The 10 greatest drummers of all time. Of all time! Consider for a second the sheer number of talented individuals who over the years can rightfully lay claim to the title of greatest and then think of who you would expect to see on this list; hopefully I have included some of your favourites. My original list consisted of in excess of 30 drummers but after some careful whittling, discarding some notable, deserving and probably contentious/controversial names along the way, I arrived at a countdown I can be happy with.
So, I’ve chosen 10 drummers, primarily from the rock and metal world, who I feel have had a profound influence on the art form. Does this mean they were the greatest? Well, I think so, but then any list of this kind is always contentious and I made a concerted effort not to simply list the 10 greatest technicians; innovation, the art of showmanship and a unique style means just as much to me.
The guys on my list haven’t been selected because they can play a ridiculous number of beats per minute or because they can pull off the most craziest, bone snapping polyrhythms known to man (though one of my ten fits this description perfectly, a little clue for you there).
My endeavour was to shortlist those drummers who have had the greatest impact on me, a devout music fan and a rabid rock and metal junkie. Inevitably, a few names have made the cut that were too technically astounding to ignore, primarily due to their pioneering and radical ability, but the remainder were included because, well, they get my blood pumping.
Believe me, I probably could of listed 500 drummers through fear of missing someone’s favourite (my father-in-law has, quite rightly, already admonished me for not including some of his personal faves) but these are the legends who left most of an impression on me. I hope you approve.
So, without further ado, drum roll please…
This article was first posted on February 26, 2013