All About That Bass
May 25, 2016 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Please help me add to my list of pop songs that have a great low frequencies.

I really like pop songs that have a wide dynamic range, particularly a strong presence of chunky, thumpy low frequencies—bass drum, bass guitar, clavier/organ, cello—whatever! Here's what's on my playlist so far:
What are some other must-have bassy pop tunes?
posted by overeducated_alligator to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
You'll probably find something of interest here: The Wire - Low End Theories special: YouTube playlist
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 12:51 PM on May 25, 2016

The Police, I Burn For You has Sting doing an upright bass riff towards the end, and The Barenaked Ladies' cover of Lovers In A Dangerous Time has a cello solo.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:52 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Pony by Ginuwine is my current go-to. Eminently crankable, pre-loudness dynamics and a unique bass sound.
posted by Lorin at 1:04 PM on May 25, 2016 [6 favorites]

I am eponysterically required to suggest Station to Station (bass starts around 1:20)
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 1:04 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

The bass on Devo's "Mongoloid" always gets me.
posted by SansPoint at 1:11 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A lot of the Peter Gabriel stuff that Tony Levin was on, like Shock The Monkey or Big Time, has massive bass sounds.
posted by thelonius at 1:13 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Rihanna's "Work" has incredible bass on a proper sound system.
posted by naju at 1:20 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Billie Jean
posted by jeffch at 1:20 PM on May 25, 2016

Stevie Wonder: Tell Your Heart I Love You.
posted by amf at 1:24 PM on May 25, 2016

Best answer: In a different vein, The Band - Up On Cripple Creek has a satisfying low end. My system didn't reproduce it all that well until I added a sub.

Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine (pre-remaster) can be a tad thin on some set-ups, but Down In It opens with that deep, full kick and has great dynamics.

Nicki Minaj Trini Dem Girls is not dynamic in the pre-loudness wars sense of having a high dynamic range but the punch to that bass line ... damn. Ditto a lot of Beyoncé: Deja Vu is one I keep coming back to. Bouncy bass line, thumping drums ... good stuff.
posted by Lorin at 1:26 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

That said: Weeping Song; Newtons Gravitätlichkeit (and plenty of other Neubauten, how about 12305te Nacht or the entirety of "Solo Bassfeder"); The Strawbs' New World, uh lots more I'll get back to you.
posted by kenko at 1:39 PM on May 25, 2016

Chemical Brothers, Under the Influence.
posted by praemunire at 1:45 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Phat Planet, Leftfield
Cowgirl, Underworld
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:52 PM on May 25, 2016

Another one from Underworld - 8 Ball
posted by lovableiago at 1:59 PM on May 25, 2016

Dark Side of the Moon has a heartbeat under (almost?) all the songs that is only audible on a very good sound system played at a pretty high volume. (Boom boom. Boom boom.)

Nantucket Sleighride, by Mountain.

Sail, by AWOL Nation.

Steady as She Goes, by the Raconteurs.

Dangerous, by Big Data.

Crawling Back to You, by the Arctic Monkeys
posted by Bruce H. at 2:02 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Yet another Stevie Wonder: For Once in My Life, which has a justifiably famous bass line from James Jamerson that seemingly does not repeat a single lick or phrase, despite being on point and complementary to the melody at all times. Here's that bass line isolated and graphed.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:15 PM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Shriekback. All Lined Up and My Spine is the Bassline to start with...
posted by Lexica at 2:50 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Green Day - Longview
posted by jitterbug perfume at 3:02 PM on May 25, 2016

El-P's bass production on the Run the Jewels albums is amazing. I'm thinking particularly of Oh My Darling Don't Cry and Close Your Eyes from RTJ2.

Also, Grimes's new album Art Angels is full of great bass. C.f. Realiti (play loud).
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 3:08 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Valentino Khan - Deep Down Low
posted by poe at 4:00 PM on May 25, 2016

Pretty much anything by Morphine, particularly Buena.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 4:12 PM on May 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Sly and The Family Stone - If you want me to stay
posted by arha at 4:29 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

No one posted Destiny's Child yet? Jumpin' Jumpin' surprised me!
posted by yueliang at 5:22 PM on May 25, 2016

The new Esperanza Spalding song is pretty nice: "One"

Some of my favorite girl group songs with pumping bass:
Perfume - Game
SISTAR - Alone
9Muses - Glue
Red Velvet - Time Slip
posted by yueliang at 5:38 PM on May 25, 2016

Ooh, forgot to include this. These are probably my two favorite Namie Amuro songs, Damage (eng sub) and Break It (eng sub). The guitar and bass lines in both are super delicious. The SISTAR and 9Muses songs I recommended earlier, also have some really nice bass guitar work too.
posted by yueliang at 5:54 PM on May 25, 2016

Also it sounds totally obvious in 2016 to mention Uptown Funk, but there's a really interesting section on Wikipedia about the inspirations present in the song, that would be good to look at.
posted by yueliang at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2016

Purity Ring - Stranger Than Earth

For some serious thump, check out J Dilla's remixes of various pop/r&b artists. Vivian Green - Fanatic is one example, but there are a bunch floating around out there.
posted by Lorin at 6:39 PM on May 25, 2016

James Blake's self-titled album sounds incredible through some great speakers.
posted by lousywiththespirit at 8:08 PM on May 25, 2016

Massive Attack - Angel is huge. If a track has more low end than this then it has too much.
posted by bongo_x at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2016

DJ Magic Mike *Bass is the Name of the Game* has the most outrageous bass I've ever encountered.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:08 AM on May 26, 2016

DEV - Bass Down Low
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal
posted by PenDevil at 12:57 AM on May 26, 2016

Monarchy - Dancing in the corner (features swears) - this one makes my car doors buzz, love it.

Some awesome bass-y ladies, quite different styles but both have that low range oomph: Kendra Morris and Banks.
posted by Ness at 2:48 AM on May 26, 2016

Candy Perfume Girl from Madonna's Ray of Light album has some room-shaking bass.

See also pretty much anything else by William Orbit, especially Water From a Vine Leaf on Strange Cargo 3 (my home theater sub is the only thing I have that can reproduce its bottom line).
posted by AbnerRavenwood at 7:19 AM on May 26, 2016

The Beatles — With a Little Help from My Friends, Rain

Queen — You're My Best Friend

Prince — Cream, Controversy, Strange Relationship

Stevie Wonder — I Wish, Bird of Beauty, Boogie on Reggae Woman

Morphine — Honey White
posted by John Cohen at 7:48 AM on May 26, 2016

I find the bass on Missy Elliott's WTF to be excellent
posted by greenish at 9:18 AM on May 26, 2016

Pretty much all of No Doubt's Rock Steady record was produced with bass in mind.
posted by General Malaise at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2016

Jane's Addiction - Summertime Rolls

More of a rock song, I guess, but wow, that bassline.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:32 PM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Fantastic stuff! Thanks everybody! Also, a special award goes to DirtyOldTown for indirectly leading me to Vulfpeck. HOLY WOW.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:59 AM on May 29, 2016

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