Man, it’s been awhile.
I present: 13 basslines that strike me as wicked cool. Enjoy!
- First off, here’s the aptly-named Canadian bank 13 Engines with the intro to their tune “Bred in the Bone”. There was a video for this one, which I happened to see a time or two on MuchMusic, and I bought the tape (Perpetual Motion Machine) on the strength of this song. Later I was ecstatic to find the CD for five bucks, but that’s a story that’s already been told.
- Next let’s throw a little more love at another Canadian band, the Tragically Hip. They’ve got a lot of great tunes, but the bassline for Blow at High Dough always makes me smile. Maybe that’s because it was the theme song for the funniest show ever on television, Made in Canada.
- What’s that? You want more Canadian bass? Okay, here you go: K-OS’s Crabbuckit. This one makes me want to smile, too, and it makes my feet want to walk. Big time.
- Ok, now to California, I think. (Don’t worry, we’ll be back in Canada before this is all done.) Faith No More’s Midlife Crisis is a hard-hitting tune, full of gritty lyrics like “Go on and wring my neck / like when a rag gets wet”. The kind of stuff I like. Too bad they broke up.
- But that’s okay, too, because now Tom Patton is making music like this track from his Peeping Tom project, Mojo. The entire album is amazing, but this one–the first single–remains my favourite.
- When I think of the Butthole Surfers, I think of two things. One is the Simpsons episode where the Flanderses lose their house in a hurricane and end up living in the church; the kids dig shirts out of the lost and found, one of them ends up witha Butthole Surfers shirt, and says, proudly, “Look, Daddy, I’m a surfer!” The other thing is their song Pepper.
- Told you we’d be back in Canada. Here’s a double shot from the smalls, “Canada’s hardest working independent band”. Here’s a snippet from their rockin’ classic, Pity the Man with the Fast Right Hand. How can you fail to love a title like that?
- And the other one from the smalls, who had an amazing bass player named Corb Lund (who has gone on to a roots/country career), is the astonishing bass solo from Take it from a Ryeman.
- Rob Zombie’s greatest hits album had a nasty, brutish song called Pussy Liquor. The lyrics may be evil, but the catchiness of the tune cannot be denied.
- Next up we have the Beastie Boys, with the bassline from their tune Root Down.
- And so we come to Primus. It was difficult not to make this the “top 13 Primus basslines”, but somehow I managed to resist the temptation. First up we have the intro to the groovin’ Over the Electric Grapevine.
- When Metallica’s bassist Cliff Burton died, Les Claypool, Primus’s bassist, was one of the musicians who auditioned to take his place. He didn’t get the gig, but Primus sometimes plays Metallica tunes in their concerts. There’s a bootleg out there of Master of Puppets; what I’ve got is The Thing That Should Not Be.
- Last but most assuredly not least, we have the song that got me hooked on Primus: a live version of their classic Tommy the Cat.
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