Rock/pop/soul songs with two (or more) bass parts

How many popular songs out there are written with multiple bass parts?

What made me think of this was a recent listen to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. I really focused in on the bass parts and said to myself “That’s either the world’s best bass player, or that’s two basses.”

After a little research, it turns out that “Superstition” was actually performed with two clavinets rather than bass guitars. I’m not a musician, so I’m not sure if use of a clavinet counts towards covering a song’s bass part – though it sure sounded that way to me. Seems to me an (electric) bassist could crudely approximate the sounds of a clavinet by sticking with the higher-pitched strings … or maybe by tuning the bass in an unusual fashion … and maybe the picking or the pick would have to be modified in some way.

Anyway, I’m getting a bit off track here. The question is stated in the OP’s title – are there many examples in rock/pop/soul music of songs with two (or more) distinct bass parts? Bonus points if the parts are actually played by two bassists (simultaneously?) in the studio (or live), rather than by one bassist playing two tracks at separate times, and then mixing them together later.

Big Bottoms had three.

In the mid 70s, a number of bands had 2 bassists. The only example I can think of is the Plastic Ono Band.


Not really in the rock/pop/soul genre, but I saw Miles Davis many years ago (1987ish, I think) when he had two bass players in his touring band.

There is a great group called Dianogah, which uses only two bass players and a drummer. There stuff is very cool, if you like bass and alternative music.

So, all of thier songs feature two bass lines.

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin had two bass players. Not the most popular band, but it did make a little noise on the alternative charts back in the 1990s.

Yeah but Derek Smalls was playing a double necked Bass in that song, so it’s really almost four.

I wanna say The Cure used double bass lines on a couple of their songs, but don’t quote me on that.

On Victor Wooten’s lates CD, Soul Circus, there is a song called “Bass Tribute,” which is a pretty funky song all about the great bassists of modern music. Besides Victor on the bass, it features four other bass players for a total of five. It is skillfully done.

On most of his other solo efforts (which are, IMHO, well worth acquiring), he has songs on which he has several multitracked bass parts. His live concerts also feature one or two additional bassists on many songs.

I believe Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” has two bass guitar parts.

“Primary” springs to mind…

I think Ozzy’s *No More Tears * had two base lines.

Good call Rufus. I caught this show live, and there were actually at least two bass players on almost every song.

"Hungry" by Paul Revere and the Raiders has 3 bass parts in it. It uses a standard bass, a short-necked bass (sometimes called an octave bass) and a bass through distortion (sometimes called a fuzz-bass). Still, this was strictly for the studio recording.
How about “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys? That beginning sounds as if there are 2 bass parts playing. One bass seems an octave higher than the other.

If we count other instruments playing the bass notes, there’s always Howard Johnson’s Gravity, which used 5-7 tubas in addition to the bass guitar.

Johnson is, of course, rock’s greatest tuba player (not that there’s much competition) and a mainstay of the early Saturday Night Live band, where Gravity appeared once as a musical guest.

AND their amps go up to 11…

Reminds me of Spinal Tap after Nigel quits the band, and they’re trying to figure out how to do their songs. At one point David asks Viv (keyboardist) if he could cover a bass part, to which Viv replies, “sure… I’ve got two hands.”

As a keys player myself, that always makes me grin. :slight_smile:

“Old Time Rock & Roll” is so low that I wouldn’t be surprised if Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band had an extra bass on that one.

Hope this thread isn’t too old to resurrect … I think I heard two more songs that fit the bill:

“Urgent” by Foreigner

“Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks (if that constant “jugga-jugga-jugga-jugga” sound is played on a bass guitar).

That was a cool bass. I think it was a one-off for the film. I haven’t been able to find out much about it.