As the bassist for disco godfathers Chic, it’s easy to see why Bernard Edwards is considered by many to be one of the best bassists of all time]. A true maestro of groove and feel known for his unique playing style, Edwards created spellbinding basslines that not only helped secure Chic’s disco legacy, but, by sprinkling his funky magic over tracks for Madonna, Diana Ross and Sister Sledge, he revolutionised pop music and kept disco alive well into the 80s and 90s. In fact, Edwards’ influence can even be felt in the evolution of hip-hop and dance music. From the floor-thumping funk foundation of Madonna’s Material Girl to the staccato tones of Chic’s Good Times, here is our list of the best Bernard Edwards basslines.
Listen to the best of Chic here, and check out the best Bernard Edwards basslines, below.
10: Chic: Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) (from ‘Chic’, 1977)
Propelling the song with a high-speed locomotive groove, with only a few rumbling, repetitive notes to shake the dancefloor, the bassline for Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) was one of disco’s most innovative floor-fillers. Funky and upbeat, Edwards’ playing refocuses the listener on the feel of the groove, making for a distraction from how complex the rest of Nile Rodgers’ arrangement for the song was. What sets it apart is the way the vinyl itself was cut, which arguably revolutionised the way bass grooves could sound. “We cut deeper and wider grooves to have that bass response,” Rodgers later said, “so you could take that record home and it didn’t skip. We were pushing the limit.” This game-changing innovation was a highlight of Chic’s self-titled debut album, and it would go on to influence the rise of both hip-hop and dance music.