For every music lover, there’s that distinct moment when the bass drops and the vibrations shake your soul. Some songs are especially designed to showcase the depth and resonance of bass. These songs can be found across genres, from the rhythm and groove of classic rock to the thumping heartbeats of hip-hop music and rap songs. In this article, we’ll dive deep into 30 bass songs that have made their mark on music.
Emerging from the indie scene, AWOLNATION’s “Sail” is emblematic of a song with a lot of bass. Its deep bass and synth bass lines drive the track, providing a rhythmic backbone.
AWOLNATION, a project by Aaron Bruno, gained prominence in the early 2010s, with “Sail” being their breakout single. This particular track is a testament to Bruno’s diverse musical influences, from electronic to rock. The song’s dark overtone and gritty bass were employed to convey the internal struggles of the singer. It’s a hauntingly beautiful blend of synth bass and vocals that perfectly syncs with its music video.
2. “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, needs no introduction. “Billie Jean” was a mega-hit from his album “Thriller,” and its music video played a crucial role in bringing MTV to the limelight.
The iconic bass line of “Billie Jean” is instantly recognizable. As one of the best bass songs from the pop genre, it offers a blend of Michael’s vocal prowess and an unforgettable guitar sequence. The bass line was crafted by Louis Johnson, a renowned bass guitarist. It’s simplistic yet powerful, adding layers to the song’s narrative.
3. “Candy Paint” – Post Malone
“Candy Paint” is one of Post Malone’s gems with its heavy bass and catchy hooks. Perfectly representing the hip-hop genre, this rap song features deep bass that complements Post’s unique voice. The song was even featured in the film “The Fate of the Furious,” making its bass-heavy beats resonate in theatres worldwide.
Post Malone, an artist who successfully merges the worlds of rap music and R&B, made waves in the music scene with his debut single “White Iverson.” Since then, his journey has been nothing short of spectacular.
4. “Hysteria” – Muse
Muse, a British rock band, has been renowned for its unique sound and exceptional musical abilities. They have consistently produced bass songs, with “Hysteria” being a fan favorite.
“Hysteria” is a testament to the power of the bass guitar. The bass line, crafted by Chris Wolstenholme, is electrifying and forms the soul of this rock anthem. The song’s bass-heavy nature was influenced by the chase and status remix style, making it a favorite amongst bass enthusiasts.
5. “Ramble On” – Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin, one of the pillars of rock, has given numerous hits. Classic rock, when paired with heavy bass, produces gems like “Ramble On”. Led Zeppelin, with its legacy, presents this song where the bass guitar sings its own tale.
This song showcases John Paul Jones’s skills as a bass guitarist. His bass lines are fluid, complementing the song’s theme of travel and adventure.
“Titanium” fuses powerful vocals from Sia with David Guetta’s iconic electronic beats. The synth bass featured on this track makes it an anthem in clubs and parties around the world. Although the song is known for its EDM and pop elements, the bass sounds, especially the synth bass, provide depth and make it a favorite for bass lovers.
David Guetta, a titan in the EDM world, has always known how to make a song resonate with the masses. With Sia’s incredible vocal range, “Titanium” solidified its spot as one of the best bass-heavy songs in electronic music.
7. “Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes
The White Stripes, comprising Jack and Meg White, transformed rock music in the 2000s. Their minimalist approach to rock, combined with unforgettable riffs, has earned them a permanent spot in the annals of rock history.
Recognizable from just the opening notes, the bass line of “Seven Nation Army” is iconic. The White Stripes took a simplistic approach, but the heavy bass riff makes it a classic.
And here’s an interesting fact:the distinctive bass isn’t played on the bass guitar! The song features a regular guitar pitched down to sound like a bass.
8. “Livin on a Prayer” – Bon Jovi
A rock anthem for the ages, “Livin on a Prayer” is one of the most famous songs ever made, whether you’re a bass lover or not. It boasts strong bass that complements Bon Jovi’s soaring vocals. The bass guitar work by Hugh McDonald provides a robust foundation for the track. The song’s catchy chorus is amplified by its bass line, making it a must-play in every rock enthusiast’s playlist.
Bon Jovi, hailing from New Jersey, quickly became rock legends. Their anthemic songs, combined with relatable lyrics, made them a staple in music.
9. “Welcome to the Party” – Pop Smoke
Representing the world of rap music with bass, “Welcome to the Party” is one of Pop Smoke’s most renowned rap songs. Its bass-heavy beats pulsate with raw energy. This rap song quickly became an anthem for the New York drill scene, with its heavy bass and gritty lyrics setting it apart.
Pop Smoke, a rising star in the hip-hop world, had a profound impact in his short career. His unique voice and the bass-heavy beats he favored have left an indelible mark on the rap music genre.
