2017 at 8:10 am

    How is Peter Cetera of Chicago is not in there especially considering the complexity of music Chicago was doing in the early years amazes me but probably the same people that left Terry Kath off the 100 greatest guitarist of all time list but these list make me laugh at times what’s the criteria the best technical bass players or just what you like to listen to there is a distention.

  244. griff

    December 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Gary Thain, Felton Crews, David Wm. Sims, Mel Schachler…

  245. j

    December 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    No condemnation of his talent, but how is Flea ranked ahead of Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Chris Squire, and Charles Mingus? At least you got the #1 correct!

  246. Mike

    December 20, 2017 at 9:05 am

    What moron made this list?

  247. carol sue devitt

    January 29, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Rick Danko

  248. George

    February 14, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    What about the ABBA genius basist Rutger Gunnarsson??

    • Eugene

      January 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      For me he is the best bass player of the world! His playing is not about tricks, it’s about great melody in bassline, creative rhythm patterns and so smart arrangement. His bass produses more pulsation of the song than drums. I love that style!

  249. Jim Wass

    April 16, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Has anyone considered Edgar Meyer?

  250. john

    May 4, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Dead right Andy should be in the top ten

  251. Bill Carroll

    May 5, 2018 at 3:59 am

    All a commercially rigged poll! Why would anybody, much less, any bass player exclude or forget to include Robert Gordon of Gil Scott-Heron’s Band or evan other expanding “firsts” type players, such as Dave Pegg or any of the Progressive Rock Gentle Giant Bass Players i.e. Shulman Brother. Anyone of my aforementioned Bassplayer can carry a song without other accompaniment. AND their style entertains BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN, … REALLY!!!!

  252. Dennis Reilly

    May 5, 2018 at 5:43 am

    The late,great, Peter Mars Cowling, Dieter Horns{Lucifers Friend}, Greg Lake, Dave Myles{Max Webster}, Martin Turner{Wishbone Ash},Charlie Tumahai{Be Bop Deluxe},Kasim Sultan{Utopia}, Doni Harvey,Jerome Rimson{Automatic Man}, Steve Fossen{Heart}, John McVie {Fleetwood Mac}, Steve Priest{Sweet},

  253. Andy Frobig

    May 5, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    One person mentioned Mike Watt? One?

  254. Ed

    May 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Okay, list is posted on the Hatfield and the North page, and no one even mentions Richard Sinclair? John Greaves? Ray Schulman? Just sayin’..

  255. gini winterbourne

    May 22, 2018 at 11:47 am

    mark king 25, jj burnel 46 come on people what the hell is Mcartney doing in the top ten??????

  256. Paul Keys

    June 2, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    MICK KARN FFS !!!

    • Wil Golja

      July 5, 2019 at 3:40 am

      I KNOW!!!!

      • Martin Brady

        July 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm

        Yes, Mick Korn for sure.

  257. mmho

    September 15, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Ok, Simon Gallup is in this list and it says all.

    My dog plays bass better than Simon Gallup.

  258. Tokyoblue

    December 25, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Rio
    Every time.

  259. P

    January 31, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    Another poll typically aimed at those under forty who have no clue about real music just noise. The greatest ever bassist was without a doubt the man who made Chicago Blues and much more…the great Willie Dixon. No one can touch him. Also I would put Bill Black in second place. Bill Black basically invented R’n’R bass playing in ’56. I dont expect Metalheads, Punks and others to understand just how great he was as you all were not around to see his genius in the mid-fifties and how essential he was to the Elvis/R’n’R/Rockabilly sound. But Big Willie, oh what a player.

  260. Marco

    March 30, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Pete Quaife of The Kinks should be there, as should John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Also,I can’t believe that so few have mentioned Mike Mills of R.E.M. He’s the most melodic player since McCartney.

  261. Ian Thor

    April 28, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Hows about Glyn Havard of Icarus the original group, who went on to Jade Warrior? Great singer too…I played with him on gigs and recordings too…maybe not as famous as above..but there are great unknowns too..check out Yellow Balloon, Devil Rides Out, You’re in Life…I played many USA bases with Glyn…a pia no/ bass duo….rock, heavy metal, classic, pop, funk, jazz….whatever I played..Glyn was there…had the yanks stomping….halcyon days!

