The first single to be released from the band’s snappily titled debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ propelled the band from relative obscurity to both chart success and critical acclaim; the album remains the fastest-selling debut album of all time in the UK and ‘I Bet You Look Good…’ made number 7 in NME magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Over a decade after its release, this song remains something of an Indie anthem – the combination of chaotic guitars and a shout-along chorus makes it the perfect accompaniment to 10 pints of warm beer and a kebab (aka ‘The Great British Night Out’).
Bass-wise, there’s not much to worry about here other than maintaining your energy levels (and the rather brisk 206bpm tempo) for the duration of the song –the whole point is to play it with attitude. The real highlight is the chorus, where the bass takes a break from doubling the guitar part to deliver a subtle sub hook: the C# – E motif at the end of each bar fits with each chord in the progression (F#m, A and E, respectively), forming a clever little ostinato part. Not bad for a dumb rock song, eh?
Tonally speaking, this song works well from either a pick or fingers standpoint – it sounds like Andy Nicholson is using fingers on the recording, but whenever I have to play this song live I opt for a pick as it helps the bass maintain clarity amongst the distorted guitars.