Poor bassists. Unless you’re a four-string plucking frontman like Paul McCartney, virtuoso maverick like Squarepusher or irascible motormouth like this week’s NME cover star Nicky Wire, life as a bass player is routinely one spent in the shadows compared to your bandmates, shoved to the back of music videos and overlooked in interviews. A drummer might get to unleash a wild drum solo live. If a bassist does it, he’s gonna look like he’s attempting the Seinfeld theme. Such is their anonymity within even the world’s most famous bands, the Guardian recently ran a quiz challenging people to match photos of bassists to their internationally best-selling festival-headlining bands. Poor, poor bassists.
Of course, the reality is without bass players adding a delectable slab of low end melodic rumbles to your favourite songs, they’d all sound tinnier than a soup can, with no oomph, power or drive. So this week we’re giving it up for bassists, and want to know your favourites. Does Led Zep legend John Paul Jones’ spidery fret work do it for you? Is Flea’s slap style what gets you going? Maybe Krist Novoselic’s thundering bass lines are your pick. Elsewhere there’s Macca, but remember, we’re talking favourite bassists, not factoring in his iconic songwriting and singing talents. The Who’s John Entwistle? Metallica’s late Cliff Burton? Maiden’s Steve Harris? Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme? Let us know who you consider the greatest ever and why using the hashtag #BestBassist.