Vote for Scotland’s Greatest Ever Bassist


Vote for Scotland’s Greatest Ever Bassist

Inevitably Alec’s ‘Who is…?’ article and the suggestions received through Facebook, Twitter and the comments section have caused further heated debate amongst the Dear Scotland contributors. It’s just as well most of us live in different countries. In the end, our final five are: Dominic Aitchison, Jack Bruce, Derek Forbes, Alan Gorrie, and Dougie Payne.The poll closes on Tuesday at midnight (EST).

Even if you are not a fan of one of the bands mentioned, we hope you will cast your vote for Scotland’s Greatest Ever Bassist to decide who will join guitarist Stuart Adamson and drummer Paul Thompson in Dear Scotland’s “greatest ever” supergroup.

If you are reading this article after December 8, 2009 then unfortunately your vote wont count, but the comments section on this page will remain open and unedited forever.

For Alec Downie’s full list of suggestions, have a look at last week’s article, but for now, in alphabetical order, the Dear Scotland top five are:

Dominic Aitchison (Mogwai)

“…throwing my hat in the ring for Dominic from Mogwai for his second-to-none bass riffage.” [James in comments]


Jack Bruce (Cream)

“Has to be Jack Bruce… an exceptional and innovative musician; he really brought the bass guitar to the fore!” [Bruce in comments]


Derek Forbes (Simple Minds)

“If you were to take his incredibly rhythmic and melodic lines out of the songs they would totally fall apart. In fact, many of the tracks on New Gold Dream are built around the bass. [Alan Thomas]


Alan Gorrie (The Average White Band)

“Alan Gorrie’s soulful vocals and percussive, syncopated basslines interact perfectly with Hamish Stuart’s funky, rhythmic guitar work” [Anonymous]


Dougie Payne (Travis)

“Playing pop well is an art and this Art School grad is one of the best.” [Alec Downie]


Next week: Alec’s mind is already close to exploding as he considers ‘Who is Scotland’s Greatest Ever Vocalist?’. So we may have to break that question down to male and female over the next few weeks just to preserve Mr. Downie’s noggin.

Photo Credit : DeeJayne

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116 Responses to “Vote for Scotland’s Greatest Ever Bassist”
  1. How come no Kenny McColl of the Tartan Specials? Shocking.

    by Anonymous
    on 02 Dec, 2009 5:37am

  2. Jack Bruce should stroll this one.

    by Anonymous
    on 02 Dec, 2009 12:08pm

  3. No Chris Glen?

    Shame on you.

    by Penny
    on 02 Dec, 2009 3:12pm

  4. Alan Gorrie is the governor if you’re judging by taste and quality.The guy should be knighted.for his contribution to soul music.

    by Rich
    on 02 Dec, 2009 4:06pm

  5. This is definitely a toughie, torn between the awesome playing of Jack Bruce, the sheer funk radness of Alan Gorrie and the genre-shaping lead riffage of Dominic Aitchison. I voted for Dom but any of the three could stroll it.

    by James
    on 03 Dec, 2009 7:30am

  6. Jack Bruce without a doubt.

    by Anonymous
    on 03 Dec, 2009 1:30pm

  7. I assume that’s my mum with the first comment! (Thanks!)

    My vote is for the Bruce but this is a decent list…

    by Kenny
    on 03 Dec, 2009 1:38pm

  8. Grant Tyrie of LITTLE BUDDHA

    by Anonymous
    on 03 Dec, 2009 3:55pm

  9. Jack Bruce was great but Gorrie’s interpretation of what really drives a good tune is outstanding and he is definitely Scotland’s best ever Bass player.

    by JT
    on 04 Dec, 2009 8:28am

  10. if wrapping your bass in gaffa tape and hitting it into an amp, Mogwai should walk this…
    avergae white band any day..

    by Anonymous
    on 04 Dec, 2009 9:42am

  11. Fin Wilson (Goodbye Mr Mackenzie / Angelfish / Isa and the Filthy Tongues)

    by Himmy
    on 04 Dec, 2009 11:02am

  12. Type your comment here…i think it goes without saying that derek forbes is on a pedestal which no ladder is big enough to reach. all the ‘minds’ albums are testament to his vibrant,intuitive ability to create lucid,liquid riffs & patterns,but if i had to pick one purely for basslines,it has 2B empires & dance. hypnotically fluid… need i say more? :)

    on 04 Dec, 2009 3:53pm

  13. keith dobson… he is james jamerson in disguise…

    by Anonymous
    on 04 Dec, 2009 4:41pm

  14. Jack Bruce is my vote!

    by Curt Counts
    on 05 Dec, 2009 12:33am

  15. John Giblin…Kate Bush,Brand X,Simple Minds,John Martyn.How could have you guys missed him?He’s phenomenal.

    by Klunk
    on 05 Dec, 2009 5:41am

  16. derek forbes is much better than the rest easily,know every bass guitarist,and its laughable looking at the commments,jack bruce is good all the same,but derek forbes 79-85 is stunning!!been lucky to share the same festivals in the early to mid 80s.