10. “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” – Jet
Jet, an Australian rock band, burst onto the scene in the early 2000s. With a blend of classic rock sounds and contemporary energy, they carved a unique niche in the rock world.
Rock meets bass in Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”. The song’s bass guitar riffs, combined with its energetic drums, make it an instant classic. The song’s bass is heavily influenced by Motown classics, showcasing a beautiful fusion of old-school sounds with modern rock.
11. “God’s Plan” – Drake
Drake’s “God’s Plan” stands out not only for its lyrical depth but also its bass-heavy beats. Characteristic of the hip-hop genre, the song’s bass acts as a rhythmic backbone, making it a chart-topper.
The song’s music video is a testament to Drake’s philanthropy, showcasing him giving away nearly $1 million to strangers — a reflection of the song’s message.
Drake is a Canadian rapper and songwriter and has consistently dominated music since his debut. With tracks like “God’s Plan,” he showcases his unique blend of rap, bass, and relatable narratives.
12. “The Ace of Spades” – Motorhead
Motorhead’s “The Ace of Spades” is raw energy in musical form. The driving guitar lines, paired with Lemmy’s gravelly vocals, make this a rock anthem for the ages. Lemmy Kilmister, the frontman of Motorhead, was not just the vocalist but also the bass guitarist, and his unique playing style added a distinct punch to their songs.
Motorhead, with their fast-paced and aggressive music style, defined a new wave of rock in the ’70s and ’80s. Their legacy, epitomized by songs like “The Ace of Spades,” continues to influence rock bands worldwide.
13. “Come Together” – The Beatles
The Beatles need no introduction. Revolutionizing music in the ’60s, they constantly evolved their sound. “Come Together,” from their later years, showcases their maturity and innovation in music creation.
“Come Together” starts with an unmistakable bass riff. The Beatles, always known to experiment, gave the world this masterpiece where bass takes center stage. Paul McCartney’s distinctive guitar playing on this track was achieved using a Rickenbacker 4001s, adding a rich depth to the song.
14. “Emergency on Planet Earth” – Jamiroquai
Jamiroquai, with its fusion of jazz, funk, and pop, rose to prominence in the ’90s. Their unique sound, defined by bass-heavy tracks like “Emergency on Planet Earth,” garnered them a global fanbase.
Funky and bass-centric, “Emergency on Planet Earth” is Jamiroquai at its best. The song’s bass-heavy sound is a rhythmic delight. Stuart Zender, Jamiroquai’s original guitarist, was integral in creating the band’s signature bass-heavy funk sound, especially evident in this track.
15. “Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple
One of the most iconic riffs in rock history, “Smoke on the Water,” is both a guitar and bass lover’s delight. The song’s bass guitar lines weave seamlessly with the guitar, creating a track that’s timeless. The song narrates a true story about a fire at a Frank Zappa concert in Montreux, Switzerland. The “smoke on the water” refers to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva.
Deep Purple, pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, have given numerous hits. With tracks like “Smoke on the Water,” they’ve secured their spot as one of the defining bands of the rock genre.
16. “Insomnia” – Faithless
“Insomnia” by Faithless is a dance music classic that electrifies with its unforgettable synth bass lines. The song’s pulsating bass-heavy rhythms, coupled with haunting lyrics, make it an anthem for the restless.
This song became an iconic track in the club scene of the 90s. Its unique combination of bass sounds, ethereal voice samples, and trance beats make it instantly recognizable.
Faithless, a British electronica band, has explored various genres, from trance to trip-hop. “Insomnia” stands as a testament to their ability to craft tracks that leave a lasting impact on music.
17. “I Wish” – Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder, a multi-instrumentalist and a prodigy, has gifted the world with numerous hits across genres. His “I Wish” is a funk masterpiece, highlighted by a groovy guitar riff that gets everyone moving. The song’s infectious energy is driven by its heavy bass foundation. The song’s bass has been sampled and covered in various hip-hop and R&B tracks, showcasing its timeless appeal.
“I Wish” captures the essence of his musical prowess, blending soul, funk, and his unmistakable vocals.
18. “Aeroplane” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, hailing from Los Angeles, have always been at the forefront of fusing rock with funk. Songs like “Aeroplane” highlight their innovative approach, making them one of the most influential rock bands of their generation. Blending funk with rock, “Aeroplane” showcases the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ signature style. Flea’s masterful guitar work in this track is a harmonious blend of technical skill and raw energy.
Flea, the bass guitarist, is renowned for his slap bass technique, which is prominently featured in “Aeroplane.” His dynamic playing adds a distinctive zest to the song.
19. “Le Freak” – CHIC
CHIC, led by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, dominated the late 70s disco scene. Their unique blend of rhythmic bass and catchy melodies paved the way for future generations of dance music.
