Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I was in college. One spring quarter — we had quarters back then, none of this semester silliness — I took an introductory music theory class taught by Vern Sutton. (Tragically, his Wikipedia entry does not mention his many *appearances* on A Prairie Home Companion.)
It was an enjoyable class, although I had trouble concentrating when I listened to the classical pieces assigned as homework. To me at that time, instrumental music = background music, no need to pay attention. Duh.
On of the few bits of information I retain 40+ years later is the term passacaglia, which he explained meant a bass line that became a secondary melody. The example he gave was Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles. (This is a cover but still a decent example.)
I told you all that in order to tell you this.
My personal favorite example of passacaglia, somewhat later than the Beatles’, is Bob Marley’s Stir It Up, which just came up in my iTunes. Take a listen.
Okay, this is your opportunity to all chime in to tell me what a genius I am to have picked up on this (not that that bass line is easy to ignore).