Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another Top Five Basslines

Time for another selection of songs with great basslines.

This time, I'm going for...

5)  Queen - Dragon Attack
Another One Bites The Dust is, of course, one of the most iconic of all basslines, but... well, it's a bit too obvious a choice for me. And like John Deacon's other hook-monster, Under Pressure, it's been rather done to death: covered, sampled, parodied ad infinitum. So, instead, here's his third greatest bassline (like Another One Bites The Dust, also from The Game - the last of their really great albums). It doesn't really come to the fore in this clip from a show they did in Montreal in 1981, but it's superb sound and picture quality - and Brian and Freddie are fairly ripping it up (you can try the album version here, if you like).

4)  George Baker Selection - Little Green Bag
Despite the huge exposure this song got 20 years ago through its use by Quentin Tarantino over the opening credits of Reservoir Dogs, Dutch musician 'George Baker' (real name Johannes Bouwens) still seems to have a rather low profile online, and I haven't been able to find out who was playing the bass here. I would be grateful if anyone could tell me.

3)  Fleetwood Mac - The Chain
Of course, it's the incredibly hooky bit in the extended instrumental second half that we really love, possibly John McVie's finest hour - although he's had many. For me, as for many other Brits of my vintage, this is indelibly associated with BBC2's Grand Prix programme which showed highlights of the F1 races on a Sunday evening, and used this instrumental passage (I didn't realise it was part of a song until years later) as its theme music. I was an avid fan during my teens in the late '70s and early '80s. That was the period when the manic and touchingly inept veteran commentator Murray Walker was teamed with the extravagantly laidback former world champion James Hunt - one of the great accidental comedy double-acts in TV history.

And just for good measure, here's that BBC intro...

2)  Thomas Dolby - The Ability To Swing
It was Terry Jackson who played bass with The Lost Toy People, the band that Dolby put together for his superb 1988 album Aliens Ate My Buick! (one of my favourite silly album titles!), but I'm not sure who's accompanying him at this recent gig in Denver. (You can check out the album version here.)

And in the Number 1 spot this time we have....

1)  The Cure - Close To Me
Simon Gallup featured in the first instalment of this irregular series, and may well crop up again once or twice. His playing is probably the main thing I like about the band. (And this is one of my favourite video concepts, too.)

1 comment:

Mike Cormmack said...

Terrific post! Love Dragon Attack. "The Game" definitely in my top 3 Queen albums. Cracking vid there as well, love the high-def.