  262. Bunty

    April 28, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Ray Brown….the DADDY…with Shelley Manne and Andre Previn…yes THAT Andre Previn!
    Dig Lil Abner!

  263. Alp

    May 31, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Agree with most on list….but Lynott, Mcgagan and Sting are sentimental choices in my mind….don’t really ever remember amazing bass playing from any of them. Enthwistle always No1. Always overlooked in these polls Eric Avery…not mainstream so does not get a mention….but best ever dynamic driving bass player ever.

  264. Adrian

    July 2, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Maybe someone’s already said it but Keith Richards played the bass on sympathy for the devil ~ the sample song for Bill Wyman.

  265. David Mansir

    July 3, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Great List but I think Dave Holland should have made the list, countless great jazz albums including miles Davis’ Bithes Brew.

  266. Mike Vale

    July 3, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Nobody ever heard of Pete Cetera? He solidified Chicago’s rhythm section

  267. Leopoldo

    July 3, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Too many rockers for my taste. To have Mingus and Charlie Haden behind Paul McCarthey is – with all due respect – a joke, and not even a funny one. And to have Jaco Pastorius as #1 is plain silly. And oh btw you forgot Miroslav Vitous. ..

  268. pg

    July 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    he is # 23 so all’s well

    • Bo Dacious

      July 4, 2019 at 4:05 am

      …but should be much higher. Jack rules.

  269. Lizard Palmer

    July 3, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Can’t believe John Deacon (Queen) was missed….Another one Bites the Dust, Under Pressure…was missed!!!

  270. Matt Phillips

    July 3, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Where’s Doug Wimbish?! Should have got in for his playing on Living Colour’s ‘Stain’ alone. Not to mention his brilliant other stuff with Tackhead, Grandmaster Flash, Will Downing etc etc.

  271. Chuck Scarpello

    July 3, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Any list of this nature without Joe Osborn loses all credibility.

    • Jerry Caffarello

      July 4, 2019 at 4:47 am

      Where’s Joe Osborn?

  272. Alan Rockman

    July 3, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    No Chris Hillman (the Byrds).

    Shame on you.

  273. Imbored

    July 4, 2019 at 12:53 am

    Lists like this are always lacking and shortsighted. Please stop trying to promote a roster of the best of when most readers know there will always be a missed nominee.

  274. Jerry

    July 4, 2019 at 2:35 am

    Claus voorman

  275. Beefcomb

    July 4, 2019 at 3:27 am

    Did you notice who #23 was?

  276. Princess Rose

    July 4, 2019 at 4:05 am

    This list does not include Prince and is therefore complete garbage

    • kevin

      March 16, 2020 at 10:07 pm

      or no Marcus Miller!

  277. S

    July 4, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Roger waters

  278. Manu

    July 4, 2019 at 7:31 am

    un grand oublié; Felix Pappalardi (Cream Montain)

  279. Ulas

    July 4, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Gary Thain, Greg Lake & Peter Cetera should be on the list

  280. John

    July 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    No chick cores?

  281. Mark Ash

    July 4, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Wow, you certainly hit a few sore spots with some individuals. That being said, I was surprised to see that Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order) didn’t make the cut. He plays bass like no other.

  282. Rolfie

    July 4, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Norman Watt Roy
    Bruce Foxton
    Paul Webb

    All much better than Lemmy and Paul McCartney

  283. dycegard

    July 5, 2019 at 12:26 am

    no Steve Harris on the list, what A shitfull list

  284. Wil Golja

    July 5, 2019 at 3:47 am

    The legend Mick Karn… not forgotten but sadly forgotten from this list

  285. Wil Golja

    July 5, 2019 at 3:50 am

    I can’t believe Mick was left out (although most new-wavers are) but I’m pretty sure Chuck was on this list. Glad he was because he’s a beast

  286. Wil Golja

    July 5, 2019 at 3:51 am

    yep… unbelievable

  287. Percy

    July 9, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Kenny Gradney of Little Feat

  288. Uncle Funk

    July 9, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    I can’t believe that Marcus Miller was omitted from this list. He should be close to the top!

