Claypool, Lee and Flea named in top bass poll

Geddy Lee, Les CLaypool, Cliff Burton and Flea have been named in a poll of the best bassists ever.

Duran Duran’s John Taylor was named in top spot, taking an overwhelming 30% of the vote in MusicRadar’s poll of the 60 best bass players of all time.

Rush hero Lee came in second, with Flea reaching seventh and Primus virtuoso Claypool in 12th place. On Lee, MusicRadar says: “The Rush man has inspired thousands to pick up the bass guitar, and many of the other bassists in this rundown cite him as an influence. A leading frontman, songwriter and a remarkable bass talent, it’s no surprise he remains perennially popular with you guys.”

Late Metallica star Burton was 13th, while Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris was 16th and Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler 21st. On Burton, the website adds: “His influence can be felt all over Metallica’s first three genre-defining LPs.”

Other rock heroes to make the list include Thin Lizzy’s late frontman Phil Lynott at number 25, Motorhead’s Lemmy at 27 and Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan at number 32.

Bootsy Collins came in at 31 and the Pixies’ Kim Deal lands at 40 – ahead of Kiss hero Gene Simmons in 45th place and late Slipknot member Paul Gay at number 50. Roger Glover of Deep Purple, PIL’s Jah Wobble and Genesis star Mike Rutherford also make the top 60, while prolific session bassist Carol Kaye is at number 41.

The Top 20

  1. John Taylor – Duran Duran 2. Geddy Lee – Rush 3. Simon Gallup – The Cure 4. Mark King – Level 42 5. Jaco Pastorius – Weather Report 6. Flea – Red Hot Chilli Peppers 7. John Entwistle – The Who 8. Victor Wooten 9. John Paul Jones – Led Zeppelin 10. Paul McCartney – The Beatles 11. James Jamerson – The Funk Brothers 12. Les Claypool – Primus 13. Cliff Burton – Metallica 14. Bernard Edwards – Chic 15. John Myung – Dream Theater 16. Steve Harris – Iron Maiden 17. Tony Levin 18. Mick Karn – Japan 19. Billy Sheehan – Mr Big 20. Chris Squire – Yes

    Check out the full list at MusicRadar

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.