    by a.clayton
    on 05 Dec, 2009 9:54pm

  17. No offence to the other guys, but i am a drummer and have never heard or seen a better bass player than Derek Forbes. He plays the bass like a rythem guitar with some of the best bass lines ever in the world! Sweat in bullet and Theme for great cities will never be bettered, i was lucky to have seen him play with the minds on several occasions in the 80’s. Genius.

    by Mark Simpson
    on 06 Dec, 2009 7:47am

  18. if Stuart is the guitarist then it has to be Big Dan Forbes on bass, even though he would tell you Jack Bruce or Gorrie are better, ask Trevor Horn who his favourite bassist is and Forbes is the wan…hopefully Roberto Soave was 6th…

    by rmcveigh
    on 06 Dec, 2009 12:19pm

  19. Different genres shouldn’t be put against each other; it doesn’t work, and also, there are way better videos with Jack Bruce.

    by Anonymous
    on 06 Dec, 2009 12:23pm

  20. Derek Forbes forever

    by Wendy bird
    on 06 Dec, 2009 12:24pm

  21. It’s got to be Big Dan Yer Man Forbes, timeless bass lines played with an amazing sense of time and feel. legend and a gentleman.

    by Binman
    on 06 Dec, 2009 1:44pm

  22. Derek Forbesm YouTube legend! :)

    by Anonymous
    on 06 Dec, 2009 2:43pm

  23. A stroll for Derek Forbes surely?

    by Anonymous
    on 06 Dec, 2009 3:45pm

  24. DF The greatest basist of the greatesr band on the planet of all time. Even if he is a bluenose!

    by StevieF
    on 06 Dec, 2009 5:44pm

  25. ma dad Derek Forbes all they way.

    by Kai Forbes
    on 06 Dec, 2009 6:22pm

  26. Derek Forbes without any doubt!! That guy has created extraordinary tunes with simple minds.!!!!! His way of playing the bass is unique. You can recognize him on first 2 or 3 notes of song. So powerful!!!!

    by Anne
    on 06 Dec, 2009 9:29pm

  27. Derek Forbes rocks, the rest just roll. Jack the Bruce is closest but Forbes is still Scottish 4 string Royalty. I’m from the hills of Pennsylvania and I can hear that from here… What are the rest of you locals listening to???? Forbes by a mile. Long live one of four good men from aberfoyle… Hey, Clayton, Is that really you???? King Woodman

    by Anonymous
    on 07 Dec, 2009 1:24am

  28. Derek Forbes rocks, the rest just roll. Jack the Bruce is closest but Forbes is still Scottish 4 string Royalty. I’m from the hills of Pennsylvania and I can hear that from here… What are the rest of you locals listening to???? Forbes by a mile. Long live one of four good men from aberfoyle… Hey, Clayton, Is that really you???? King Woodman

    by Woody
    on 07 Dec, 2009 1:25am

  29. Dan yir man all the way…Derek Forbes

    by Anonymous
    on 07 Dec, 2009 3:31am

  30. just stopped by to vote for DF (of course) and enjoyed browsing around . for an ex pat blog i expected it to be all tartan and bagpipes and maggy may and shit but it’s actually pretty cool.

    by Anonymous
    on 07 Dec, 2009 8:20am

  31. Prepare the throne and shine the crown! It surely belongs to Derek Forbes

    by Jimmy Fontana
    on 07 Dec, 2009 8:26am

  32. Dougie Payne all the way!!!!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 07 Dec, 2009 12:23pm

  33. Very good Dougie!!

    by Anonymous
    on 07 Dec, 2009 12:47pm

  34. Must be Forbesie!
    Derek’s intro riff on the ‘Waterfront’ track first brought Simple Minds to my notice, prompting me to buy my first album – Sparkle in the Rain, and many more since over the years – never paid any attention before that – sure countless others never did either. Never been as good since Derek’s departure – lost that indefineable and unique ‘something’.