  289. Johnny

    July 10, 2019 at 2:57 am

    How you don’t have Jah Wobble in there is a definite over look.

  290. Burt

    July 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Bobby Vega!!!!!!

  291. John Herrin

    July 11, 2019 at 3:37 am

    Joe Osborn from the wrecking crew played on over 200 hits with the best known artist across the globe. He should be Number 1 of all time. He died dec. 14, 2018 in Shreveport Louisiana where he was from.

  292. Will Sullivan

    July 12, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Surprised not to see Tai Wilkenfeld on the list. Look up some of her gigs with Jeff Beck … she’s a phenomenal bass player!

  293. Sean

    July 13, 2019 at 12:52 am

    No list is complete without the mighty Danny Thompson (Pentangle, Richard Thompson)… I’d add Paul Chambers, Jimmy Garrison, and Roger Glover, to name a few.

  294. Andrew

    July 20, 2019 at 8:57 am

    It’s all subjective. I personally would have Jonas Hellborg up there with Wooten, and he is not even on the list.

  295. Merc

    July 20, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    How about Flea of RHCP?

  296. Mario

    July 21, 2019 at 7:46 am

    No Mark King? No John Taylor? No Flea? C’mon!!!! Seriously?

  297. Rob Weighill

    July 27, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    No John McVie or Roger Waters?

  298. roger

    July 27, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Jack is on the list at #23. I agree that he should be at least in the top 10.

  299. John Michlik

    July 27, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Kudos on your 50 Best Bassists list. You’ve included a lot of names that are often overlooked. No such list is ever going to please everyone, and yours is no exception: for Honorable Mention, I’d like to nominate Moby Grapes’ Bob Mosely … Lee Sklar … Ross Valory … The Gin Blossoms’ Bill Leen … John Deacon … Chas Chandler … Rick Huxley … and John McVie (I’ll never forget browsing a record store in Seattle in the early 80’s and the sound system started playing “Rhiannon” … first came ten seconds of intro … then Mick and John joined in, heralded by John’s powerful and lilting bass line. EVERY head in the store silently and subliminally began bobbing in rhythm. An unforgettable sight, and a sweet memory 40-some years later).

  300. per olsson

    July 27, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    so were is Nörp?

  301. Alan Halford

    August 9, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    No John Deacon of Queen. A real bass players bass player. Incredible. Also no Mick Karn, John Taylor,Mark King or Herbie Flowers.

    • Susan

      August 15, 2019 at 10:36 pm

      Right you are Alan! Clearly we need this to be a top 100 bassists list. So many of our favorites are not shown. Deaky really should be high on the top 50.

  302. Terry Danko

    August 19, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    I think so too !

  303. Tron Fan

    August 22, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    This list needs to be updated to include Thundercat!

  304. Barbara

    September 7, 2019 at 1:20 am

    Definitely John Lodge!!!

  305. Barbara

    September 7, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Can’t believe John Lodge of the Moody Blues wasn’t included on this list. He definitely belongs here!

  306. Alan Williams

    September 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Yet another stupid list. Order of merit very flawed list. No Martin Turner for a start.

  307. Sweetpea

    September 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Why no Andy Faser? Without him Free would only have been Rodgers’ voice alongside Kossoff at his best. Try playing All Right Now without the bass.

  308. Gerald Turner

    September 18, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    I agree with 80 % of the bass players on the list. But there’s bass players that weren’t even considered that are better than half of the players on the list and I’m one of them .i believe in the Muhammed Ali approach not political views on playing but obvious talent . What about Randy Jackson, Skeet Curtis Bill Dickens. Nathaniel Phillips, Doug Wimbish. And me Gerald “Tugboat” Turner/ Digable Planets. I’m not claiming to be the best in the world. But I’ll beat the brakes off of some of these on this list. Point blank period!!!

