Thursday, March 1, 2012

99 Greatest Rock Drummers

John Bonham, Led Zeppelin
Neil Peart, Rush
Keith Moon, The Who

Ringo Starr,The Beatles

Carl Palmer, ELP & ASIA

You have to go back at least 25 years to start finding all the great drummers. After listing Neil Peart, John Bonham, Keith Moon and Carl Palmer, does it really matter how you list the rest of the great drummers? My opinion is that Neil Peart and Carl Palmer are the most skilled drummers I have ever witnessed both in concert and in video. I saw Carl Palmer past his ELP days when he was with ASIA. He had a rotating stage and two big gongs behind him. Even during ballads, he was drumming with speed, precision and incredible timing. Neil Peart's "Working Man" is the greatest drumming solo of all time. I would round out the top 5 with the original innovator on drums, Ringo Starr of The Beatles. 

There are good drummers today like Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon and others, but not many. It's going to be very hard today to achieve legendary status like John Bonham and Keith Moon because of today's music, technology and less focus on the drummer compared to years past.  This is why I posted 99 and not 100 Greatest Drummers, as a symbol that great drummers today are rare. You want to see and hear greatness, then just check out the video of Carl Palmer's solo in 1970 below and listen below of Neil Peart's "Working Man" solo from Rush's live concert "All The World's A Stage" - "Ladies and gentlemen the professor on the drum kit". 

Final Note: In the 1980s, I have to give Tommy Aldridge of Ozzy Osbourne the title of best drummer of his time. One last opinion; Alex Van Halen, drummer of Van Halen, is underrated and overshadowed by his genius brother Eddie on guitar. - Kenny Leibow

The 99 Greatest Drummer list below came from where I have reposted lists before. You may not agree with the order of the list or believe that there is someone missing out of the top 99, however I have found that the drummers listed below are consistently showing up on most greatest drummer lists. Please post your favorite rock drummer stories.

1. Neil Peart (Rush)  
  2. John Bonham* (Led Zeppelin) 
  3. Keith Moon* (The Who)  
  4. Carl Palmer (ELP)  
  5. Ginger Baker (Cream) 
  6. Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa) 
  7. Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) 
  8. Hal Blaine (Session man) 
  9. Ian Paice (Deep Purple) 
10. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) 
11. Dave Lombardo (Slayer) 
12. Danny Carey (Tool) 
13. Ringo Starr (The Beatles) 
14. Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) 
15. Earl Palmer (Session man) 
16. Benny Benjamin* (Funk Brothers) 
17. Jeff Porcaro* (Toto) 
18. Stewart Copeland (The Police) 
19. Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne) 
20. Bernard Purdie (Session) 
21. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) 
22. Steve Smith (Journey) 
23. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix) 
24. David Garabaldi (Tower Of Power) 
25. Mike Shrieve (Santana) 
26. Ainsley Dunbar (Jeff Beck) 
27. Cozy Powell* (Rainbow) 
28. Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) 
29. Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews) 
30. Tim Alexander (Primus) 
31. Roger Taylor (Queen) 
32. Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) 
33. Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters) 
34. Phil Collins (Genesis) 
35. Al Jackson* (The MGs) 
36. Vinnie Paul (Pantera) 
37. Topper Headon (The Clash) 
38. Lars Ulrich (Metallica) 
39. Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins) 
40. Bobby Jarzombeck (Rob Halford, Iced Earth)
41. Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Winger) 
42. Gene Holgan (Death, Strapping Young Lad) 
43. Martin Lopez (Opeth) 
44. Simon Phillips (Toto) 
45. Mike Giles (King Crimson, Giles, Giles & Fripp ) 
46. Max Weinberg (Springsteen) 
47. Alex Van Halen (Van Halen) 
48. Jon Theodore (Mars Volta, One Day As A Lion) 
49. Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy) 
50. Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, session man) 
51. Alan White (Yes) 
52. Nick Menza (Megadeth) 
53. Phil Ehart (Kansas) 
54. Mark Zonder (Fate's Warning) 
55. Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) 
56. Jaki Liebezeit (CAN) 
57. Scott Travis (Judas Priest) 
58. Virgil Donati (Planet X) 
59. Jim Gordon (Derek And The Dominoes) 
60. Ron Bushy (Iron Butterfly) 
61. Richard Allen (Funk Brothers) 
62. BJ Wilson* Procul Harum) 
63. Chad Wackerman (Zappa) 
64. Ralph Humphrey (Mothers Of Invention) 
65. Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, Desert Sessions) 
66. Jojo Mayer (Nerve, session man) 
67. Brann Dailor (Mastodon) 
68. Clive Burr (Iron Maiden) 
69. Christian Vander (Magma) 
70. Dennis Thompson (MC5) 
71. John French (Captain Beefheart) 
72. John Weathers (Gentle Giant) 
73. Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) 
74. Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) 
75. Greg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, session man) 
76. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) 
77. Mike Mangini (Extreme) 
78. Larry Mullen Jr. (U2) 
79. Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull) 
80. Tomas Haake (Meshuggah) 
81. Jabo Starks (James Brown, session man) 
82. Brian Mantia (Primus) 
83. Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) 
84. Phil Taylor (Motörhead) 
85. Vinnie Appice (Dio, session man) 
86. Fred Coury (Cinderella) 
87. Travis Barker (Blink 182) 
88. Phil Selway (Radiohead) 
89. Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne) 
90. Zak Starkey (The Who, Oasis) 
91. Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) 
92. Dave Grohl (Nirvana) 
93. Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) 
94. Jose Pasillas (Incubus) 
95. Ron Wilson* (Surfaris) 
96. John Densmore (The Doors) 
97. Chester Thompson (Santana) 
98. Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley) 
99. Van Romaine (Steve Morse)