Born in Chester, England, Bascombe grew up in London. An avid record buyer and radio listener, as a child he picked out melodies on the piano. Playing in bands, he dropped out of school to do music full time, landing an errand boy position at a recording studio. During the studio's off hours, he'd record bands. After building up a strong reputation, Bascombe began getting freelance engineering jobs before accepting a full-time position at a London studio and sometime later recorded Echo and the Bunnymen at the facility. Bascombe's career took off when he engineered Tears for Fears' four-million-selling Songs From the Big Chair which held the number one pop position for five weeks on Billboard's Top Pop Albums chart in spring 1985. The LP included "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (number one pop for two weeks in spring 1985), the gold single "Shout" (number one pop for three weeks in summer 1985), and "Head Over Heals" (number three pop in fall 1985). Bascombe was around for the follow-up LP The Seeds of Love (platinum, number eight pop in fall 1989), which yielded the number two pop single "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (number two pop, late 1989).
Dave Bascombe's skills can be heard on Tears for Fears' Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92); the movie soundtracks to There's Something About Mary and Speed 2: Cruise Control; The Very Best of Oleta Adams; Basia's three-CD set Time & Tide/London Warsaw New York/Sweetest Illusion; Clear Horizon: The Best of Basia; ABBA's A Tribute: 25th Anniversary Celebration; Hatful of Rain: The Best of Del Amitri; Genesis' Duke; Renaissance's Tales of 1001 Nights, Vol. 2; Erasure's Erasure Abba-esque, Chorus, and Breath of Life; James' James; and UB40's Guns in the Ghetto. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi