7 Of The Most Underrated Rock Bassists Of All Time
via Jake Mercury / Youtube
Certain bassists stand out for their incredible talent and contributions to the genre. However, there are also those whose remarkable skills often go unnoticed or underappreciated. Here, we celebrate seven of the most underrated rock bassists of all time, highlighting their unique talents and enduring influence.
While these bassists may not always receive the recognition they deserve, their impact on rock music is undeniable. From crafting infectious grooves to pushing the boundaries of the instrument, these unsung heroes have left an indelible mark on the world of rock and roll.
7. John Deacon (Queen)
Though often overshadowed by his bandmates, John Deacon’s bass playing was an essential component of Queen’s legendary sound. From rock anthems to soulful ballads, Deacon’s technical prowess and distinctive style helped define the band’s iconic sound. Tracks like “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Under Pressure” showcase his remarkable ability to craft infectious grooves that captivate listeners.
- Why Underrated: Despite being in the legendary band Queen, John Deacon’s bass skills often get overlooked due to the band’s other prominent members.
- Noteworthy Contributions: Deacon penned classic hits like “You’re My Best Friend” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” showcasing his immense talent.
- Unique Style: Known for his versatility, Deacon could switch between rock and soul rhythms effortlessly, adding depth to Queen’s sound.
6. Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden)
As a member of the grunge powerhouse Soundgarden, Ben Shepherd’s thunderous bass lines added depth and intensity to the band’s signature sound. His powerful playing on tracks like “Rusty Cage” and “Jesus Christ Pose” demonstrated his undeniable talent and versatility as a bassist, earning him a place among the unsung heroes of rock.
- Why Underrated: In the shadow of Soundgarden’s frontman, Chris Cornell, Shepherd’s bass talents sometimes go unnoticed.
- Memorable Tracks: Shepherd’s thunderous bass lines on songs like “Rusty Cage” and “Jesus Christ Pose” demonstrate his impactful presence in the band.
- Live Performance: His energetic stage presence and powerful bass tones make him stand out during live performances.
5. Phil Lynott
Renowned for his songwriting prowess and dynamic stage presence, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy was also a formidable bassist. His melodic playing style and charismatic persona helped propel the band to stardom, yet his contributions to the rock world often go unrecognized. Lynott’s bass work on songs like “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Whiskey in the Jar” remains a testament to his enduring legacy.
- Why Underrated: Despite his songwriting genius, Phil Lynott’s bass skills are often overlooked.
- Legacy: Lynott’s bass playing on Thin Lizzy classics like “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Whiskey in the Jar” remains influential.
- Charismatic Performer: Known for his dynamic stage presence, Lynott’s bass playing was an integral part of Thin Lizzy’s success.
4. Dusty Hill (ZZ Top)
While Billy Gibbons may take center stage, Dusty Hill’s bass playing was an integral part of ZZ Top’s iconic sound. His solid grooves and impeccable timing provided the foundation for the band’s blues-infused rock, yet his role often goes unnoticed. Hill’s contributions to hits like “La Grange” and “Sharp Dressed Man” showcase his remarkable talent and undeniable impact on rock music.
- Why Underrated: While Billy Gibbons steals the spotlight, Dusty Hill’s bass contributions are equally significant.
- Foundation of Sound: Hill’s solid grooves provide the backbone for ZZ Top’s blues-infused rock sound.
- Impactful Tracks: Hits like “La Grange” and “Sharp Dressed Man” showcase Hill’s impeccable timing and groove.
3. Bob Daisley
A versatile musician known for his work with Ozzy Osbourne and numerous other bands, Bob Daisley’s bass playing has left an indelible mark on the world of rock. His dynamic performances and creative contributions helped shape the sound of iconic albums, yet his name is often overlooked. Daisley’s work on tracks like “Crazy Train” and “Bark at the Moon” exemplifies his extraordinary skill and musicality.
- Why Underrated: Often overshadowed by the artists he worked with, Bob Daisley’s bass talents deserve recognition.
- Versatile Musician: Daisley’s contributions to Ozzy Osbourne’s hits like “Crazy Train” and “Bark at the Moon” demonstrate his musical versatility.
- Creative Influence: As a bassist and lyricist, Daisley played a crucial role in shaping the sound of several iconic albums.
2. Noel Redding
As a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Noel Redding’s innovative bass lines provided the perfect complement to Hendrix’s groundbreaking guitar work. His fluid playing style and intuitive understanding of the music made him an essential part of the band’s sound, yet his contributions are sometimes overshadowed. Redding’s bass work on songs like “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady” remains a testament to his remarkable talent and enduring influence.
- Why Underrated: Despite his pivotal role in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Noel Redding’s bass skills are sometimes overlooked.
- Perfect Match: Redding’s bass lines perfectly complement Jimi Hendrix’s innovative guitar work, creating a dynamic musical synergy.
- Timeless Tracks: His bass work on classics like “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady” demonstrates his ability to elevate Hendrix’s compositions.
1. Carol Kaye
A true pioneer of the bass guitar, Carol Kaye’s unparalleled talent and prolific career have earned her a place among the greatest musicians of all time. With thousands of recording credits to her name, Kaye’s innovative playing style and impeccable technique have left an indelible mark on the world of rock music. Her contributions to hits like “Good Vibrations” and “California Dreamin'” showcase her extraordinary skill and enduring legacy in the rock world.
- Why Underrated: Despite her extensive contributions to rock music, Carol Kaye remains relatively unknown to many fans.
- Pioneering Bassist: Kaye’s innovative playing style and technical prowess set her apart as one of the greatest bassists of all time.
- Recording Legacy: With thousands of recording credits to her name, Kaye’s bass lines on hits like “Good Vibrations” and “California Dreamin'” have left an indelible mark on the rock genre.