Top Ten Songs Where The Bass Line Was Played By the Band's Guitarist

Gg2000
This list was somewhat inspired by Metal_Treasure's list "Top Ten Songs with the Most Iconic Basslines Not Written by Bassists"; however, I decided to concentrate specifically on songs where the band's guitarist played the bass line. A guitarist in a band will play the bass line most commonly either because the bass player is unavailable or because the guitarist worked on the piece on their own. Feel free to add more examples.

The Top Ten

1 Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones

If you watch Jean-Luc Godard's film "Sympathy for the Devil", which includes footage from the recording session for the song, you can see that Bill Wyman plays the bass when the group does an acoustic version of it. But when they bring in percussion players and turn it into a samba, Keith Richards plays bass while Bill plays maracas. The guitarists for the Stones (except Brian Jones) each played bass on quite a few songs, including "Tumblin' Dice", Let's Spend the Night Together", and "Jumpin' Jack Flash", to name a few. - Gg2000

Thanks for the mention. That's a topic I was interested, too. It shows the flexibility of the band members. - Metal_Treasure

2 Pigs (Three Different Ones) - Pink Floyd

David Gilmour played bass on the song, while Roger Waters played rhythm guitar. David also played bass on "Hey You". - Gg2000

Yeah, I think both of them played bass. Exactly who plays what, I'm not entirely sure. - Gg2000

3 She Said She Said - The Beatles

George Harrison played the bass on this one because Paul McCartney got into an argument with them while they recorded it and walked out. - Gg2000

4 Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Jimi Hendrix played bass on six of the album's songs because bassist Noel Redding was busy with his own band at the time and couldn't make it to many of the sessions. - Gg2000

5 The Waiting - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Lead guitarist Mike Campbell played bass on this song. The band somewhat frequently used other bassists during Ron Blair's original period with the group. - Gg2000

6 God Save the Queen - Sex Pistols

Most of the songs on Never Mind the Bollocks featured guitarist Steve Jones playing bass except for "Anarchy in the U.K." (played by original bassist Glen Matlock) and "Bodies" (Sid Vicious played bass, but Steve overdubbed his own bass line on top of it). - Gg2000

7 Blinded by the Light - Bruce Springsteen

This song and "Spirit of the Night" were last minute additions to his first album after exec Clive Davis said that the album didn't have a strong enough track to be a single. Since most of the other members of the band were unavailable, Springsteen himself played most of the instruments, including bass guitar. - Gg2000

8 Sick as a Dog - Aerosmith

This one's got a bit of a twist to it. Since bassist Tom Hamilton wanted to play rhythm guitar, Joe Perry played bass. However, towards the end of the song, Joe wanted to do a guitar solo, so he put down the bass, picked up the guitar, and let Steven Tyler play the bass for the rest of the song! Apparently, all of this happened in real time as they recorded the basic track. - Gg2000

9 40 - U2

Since the song was recorded during the last two hours of the sessions for War, The Edge played the bass line due to the fact that bassist Adam Clayton already went home. When they play it live, Adam and the Edge will swap instruments. - Gg2000

10 Old John Robertson - The Byrds

Bassist Chris Hillman (who wrote the song) played rhythm guitar, so rhythm guitarist David Crosby played bass. David hadn't played the bass since the very early years of the group (before they even got a record deal). - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 Alison Hell - Annihilator

Created and played by guitarist Jeff Waters because they had no bassist at the time of its recording. Same for all songs on this album (Alice in Hell, 1989). So the rhythm and lead guitarist of the band played the bass, too. Yeah.
After the recording, Annihilator recruited a bassist who was credited although he didn't play on the album. After the album release, Annihilator shot a video to this song with the newly recruited bassist. - Metal_Treasure

12 In the End - Linkin Park

Brad Delson played bass instead of Phoenix. - Userguy44

13 Hey You - Pink Floyd

It was written and played on fretless bass by guitarist David Gilmour - Metal_Treasure

14 Human Insecticide - Annihilator

Written and played by guitarist Jeff Waters. - Metal_Treasure

15 Long Live Rock 'N' Roll - Rainbow

Written and played by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
He actually provided bass for 4 songs on the 1978 album: Long Live Rock 'n' Roll, L.A. Connection, The Shed (Subtle), Rainbow Eyes.
But Ritchie Blackmore also played bass on some rough mix tracks: Kill the King, Sensitive to Light, Lady of the Lake. On the official recording, the basslines to Kill the King and Sensitive to Light were played by bassist Bob Daisley. - Metal_Treasure

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