    by Belinda C
    on 07 Dec, 2009 5:12pm

  35. Dougie is the greatest! We love you, Dougie!!!

    by Jay Parker
    on 08 Dec, 2009 4:30am

  36. Dougie Payne!

    by Grant
    on 08 Dec, 2009 5:05am


    by Valentina
    on 08 Dec, 2009 5:42am

  38. dougie bien sur

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 6:29am


    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 6:35am

  40. Dougie Payne!!!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 6:36am

  41. Dougie Payne!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:06am

  42. Dougie Payne!!!!!!!!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:09am

  43. Dougie Payne !!

    by Celluz
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:23am

  44. I vote for Dougie. He’s a wicked bassist in Travis :)

    by Edith
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:28am

  45. Dougie Payne!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:34am

  46. Dougie Payne 😉

    by BDisaster
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:40am

  47. Jack Bruce what a player

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:42am

  48. Alan Gorrie too ‘Pick up the Pieces’

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:44am

  49. DOUGIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 9:11am

  50. Dougie!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 9:33am

  51. Get those hips ready Dougie, you’re gonna win!

    by Ben
    on 08 Dec, 2009 10:06am

  52. Dougie

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 10:13am

  53. Dougie No.1!!

    by silvella
    on 08 Dec, 2009 10:15am

  54. Dougie Payne!! 😀

    by Lily
    on 08 Dec, 2009 10:22am

  55. Dougie Payne!!:D:D:D

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 10:23am

  56. Dougie!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:05am

  57. Dougie Payne, and he is such a pleasure to watch playing as well!

    by Connie
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:20am

  58. Lee Worrell

    by Ken Dodds Dads Dog Died In A Hot Car
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:22am

  59. Dougie Payne!

    by Jeannette
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:28am

  60. Big Dan Forbes had this in the bag before Travis posted on their website. But even then it looke like Derek has the experience to pull through. He’s back ahead now 41%-35%. What if its a tie? Bass-off?

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:53am

  61. Dougie!!!!!!!

    by cinthya
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:55am


    by Katy
    on 08 Dec, 2009 11:59am

  63. Dougie, no contest.

    by Dan
    on 08 Dec, 2009 12:12pm

  64. What a great bunch of players..can’t they all win? So many different styles. Jack Bruce ‘Badge’ must be listened to, and Dominic sounds like a Forbes clone. Alan Gorrie is a magnificent player and guitar player. What a fantastic selection of hit songs Dougie has, and he’s a worthy contender, but for sheer diversity, fretted or fretless, and an enormous catalogue of hits, it has to be Derek Forbes, check Adam Claytons earlier post

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 12:22pm

  65. DOUGIE PAYNE!!! <3

    by Cynthia
    on 08 Dec, 2009 12:25pm

  66. Derek ‘Dan Yer Man’ Forbes

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 12:34pm

  67. mister payne

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 1:06pm

  68. payneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    by melissa
    on 08 Dec, 2009 1:34pm

  69. Dan the Man took the bass and raised the bar.

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 1:54pm

  70. Dougie Payne! Please.

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 2:17pm

  71. alright Dougie!! 😀

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 2:22pm

  72. I vote Dougie! Go Travis! ^_^

    by Mootheevilboffin
    on 08 Dec, 2009 2:23pm

  73. Jack Bruce is historically the most influential and impressive bass player to have Scottish origins to have broken through internationally with Cream and since as the musician’s recognized pre-eminent bass player since the 1960’s.

    Just watching the Bruce/ Trower DVD of Seven Moons Live, and earlier DVD’s like the Jack Bruce Live at Canterbury Festival from a few years back when he was playing fretless. And the Cream Reunion DVD where Jack played half the materials with his EB1 and the other songs fretless he knows what makes it sound good.

    Listen to what he does on BLT and TRUCE. No other Scottish musician has such a deep influence and respect coming up to 50 years. Jim Dewar was nicely featured in the materials showing this “contest” and was a fine bass player and an amazing vocalist/songwriter–which was a credit to Trower who has worked with these musicians and brought them to us.

    Jack dosen’t live in Scotland but he has played there many many times over the years and his Album cover on Harmony Row features some scenes of Glasgow.

    by Jeffrey Platt
    on 08 Dec, 2009 3:12pm

  74. Dougie Payne)))

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 3:34pm

  75. Dougie Painful!!!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 3:49pm

  76. Derek Forbes!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 4:17pm

  77. Dougie Payne!!!! (L)

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 4:40pm

  78. in…trance…as…mission

    by Wan Clan Dan
    on 08 Dec, 2009 5:38pm

  79. As ma auld granny used to say”the cream always comes tae the top” Derek Forbes on an on an on an on!!!!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 6:12pm

  80. Definitely Dougie Payne!

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 6:30pm

  81. forbes easily,its not even close in terms of brilliance,the guy off travis is just basic bass playing,no offence lol! forbes wins the title lol,and thats without lots of teeny bops posting every 2 seconds lol.

