Best Bassists Ever

The Contenders: Page 5XW

81Matt Freeman

If this was actually judged on ability then Freeman would be way higher up, but unfortunately he has even been outvoted by Mikey Way who's been voted up by the fan girls not because he was good but purely because he's in My Chemical Romance. Well, used to be at least, good riddance. I'm not saying that Matt is the best bassist ever but his ability to write pure gold on the bass and his work in even Operation Ivy has been severely overlooked. Also, what's this about flea having good technique? Have you seen that guy play, his ability is reasonable but damn does he have poor slap technique.

of course one of the best bassist. people just don't realize it because he plays a genre that people don't generally listen to at large. if you ever see maxwell murder live you'll know by listening to him play and the peolpes reactions. seriously, the PUNK mosh pits stopped and everyone got on each others shoulders to watch. great bassist if I ever saw one - rottoncheesedude

Freeman's work with Operation Ivy and Rancid (especially on their eponymous debut) cemented his reputation as one of the best bass guitarists (and THE best punk rock bass guitarist) of all time. Listen to Rats in the Hallway and Rejected; his lead bass lines on those songs will blow you away. Bottom line: Extremely underrated.

Just incredible. Probably the wrong genre for most people here. Speed, accuracy, ingenuity. Gives me goosebumps every time he plays.

V29 Comments
82Mick Karn

Everybody would stand around with their jaws on the floor as Chet Atkins walked all over the fretless guitar.. Well, my friends, Mick Karn is the Chet Atkins of bass players, playing a fretless bass to perfection. To call him herein underrated would itself be underrated. Google "Artemis" by Dali's Car and be amazed. He was best known among professional musicians (the likes of Robert Fripp) as the consumate improvisational bassist. He died on January 4, 2011 at the age of 52. RIP.

The most unique bass player - it's obvious from the moment you first hear anything beginning with Japan's three classical albums, through Mick's collaborations and to his nothing-to-compare-with solo works. Many acclaimed progressive musicians admitted his brilliance. No bassist in the world can play like Mick

Coming from an out and out Rocker I shouldn't like him, But I loved Japan. Mick evolved into one of the most influential players of the eighties. Along with Steve Jansen, Mick formed probably the most unique rhythm section the late seventies and the early eighties could offer... A true artist who brought technique and talent to the fore!

Greatest Fretless ever

V151 Comments
83Greg Lake

You just have to hear 21st century Schizoid Man

Keeping up with Keith Emerson was not for the weak... and he had the best voice to go with it.

V2 Comments
84Dougie Poynter

No Dougie Poynter in the best bassists section? How is that possible?! Come on! Dougie is one of the most talented bassist for his age and has an incredible presence on stage, jumping all the time, like a restless little monkey! He's cute, that's true, but he's still an amazing performer/bassist!

Brilliant bassist and he should definitely be in the top ten. People underestimate him because he is from McFly, but they don't realize how talented each member is and they deserve more credit - sarsh0603

This guy is THE BEST!
Blink 182 fan!
And SUPER hot
You should vote Dougie!

The is a great bassist

V4 Comments
85Peter Hook

Awesome Bassist. Deserves To Be Higher, Joy Division Wouldn't Have Had The Same Sound Without Him.

Never before hearing joy division/ new order songs have I thought that a song could revolve around the bass line alone. The bass lines are so prominent, strong, they simply compliment each song.

Top 20 for sure, maybe top 10. He defines New Order and was a major force in Joy Division. Yes, plays bass like it's a lead, but that means he's got to be really on his game or the songs fail. He's a master.

Not everyone's cup of tea, but he creates his own sound, drives the bass lines like a lead, and those early albums are utterly timeless.

V6 Comments
86Eero Heinonen

He's so great! he should be in the top ten at less, omg I can belive he is in the 31 he deserves the first place Eero I love you! and I love The Rasmus

He is so different, so great! He has so much passion! What does he do At 21? You're kidding us? Eero, Lauri, Pauli and Aki, The Rasmus of course, must be at the first place of all lists!

he's so great and also good person... - Nancy

He is the best bass on the planet and deserves to be in top 10 - Näncy

V6 Comments
87Jared Followill
88Mark Evans
89Sam Rivers

Sam is way better than Dave Farrell. It's unfortunate nobody gives him the credit he deserves just because a lot of people hate Limp Bizkit.

sam is the best I don't now why he is 84 on this list he should be in the top 10.
Just because everybody hates fred that does not mean that he should be hated to he is defenetly the best

he's never ever going to get recognized just because he plays bass for limp bizkit. he's probably the most under-rated bass player. really fast finger work.

Awesome bassist. He can play jazz and rock. - 05yusuf09

V7 Comments
90Noel ReddingNoel David Redding was an English rock bassist and guitarist best known for his work as bassist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

wow, no one added this guy. being the original bassist for the greatest guitar player to ever walk this earth, he wasn't recognized. he's one of the greatest - pauler94

Why would he be so far down the list, doesn't make any sense. Has anyone ever paid attention to this guy or did Jimi steal the show so well he looked alone up there?

