The Most Popular Bass Line: Ranking the Catchiest Rhythms

Choose the bass line you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 24, 2024 05:48
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion counts! We've struck the right chord and dived deep into the world of music to bring you a ranking of the most popular bass lines ever. From smooth grooves to iconic riffs, this list has it all! Show your love for the low-end frequencies and vote for your favorite bass line or even suggest a missing masterpiece that deserves recognition. So, fellow music enthusiasts, let's get ready to rumble and decide which bass line truly stands out from the rest. Join the symphony of voters and let's make some noise together!

What Is the Most Popular Bass Line?

  1. 1
    This iconic bass line, played by Louis Johnson, is instantly recognizable and has been sampled countless times in other songs.
    Billie Jean is a song by Michael Jackson, released in 1982 as the second single from his legendary album Thriller. It is widely regarded as one of the most successful and iconic songs of all time, and it solidified Jackson's status as a global pop superstar. The song combines elements of pop, funk, and disco, with a captivating bassline and infectious rhythm. Lyrically, Billie Jean tells the story of a woman who claims that Jackson is the father of her child, leading to a tale of denial, suspicion, and personal struggle. The song's strong beats, catchy melody, and Jackson's captivating vocals contribute to its timeless appeal.
    • Album: Thriller
    • Release Date: January 2, 1983
    • Genre: Pop, Funk, Disco
    • Length: 4 minutes and 54 seconds
    • Songwriter(s): Michael Jackson
    "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson in other rankings
  2. 2
    John Deacon's bass line in this song is simple yet incredibly effective, and has become one of the most well-known in rock music.
  3. 3
    Bernard Edwards' bass line in this disco classic has been sampled in numerous hip-hop and R&B songs, making it one of the most widely recognized bass lines in music history.
  4. 4

    "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King

    Bassist Lloyd Trotman
    This classic soul ballad features a simple yet memorable bass line that perfectly complements the song's emotional lyrics.
    The bass line for 'Stand by Me' by Ben E. King is a simple yet iconic groove that serves as the foundation for the song. It is instantly recognizable and has become one of the most popular bass lines in music history.
    • Song: 'Stand by Me'
    • Artist: Ben E. King
    • Key: A Major
    • Time Signature: 4/4
    • Tempo: 120 beats per minute
    "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King in other rankings
  5. 5
    The funky bass line in this song, played by Oscar Alston, is instantly recognizable and has been sampled in numerous hip-hop and R&B songs.
    The 'Super Freak' is a funky and groovy bass line created by Rick James. It serves as the iconic bassline of the song 'Super Freak' released in 1981. Rick James, an American singer-songwriter and musician, is credited as the creator of this memorable bassline.
    • Genre: Funk
    • Release Year: 1981
    • Key: Eb minor
    • Time Signature: 4/4
    • Tempo: 130 BPM
    "Super Freak" by Rick James in other rankings
  6. 6

    "Money" by Pink Floyd

    Roger Waters
    Roger Waters' bass line in this song is one of the most distinctive in rock music, and perfectly captures the song's theme of greed and materialism.
    The bass line in 'Money' by Pink Floyd is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and recognizable bass lines in rock music history. It serves as the driving force behind the song's rhythm and has become synonymous with the band's signature sound.
    • Song Title: Money
    • Album: The Dark Side of the Moon
    • Release Year: 1973
    • BPM: 120
    • Key: B minor
  7. 7
    Nathan Watts' bass line in this song is funky and infectious, and perfectly complements the song's joyful and celebratory lyrics.
    The bass line in "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder is a prominent element in the song, providing a catchy and energetic foundation for the entire composition. It has become one of the most iconic bass lines in popular music.
    • Song: "Sir Duke"
    • Artist: Stevie Wonder
    • Bassist: Nathan Watts
    • Genre: Funk/Soul
    • Release Year: 1976
  8. 8
    James Jamerson's bass line in this Motown classic is simple yet effective, and adds a subtle groove to the song's sweet lyrics.
    The bass line for "My Girl" by The Temptations is a classic and instantly recognizable groove that forms the foundation of the song. It is known for its catchy and driving rhythm that perfectly complements the uplifting and joyful tone of the song.
    • Key: C major
    • Tempo: 120 BPM
    • Time Signature: 4/4
    • Technique: Fingerstyle
    • Groove: Steady and rhythmic
    "My Girl" by The Temptations in other rankings
  9. 9
    The bass line in this Motown classic, played by Wilton Felder, is bouncy and upbeat, perfectly capturing the song's youthful energy.
    The bass line of "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5 is an iconic and widely recognized groove that forms the backbone of the song. It is an essential element of the Motown sound and has influenced countless musicians and bass players. The bass line effectively combines simplicity and catchiness while driving the song's rhythm with precision and groove.
    • Song: I Want You Back
    • Artist: The Jackson 5
    • Genre: Soul / Pop
    • Key: E major
    • Time Signature: 4/4
    "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5 in other rankings
  10. 10
    "Come Together" by The Beatles
    The Beatles · Public domain
    Paul McCartney's bass line in this song is one of his most distinctive, and perfectly complements the song's psychedelic lyrics and sound.
    The bass line for the song "Come Together" by The Beatles is a prominent and iconic element of the track, known for its groovy and driving quality. It serves as the backbone of the song, providing a solid and rhythmic foundation.
    • Song title: Come Together
    • Artist: The Beatles
    • Album: Abbey Road
    • Released: 1969
    • Genre: Rock

Missing your favorite bass line?


Ranking factors for popular bass line

  1. Catchiness
    A great bass line should be catchy and memorable, making it easy for listeners to hum or sing along to. It should complement the song and be a distinctive element that people can easily identify.
  2. Groove and Rhythm
    The bass line should have a strong groove and rhythm that carries the song's beat. It should be able to drive the overall vibe of the track and make listeners want to dance or tap their feet.
  3. Complexity and Skill
    A good bass line should display a certain level of technical skill and complexity, showcasing the bassist's ability to create interesting and engaging patterns and variations.
  4. Originality
    The bass line should be unique and bring something new and exciting to the song. It should distinguish itself from other bass lines in similar genres and styles.
  5. Harmony and Melody
    A great bass line should have a strong harmonic and melodic presence, providing a solid foundation for the other instruments to build upon. It should be able to support the song's chords and melodies while also providing additional depth and texture to the overall sound.
  6. Tone and Timbre
    The tone and timbre of the bass line should be rich and full, enhancing the song's overall audio quality and making it pleasing to the listener's ears.
  7. Impact on the Genre or Music Scene
    A popular bass line should have a lasting impact on its genre or the wider music scene, inspiring other musicians and serving as a benchmark for future basslines.
  8. Timelessness
    A great bass line should be able to stand the test of time, remaining popular and relevant across different generations of music listeners.
  9. Accompanying the Song
    The bass line should complement the song's lyrics, melody, and overall mood, providing an integral part of the listening experience.
  10. Emotional Connection
    Finally, a popular bass line should evoke an emotional response from listeners, making them feel connected to the music and emotionally invested in the song.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular bass line. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Bassline is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 235 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Bassline once every 24 hours. The rank of each Bassline is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular bass line

Bass lines are an essential component of music that provide a foundation for the melody and rhythm. A good bass line can elevate a song and make it memorable. From funk to rock, there are countless iconic bass lines that have become synonymous with certain genres and artists. But which bass line is the most popular? This is a question that has sparked debates among music enthusiasts for years. At StrawPoll, we've gathered thousands of opinions from our users to find out which bass line reigns supreme. So, let's dive into the world of bass lines and discover which one stands out from the rest.

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