    by pants05
    on 08 Dec, 2009 6:54pm

  82. Big D Forbes without a shadow of a doubt the man’s way ahead of his time

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 7:36pm

  83. Derek Forbes wipes the floor with the pack. Whistle me a Travis bass line…no? Whistle me a Simple MInds Bass line…yes??? I’m sure Dougie knows who deserves the crown.
    Funny how the current ‘Minds’ man isn’;t even mentioned?
    Larry Cliptramer…

    by Anonymous
    on 08 Dec, 2009 10:30pm

  84. Payne, of course

    by Anonymous
    on 09 Dec, 2009 2:37am

  85. Definitely Dougie.

    by Martha
    on 09 Dec, 2009 2:46am

  86. Bingo Bango Bongo!! The public have voted!! King Derek!! Get yir baws oot!!

    by Jimmy Fontana
    on 09 Dec, 2009 2:49am

  87. Dougie Payne!!

    by greenrose
    on 09 Dec, 2009 2:53am

  88. may i also point out that most vote to travis are within a min of each other

    by Anonymous
    on 09 Dec, 2009 4:14am

  89. Suicide is Payneless

    by Anonymous
    on 09 Dec, 2009 8:11am

  90. Dougie, of course!!!

    by Irene
    on 09 Dec, 2009 9:55am

  91. Dougie!
    He’s such a kind and gentle person. The others are great musicians too, without a doubt, but Dougie Payne is one of a kind.

    by Anonymous 1234
    on 09 Dec, 2009 12:21pm

  92. dougie is amazing. dougie hands down.

    by Anonymous
    on 09 Dec, 2009 1:54pm

  93. The NEED to know bassist: Dougie Payne. All the way.

    by melissam317
    on 09 Dec, 2009 6:14pm

  94. and the winnder is……..Mr. Forbes

    by Anonymous
    on 09 Dec, 2009 9:35pm


    by Mrs Bellamy Of Payne (ANNIE)
    on 10 Dec, 2009 1:51am

  96. Dougie Payne, of course!!!

    by Erika Usagi
    on 10 Dec, 2009 1:56am

  97. Derek Forbes!

    by Kowalski
    on 10 Dec, 2009 9:42am

  98. and Dougie Payne!!

    by Kowalski
    on 10 Dec, 2009 9:48am

  99. Douglas William Payne of course

    by Anonymous
    on 10 Dec, 2009 10:47pm

  100. Dougie Payne! He is so gentle

    by Anonymous
    on 11 Dec, 2009 3:43am

  101. so gentle? whit pish is that?

    by Anonymous
    on 11 Dec, 2009 7:08am

  102. doug is the best

    by liam healy
    on 21 Dec, 2009 11:33pm

  103. i would have to go for jack bruce….he really brought bass playing in rock to the fore.

    by brian murray
    on 27 Dec, 2009 1:08am

  104. I vote for douguie payne ^^ I adoore him.

    by Sofi from Argentina
    on 27 Dec, 2009 3:29am

  105. What about the original Dougie? Dougie Thomson of Supertramp? One Scotsman, one American, and the rest English. How we soon forget…(sigh)…perhaps because he was lumped in with the English in the group or maybe because ST became more well known in Germany and Canada. Well, dammit *I* remember.

    by Lorne from North o' the 49th
    on 06 Jan, 2010 12:31am

  106. Sturrock from Alto Elite

    by Anonymous
    on 07 Jan, 2010 1:10pm

  107. Where’s Chris Glenn in the list??????

    by Anonymous
    on 13 Jan, 2010 10:03am

  108. Dougie Payne!!! Best ever!

    by Lin
    on 09 Feb, 2010 2:50pm

  109. Jack Bruce, obviossly

    by Anonymous
    on 13 Feb, 2010 11:21am

  110. Aww come on … It’s obvious DEREK FORBES!!!

    by Anonymous
    on 10 Mar, 2010 8:34pm

  111. Ron Mathewson, British Jazz Legend.

    by KennyMac
    on 16 Mar, 2010 9:10am

  112. Most recorded Bassist of the modern era,James Jamerson Motown/Hitsville Detroit on every hit during that time.Imagine the Motown Sound without Jamersons genuis melodies that have never been duplicated.He was on a level of his own with no other.The passing of James Jamerson at the age of 45 ended the classic Motown Sound but still churns out millions in revenue for Jobete.

    by Steve James Hitsville Alumni
    on 08 May, 2010 7:27am

  113. Was James Jamerson Scottish though?

    by Anonymous
    on 09 May, 2010 11:05pm

  114. Craig Logan fae Bros

    by Anonymous
    on 17 Oct, 2011 4:20am

  115. The guy in Natalie Pryce

    by Art Vanderlay
    on 26 Nov, 2011 9:19am

  116. Jack Bruce

    by Jack Bruce
    on 07 Jun, 2013 6:13am

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