Steve Harris

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Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.


Not only is he the great composer behind 90% of Iron Maiden's music and words (either as composer/co-composer) he's also a damn good and very influential bassist. He has come up with a lot of memorable and incredible bass lines such as the ones in "Wrathchild", "Powerslave", "The Phantom of The Opera", etc. His speed is incredible even though he hardly uses a pick and he's got a natural knack for making great melodies. Also, that galloping style. You can try to play his songs, but it won't sound the same. His style of playing is unique to him.

Usually, the bassist would be the cool, relaxed guy hanging at the back of the stage because let's face it, the bass doesn't really have a reputation for being a flashy-sounding instrument (unlike the guitar), but the fact that Steve is the commanding force at the very front of Maiden is a testament to his incredible skill as a bassist. The sound of his bass even manages to push through Maiden's heavy guitar trio without him ever having ...more

He is surely the best bassist. Just listen to how his melodies blend in with the guitar in the Powerslave solo. Unlike other bassists, you can actually hear him, and he's not super fuzzy. Not to mention that he is an excellent songwriter for Britain's most beloved Heavy Metal band, and that his presence is very commanding. He can play as fast as a picked bassist and adds almost as much treble as a slap bassist. His high notes resonate beautifully and his low notes have a characteristic galloping theme. He commands the band through his musicianship. He is the most capable bassist and surely deserves to be number one. I hope you vote for Steve Harris, songwriter and bassist for Britain's most beloved heavy metal band, Iron Maiden.

Are you all idiots? Steve should be number one. I myself am a guitar player but I have to say Steve has shown me how much a bass player contributes to the band. I have covered and played tons of Iron Maiden songs to date but it's a laid down fact that unless it's Steve's actual bass lines ringing out in the backing, no matter how hard I try or how well I play the song never sounds the same. It never has that maiden sound unless I use Steve's actual bass backings. In my opinion Steve is better than all other bass players in metal and hard rock and his galloping style is simply infectious. He is a complete genius when it comes to composing and his way of playing the bass sometimes makes me wish I had started learning the bass instead of the guitar. Because of him, I've played my guitar as a bass countless times. Up the Irons forever!

My first huge bass influence, no question, was Steve Harris. His playing actually caused me to take bass lessons instead of guitar because for the first time, I heard the bass as the lead instrument and loved it. For that alone, I will always consider him one of the greatest. His technique is no longer top-drawer like it was; Cliff Burton pretty much blew him away as soon as he entered the scene with "Kill 'em All", and someone like Flea or Les Claypool could play circles around him. But his note selection is still as good as it gets, which is why I consider him greater than either of those funk-inspired bassists.

If technique was all that mattered, it would be a battle between Les and Billy Sheehan with everyone else pulling up the slack. Thankfully we have to consider note selection (or at least should), and Steve Harris wins by a landslide on that "note" (haha). - shredmaniac

I grew up with metal, thanks to my father, and Iron Maiden was prominent in my house. Even from a young age, I could pick out the bass in Maiden songs, and if you're not a bassist, bass is hard to find in most rock music. The fact that the bass is so prominent just goes to show how talented Steve is. And the speed. Jesus, the speed! When you watch a Maiden music video, you can't even tell his fingers apart. They fly over the strings with a dexterity that is unparalleled, one I've never seen in any bassist before. Granted, Steve Harris was not my imspiration for picking up the bass, he has since become my hands-down absolute favorite bassist. As a 19-year-old girl, so say that Steve Harris is a huge influence on my bass-playing just shows that his talent is unmatched and that Maiden is universal; anyone can appreciate the talent and awesome music they make.

Steve Harris is the best bass player who has ever lived not only is he the fastest bass player but he is also the most complex song writer for the best band that has ever lived. Certain other fans of other bands will say maiden aren't good and that they are the marmite of metal that is not true they have the most complex playing skills in the world and Steve not only chose being a bassist over a football player but he is also glad that he chose to be a bassist over a football player. He puts his heart and soul into his playing and never shys away from a good song idea

Steve is autodidact, or "self taught" on the bass. There's countless bass-players over the years who's tried to learn or copy Steve's style, but, just like Nicko, it's very hard to copy a style that no one else uses. Steve Harris could easily do a bass solo session in Maiden's songs... just like Dave, Adrian and Janick do their guitar solos... And to top it off, Steve Harris don't cry "foul" when people download his music while waiting for enough money to buy the album... Eat THAT, Lars Ulrich :P

This is the guy who plays bass like it was meant to be played. True, there are other good, hell, great bassists, but this guy is their GOD. The sheer speed, ferocity and skill with which he plays the bass is incomparable. Cliff Burton comes nowhere even close to Steve. Steve learned to play bass on his own from a very young age, and he learnt it in such a manner that nobody can copy his style of playing. He has excellent control over his fingers, and I have yet to see another bassist use his instrument like this British Lion.

My life would be complete if I could ever get the opportunity to learn playing the bass from him.

Steve Harris is the best bass player of all time. Not only is he the lead songwriter, but no other band has a driving bass that pushes the song forward like the playing of Harris. Normally I disregard playing with a pick or fingers, because it is all the preference of the player, and does not indicate talent, but holy crap. Steve plays with only two fingers, faster than many players can even play with a pick. Songs like Wrathchild, Blood Brothers, Rime, and Phantom show his diversity and incredible bass writing skills.

