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Because Nobody Asked For It : The Drummers!

Rob Not Bob

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I posted a similar list a few weeks back about guitarists, and I had this handy (again for a series of compilations I was making), so I figured I would stick it up on the board and let myself be torn to pieces by wild dogs [Wink] This is my "Top 5" list of favorite drummers, in this case clocking in at 105 musicians (it was harder to limit than guitarists [smile] ) These are all drumers who, live or in the studio, have worked their way into my heart, through a brilliant fill, ace complicated rhythms, a funky body shaking groove, a subtle way of just driving a song along, atmospheric accompaniment or just anything that made me say, "Holy shit, that's some good drumming!" They aren't in any particular order, so no complaining about "Drummer A is ranked higher than Drummer B", because there is no ranking. I know one conspicuous omission that may well raise some ire, but I am ready to stand by my opinion. Again, comment, criticize, complain, add your own, or whatever ... it's fun!

1. Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, UK, solo)

2. Alan White (Yes, John Lennon)

3. Phil Collins (Genesis, Brand X)

4. Mike Giles (King Crimson)

5. Pat Mastellotto (King Crimson, XTC)

6. Ian Wallace (King Crimson, Bob Dylan)

7. Levon Helm (The Band, Bob Dylan)

8. Richard Manuel (The Band, Bob Dylan)

9. Artemus Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

10. Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johansson (Allman Brothers Band)

11. Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers Band)

12. Matt Abts (Gov’t Mule)

13. Bill Kreutzman (Grateful Dead)

14. Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead)

15. Guy Evans (Van Der Graaf Generator)

16. Todd Nance (Widespread Panic)

17. Jimmy Carl Black (Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention)

18. Art Tripp (Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention, Captain Beefheart)

19. Chester Thompson (Frank Zappa, Genesis, Weather Report, Steve Hackett)

20. Terry Ted Bozzio (Frank Zappa, UK)

21. Aynsley Dunbar (Frank Zappa)

22. Vinnie Collaiuta (Frank Zappa)

23. Tim O’Reagan (The Jayhawks)

24. Ringo Starr (The Beatles)

25. Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones)

26. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)

27. Simon Kirke (Free, Bad Company)

28. Tony Williams (Miles Davis, Lifetime)

29. Lenny White (Miles Davis, Return To Forever)

30. Elvin Jones (John Coltrane)

31. Big Paul Ferguson (Killing Joke)

32. Al Foster (Miles Davis)

33. Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull, Richard Thompson)

34. Martin Lamble (Fairport Convention)

35. Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)

36. Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam)

37. Dave Grohl (Nirvana)

38. Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins)

39. Stephen Morris (Joy Division, New Order)

40. Richie Hayward (Little Feat)

41. Terry Chambers (XTC)

42. Steve Gadd (Steely Dan)

43. Tiki Fulwood (Funkadelic)

44. Mick Harvey (Birthday Party, Crime & The City Solution, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)

45. Michael Bland (Prince)

46. Prince

47. Mo Tucker (Velvet Underground)

48. Mimi Parker (Low)

49. Keith Moon (The Who)

50. Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band)

51. John Densmore (The Doors)

52. Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)

53. Billy Legend (T-Rex)

54. Tim “Herb” Alexander (Primus)

55. Jack DeJohnette (Miles Davis)

56. Ron Tutt (Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, Gram Parsons)

57. John Molo (Phil Lesh Quintet)

58. Al Jackson Jr. (Booker T. and the MGs and practically everything in the classic period of Stax)

59. Jim Cappaldi (Traffic)

60. Ian Moseley (Marillion)

61. Hal Blaine (Beach Boys, a whole bunch of Phil Spector productions)

62. Clem Burke (Blondie)

63. Steve White (Paul Weller)

64. Rick Buckler (The Jam)

65. Greg Errico (Sly & The Family Stone)

66. Patty Schemmel (Hole)

67. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac)

68. Bill Berry (REM)

69. Andrew Scott (Sloane)

70. Pete Salisbury (Verve)

71. Buddy Miles (Band of Gypsies, solo)

72. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

73. Simon King (Hawkwind)

74. Simon Gilbert (Suede)

75. Damon Krukowski (Galaxie 500, Damon and Naomi)

76. John Fishman (Phish)

77. Larry Mullen Jr. (U2)

78. Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy)