Listen again next time you play a track, bass playing at the back bone

V1 Comment
91Willie Weeks

My favourite bass player for many years. Beautiful tone, tasteful chops and great feel. Willie has played on hundreds of great albums and with so many influential artists that he must be one of the most influential unsung musicians in history! Highlights include Donny Hathaway Live and George Harrison's Thirty Three and a Third

Not to mention Randy Newman's Little Criminals album

V1 Comment
92Mike Rutherford

One of the most underrated bassists of all time. For anyone who doubts me, listen to the Genesis albums from 1971-1976, he is incredible on EVERY single song. I think many underestimate Genesis as a band (since they started making pop in the 80's) but their early albums are pure progressive rock. It's maybe one of the best groups in that genre ever. Phil Collins is also an amazing drummer for those of you who think he only sings pop, but that is for some other time.

Rutherford is often overlooked in comparison to other progressive bassists like Chris Squire, who I of course can agree is godlike. But I would say that Rutherford is without a doubt equal. Even Steve Harris himself has cited this man as one of his main influences and for good reason.

Eww, yuck, pop songs... Oh, stuff it. If he never did anything other than the bass line on "No Reply At All" he'd still be worthy of inclusion.

Just don't let him sing.

Your ignorance is hurting my brains. His contribution is way beyond what he did in the prog years of Genesis. - RalphSaad

One of the most underrated prog bassists. He could also play the guitar well. - RalphSaad

93Arni Arnason
94Ryan Martinie

How in the world is Shavo sitting at 30 and Ryan Martini at 42. That's pathetic! Yet again, another poll becomes a popularity contest. Shavo couldn't change Ryan's strings, much less be a considered a better bass player. I like System, but Shavo is a mediocre bass player at best. I've never struggled for even a minute to play one of his bass lines for a cover in my band and when they play live, his timing is awful. Ryan, on the other hand, is a beast live and it's an achievement to be able to play his basslines.

Seriously, Ryan is most definitely number one, turn on any Mudvayne song (ANY! ) and listen to the bass. It blows minds. I've been playing bass for about 12 years now and I still find it difficult to nail some of his lines. Only other bassists I'd even consider being better then him are Les Claypool and Fieldy and that's a pretty big stretch even to consider them.

dude u just cant beat ryan martinie, awsum bassist, great riffs, not to mention hes incredibly fast, listen to this guy live, probably one of the best there is, the only 2 guys i will say are a little better are les claypool and victor wooten, other than that im done - Vayne90

One of the most audible and awesome bass players, and definitely the best in the nu metal scene. - NuMetalManiak

V32 Comments
95Tal Wilkenfeld

She's only 21 but has already toured with Chick Corea and Jeff Beck. Made a big showing at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar fest 2007. Give her a few more years and she'll rocket up this list

This girl is really generous player, woking hard to make the rest of the band sound good. A great soloist, she really sparks off of Jeff Beck and he sounds better with her around. I think that she is up there with Les Claypool for talent. All she needs now is the experience.

She is fantastic. Mind blowing bassist. If she impresses Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, then what's to consider.

Jeff Beck even said she's another Jaco

V3 Comments
96Tom Hamilton

I adore this man... he's one of the main reasons I've ever picked up a bass

V1 Comment
97Mike Inez

One of THE BEST heavy metal bass players out there, Mike has played in Alice in Chains, Black Label Society and the Blizzard of Ozz (Ozzy Osbourne's backing band).
He's played with Slash's Snakepit and recorded with them for their 1995 release "It's Five o Clock Somewhere". He also joined the revamped backing band for Heart, and toured with them in 2002 and 2003.

Love Alice In Chains Mike Inez great bass player but apparently according to this rubbish voting Sid Vicous is a lot better.Yeah right considering that he couldn't really play.

Listen a little bitter, what the hell have i, and anyother in a live show. Listen The record no more thears of ozzy and anyothers works in the band heart

98Simon GallupV5 Comments
99Stanley Clarke

Most of the voters are definitely voting for the band. Most of the best bassists are way down on the list. My guess is most guys and gals wouldn't even know who Stanley Clark is, and have ever heard any of his albums. You won't find him on itunes. I'm quit sure they're all good bassists, but Clark really is one of the best...

WTF number 43, it seems this list is going by the band, not the bassist themselves. This is like putting Jordan this low for a listing of the best basketball players, it's crazy. - HolyCal

Stanley Clarke not in the top ten? I guess sheer musicianship and technique is not high on the selection criteria for this list! Get real

Stanley Clarke did music for MOVIES like Boyz in the Hood and What's Love Got to Do With It?. Go listen to School Days and educate yourself to some real bass playing. - Mcgillacuddy

V17 Comments
100Phil LynottPhilip Parris "Phil" Lynott was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist.

Just magic to watch and listen to. Should be further up the list! Has influenced many a bass player and band! U2, Kings of Lean, REM, Coldplay and My chemical romance.. To name a few ( and varied! )

Top 10 for sure! The guy personally wrote, played amazing bass, and sang more than 14 full studio albums over 12 years!

best ever he rules so amazing yngwie on bass

Phil is one of the kings in bassists! He deserves Top Ten as well!

V6 Comments
PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Top Ten Best Japanese Bassists Top 10 Greatest Metal Bassists Best Slap Bassists Best Rock Bassists Top Ten Best Nu Metal Bassists

List StatsUpdated 10 Dec 2016

70,000 votes
464 listings
10 years, 6 days old

Top Remixes (126)

1. Les Claypool
2. John Entwistle
3. Cliff Burton
1. John Entwistle
2. Cliff Burton
3. John Taylor
1. Jaco Pastorius
2. John Entwistle
3. Cliff Burton

View All 126


Best Bassists list sucks
Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.