10 Awesome Bass Heavy Songs of the 80s
The music scene of the 1980s saw a second British wave of artists heavily influencing the global audience, especially in North America. At the same time, the demand for music with heavier bass witnessed a surge of music that glamorized heavy metal, electrified pop rock, and introduce a whole new genre known as rap music. In the 1980s, it was referred to as rap music. This was still the case in the 1990s but as the genre itself continued to evolve, hip-hop became the official term. The music of the 1990s was mostly inspired by the heavy thumping sounds of the bass guitar, as well as heavy-duty usage of synthesizers. The 1980s saw an explosion of music styles that saw only the heaviest hitters make the grade while the rest were somewhat silenced. It’s all about the bass, you know.
10. Super Freak (performed by Rick James)
Rick James released (Super Freak) as a single in 1981. This thumper used the bass to make it a freakishly addictive hit. Not only did this become one of his signature songs but was a major favorite in dance clubs clean through the 80s and even into the 90s. It came from his fifth album, Street Songs, and it topped the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number sixteen.
9. Straight Outta Compton (performed by N.W.A.)
On July 10, 1988, (Straight Outta Compton) blasted straight out of the speakers of the fortunate who got to hear this heavy bass number for the first time. This was the lead single from the group’s self-titled debut album and remains near the top as one of the top rap songs of all time. Most hip-hop numbers use a great deal of bass as a means to add drama to their songs. There are few artists who make this a specialty that truly works for them. N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton achieves this, no problem.
8. Going Back to Cali (performed by LL Cool J)
1988’s (Going Back to Cali) was an LL Cool J single from his third album, Walking with a Panther. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number thirty-one while on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart it peaked at number twelve. In a song that revolved around moving back to California, this bass-heavy number has since become a timeless classic that can really give you and the speakers a good workout.
7. Ace of Spades (performed by Motorhead)
Released in 1980, the title track from the album, Ace of Spades, served as a beautiful example of how heavy metal makes the best use of a bass guitar. Noted for its blunt power and speed, Motorhead’s blast onto the UK Singles Chart peaked as high as number nine and remained as a force to be reckoned with. It also put their fellow UK countrymen on notice that it’s possible to bring forth a powerful top ten hit without sacrificing its heavy bass input.
6. It Takes Two (performed by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock)
Released in 1988, (It Takes Two) was a dual performance by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock that became one of the biggest hits, thanks to the heavy bass and brilliant delivery. Many critics still regard this single as one of the greatest hip-hop singles of all time. On the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, it peaked as high as number three. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it was a number seventeen hit. Aside from the chart numbers, It Takes Two became a classic as folks on the dance floor couldn’t help but get really into the thump of the beat. When not on the dance floor, this song was still strong enough to get you moving, even if it’s just a toe.
5. Boyz-n-the-Hood (performed by Eazy E)
Once upon a time, Eazy-E was a member of a new rap group, N.W.A. When he released (Boyz-n-the-Hood) as a single in 1987, it became a local hit. it was reissued again before the end of the year. This bass-heavy has since seen several remixes and covers, including the incredibly popular Red Hot Chili Peppers version. However, this never would have happened if Eazy-E’s original didn’t come out first.
4. Posse on Broadway (performed by Sir Mix-a-Lot)
In 1988, (Posse on Broadway) was a hip-hop single that was released by Sir Mix-a-Lot from his debut album, Swass. This was his big breakthrough hit and served as the explosive recording that put the world on notice the best talent in this niche doesn’t just come from the East Coast, West Coast, and South. This heavy thumper became a number seventy hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. While this may not be so impressive as far as a chart rank goes, it was still a major breakthrough that won over a fan base who couldn’t get enough of the heavy bass.
3. Paul Revere (performed by Beastie Boys)
The Beastie Boys, when they were in their prime, had a cult following. (Paul Revere) was the third single released from the group’s debut album, Licensed to Ill, which was released in 1986. As one gets caught up in the heavy beat of the bass, they learn a fictional tale of how the members of Beastie Boys met. It appeared as if this song may have been ahead of its time as it was only a modest hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number seventy. However, this song will get you moving up and about. It’ll do the same for your speakers too.
2. Oh Yeah (Yello)
(Oh Yeah) by Yello was released in 1985 as a song that made good use of manipulated vocals and electronic music. The thump from the bass really came to light after it was featured in the movies Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Secret of My Success. This song became a big part of pop culture and has also been used in a series of other films since then. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it was a number fifty-one hit. On the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, it peaked at number thirty-eight. It was even more popular in Australia as it charted as high as number eight there. If you want a song where you feel the pump of the bass, this is it.
1. Another One Bites the Dust (performed by Queen)
When it comes to a song that knows how to give the speakers a good workout by bass guitar, (Another One Bites the Dust) by Queen would be that one song that can rise to the occasion. Released in 1980 from the group’s eighth album, the Game, this became one of Queen’s biggest hits of all time. It became a number one hit on a global scale, including on the US Billboard Hot 100. This song became so popular, thanks to the heavy thump of the bass, t became a favorite played at sporting events.
I can’t believe Warren Zevon isn’t on this list for Werewolves of London.