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On Gibson.com we're proud to give so much love and support to guitarists – in the form of daily guitar-centric features, news, lessons and more. We'll admit, though, that this sometimes comes at the expense of another of our demographics – the bass players among you.

Oh, but how we love that thrilling thrum-bum-boom rumble of a bass guitar! We happen to believe that it's often the bass player who nudges a song into brilliance, though he seldom receives the credit for doing so. Now it's the bassist's time to have a turn in the spotlight.

Here is our list of the Top 10 Bassists of All Time. Think we missed the mark? Please let us know in the comments section who you'd have included.

10. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)

This multi-instrumentalist has taken on many roles since Led Zeppelin dissolved, but he will always be best-known for the four-string work he contributed to the band in the late '60s and '70s. The rhythmic grooves behind "Ramble On" and "The Lemon Song"? Chalk it all up to Jones.

9. Chris Squire (Yes)

The most longstanding of Yes band members – the only one to appear on each album – Squire grew up on the bass styles of John Entwistle, Jack Bruce and Larry Graham. Using a pick and only the neck pickup, Squire developed his signature aggressive sound by incorporating guitar effects like tremolo, phasing and the wah-wah pedal into his bass technique.

8. Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Believe it or not, Flea got his start as a trumpet prodigy before picking up bass at his Los Angeles high school. Flea originally relied on traditional basslines before beginning to incorporate a Bootsy Collins-inspired slap bass style into hit album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. He then changed gears again, paring back on subsequent albums by playing far fewer notes.

7. Les Claypool (Primus)

Not known for his restraint, Primus frontman Claypool pulls out all the stops on stage with his bass guitar — using slapping, tapping, whammy bar bends and flamenco-inspired strumming to shape his band's experimental funk-rock sound.

6. Jaco Pastorius

Pastorius' personal life – fraught with mental illness and substance abuse – is almost as interesting as his bass playing, and that's saying a lot. This virtuoso, who died during a 1987 fight with a nightclub bouncer, was heralded by the likes of Miles Davis and Victor Wooten for his technique, which involved exclusive use of the bridge pickup and fingerstyle playing.

5. Geddy Lee (Rush)

For more than 40 years, Lee's worked as bassist for the world's leading prog rock band. Oh yeah, and this overachiever is also Rush's lead vocalist and keyboardist. Many heavy-hitting bassists (guys like Cliff Burton, Iron Maiden's Steve Harris, Dream Theater's John Myung and Primus' Les Claypool) have gushed about Lee's influence on their work.

4. Cliff Burton (Metallica)

The late Burton contributed to three hit Metallica albums before perishing at age 24 in a 1986 tour bus accident. Known for his "lead bass" role, Burton played a larger part in Metallica's overall sound than most bassists – contributing both melodies and solos to the heavy metal compositions.

3. John Entwistle (The Who)

The versatile bassist in The Who, Entwistle was an unpredictable player – veering from melodic and song-supportive to rhythmic and loud (he was, after all, one of the first to make use of a Marshall stack). An instrument enthusiast, he'd amassed more than 200 bass guitars by the time he died of a heart attack in 2002.

2. James Jamerson

This bass-playing hero went somewhat under the radar until recent years, when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him into their ranks in 2000. Holding the bassline behind most all the Motown Records hits, Jamerson's work can be heard in classics like "My Girl," "For Once in My Life," "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," and the list goes on and on.

1. Paul McCartney (The Beatles)

While there's no denying his prowess, you may not think that Macca deserves to sit so high atop this list. But we put him here because we dare you to find a more influential bassist this side of the solar system. And to think it almost didn't happen at all; McCartney became the Fab Four's bassist by default after original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe left the band to return to art school.

From: Gibson Lifestyle
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

June xx, 1969 - More recording for Led Zeppelin II at Morgan Studios
June 29, 1969 - Led Zeppelin play the prestigious Royal Albert Hall
June 28, 1970 - Zeppelin reach mass acceptance in Britain by playing Bath
June xx, 1971 - A news report claims Led Zep to play at an aid relief concert for Pakistan
June xx, 1972 - More recording sessions for Houses Of The Holy
June 21, 1972 - Eighth American tour begins in Denver, CO, almost four years since Zeppelin’s American debut
June 03, 1973 - Zeppelin play the Fabulous Forum in LA, a favorite venue to the band
June xx, 1973 - The band takes a mid-tour holiday in Hawaii
June xx, 1974 - Promoter Fred Bannister announces that Led Zeppelin will play Knebworth, the band declines
June xx, 1975 - John Bonham loses his license for six months over a drunk driving charge
June xx, 1976 - Filmmaker Kenneth Anger tells media that Jimmy Page is partly responsible for the failure of his film over the delayed soundtrack he provided
June 07, 1977 - The first of six nights at Madison Square Gardens
June xx, 1978 - Robert feels new life within Led Zeppelin again
June 26, 1979 - The entire Led Zeppelin line up appear at a Dave Edmunds show and party afterwards
June 17, 1980 - Led Zeppelin open their European (and last) tour at Westfallenhalle in Dortmund
June 27, 1980 - Zeppelin abandon their Nuremburg show after three numbers when Bonham collapses from exhaustion
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