15 Of The Greatest Bass Guitar Solos In Rock History

October 9 marked what would have been the 70th birthday of The Who bass guitarist John Entwistle, who died in 2002. As Entwistle’s loud playing style helped turn the bass guitar into a lead instrument, in honor of the occasion, VH1.com counted down 15 of the greatest bass guitar solos in rock music.

Here are a few songs where the bass guitarist gets to step out & shine.

Deep Purple “Fireball”

The title track & opening song to their 1971 album, it is one of the band’s fastest songs. While it seems everyone in the band is giving it their best, the volume of Roger Glover’s bass solo proves to be the song’s biggest surprise.

The Allman Brothers Band “Mountain Jam”

Legendary as a live band for their long, improvisational solos, this jam based on Donovan’s classic song “There Is A Mountain” was featured on their 1971 album Eat A Peach, which contained both studio & live music. At well over 33 minutes, it had to be spread across 2 album sides on vinyl. Bassist Berry Oakley’s trading of solos with guitarists Duane Allman & Dickey Betts is stunning.

Yes “The Fish”

On their 1971 album Fragile, all 5 members of Yes were given a solo song to spotlight their talents. A showcase for bass guitarist Chris Squire, “The Fish” is also his nickname. This is often played together with the album’s previous song, “Long Distance Runaround”.

Rush “YYZ”

Although he has claimed to not be a real fan of soloing, Rush bass guitarist Geddy Lee sounds like he is thoroughly enjoying himself on this grooving instrumental from their 1981 album Moving Pictures. “YYZ” is the code name for Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, near the band’s hometown.

The Who “My Generation”

While it may not be the first-ever bass solo in rock, John Entwistle’s performance on this 1965 song certainly helped bring the instrument out of the background & changed people’s opinions about what it could do. Many of the bass guitarists on this list probably were inspired to pick it up from hearing this song.

For 10 more bass solos, click here: http://www.vh1.com/music/tuner/2014-10-09/greatest-bass-solos-in-rock/


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