Some people are synonymous with their instrument. Hendrix and his guitar, Elton and his piano and Rush’s leading man Geddy Lee and his bass. We were thrilled then to see the singer reveal his five favourite bass songs of all time.
Rush are famed for their musicianship, their complex compositions often allowing the band to really open up on their lyrical themes of science fiction, fantasy and wider philosophies. A lot of this was driven by Geddy Lee and his nose for an unbelievable bassline.
So when Rolling Stone asked the man himself to pick his five favourite bass-driven songs of all time we were thrilled. Lee is conducting the interview ahead of the release of his new book all about the instrument called, Big Beautiful Book of Bass, which will include photos from his own collection.
Below are Geddy Lee’s five favourite bass songs and what a wonderful list.
The Who – ‘My Generation’
First up is The Who’s teen anthem, ‘My Generation’, released in 1966. He told the magazine:”Seriously? A Pop song with bass solos? John “The Ox” Entwistle was arguably the greatest rock bassist of them all, daring to take the role and sound of the bass guitar and push it out of the murky depths while strutting those amazing chops with his own kind of ‘Twang!'”
Cream – ‘Crossroads’ (Live)
For a serious musician, like Lee is, Cream must represent one of the peaks of the rock and roll generation. Lee admits that the legendary Jack Bruce was a big influence on him: “Having seen Jack Bruce roam wildly up and down the neck of his Gibson EB3 in concert, I can testify that it not only made me want to play bass but play bass in a rock trio.”
Led Zeppelin – ‘What Is and What Should Never Be’
While Lee suggests: “There are so many songs I could choose from Zep that feature profound but understated bass playing,” and admits, “this one is my fave.” The band’s bassist is too often overlooked, fairly reasonable considering the band contained Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham.
Lee is here to appreciate the bassist: “The way John Paul Jones changes gear, holds down the heavy bottom and adds terrific melody throughout the song. He is such a fluid player and all-round musical talent.”
Yes – ‘Roundabout’
Like Led Zeppelin, Lee found a plethora of choice from the next band, Yes. He tells, RS: “I could have chosen any one of a dozen Yes songs that shows off the melodic and rhythmic genius that was Chris Squire. It was a pure privilege to play this song with Yes in 2017 at their (long overdue) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Weather Report – ‘Teen Town’
On his last selection, Lee reflects on the passing of some of the instrument’s greatest players: “Sadly, many of the bass heroes on this very short list are no longer with us. But no matter how short the list, Jaco Pastorius’ name would have to be on it.”
Lee picks the Jaco’s band Weather Report single ‘Teen Town’, which he says “has everything that Jaco’s genius stood for: profound complexity, incredible melodic structure, and terrific groove.”
Source: Rolling Stone