Duran Duran’s “Rio”: John Taylor’s Isolated Bass Line

John Taylor really brought it in the Duran Duran tune “Rio”. His active bass line locks in with the drums and drives the song forward.

Luckily, we have a video of Taylor’s isolated bass line to scope out his groove and tone.

Thanks to Facebook friend Leon Wilson for sending this one in. If you have a video to share, drop us a note at [email protected].

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Share your thoughts

  1. I always liked Duran Duran. Their first couple of albums were great, then they started getting a little too commercial and less edgy.

  2. I agree with you on the “commercial and less edgy” comment… D2 is one of my all time fav bands and I LOVELOVELOVE h=their earlier stuff! And having John Taylor to look at too? Oh Yeah… ;)

  3. I have to admit, John Taylor was the most instrumental (no pun intended) to my playing style. I loved their first few records, much to the chagrin of my parents and friends..

  4. it´s a great bass line , this song is one of my favorites in pop music!

  5. Great bassline, and one of my all time favorite songs.

  6. great music great man duran duran rock.

  7. John Taylor is definitely the most fantastic bassist in pop/rock. He made in the first two records very active and complicated bass lines like no other bassists did in the genre.
    He always was, is, and will be my favorite.

  8. Great example of how the bass can drive a song, Kudos to Taylor!

  9. was never a fan of this kind of stuff, but I now aprectate it a lot more years later, nice bass line, cool tone.

  10. Is that really an isolated track of Taylor playing, or someone doing a nice job playing along with the track? I swear I hear a few notes missing where he accents the snare before the first chorus. Maybe I have a different track.

    • I too question the authenticity of this track. I swear I can hear some mistakes. Still, a great John Taylor impersonation, nonetheless.

    • Agreed – it is VERY close but doesn’t completely sound like the original, especially toward the end where it seems to get a little loosey-goosey. Still, a very nice job indeed on a very challenging bassline. John Taylor rocks.

    • ShaneMountain

      I believe that’s the track from one of the Guitar Hero games. Not an original studio recording. I’m not 100% positive about that, though.

      • Corey

        This track was ripped from rock band, which uses the original tracks. The bleed effect was mandated by the labels so that when people would eventually mine the files for the tracks, they wouldn’t be totally the master stems.

    • BP

      This track is the real deal. It is not absolutely perfect as, A) John Taylor had been playing bass for two years when this was recorded, and B) there are clearly some overdubs (such as the octave slaps in the chorus). 1982 technology did not allow for absolutely flawless post-recording production, so your well trained ears are picking up those hiccuppy overdubs or touching up done after recording the track.

  11. John always had interesting, complex, tight bass parts…I still love listening to this stuff!

  12. The complexity of John Taylor’s bass lines here could rival those found in progressive rock music.

  13. The tone is amazing! The bass line never seems to stop.

  14. One of the greatest players of all time, interesting enough this sounds like it has a few patches in it. Doesn’t sound like one “live” recording…

  15. Thank you for sharing with us! In my opinion he´s very talented bass player…. and handsome too. :+)

  16. This is really incredible!

  17. I always thought DD was a poser Japan ripoff who used studio musicians. Then my wife dragged me to their reunion show a few years back. Proud to say I was wrong; they were all players (except for the keyboardist…). The drummer was on cans all night, and the rhythm section nailed it from start to finish.

    • John, no offense but Nick is the glue that holds the band together – musically and in many other ways. He’s extremely creative and hard working. He is very calm and seemingly boring on stage but he is focused. His efforts are harder to see because it’s not a physical effort but more of a mental one

  18. Great line! How are the basslines isolated like this? Where do you get them from?

  19. When DD were top of the pops, I had to purchase an Aria Pro II as many producers demanded JT’s sound on sessions. His work on Power Station was stellar.

  20. aw him a Jones BEach with Power Station. He and Andy KILLED. John had a Kubicki X-Factor which had the most awesome live bass tone I’d head to date.

  21. JT- One of the underrated monsters.

  22. This is NOT John Taylor playing.
    Great Bass Line! He always did.

    • David CP

      This IS 100% John Taylor, all the parts to this track and a few other Duran tracks are online.

      It’s not done in 1 take and will have had a few drop ins, who cares if it’s one take it not? Listen to the relentless pace of it, the amount of changes and the incessant grace notes. I like that you can hear a few little missed grace notes here and there, it’s human and you would never notice the odd dropped grace note when played against the drum track on playback after recording. Fantastic stuff.

  23. Wadizzle

    Ghost Notes rule!

  24. One of my favourite DD tracks ….. This guy one hell of a player

  25. TRB

    Sounds like he was playing with a pick

  26. Todd

    Not the real bass track. …but a good go at it for sure.

    • We keep going over this. It IS the real bass track.

      There are even people insisting that Geddy Lee’s YYZ line isn’t the original. Yes, it is.

      This is the original track.

  27. Jimmy

    Great bass one! One of my favorites to play. Great tone too! I believe he’s playing Fender Jazz bass.

  28. Lasse Lindén

    I dont think this i John actually playing since its off time a couple of times….still great bass playing

  29. Stef

    I really am not into pop or this kind of music at all, but John Taylor’s bass lines and style is just fantastic.What a fantastic bass player! on on my top influences. Even though I’m more into prog and metal