This list was created by averaging 21 lists (see sources at bottom of page). Groups or performers most associated with the bassist are listed in parentheses.
1. Geddy Lee (Rush)
2. Paul McCartney (Beatles/Wings)
3. Michael “Flea” Balzary (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
4. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
5. Jack Bruce (Cream)
6. John Entwistle (The Who)
7. Les Claypool (Primus)
8. James Jamerson (Funk Brothers)
9. Larry Graham (Sly & the Family Stone/Graham Central Station)
10. Jaco Pastorius
11. Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)
12. Chris Squire (Yes)
13. Tony Levin (King Crimson)
14. Bootsy Collins (Funkadelic)
15. Cliff Lee Burton (Metallica)
16. Louis Johnson (Brothers Johnson)
17. Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)
18. Stanley Clarke
19. Sting (The Police)
20. Donald “Duck” Dunn (Booker T & the MGs)
21. John Deacon (Queen)
22. Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead)
23. Bernard Edwards (Chic)
24. Charles Mingus
25. Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck)
26. Mike Watt (The Minutemen)
27. Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna)
28. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
29. Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)
30. Bill Wyman (The Rolling Stones)
31. Marcus Miller (Miles Davis)
32. Aston “Family Man” Barrett (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
33. Adam Clayton (U2)
34. Mike Gordon (Phish)
35. Willie Dixon
36. John Wetton (King Crimson/Uriah Heep/Asia)
37. Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power)
38. John Myung (Dream Theater)
39. Chuck Rainey
40. Mark King (Level 42)
41. George Porter, Jr. (Meters)
42. Bob Babbitt (Funk Brothers)
43. Tim Commerford (Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave)
44. Peter Hook (New Order)
45. Tim Bogert (Beck, Bogert & Appice/Cactus/Vanilla Fudge)
46. Ryan Martinie (Mudvayne)
47. Duff McKagen (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver)
48. Robert Truillo (Suicidal Tendencies/Metallica)
49. Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith)
50. Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big/Steve Vai)
51. Paul Simonon (The Clash)
52. Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
53. Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead)
54. Oteill Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band)
55. Jason Newsted (Metallica)
56. Leon Wilkeson (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
57. Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys)
58. Jah Wobble (Public Image Ltd.)
59. Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads)
60. Pino Palladino (Eric Clapton/Jeff Beck/The Who)
61. Bill Black (Elvis Presley)
62. John McVie (Fleetwood Mac)
63. Barry Oakley (Allman Brothers Band)
64. Stuart Hamm (Joe Satriani)
65. Andy Rouke (The Smiths)
66. Matt Freeman (Rancid)
67. Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam)
68. Timothy B. Schmidt (Eagles)
69. David Ellefson (Megadeth)
70. Steve Priest (Sweet)
71. Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
72. Mike “Tre Cool” Dirnt (Green Day)
73. Simon Gallup (The Cure)
74. Carol Kaye
75. Krist Novoselic (Nirvana)
76. Reggie “Fieldy” Arvizu (Korn)
77. Roger Glover (Deep Purple)
78. Chris Hillman (The Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers)
79. Mike Rutherford (Genesis)
80. P-Nut (311)
81. Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire)
82. Bill Gould (Faith No More)
83. Rick James
84. Justin Chancellor (Tool)
85. Andy Fraser (Free)
86. Bruce Thomas (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)
87. Nathan East (Kenny Loggins/Fourplay/Eric Clapton)
88. Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy)
89. Bobby Sheehan (Blues Traveler)
90. Kim Deal (Pixies)
91. Gary “Mani” Mounfield (Stone Roses)
92. John Alderete (Racer X/Mars Volta)
93. Charlie Haden (Ornette Coleman/Pat Metheny)
94. Michael Anthony (Van Halen/Chickenfoot)
95. Cliff Williams (AC/DC)
96. Phil Kingsbury
97. Ray Brown
98. Chris Wolstenholme (Muse)
99. Jerry “Fingers” Jemmott (Lionel Hampton/Herbie Hancock/George Benson)
100. Jeff Berlin
Resources and Related Links:
- Dave’sMusicDatabase.com “The Top 100 Bassists of All Time” (posted on original Facebook post (7/29/10).
- BBC News Zeppelin voted ‘ideal supergroup’. (7/10/05)
Roughly 3500 music fans were polled at Planet Rock Radio for best singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. The top 10 of each are listed.
- Buzzle.com Top Greatest Bass Players. By Marlene Alphonse. (3/22/10)
Top 10 list with brief commentary plus another 20 listed.
- Buzzle.com Greatest Bass Players. By Rujuta Borkar. (4/22/10)
Seven bassists with commentary plus a list of another 50+.
- CreativeLoafing.com Top 5 Bass Players of All Time. By Ivan Pena. (2/13/09)
A top 5 ranked list with commentary. Another seven bassists are listed with little or no commentary.
- Crunkish.com Top Ten Bass Players of All Time. (1/15/08)
Top ten ranked list with commentary.
- Delmark.com Ten Quintessential Blues Bassists. By Alana Rocklin. (date?)
Top ten ranked list of bassists within the blues genre.
- Digital Dream Door 100 Greatest Rock Bassists. Edited by Bassfreak. (11/8/05)
Ranked top 100 list with no commentary. Links to playlists.
- EzineArticles.com Top 10 Bass Players You Should Listen To. By Adrian Martin. (date?)
Ranked top ten list with commentary.
- FanNation.com Top Bassists of All Time. (6/12/07)
Top 20 ranked list. No commentary.
- FridayNightLists.Blogspot.com The Top 10 Rock N’ Roll Bassists of All Time. By S.W. Miller. (8/8/08)
Top 10 ranked list with commentary.
- HubPages.com The 10 Greatest Bass Players of All Time. By Illminatus (2009)
Top 10 unranked list with commentary.
- Listology.com Best Bassists of All Time. By dofancmf. (12/31/04)
Unranked list of 7 with no commentary.
- Musicbanter.com 100 Greatest Bass Players in Rock/Pop. Edited by boo boo. (6/28/10)
Top 50 ranked list with no commentary, but an essential record is listed for each bassist as well as the primary bands and musicians with whom the bassist worked.
- MusiciansFriend.com Guitar.com’s Top 100 Greatest Guitarists Who Ever Lived. By Adam St. James. (date?)
Ranked top 100 list with commentary. List is focused on guitarists, but lists ten bassists within its ranks.
- RateYourMusic.com The 10 Best Bass Players of All Time (Anglo). By Mattiias. (date?)
Top 10 ranked list with no commentary.
- Scaruffi.com Greatest Rock Bass Players of All Times. By Piero Scaruffi. (1999)
Ranked list of top 27. An unranked list of 50+ more bassists.
- Share Ranks Greatest Bass Players of All Time. (2009)
Voter-based ranked list of more than 200 bassists with brief commentary and voter comments.
- Squidoo.com Best Bass Players. Moderated by Corey Brown. (date?)
Top ten voter-based ranked list. No commentary.
- The-Top-Tens.com Best Bassists Ever. (date?)
Voter-based top 100 list with voters’ comments.
- Zuko.com Top 10 Rock Bands, Guitarist, Drummer, Bassist of All Time. By Dr. Von Zuko. (date?)
Top ten unranked list with no commentary.