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And The Greatest Drummer Of All Time Is…

Lovebug

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Nonsense
#1 Ian Paice
 

calamity

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Nick Mason, Pink Floyd.
 

haymarket

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Max Weinberg. Three to four hours in concerts almost non stop for forty years now - and he does it to perfection.

Lots of this comes down to criteria. Is somebody who can do a three minute drum solo stopping the concert a great drummer? I never felt so and thought it was the opposite of what drummer should do.
 
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Helix

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I'd put Matt Cameron pretty high on the list.
 

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How did Buddy Rich not make the top 10? I can see most of the list except his exclusion.
 

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My historical lineage of the poll position would probably be:

Gene Krupa > Buddy Rich > Keith Moon

But you know, I think I can see Rolling Stone's rationale here.

Whereas Moonie's forte was pretty much a straight ahead power marching beat, Bonham had a large and creative repertoire of great variance in technique and even genre, similar to Jimmy Page's wide-ranging creative skillset on guitar.

Pete Townshend's creating the 'rock opera' and Keith Moon's implementation of the first dual-bass rock drumming notwithstanding, Led Zep was simply the (far) more creative band IMO, and this was exhibited in their rhythm & percussion.

The Who were the original progenitors of punk, and also amazingly managed to later go-on to create the first rock-opera! Quite a tribute to creativity in terms of genre across the musical spectrum!

But in terms of musical technique and stylistic playing, Led Zep brought a plethora of techniques, time signatures, and tonality & modality that rock had never before seen! They brought an amazingly huge amount of creative instrumental technique to the table.

So I think Rolling Stone can make a good argument supporting their choice (and to their credit, they did place Moonie directly below Bonham in position #2).
 
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Chomsky

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Max Weinberg. Three to four hours in concerts almost non stop for forty years now - and he does it to perfection.

Lots of this comes down to criteria. Is somebody who can do a three minute drum solo stopping the concert a great drummer? I never felt so and thought it was the opposite of what drummer should do.
Interesting choice, haymarket.

As you stated, there's a lot of aspects that need to be taken into account.

For instance, Ringo Starr gets panned quite a bit by critics, and some of it may be deserved. But I read an interview of his during the 90's, where from his very first audition with the Beatles he claimed and practiced: "The most important thing for a drummer is to stay out of the way the vocals"!

And in the context of the Beatle's recordings, with their beautiful and complex vocals & harmonies put on by Lennon & McCarthy, and the often complex vocal interplay on their recordings, I think he may be right!

Now when I listen to the Beatles with his words in mind, I better appreciate his drumming.
 

Fearandloathing

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Interesting choice, haymarket.

As you stated, there's a lot of aspects that need to be taken into account.

For instance, Ringo Starr gets panned quite a bit by critics, and some of it may be deserved. But I read an interview of his during the 90's, where from his very first audition with the Beatles he claimed and practiced: "The most important thing for a drummer is to stay out of the way the vocals"!

And in the context of the Beatle's recordings, with their beautiful and complex vocals & harmonies put on by Lennon & McCarthy, and the often complex vocal interplay on their recordings, I think he may be right!

Now when I listen to the Beatles with his words in mind, I better appreciate his drumming.



I agree. Starr is the forgotten cousin. His work is subtle and allows the rest of the genius come out. Some of his later work was ground breaking. AND, he was noted for "one take". Most of the time he laid it down without mistake
 

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How did Buddy Rich not make the top 10? I can see most of the list except his exclusion.

They restricted it to rock and pop drummers. No jazz giants allowed.

fwiw, I'd go with Rich as well.

A jazz drummer who I greatly respect is an unabashed fan of Bonham's. Say's he uses far more technique that many give him credit for.
 
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Chomsky

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I agree. Starr is the forgotten cousin. His work is subtle and allows the rest of the genius come out. Some of his later work was ground breaking. AND, he was noted for "one take". Most of the time he laid it down without mistake
And his adage to "not step on the vocals" is even more appropriate in the 'less-than-three-minutes' pop-radio genre of the early Beatles recordings at the time of Starr's audition - especially with a very demanding and ruthless John Lennon upfront and at the helm!
 

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I just can't help myself from posting this:

Q: "What's the last thing the drummer said before he got kicked out of the band"?

A: "'Hey, I wrote a song"!
 

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My top three are Gavin Harrison, Carter Beauford, and Daney Carry. (Porcupine Tree, Dave Matthews Band, and Tool respectively.)
 

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I'm not a big pop music fan...so I probably should not comment on this, but for some reason the drumming in the Stone's, Ruby Tuesday has always fascinated me. Don't even know the drummers name, but the drumming knocks me dead every time I hear it.
 

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And his adage to "not step on the vocals" is even more appropriate in the 'less-than-three-minutes' pop-radio genre of the early Beatles recordings at the time of Starr's audition - especially with a very demanding and ruthless John Lennon upfront and at the helm!

He is also highly respected for his timing, where he would introduce a double riff. He always left you wanting one more. While the Rolling Stones in the early years never allowed anyone from the outside watch a session because they knew they couldn't play, the Beatles had no trouble, the 1969 "Roof top Concert"....his break timing is perfect.

https://vimeo.com/95681569
 

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Charlie Watts is a hell of a drummer, too.
 

Mark F

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No Bill Bruford in the Top 10? Sacrilege.

Vinnie Colaiuta?

Steve Vai:

"He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there. Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, riffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar. It was the slickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing."
 

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No Bill Bruford in the Top 10? Sacrilege.

Vinnie Colaiuta?

I've heard that story about Colaiuta. I know a guy who knows him and swears he's the best sight reading drummer in the business. Bruford's great. Read his autobiography if you haven't. Very interesting read. He has some funny Yes stories and turned out to be a very humble guy who's insecure about his drumming ability despite all his accomplishments and obvious monster talent.
 
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