  309. Paul

    October 12, 2019 at 7:38 am

    I agree Cetera should have made the list as well as Mark King of Level 42.

  310. Christopher Nowak

    October 26, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    What about JEAN MILLINGTON from FANNY!?
    Anyone who can sing like that and play bass at the same time has to be good!
    She was one hot chick in the 1970s. It is too bad she let herself go.

  311. Christopher Nowak

    October 28, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    DANE ALDERSON from the YELLOW JACKETS?!!
    I saw him live at the JAZZ FEST in Waterloo, Ontario in 2015.
    I was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY!!

  312. Christopher Nowak

    November 11, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    RAY SHULMAN from GENTLE GIANT!!!?

  313. Christopher Nowak

    November 24, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    TONY REEVES from CURVED AIR?!!

  314. David

    November 30, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Phil Lynot from Thin Lizzy wrote and sang all the songs, as good as anyone on that list, Steve Harris also, this list is garbage

  315. Christopher Nowak

    December 18, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    DAVE LARUE (Dixie Dregs)!!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKTPb9ejmaY
    Especially check out 1:07-1:34

  316. Christopher Nowak

    December 27, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    STEVE HARRIS from IRON MAIDEN?!!

  317. Vic Peppler

    December 30, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    No mention of Tim Drummond? He played with Conway Twitty, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Crosby & Nash, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Ry Cooder, J. J. Cale, Mother Earth, Lonnie Mack, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Albert Collins, Joe Henry, Jewel, Essra Mohawk, and many others!

  318. Ken Meeei

    January 7, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    They also left out one of thee best…Larry Gaulke…Don Costa’s go to guy.

  319. Ron

    January 19, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve seen many on this list live. No one comes into the same universe as Victor Wooten. Should be #1.

  320. Charles

    January 29, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Without Edgar Meyer, this is no list at all.

  321. Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

    February 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    The late DEE MURRAY??!!!
    I especially loved his bass playing on BURN DOWN THE MISSION.

  322. Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

    February 24, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    RALPH RIEKERMANN from THE SCORPIONS??!!!

  323. Curtis Brown

    April 1, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Jack is on the list. One that is not is, IMOO, Tony Levin !!!!! He is the most sought after Bassist today. He is the Bassists Bassist. Plays on about 1/3 of everything you hear. Nuf Said.

  324. Dan Hall

    April 11, 2020 at 7:23 am

    How can anyone leave JOE OSBORN of the Wrecking Crew off the list.Carol Kaye was better known, and deservedly so, but Osborn was right up there with her and played on 100’s of top pop hits, and 33 #1 hits in the Country field.

  325. Fretless Foe

    April 30, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    He got kicked off the guitar because he sucked, and the bass was the only other instrument he had to stay with the band. It’s insulting he’s in the list. He’s not even top 500 base players in the world. He’d tell you the same.

    • Glenn Condrey

      February 13, 2021 at 5:29 pm

      Paul McCartney was the most versatile Beatle in terms of instrumentation.
      He played drums when they needed it, and lead guitar when they needed it.
      There are several Beatle songs when George Harrison just couldn’t keep up with what was needed…and McCartney nailed it on the first try.

  326. David Matthews

    May 1, 2020 at 5:13 am

    Nice list but Marcus Miller belongs in here. Check out some of his music if you like jazz.

  327. Ras Keita

    July 7, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Robert “Robbie” Shakespeare

  328. Scooter P

    July 8, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    If you’re going to include Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke and omit Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, then your list is trash.

  329. Scott Spinharney

    July 24, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    MINGUS! Graham Maby

  330. Scott

    August 9, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    I’m sure all you blues and jazz fans will vilify me for this, because of the genre, but Mark King from Level 42, bassist and lead singer… dang. I’d put him in the top 3. Please proceed to have conniptions and hissy fits to your hearts’ content.

  331. Aaron Faulls

    August 9, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Any list of bass players without Adam Clayton on it is at best incomplete but more likely an abomination. .

