I think this is one cover version of a song which far surpasses the original. It doesn’t sound massively different, though it does have additional swagger, and there are so many references to Michael Jackson in the video. I guess that each version means something different to each generation, but I think that this rockier version from Alien Ant Farm may prove to be more enduring than Jacko’s version.
It’s a lot of fun to play this on bass – perhaps one reason why I like it – but I also enjoy the video. The band appear to be having fun making it: not many will have had the chance to appear alongside a chimpanzee. Their follow up single, Movies, had a great video too – check it out!
Smooth Criminal – Alient Ant Farm
I heard that a few years ago Classic Rock magazine polled its readers to find out who they considered to be the best rock singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer of all time. When the votes were cast, it turned out that the band that was created already had a name – Led Zeppelin.
I must confess that I hadn’t listened to them much before my 40s, to the extent that I’d heard Rolf Harris’ version of Stairway to Heaven long before I heard the original. That seems barely credible to me, but it’s true,
I found a list of Top 40 bass lines ever, and of all the many possibles, this song was the Led Zeppelin one that made the list. And what a track it is! The bass burbles away in the background, while the lyrics include reference to Lord of the Rings. I’ve addded this to my bucket list of songs to be able to play, and from time to time I return to it. It’s getting easier to play parts of it, but I’ve not managed the whole thing at full speed. I know I’ll get there though, it’s just going to take time.
Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
Yet another fabulous bassline which mangles my hands when I try to play it! This is a really bouncy, happy song, which I hadn’t heard until a couple of years ago. Stevie Wonder has never really been on my radar in terms of musicians I should listen to, even though I play Master Blaster for the band I’m with now, but this song appeared in a list of Top 50 basslines in a music magazine and it’s grown on me over the years.
I Wish – Stevie Wonder
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And the bassist in the video makes it look so easy!
As you know I’m a bass player, I’ll bet that some of you are a little surprised at this choice. Surely I’d have gone for something like Hysteria by Muse, with its awesome, hand mangling bass line? This track is relatively simple, though as I don’t use a pick it’s quite tough to play at full speed all the way through. All the fancy stuff is being done by the guitar, but it’s underpinned and supported by the bass and drums. It’s a classic bit of understated bass playing, though I love the guitar riff too.
Headphone on – or wind the volume up if you can – and rejoice in how good a three piece band can be.
Stockholm Syndrome – Muse