“Le Freak” by CHIC is a disco anthem that has endured through the decades. The song’s iconic bass is the heartbeat of the track, making it impossible not to dance along. The song’s chorus, “Freak out!” was originally a different, less radio-friendly phrase. The band changed it after being denied entry to a New York club, turning their frustration into a hit.
20. “New Born” – Muse
Muse, a British rock band formed in 1994, is renowned for its ambitious sound that merges rock, classical music, and electronica. “New Born” epitomizes their talent to produce complex, heavy bass songs that defy conventions. This captivating track blends elements of rock with electronic music. The song’s bass is especially notable, adding depth and dimension to its intricate melodies.
The song’s progression was inspired by the works of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. The fusion of classical inspirations with a modern rock twist sets it apart.
21. “N.I.B” – Black Sabbath
One of the pioneering tracks in the heavy metal genre, “N.I.B” by Black Sabbath, showcases the raw power of bass. Geezer Butler’s iconic bass intro sets the stage for a song that is both haunting and compelling.
Contrary to popular belief, “N.I.B” does not stand for “Nativity In Black.” Butler mentioned that the title was derived from drummer Bill Ward’s beard, which resembled the nib of a pen.
Black Sabbath, formed in 1968 in Birmingham, is often hailed as the progenitor of heavy metal. With tracks like “N.I.B,” they not only shaped the music scene but also showcased the potential of bass in creating heavy, evocative music.
22. “YYZ” – Rush
Rush, a Canadian rock band formed in 1968, has consistently been at the forefront of progressive rock. Known for their musicianship and complex compositions, their songs are a showcase of their unparalleled talent. “YYZ” is an instrumental masterpiece. Its bass, played by Geddy Lee, is nothing short of phenomenal. This track stands as a testament to the technical prowess and musicality of the band.
The song’s title, “YYZ,” is the airport code for Toronto Pearson International Airport. The rhythm of the opening drumbeat matches the Morse code for “YYZ.”
23. “Money” – Pink Floyd
“Money” by Pink Floyd is instantly recognizable by its distinctive bass riff. The song’s bass lines, coupled with its iconic cash register sound effects, make it one of the standout tracks from their studio album “The Dark Side of the Moon.”
“Money” is one of the few popular songs with a time signature of 7/4, which gives it a unique rhythmic feel and adds to its distinctiveness.
Pink Floyd, formed in 1965, is an iconic British band known for its progressive and psychedelic rock. “The Dark Side of the Moon” is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and “Money” is often hailed as one of its standout tracks. Pink Floyd’s penchant for experimentation and pushing the boundaries is evident in their use of dynamic bass and innovative recording techniques.
24. “Them Changes” – Thundercat
Thundercat, whose real name is Stephen Bruner, is not just a remarkable guitarist but also a talented singer-songwriter. Having collaborated with artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Flying Lotus, Thundercat’s unique style and masterful musicianship have solidified his place in modern music.
Thundercat’s “Them Changes” is a fusion of funk, R&B, and soul, with irresistibly catchy bass that propels the song forward. The artist’s virtuosic bass skills shine throughout the track, making it a favorite among bass enthusiasts.
The song samples the drum break from The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark,” which many will recognize as the same sample used in Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day.”
25. “The Hills” – The Weeknd
The Weeknd’s “The Hills” is a haunting track marked by its bass-heavy production. The bass, combined with the artist’s signature ethereal vocals, create a mesmerizing ambiance that’s both dark and enticing.
“The Hills” was a chart-topping hit, reaching the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. Its bass-driven beats are a departure from traditional R&B, leaning more towards the experimental side.
The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, emerged from the Toronto scene to become one of the defining voices of modern R&B and pop. With hits like “The Hills,” he has pushed the boundaries of what R&B can sound like, incorporating elements of hip-hop and electronic production.
26. “Madness” – Muse
Muse, as mentioned earlier, is known for its genre-blending approach to music, which is why we had to include another one of their songs on our list. With “Madness,” they ventured into electronic territory, showcasing their versatility and ability to evolve with changing music. This song is a blend of rock and electronica, with minimalist yet effective bass that underpins the entire track. The song builds in intensity, with the bass providing a consistent foundation from start to finish.
“Madness” was influenced by electronic acts such as Massive Attack and marked a departure from Muse’s more traditional rock sound. Its use of synth bass gives it a distinct electronic flavor.
27. “Around the World” – Daft Punk
Daft Punk, the French electronic duo consisting of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, revolutionized the dance scene. Known for their robotic personas and a fusion of house, disco, and electro, their tracks have left an indelible mark on music.
“Around the World” by Daft Punk is a testament to the power of repetition and the allure of captivating bass. The track revolves around a groovy bass pattern that keeps listeners hooked from beginning to end.