79. Sheila E (Prince on “Lovesexy” and the “Sign O The Times” movie)

80. Michael Shrieve (Santana)

81. Jay Dee Daugherty (Patti Smith Group, The Waterboys)

82. Vince Ely (Psychedelic Furs)

83. Jim Gordon (Derek & The Dominos, Frank Zappa, Traffic, sessions)

84. Ian Paice (Deep Purple)

85. Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown)

86. Paul Thompson (Roxy Music, Concrete Blonde)

87. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath)

88. Louie Perez (Los Lobos)

89. Reni (Stone Roses)

90. Dave Rowntree (Blur)

91. Paul Hester (Crowded House, Split Enz)

92. Stewart Copeland (The Police, Oysterhead)

93. Eric Kalb (Deep Banana Blackout)

94. Darren Schearer (The New Deal)

95. Steve Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros)

96. Danny Carey (Tool)

97. Phil Selway (Radiohead)

98. Steve Hewitt (Placebo)

99. Steve Earle (Afghan Whigs)

100. Mike Joyce (The Smiths)

101. DJ Bonebreak (X)

102. Chris Frantz (Talking Heads)

103. Karl Burns (The Fall)

104. Simon Wolstoncroft (The Fall)

105. Jacki Leibezeit (Can)

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My favourites are:

1 - Keith Moon ( favourite rock performer too )

2- John Bonham

3 - Elvin Jones

4 - Mitch Mitchell

5 - Chester Thompson

6 - Tony Williams

7 - Gentlemonkey

8 - Buddy Rich

9 - Jaimoe

10 - Bill Kreutzman

11 - Ringo/Paul McCartney

12 - Zak Starkey

13 - Markey Ramone

14 - Stu Smith ( my roommate, but was in seminal Hamilton band: The Dik Van Dykes )

15 - Terry Bozzio

16 - Stewart Copeland

17 - Simon Phillips

18 - Jack DeJohnette

That's enough for now.

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Originally posted by Phred:

I am going to be the first to say Mr. Neil Peart. Also buddy Rich

Haven't heard enough Buddy Rich ... Neil Peart didn't make my list simply because I find his technique cold. Great precision, but I don't hear a lot of feel behind it. Look, I love the prog, the jazz, and all sorts of tricky time signature playing, but my favorite players in those genres all had a human touch I heard behind it that I just don't hear in Peart's playing ... Carl Palmer also didn't make my list for the same reasons. YMMV, of course, I'm pretty sure that I'm utterly alone on this ... I know this makes me a musical cretin as well as a traitor to Canada for this opinion, but it is mine.

Preparing himself for his own lynching,

Rob Not Bob

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if we're adding Percussionists..then you have to add Mike Dillon and a major yah to Cyro...I also appuad all the yes men and many other in the top 120 or so drummers...BUT if you haven't heard any Hamid Drake CHECK him out..last two years at the Guelph Jazz Fest this Chicago player has blown me away, crazy confident, natural and so sweet- you've got to see the guy play to believe it...

But the guy is way up there..

And major favs are also Moore and Martin!!!!

many others worth mentioning but alot has been covered..I add teh Hamid cause honestly- check the guy out. He's played with a lot of folks..His discogrpahy is pages long..even playing with folks like Bill Laswell.

oh and I really like Drums and Tuba Tony Nozero.

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I don't think anyone mentioned Bernard Purdie.

He's played with King Curtis, Aretha, James Brown, BB King, Joe Cocker, Issac Hayes, Miles Davis, Paul Butterfield, Cat Stevens, Rolling Stones, etc...

So funky.... He gets my vote.


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Originally posted by weezy:

...and David Russell Batiste of the Meters - he INVENTED funky breaks.

Joseph 'Zigaboo' Modeliste of the Meters invented funky beats.

Russell Batiste was 3 when the Meters signed their first record deal.


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1. Carter Beauford (DMB)

2. Dennis Chambers (Everybody)

3. Bernard Perdy (Steely Dan)

4. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

5. Jon Bonham (Led Zepplin)

6. Jon Fishman (Phish)

7. Billy Martin (MMW)

8. Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam)

9. Stewart Copeland (Police)

10. Mitch Mitchell (Jimmy Hendrix)

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