One of the most important instruments in music is bass, that at this point one or another absent-minded calls it a four-string guitar when he sees a band playing live. However, this instrument has not always received the recognition it deserves within music For one simple reason, it is not so easy to distinguish on some recordings.

In the early 1950s, Leo Fender introduced the first ever commercial electric bass guitar, the Precision Bass. With it, all the rockers of the time exchanged their double basses for this instrument that became the standard of what we would hear later, thanks to the fact that it was much easier to transport and above all, more comfortable when playing on stage.

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This was the first Precision Bass that Fender introduced to the market in 1951 / Photo: .

As the instrument evolved, the way it was played was also changing, you could play with your fingers or with a pen, and later techniques such as slap would be born. Entering the 60s and specifically in popular music, they came out of the shadows of the songs to become protagonists, being more than a simple sound that complemented a song.

That is why we want to remember here 10 songs where the bass makes the difference and without it, none of it would be the same. We want to make it very clear that this is not a definitive list nor do we intend to mention the best bass lines in history, it is simply to remember that like the guitar, drums or keyboard, this instrument is extremely important.

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Jack Casady, bassist for Jefferson Airplane / Photo: .

The Beatles – “Come Together”

Maybe Paul MCCARTNEY He is not the virtuous bassist or the most technical, but when he was in charge of the four strings in The Beatles He showed us that this instrument, beyond being the accompaniment in a song, could become the true protagonist of everything.

There are many examples in the discography of the Fab Four, but “Come Together” is the perfect proof of McCartney’s legacy on the bass, melodic and rhythmic figures that might well have been a perfect guitar riff, but which with Sir Paul’s Höfner sounded spectacular.

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Pink Floyd – “Money”

When it came out The Dark Side Of The Moon Pink Floyd’s in 1973 was a real revolution. From that huge set of experimental songs in which David Gilmour, Richard Wright, Nick Mason and Roger Waters used the team they had at their disposal to capture the idea they had in mind, “Money” is one of the most complex due to the different measures that appear throughout the almost five minutes..

It may sound like a typical band song, but from the start it grabs you with sampling the sounds of a cash register and coins. However, the bass line Waters plays in this song is the one that claps his hands, a rhythmic riff that changes relatively little but that charmed many for how forceful it sounds.

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Queen – “Another One Bites The Dust”

Perhaps everyone remembers Queen for the spectacular voice of Freddie Mercury, the solos and unique riffs of Brian May or the precise drums of Roger Taylor, but part of the band’s success was having John Deacon play bass. Many times the contribution of this musician in the history of the group is not recognized, because he preferred to keep a low profile, but without him they would not have been the same.

The line of “Another One Bites The Dust” sounds very easy, but that is precisely what makes it great, that does not need figures or saturate it with notes to impress. Further, the entire structure of the roll is based on it, the other band members – including Freddie – are led by the sound of John Deacon’s bass. If you don’t believe us, pay close attention to this song.

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Black Sabbath – “N.I.B.”

Geezer Butler is the role model for all bassists who want to play this instrument, heading for the metal. And the truth is that we don’t blame them, because what he did with in Black Sabbath with Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne it influenced thousands of generations more, thanks to the speed and creativity it had with the instrument.

There are many songs by the band where the bass sounds brutal. However, Geezer’s legacy on the bass is a track he composed, “N.I.B.”. This song starts with a single called “Basically”, where we can listen to this music raffling like the big boys and shoving a wah pedal up. Of nothing replace this effect with a violent distortion that is the characteristic sound of this song. Put on your headphones and listen very well to Geezer Butler’s work.

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Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean”

Michael Jackson was breaking it with Off The Wall, what was to come with Thriller would be crazy. Motown’s sound was heavily influenced by R&B and funk, but on the second album by ‘King of Pop’ and with the help of Quincy Jones, that would evolve completely, mixing the brilliant past of the label with the future that the singer envisioned.

This album was consecrated thanks to “Billie Jean”, the first single released in 1983. Although Michael’s voice is outstanding, the electric bass played by the session musician, Louis Johnson stole it completely, giving it that funky and danceable touch that characterizes it so much. There is not much to tell here, just let yourself be carried away by the sound of this line that took on a life of its own.

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Tool – “Schism”

In 2002 and after almost five years without releasing new music, Tool released one of the most acclaimed albums of his entire discography, Lateralus. Virtually the entire album lends itself to nailed musical analysis, that it would take us days and maybe even years to look at each of the minute details that the band put into all the songs.

But “Schism” is the perfect example of the bass sound in Tool. In addition to having countless bars – which is why they make it so complex – Justin Chancellor blew up the fence with the line he composed for this role, because it all starts with some harmonics that the bassist brought, but the main riff coming out of his instrument is the one that at first catches you and makes you listen to this song from start to finish.

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Muse – “Hysteria”

When Muse rose to fame in the early 2000s, they caught the attention of many because they didn’t sound like what we were used to.. Matt Bellamy’s voice and riffs and Dominic Howard’s powerful drum rolls were something that blew the minds of many. But as we have already seen with this list, bass often makes a difference, and that’s where Chris Wolstenholme comes in.

Chris has bass lines that from the first moment you listen to them you can recognize that it is him, like “Time is Running Out” or “Bliss”, but none like “Hysteria”. Maybe this track is to blame for many of the young people in 2003 having bought an electric bass and a distortion pedal trying to emulate Wolstenholme’s epic bass line, a wonder that to this day continues to excite when it sounds at their concerts.

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The Cure – “The Lovecats”

When we think of The Cure, the lyrics and voice of Robert Smith immediately come to mind, but the truth is that the bassists who have been through the band have brought a unique touch to those songs that we love so much. Simon Gallup is the mere mere on the list of musicians who have taken all four strings in the group, but he did not touch one of the tracks where the bass shines in all its splendor.

“The Lovecats” is something unique in the discography of this bandota, because they were all used to having this instrument for rhythmic sections. Here The Cure brings out its jazziest side, thanks to the incredible sound of the double bass played by Phil Thornalley (yes, it is not an electric bass but it is practically the same). A song where you will realize that tololoche – as we call it here – is not for the exclusive use of the northern ensembles, jiar jiar.

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Interpol – “Evil”

Definitely Interpol is one of the favorite bands in Mexico, thanks to the fact that they have songs in their arsenal that have accompanied us throughout these years. Part of the formula of this band is to mix simple listening riffs inspired by post punk, with a rhythmic section where the bass at times takes the baton of the song.

But what Carlos Dengler did with the “Evil” line was something that completely fell out of the mold, it repeated a simple but forceful riff that remained engraved in the heads of many and became their particular sound. Unfortunately, Dengler is no longer with Paul Banks and company, but he left us this and many more bass lines to remember him.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”

We can’t make a list of songs to appreciate the bass without mentioning the master and master of the slap, Flea for Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is difficult to choose a single song where this bassist shows us what he is capable of, but without a doubt the perfect example of his genius is reflected in the song “Give It Away”.

It all starts with a John Frusciante riff, but out of nowhere and without warning Flea enters, brutally hitting his bass to bring him that funk sound of the Chili Peppers, something that over the years and records, would become the brand of the house. Just pay attention to the nearly five minutes the song takes to realize how valuable this bass player is to the band.

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What other track where the bass shines would you add? From here another list could come out …