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The most influential electric bass player of all time, and the man who revolutionised the role of the bass guitar in pop should, by rights, be a hell of a lot further up this rundown.
Throughout the 1960s, Jamerson performed, uncredited, on hundreds of hit singles as part of Motown's legendary house band, The Funk Brothers. It wasn't until 1971 when Marvin Gaye's Whats Goin' On sleeve notes listed him as 'the incomparable James Jamerson' that his name was even featured on a major Motown release.
Jamerson's 1962 sunburst Fender Precision bass was strung with heavy flatwounds and generally played with just the index finger of his right hand, which became nicknamed 'The Hook'. His melodic, syncopated basslines are peerless in the canon of recorded popular music.