Well, this is certainly a hot take: legendary producer Rick Rubin, who knows more about music than most people, has called Paul McCartney the best bass player of all time. Let’s not do Rubin a disservice here, let’s give you the full quotes which come from MOJO:
“I thought about how everything I’ve seen, Beatles-related, is either about the songwriting or Beatlemania… Paul McCartney the bass player, or Paul McCartney the musician, because he plays everything – that’s a little story told.
You just think of him as Beatle Paul, yet in my opinion, he is the best of all bass players, he’s number one.”
So, why does he think this? Rubin went on to describe some of the Macca Magic in his approach to songwriting:
“What blew my mind was when he sat at the piano and he started showing me how to write a song. He was saying, ‘See, you could it like this’, and what he was showing me was the simplest thing, but then he starts moving his fingers around slightly, and all of a sudden it evolves into ‘Hey Jude’ or ‘Let It Be’. He’s using this technique that any child could do, then it morphs into one of the greatest songs of all time!”
This should start a healthy and fun debate about who people think their best bass player of all time is… and I guess you do have to factor in the fact Paul was a master songwriter rather than simply a technician of the instrument.