Rock and roll tends to get the reputation as the guitarists' genre. No matter what kind of rock song you're playing, there is a certain subsection of fans who only need a guitar solo to get their seal of approval. While there's no disputing the talent behind playing fast riffs, it takes a certain amount of physical endurance when manning the drumkit.
Whereas other instruments like the guitars and vocals create brilliant melodies for each song, the drums are the real muscle behind any good rock song. Anyone can appreciate a good drum performance, but it feels like the Earth comes to a halt when you have a drum solo take center stage.
When the music fades away and the rhythm takes over, it's a primal experience for both the musician and the audience. It almost feels like the person at the kit has some sort of demonic presence inside of them that demands to be let out through their sticks. Once the drums come to a halt, it's almost as if you can feel the sense of relief once the band comes roaring back in. Here are the drummers who pushed themselves to the limit to make these songs rhythmic journeys.
10. Aja - Steely Dan
Most rock fans remember Steely Dan as that one band that your dad thinks is the coolest band in the world. Each of their songs can come off as too yacht rock for some, but what they're missing is the genius level of talent amongst this collaborative music project.
Though Walter Becker and Donald Fagen lead the charge from a compositional standpoint, their records have always featured an all-star cast of musicians from the worlds of rock, pop, and jazz fusion. Aja may have great single cuts like "Peg" and "Josie," but the title track boasts one of the greatest drum performances ever laid down during the decade.
After cutting the song several times with veteran drummers like Jim Keltner, the song didn't really fall into place until Steve Gadd laid down his groove. Once the song opens up, the saxophone leads you along as Gadd takes every other drummer to school on how to play a great drum solo. Every fill seems to be exactly in its right place, from the fast syncopated rolls to the subtle touches of hearing him click his sticks on the final track. Sure it may be your dad's music, but any drummer who knows their craft needs to use this solo as a reference point.