Top 10 Most Recognizable Opening Bass Lines of All Time

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About Jamie Reidy

Jamie Reidy is a writer and Propecia "before" model. His new book A Walk's As Good As A Hit: Advice/Threats from My Old Man is a collection of funny essays about him and his father. His second book Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing is a cookbook/lifestyle guide for clueless single guys just like him. His book Hard Sell: Now a Major Motion Picture LOVE and OTHER DRUGS
in which Jake Gyllenhaal played "Jamie."


  1. National Anthem (Radiohead)

  2. Does Seven Nation Army count? If not, it should.

  3. What about:

    Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
    Led Zeppelin – Dazed and Confused
    The Clash – Guns of Brixton

    … those are just some off the top of my head. Maybe I just listen to different stuff than the author, but I can’t recall almost half of his top 10.

  4. What? “Under Pressure” isn’t in your list?

  5. Live with Me – The Rolling Stones

  6. the pretenders… Ohio

  7. oops, sorry: My City Was Gone… (and, glad to break up the above sausage fest!)

  8. cheschcat says:

    White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)

  9. Excuse me, but I simply must interject — no “Come Together?” Come on.

  10. Another one bites the dust?

    Not that I’m a huge Queen fan, but it’s just obvious, isn’t it?

  11. gabby watts says:

    Gratitude ~ Beastie Boys.

  12. Flyingvedhead says:

    Not a bad music list for a romantic comedy writer. “She” and Come as you are, although great songs and known by their fans, but not sure how well known by most others. I would replace those with Under Pressure (which should come in #1 or 2), and Jeremy. Also, I think you mean Sweet Emotion (long version) which is a great call. No matter how you rank them, Under Pressure, Sweet Emotion (long version) and Bites the dust are the Top 3 in any order (then, With or without you as #4).

  13. Flyingvedhead says:

    a couple more things . . . I don’t think Come As You Are starts with a bass line, but rhythm guitar, if so probably DQ’d from this list. Although I think the bass line from Sweet Emotion is one of the greatest, the version of that song that most people know is the short version (i.e., radio version), in which the opening bass line is edited out. So, I think this song should also be DQ’d although it pains me to say so.

  14. Well my car’d have to include Weather Report’s Birdland and Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon…but I don’t know how recognizable they are to people who aren’t into jazz fusion…or around in the 1970s. :)

  15. Nirvana/Shocking Blue ‘Love Buzz’

  16. I KNEW something was wrong here, a void – you’ve got NO Eric Avery/Jane’s Addiction songs? Three Days, for example. Avery must be represented! He’d play two notes and 10,000 people would go nuts!

  17. MojoMark says:

    Rick James – Super Freak. An iconic bass line that is unmistakable.

  18. My Girl – The Temptations

  19. Pink Floyd – Money (duh!) ;P

  20. Billie Jean.

  21. Replace “she” with Longview. That should be common sense lol.

  22. You missed “Billie Jean”.

  23. You missed ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5.

  24. You missed Under Pressure. In my opinion, the bass line for Every Breath You Take is more recognizable than Don’t Stand So Close To Me.

  25. Um… “Money” by Pink Floyd. It should be top 3 (if not #1) and you completely excluded it. An egregious error.

  26. what about 7 nation army?

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