Finally a list where the godly legacy is at least almost where it deserves to be. listen to the heartfelt powerful lyrics of any of their albums. thats all steve harris right there. he and bruce dickenson are the heart of iron maiden. listen too the galloping bass lines in the trooper and wrathchild. he was there through all of iron maidens ups and downs until, god forbid, he is unable to play or iron maiden collapses under its own greatness. STEVE HARRIS FOR PRESIDENT! - cyraxbot

WHAT!!!!! Only number 12, you must be joking, steve harris has at least got to be in the top ten basssits ever, how many bassists have you seen that can play bass that fast,unlike most metal bassists that use picks, he plays lightning fast figer bass. and not to metion, how many bassists have you heard that sound like harris, his classic machine gun rattle sound, that no other bassist can do, i think that what makes harris at least in the top ten, not to metion the best.

After 25 years of listening to Maiden, I still here new baselines that I'd missed before (partly a result of the increasing quality of my audio equipment over the years I suspect). Steve seems to be able to create harmonies that other bassists wouldn't consider and does it all unobtrusively, without trying to put the bass parts in the spotlight or to try to show off his skills. As for his body of work as a songwriter, I don't think he can be matched by any other bassist.

I'm a big fan of Metallica, I have all the albums that Metallica had made and I got a lot of Metallica T-Shirt,
My favorite Band is Metallica! But then I saw and listen to Steve Harris GOD-like bass skills!

Forget about Cliff Burton and other bass players, Steve is and always be THE BEST BASS PLAYER! PERIOD.!

PS. R.I.P. Cliff Burton, he was the face of Metallica

Steve deserves more. He does more than anyone with his four finger. I know Cliff Burton is one of the greatest bass guitarist but if he is in number 1 place then Steve still deserves number 2 or three place. And over all Steve is better then Cliff Burton because Burton is not a song writer. Cliff rises up in 80 and and the slowly gets down after 1995 few years later. But Steve still rocks. So please consider and pick up the right guy for the right place.

Looking up I see Geddy Lee (Rush) at #3... Deservedly so. Flea (RHCP) at #2... While Flea is a great bassist, he's not top in my opinion. #1 Cliff Burton... As someone else stated, sympathy votes. Cliff was a very good bassist but he wasn't the best Rock bassist come on.

Steve Harris, in my opinion, should be #1 bassed on his ability PLUS his song writing contributions. His work, both playing and writing, speaks for itself. - SociallyxxDistorted

While Cliff was awesome, Jason and Rob are proof that Metallica can do just as well without him, whereas if Steve were to leave Iron Maiden for any reason (hopefully not because he'd die), Iron Maiden would collapse immediately. In terms of metal bassists, he is, in my opinion, the best one, in terms of bassists overall though, he only falls behind Geddy Lee, John Entwistle and John Paul Jones in no particular order.

Best Bassist EVER! With crazy bass riffs that even the pro's would struggle to play! The way that he gallops on the strings like a horse charging into battle is one of the most amazing things ever to listen to also he is an amazing song writer been as he's written 80% of maidens songs which are all masterpieces. A personal favourite bass line would have to be the epic Phantom of the Opera

If you don't vote for steve harris (God's right hand man, ) then go sit down and actually listen to Iron Maiden! He writes 95 percent of the songs! not only is he the best bassist, he is the best musician ever!

A7X is my fav band, but Johnny at #9? He picks! bassist who pick shouldn't even be on this list! - a7x

Grew up with these dudes and the older I get the more I appreciate the skill of Harris bad mother motor finger! He has the power of the fingers see if you can play 2-3 Iron Maiden songs in a row, also writes music and lyrics. Now I love my Cliff and Trujillo but this man is a machine and writer of some of the best most enduring bass riffs ever.

People pick favorites based on 4~5 songs, sometimes less...I can understand that but it is quite sad. Iron Maiden is not a band, they are a 6-man metal orchestra, there isn't a less than perfect song in their inventory. And if Steve didn't create a given song by himself he pretty damn sure had his fingers on it! If there is a reason why we have metal musicians today the reason is Steve Harris. They were there when metal was being created, they are still here making sure it is going in the right direction and Steve has probably been the mastermind behind most of it. And thankfully he surrounded himself of incredible musicians. It's not just hard-rock/heavy-metal, the whole music industry has been influenced by Maiden. Up the Irons!

Strip away everything else and just listen to his bass. technical,'s even exhausting playing "air bass" to him--but yet never "showy", it fits within the context of the song. and it's not just a riff here or there, it's on every song! As possibly the best ever, he's a must for the top 5, minimum

Steve harris has defined the Bass over the last few decades. He inspired me to play, and many others. His amazing three-fingered Gallop to solos and a heavy timekeeper, he is the best. Not just that though, he writes most of Maiden's songs, and has influenced generations of bassist. m/

Awesome bassist and genius composer. What else can I say about Steve Harris? He simply exists to set the pace for all the rest. Cliff Burton was (is and always will be) awesome too. He would be my second best choice.

Steve Harris is a metal GOD! not only is he an AWESOME bassist, he can also play some amazing solos

IF he wouldn't have composed RUN TO THE HILLS, HALLOWED BE THY NAME and NUMBER OF THE BEAST well, none of this metallica would have existed. Punk would have overshadowed metal! - sansiddh

Just listen to rhyme of the ancient mariner and you'll have a regrets cause you've cliff first, this man totally awesome, energetic, powerful, and always makes masterpiece, fear of the dark is the best masterpiece that harris ever made, so come on guys keep vote steve harris for better music living