Top 10 Most Influential Bassists

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The Top Ten

1 John Entwistle John Entwistle John Alec Entwistle, was an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician, film and music producer. He is mostly known as the lead bassist for the rock band The Who.

Would anyone have ever wanted to play the bass if it weren't for The Ox?

2 John Paul Jones John Paul Jones John Baldwin, better known by his stage name John Paul Jones, is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer.

#1, hands down

3 Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Geddy Lee Weinrib, known professionally as Geddy Lee, is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush.

Loads of people try to play like him. - IronSabbathPriest

4 Cliff Burton Cliff Burton Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10th 1962 - September 27th 1986) was an American musician, best known as the second bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica, recording three studio albums. He died in 1986 after getting crushed by a tour bus in Copenhagen whilst promoting Metallica's ...read more.

A great inspiration - bobbythebrony

5 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .
6 Roger Waters Roger Waters George Roger Waters, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is mostly known for being the secondary lead vocalist and bassist of Pink Floyd.
7 Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He worked with Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader.

He is one of the best bassists to ever have lived and most of the bassists on this list can't solo like Jaco and if they can, he was the first one to do it. He's influenced so many bassists to think outside the box and play bass in a completely different way. He revolutionized the bass guitar to be much more than just the backbone of the band holding it down while the guitarist solo's. He has the other instruments hold it down while he solo's at an untouchable level. His soloing has influenced hundreds of thousands of bassists and his use of harmonics is something that no one had ever done and still hasn't done as well as he did.

How is Jaco not number one on every list?

8 John Deacon John Deacon John Richard Deacon is a retired English musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the rock band Queen.

He wrote iconic bass lines, like Under pressure and Another one bites the dust.

9 John Myung John Myung John Ro Myung is an American bassist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Dream Theater.
10 Phil Lynott Phil Lynott Philip 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.

The Contenders

11 Bil Hopkins
12 Les Claypool Les Claypool Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool is an American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, author and actor best known as the bassist and lead vocalist of the band Primus.
13 Jack Bruce Jack Bruce John Symon Asher "Jack" Bruce was a Scottish musician, singer and songwriter known primarily for his contributions to the British supergroup Cream, which also included guitarist-singer Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker.

One of the greatest rock bassists of all time, but overshadowed by the fact that his bandmate was the greatest rock guitarist of all time except for Hendrix.

14 Steve Harris Steve Harris 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.
15 Gene Simmons Gene Simmons Chaim Witz, known professionally by his stage name Gene Simmons, is an Israeli-American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor and television personality.
16 Stanley Clarke

Quintessential bassist...takes you to places

17 Bill Wyman Bill Wyman William George Wyman, known professionally as Bill Wyman, is an English musician, record producer, songwriter and singer best known as the bassist for the English rock and roll band the Rolling Stones from 1962 until 1993. Since 1997, he has recorded and toured with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm ...read more.
18 Mikey Way
19 Bernard Edwards
20 Mike Dirnt Mike Dirnt Michael Ryan Pritchard, known professionally as Mike Dirnt, is an American musician best known for being the co-founder, bassist, backing and occasional lead vocalist of the American punk rock band Green Day.
21 Greg Lake Greg Lake Gregory Stuart Lake was an English bassist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer who gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
22 Greg Lake Greg Lake Gregory Stuart Lake was an English bassist, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer who gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
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List Stats

22 listings
2 years, 332 days old

Top Remixes

1. Paul McCartney
2. John Paul Jones
3. John Entwistle
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1. John Paul Jones
2. Geddy Lee
3. Cliff Burton
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