5 Songs that wouldn’t sound the same without bass

By Alec Calvillo 

Most songs are known for exceptional vocals, guitar solos a catchy riff and even poetic lyrics but sometimes the bass gets lost in all that. However these songs are the complete opposite because the bass makes the biggest impact, and without them they wouldn’t be the same.

These songs don’t require good headphones or nice subwoofers to notice the bass. They also don’t have to have a crazy bass solo either to make an impact on the song. All of the songs start off with the bass being played in the beginning by itself.

The order of the songs goes from most impactful bass riffs to least.

 

1.Weezer- “Only in Dreams”

The song came out on Weezer’s first record and self-titled (Blue album). It captures the heart and creativeness of Weezer’s whole discography. This album features a lot of their hit songs like “My Name Is Jonas” and “Undone — The Sweater Song.”  

“Only in Dreams” is the last track on the record as it should be because it ends with a punch. It isn’t a hit Weezer song, but it should be.  

The bass riff in this song is so addicting and cleaver. After listening to it a couple of times it can get stuck in your head.

Weezer’s bass player in this album was Matt Sharp who is no longer in the band.

The riff is played the whole time during all of the verses and isn’t hiding because it is complemented with an acoustic guitar and electric guitar playing a soft melody.

It sounds like the song’s foundation was the catchy bass riff, and all the rest of the band added their instruments after.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z53HGc1_ea0

 

  1. Pixies – “Gigantic”

The bass on this song is very melodic. The catchy riff is played by Kim Deal who wrote most of the song. Her vocals rage from calm to aggressive to help spice up “Gigantic.”

Much like “Only in Dreams” the bass starts off the song and helps capture the listener’s attention.

Although this song is Deal’s song the intro also features the other guitar player Black Francis (Charles Kittridge) vocals just in the intro that sound like a high pitched screech that mimics the chorus melody. It sounds odd, but cool at the same time.

The lyrics for chorus are really repetitive that it can either get stuck in your head and you enjoy it, or get tired of it quick.

The crazy thing about the bass melody is that it’s actually played the whole entire time of this nearly four minute song. A distorted guitar comes in every now and then and copies the bass melody.

Regardless of the repetitive chorus and bass riff, the song just rocks. It is the perfect gateway song for this band.

“Gigantic” was released in 1988 on the Pixies first full-length album “Surfer Rosa.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJncHEZ3URs

  1. The Clash – “London Calling”

The Clash is one of those early classic punk bands that came out in the late 1970s, but offered much more than power chords.

The bass intro sets the mood of the song. It sounds like The Clash are trying to make a point with the chilling bassline. You can feel the anger and the need to fight.

The bassline sounds like it could be a theme song for a villain in a Marvel movie.

Paul Simonon plays bass for the English punk group.

The album shares the same title of the song “London Calling” which came out in 1979. The album cover features Paul Simonon on the cover about to slam his bass on stage, which is one of the most iconic pictures in the rock ‘n’ roll world.

“London Calling” is their most famous song on that album that offered so many hits. It was in the days of The Clash’s prime.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfK-WX2pa8c

 

  1. The Beatles – “Come Together”

It’s really hard not to miss the bassline in the song.

The bass in this song is thrown over a commonly played blues riff. The song wouldn’t be a popular Beatles hit without the bassline.  

Out of all of the many memorable Beatles songs “Come Together” ranks number three on Spotify, which offers The Beatles entire discography.

As most people know the bass is played by Paul McCartney who does a fantastic job. The actual song was written and sung by John Lennon.

Lennon did a great job with the lyrics, which would go right after the bassline in creativeness. My favorite line in the song is “got to be good-looking ‘cause he’s so hard to see.”

He couldn’t have been more clever than that. He not only talks about attractiveness, but whether or not the guy can be seen.

The Beatles “Come Together” came out in 1969 on the famous album cover “Abbey Road.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhsVhpRJ5p4

 

5.The Strokes – “Reptilia”

The Strokes are the face of 2000s indie rock scene. They have been hated by few, but loved by many.

“Reptilia” is The Strokes most famous song as it was even featured on the popular Guitar Hero II that was released in 2006.

The intro to the song starts off with just bass and drums playing together, then the guitars come in stealthily using feedback.

The bass guitar is played by Nikolai Fraiture, who usually plays a Fender American Standard Jazz Bass Sunburst.

Fraiture isn’t really a stand out in the band, but in “Reptilia” he stands out.

It’s easy to miss the bass in this song because the guitars are so good, but once the bass is noticed it’s hard not to miss.

Towards the middle and end of the song both electric guitars are complementing each other, and the bass is kind of saying to the guitars, hey follow me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8-tXG8KrWs