  332. Linda Murray

    August 9, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, I think John Deacon should be on the list, he wrote & played some of the most well known & recognisable riffs.

  333. Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

    October 12, 2020 at 12:14 pm

  334. Maria Grau

    November 10, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Tom T-Bone Wolk was a great bass player too and it is not included…unfair!

  335. Christopher Nowak BFA MLIS

    January 2, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    CHARLES BERTHOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is a more laid back piece.
    He played 500,000 notes in just three minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You can check that one out on YOUTUBE!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LHM2Tzk3q0

  336. Ken

    January 22, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Talk about counting the vibrations, what about Herbie Flowers on Nilsson’s ‘Jump into the Fire’

  337. Larry

    January 24, 2021 at 12:51 am

    You’ve done a total injustice to thing by leaving out Lee Sklar. He was James Taylor’s bassist for years and a session bassist for many other artists. He doesn’t have to be flashy to prove his skill like so many others.

  338. Jeff

    February 8, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Rick Danko

  339. Mjm

    February 9, 2021 at 3:38 am

    she should be near the top

  340. Linkolnsrt

    February 25, 2021 at 5:23 am

    Justin Chancellor?

  341. Birch Mere

    March 21, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    Mike Visceglia is clearly one of the 50 best bassists of all time and certainly one of the very best of the past 35 years. He was the longtime bassist for Suzanne Vega.

  342. Jimmix

    July 3, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Remove Percy Heath and Re Title the listiog as the 50 greatest Electric Bassists of all time.

  343. David Stellwagen

    August 22, 2021 at 6:38 am

    Nobody has a resume like Leland Sklar! Wikipedia lists 300 albums. Hagar to Haggard, Steven Curtis Chapman to Warren Zevon, Engelbert Humperdinck to C-S-N & Y.

  344. John

    August 27, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Tom Fowler (from Zappa’s bands in the early to mid-Seventies), Alphonso Johnson, Robbie Shakespeare, Ralphe Armstrong (Jean-Luc Ponty & post-Rick Laird Mahavishnu) and Jimmy Garrison (Coltrane’s classic quartet, ‘nuff said) also merit inclusion on this list. And Jack Bruce (Tony Williams Lifetime & Spectrum Road, as well as Cream) & Mingus both deserve to rank much higher on this list.

  345. LifeIsPain

    September 7, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Where’s Davide Bible?

  346. Jan Ross

    September 11, 2021 at 10:59 am

    GREG LAKE!!!!!!!
    Originally a guitatarist he was an amazingly fast and lyrical bassist for King Crimson and ELP! Listen to his bass line on Take A Pebble!

  347. Peter E. Herard

    September 18, 2021 at 3:18 am

    LEON WILKERSON !! Vital part of the FLORIDA GUITAR ARMY …..PLUS …..try playing that good AFTER ALMOST LOSING YOUR ARM IN PLANE CRASH ……

    LYNYRD SKYNYRD

  348. Andy Foss

    September 18, 2021 at 3:51 am

    Bruce Foxton of The Jam is the best bassist Paul Weller has ‘ever’ played with – still!!! So rhythmical.
    Mark King? (Level 42). Tony Levin must also be a shoe-in…?

  349. Bill Ezell

    September 19, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Its bull shit. First, stand up ve amplified? 4 string bs 5?
    “Well, gee…” exactly…this is marketing bull shit.

    Tell these flickers yo start asking real questions not the mktng bull shit that justifies. Their miserable paycheck k.

    Second, “best” using what criteria? Be aware they do this on purpose….Jack Bruce, John Entwistle and Paul McCartney in the same eval tells you all you need to know…fick em, this is bullshit

  350. Jim C

    September 20, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Where’s Jean-Jacques Burnel(The Stranglers) Class bass player!

  351. Nasalis Larvatus

    September 24, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    I love Tina Weymouth, but one of the best bassist? What about Tal Wilkenfield? Simon Gallup? And Flea is definitely top 5.

  352. Charlie

    October 9, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Where’s Justin Chancellor from tool ,amazing bass player

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