The music video for “Around the World” is as iconic as the song itself. Helmed by French director Michel Gondry, the video showcases dancers representing different instruments.
28. “Come As You Are” – Nirvana
Nirvana, hailing from Aberdeen, Washington, was the face of the grunge movement in the early ’90s. Their raw sound, coupled with Cobain’s introspective lyrics, reshaped the rock landscape, with songs like “Come As You Are” standing as timeless anthems. This song starts with a haunting, watery bass riff that sets the tone for the song. Krist Novoselic’s bass work complements Cobain’s vocals and guitar, adding depth to the grunge classic.
The song’s distinctive sound is due in part to the chorus effect used on both the guitar and bass, giving it that shimmering, underwater quality.
29. “Testify” – Rage Against The Machine
“Testify” by Rage Against The Machine is a fiery track with pulsating bass. Tim Commerford’s aggressive bass work drives the song, making it one of the band’s most powerful offerings.
The song’s lyrics are politically charged, a hallmark of Rage Against The Machine’s music. The music video for “Testify” features clips of the 2000 U.S. presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore, underscoring the band’s message.
Formed in Los Angeles in 1991, Rage Against The Machine combined rock with elements of hip-hop music. Their political lyrics and energetic performances made them one of the most influential bands of the ’90s.
30. “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons, an American pop rock band formed in 2008, skyrocketed to fame with their debut album, “Night Visions.” Their ability to meld rock, pop, and electronic music has made them one of the defining bands of the 2010s.
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons blends rock with electronic elements, producing a track that’s both anthemic and bass-heavy. The bass gives a sense of foreboding that resonates with the song’s apocalyptic theme, which could be why it holds the record for most weeks charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Its fusion of genres and infectious chorus made it a mainstay on the charts and radio. This song is a testament to their innovative approach to the music scene, blending the boundaries between genres.
Songs With a Lot of Bass: What Makes a Great Bass Song?
The allure of songs with a lot of bass is undeniable. But what exactly is it that makes a great bass song? While individual tastes can vary, certain universal elements elevate a song from merely bass-heavy to genuinely impactful and memorable.
1. Depth and Clarity of Sound
The bass should not merely be loud; it should possess depth. The best bass-heavy songs have a clarity of sound where the bass can be heard distinctly. It’s the difference between a song that just “booms” and a song where each bass note resonates, offering a rich auditory experience.
2. Inventiveness of the Bass Line
Repetition can be effective, but inventiveness adds character. A bass line that offers something fresh or unexpected, whether it’s a unique rhythm, a surprising syncopation, or an unusual pattern, captures attention. Bass guitarists or producers who experiment or innovate tend to leave a more lasting impression.
3. Integration with Other Elements
A good bass song doesn’t overshadow other elements; it complements them. The bass should seamlessly integrate with vocals, melody, and other instruments, creating a holistic sound rather than competing components.
4. Emotional Resonance
Bass, given its depth, has an uncanny ability to evoke emotions. Whether it’s the sultry mood of a jazz club, the frenetic energy of a rock concert, or the relaxing vibes of an ambient track, the bass should emotionally connect with the listener. When it does, it transforms a mere song into an experience.
5. Technical Mastery
While not every listener might be a musician, the technical prowess behind a bass line doesn’t go unnoticed. The complexity, speed, and skill with which bass is executed can elevate the overall feel of a song. Bass guitarists or producers with a deep understanding of their craft can introduce nuances that add layers of sophistication to a track.
6. Versatility across Genres
Whether it’s the deep grooves of hip hop, the rhythmic pulse of reggae, the aggressive riffs of rock, or the electronic thumps of dance music, a good bass song transcends genres. It’s not limited by labels but is universally appealing due to its ability to adapt and meld into various musical landscapes.
While thumping bass can make hearts race and feet tap, the intricacies that make a great bass song lie in its depth, innovation, integration, emotional pull, technical prowess, and versatility. It’s an art that goes beyond the surface, resonating with listeners on a profound level.
From the rhythmic heartbeats of ancient drums to the contemporary thumps in today’s chart-toppers, bass has always been an integral component of our musical tapestry. This journey through some of the most iconic bass-heavy songs has not only celebrated the profound impact of the bass but also delved into its intricate essence.
Whether you’re a seasoned musician, an avid music lover, or someone just starting their sonic exploration, there’s a universal truth we can all resonate with: bass is emotion, energy, and soul. It’s that deep pulse that connects us all, reminding us of the profound power of music. As we revel in these timeless tracks and anticipate future bass-driven anthems, one thing is certain: the allure of the bass is eternal, and its ability to move us, both physically and emotionally, remains unparalleled.