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Rank of Rock Drummers

Zep 4 Life

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So since I've had so much fun participating in SelfDevouringSnakes electric guitarist thread I decided to start this thread along the same lines.

I think most people here share a somewhat similar taste in music, if not at least Led Zeppelin fondness.

I would like to compile a list of the top (rock) Drummers of all-time as voted on, and discussed by the members here on this forum. I will keep a running tally and keep the conversation running weekly by updating the votes and naming the next ranked drummer. I'll start with 1 and move down accordingly.

So I am going to list 3 names to start with that I think all deserve great consideration for the Number 1 spot on this list.

John Bonham, Neil Peart, and Keith Moon. I realize that there are a number of phenomenal drummers and it's not fair to say that these are the best 3 drummers ever. However I think it's a good jumping off point.

Each one of these drummers was not only a staple to their band but elevated the status of those bands considerably.

So what do you guys think?

Please leave a response to who you think should be the top drummer on this list.

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-Carl Palmer

-Terry Bozzio

-Mitch Mitchell

-Mike Schrieve

They are all fantastic drummers. Mike Shrieve's performance was the single greatest part of Woodstock 69 IMO.

But I would prefer a pick for Number 1, and not just a list of drummers.

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There are some fantastic rock drummers out there fer sure but I always think of two first:

The late great John Henry Bonham (of course) and...

Bill Bruford

His work with Yes(1968-1972, 1990-1992), King Crimson(1972-1974, 1981-1984, 1994-1998), Genesis (1976), U.K.(1977-1978) and his own groups has been totally exciting and inovative, he practically invented the so called "new wave" style of drumming.

I saw him with King Crimson in 1981. For his solo intro to Indiscipline, he starts with one hand and gets a complex rythme going. Then he sticks his foot out frombehind his drum kit and goes into a second, completely different rythme. His other hand goes off on it's own beat and then the other foot too. He had four totally seperate rhthmes going at once! And he resloved them into one beat to start the next song! I have never seen anything like it in my life! And I've seen Bonham, Palmer, Peart, Hart/Kreutzman, Trucks/Jaimoe(/Quinones) and none come close.

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Obviously he shouldn't be in the Top 5, but Nick Mason should be in the Top 10 at least. Very underrated drummer, IMO. When one thinks of Pink Floyd, drumming is not the first thing that comes to mind, but you can't ever discount how the drummer sets the tone for the song. If you listen to their songs, especially from about Saucer on through to Animals, the drumming is part of the integral components to the whole thing. One Of These Days, A Saucerful of Secrets, Echoes.....those songs would suffer with a different drummer at the helm.

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It doesn't appear that there is going to be much resistance from electing John Bonham as the #1 Drummer in this thread. However I will give it a few more days to give everyone a fair shot at voicing their opinion.

I'm particularly interested to see picks 2-10 when the time comes.

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Ok, so Bonham for #1.

Aside from that, I'll mention Bill Ward too. Incredibly energetic and has a lot of nice, fast and rocking drum-fills.

And +1 for Mitch Mitchell. Just awesome!

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I'll make it official: John Henry Bonham will be the #1 ranked drummer in this list.

His peers have said (from Wikipedia)

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters has said:

John Bonham played the drums like someone who didn't know what was going to happen next- like he was teetering on the edge of a cliff. No one has come close to that since, and I don't think anybody ever will. I think he will forever be the greatest drummer of all time.

Similarly, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers has remarked:

To me, hands down, John Bonham was the best rock drummer ever. The style and the sound was so identifiable to one person. Any drum set that he would play, it sounded like him.

Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones told Guitar Player's Jas Obrecht:

John Bonham is the best at being John Bonham and doing what he does. Or did - unfortunately, he's dead. He was the best. There wasn't anyone better than John Bonham at doing that, and thank goodness we've got some records so that you can hear it.[36

Now to move on to the Number 2.

Here are some names that have been thrown out thus far:

Mitch Mitchell

Ginger Baker

Bill Ward

Keith Moon

Neil Peart

Dave Lombardo

Bill Buford

David Grohl

Nick Mason

Jimmy Chamberlain

Mike Shrieve

Sorry if I've missed others. Please leave your thoughts on who the number 2 drummer of all time is.

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The names mentioned so far can't really be argued with. How about drummers who didn't play with thirty or forty piece drum kits?

Charlie Watts

Steve Gorman

Jazz drummers?

Tony Williams

Elvin Jones

Billy Cobham

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All worthy choices !

IMO , a few more to add to the list would be

Cozy Powell

Carmine Appice

Ritchie Heyward

Danny Sephrone

Don Brewer

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I'd like to thank Zep 4 Life for taking the initiative to do another list like mine. A little mad at myself for missing the selection for #1 though. Of course, my choice would have been Bonham, so it's all good. #2? Keith Moon for me. I don't listen to that much Rush (I really should). Anyways, I'll put in my thoughts about drummers here, but I'm no authority on the matter.

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This is my reply and opinion on this topic:

1. John Henry 'Bonzo' Bonham (of course)

2. Neil Peart

3. Keith Moon

4. Bill Ward

5. Ian Paice

I realize these drummers have already been mentioned, however, I think that all five of these drummers have influenced hundreds of other drummers that followed in their wake.

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Drum solos have nothing to do with good drummers. In fact they are mostly boring, it's about playing great in the context of a band and doing your job, get the crowd moving.

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What do all of you think about Meg White? There's one class of people who think she's a unique and stylish drummer, and another class who believe she can't play. I'm more from the first class because her drumming just works. At least in the White Stripes it does. In any case, I'm not nominating her for any spot within the top ten, I'd just like to get some opinions.

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As of right now I really only have a couple of votes for the #2 spot. Both Keith Moon, and Neil Peart have been mentioned. Please leave a response with your vote so I can get a rough estimate pretty soon.

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