“I knew Eric was going to put his guitar on later, so the bass fills were like telegraphed messages”: Listen to Nathan East’s fill-laden bassline on Eric Clapton’s Change the World

Eric Clapton and Nathan East
(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Bass players have the best seat in the house,” Nathan East once told BP. When you consider the up-close-and-personal views he’s had of such artists as Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, and Daft Punk, it’s easy to understand what he means. Of course, East – famous for his big smile and even bigger bass pocket – is really talking about the role of the bass guitar

“We bassists are equally involved in the rhythm and the harmony, and we have the ability to support as well as to step out front.” A prime example is his bassline on Change The World, the Babyface-produced Eric Clapton chart-topper from 1996’s Phenomenon soundtrack.

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Chris Jisi was Contributing Editor, Senior Contributing Editor, and Editor In Chief on Bass Player 1989-2018. He is the author of Brave New Bass, a compilation of interviews with bass players like Marcus Miller, Flea, Will Lee, Tony Levin, Jeff Berlin, Les Claypool and more, and The Fretless Bass, with insight from over 25 masters including Tony Levin, Marcus Miller, Gary Willis, Richard Bona, Jimmy Haslip, and Percy Jones.