9. Larry Mullen Jr. - U2
It's almost expected that the drummer gets forgotten about in rock bands half the time. It might be a little bit easier to chase the spotlight with a guitar in your hands, but how the hell are you supposed to be the center of attention when you're at the very back of the stage? It might not be an easy gig, but what Larry Mullen Jr. does is so subtle that it's easy to miss what he's doing half the time.
While U2 started out more in the punk side of the rock scene, Larry has kept their sound eclectic throughout the years, moving right alongside the Edge to bring their sound into the future. If you go back and listen to the songs off of War, you can hear him starting to break out of the traditional drumming setup, bringing in different modern rhythms that aren't necessarily locked to the traditional rock and roll grooves. Just to get the sound of a song like Pride, Larry actually set up different tom toms next to each other so that he could get the hypnotic flow behind the tune whenever they played it live.
Once they decided to go down the road of electronica on albums like Achtung Baby and Zooropa, Larry more or less took charge of the rhythm section, always having an understanding of when to bring out the sequencers and when to strip it back to the basic kit. Even when there's sequenced drumming though, you can still hear him adding a bit of swing into the mix, always keeping that human element when playing in dance music. Hitting drums for a living might look like a thankless job, but what Larry has brought to rock and roll is the job of a rhythmic professor.