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June 14, 2006


It's a good list, on balance. I would rank John Bonham at numero uno on the basis that a drummer's primary chore is laying down a strong backbeat. Nooobody was better at that than Bonham.

Neal Peart sounds like Mozart to me, too many notes.

Ringo Starr would have been a gutsy add. Extremely underrated as the band he was with sort of clipped his wings.

Annis could pound it out but his penchant for Formula One racing got in the way.

And, no Charlie Watts!?

Thought about Ringo. Also thought about Ginger Baker. Not a big Charlie Watts fan, although I appreciate his longevity. Annis simply rocks, despite his penchant for F-1 racing.

I always thought Annis rocked BECAUSE of his penchant for F1, not despite it!

Good list, but what about Stewart Copeland? I think Bill Ward should be here as well.

Yeah...right on to Bill Ward!

Strong list, Dan, and fun to think about. Some of my personal favorites that didn't make your list:
Alan White
Barrymore Barlow
Floyd Sneed
Billy Mundi
Carmen Appice

Hmm, good adds, Scott. Definitely thought about Appice. Tough to narrow it down to 10. When you think of Yes, though, I'm more thinking of Bruford than White. Might just be my mood (Mood for a Day...:)). Billy Mundi, huh? I need to investigate.

I am sooooo glad you are recognizing Ian Paice. He is friggin great and one of the best rock drummers. Ahead of Bonham - not sure. Good debate. Thanks for creating list. It makes for a good conversation.
- Nick in Riverhead

I fucking LOVE Peter Criss and you didn't mention him. Kiss was one and still is a fucking great rock band. You suck for not mentioning him.

Billy Mundi would definitely make the list of how-come-I-never-heard-of-this-guy!?! drummers -- that is, if anyone remembered his name at all...

He did time with Zappa (any drummer that could hang with FZ automatically gets honorable mention in my book), and a bunch of other stuff. Some of his coolest work was with a supergroup that nobody remembers called Rhinoceros. They played archetypal blues-rock -- worth checking out.

Hey, Tabitha, go suck an egg. You know nothing of Kiss. Dan and I had every single drum stroke from Criss' drum solo from Kiss Alive's 100,000 Years memorized before your were out of your stroller.

Now, now... It's only a list. Peter Criss is fun to listen to, but I wouldn't put him on this list. "100,000 Years" is not that difficult.

Like it. No complaints with the top 3 - nice to see someone else recognising Paicey for the star he is, although I'd point people to "Burn" or more recently "Abandon" (especially "Seventh Heaven") rather than Made in Japan.
Sorry, if you're talking Kiss then give me Eric Carr any day.

No mention so far of the late, lamented Cozy Powell? Ok subtlety wasn't his long suit but if you wanted it pounding out...

Interesting list, Dan. Good that you took the time to make it as I emphatically agree that drummers often get short shrift in favour of the boys that front the band.
I'm pretty much in agreement with you-- though I do have a soft spot for Ringo. Not sure I could displace anyone on your list, though. The top eleven, perhaps? ;)

Cyn - I'm hearing that Ringo was an omission. Clearly, he was part of the biggest band to ever walk the earth, but he was not the most technical, innovative or quickest, like most of the drummers on the list. I'll agree to give him an 11. He was and still is a special musician.

sorry the best drummer by far is ian paice, he is the fastest drummer i have ever heard, and the best drum solo i have ever heard, when paice olayed with whitesnake, i have seen john bonham and neil peart live and i stil think ian paice is the best drummer ever IAN PAICE ON THE DRUMS YES

WOW! "Ian Paice is the fastest drummer you have ever heard?" obviously u havent heard much. Peter Cris is smooth but basic and i dont know what Nick Mason is doing on this list...i have been on a drum set twice and am better than him. I like moon. His style is incredible and he never seems to lose an ounce of energy. Hes quick and he keeps the beat. He does the sort of beats that you think up in your head but then have to slow way down to be able to do it.

wtf wot aboot eddie van halen!!

I am 14 and am doing a project. I play the drums and a little guitar. anyway im doin it on top 10 drummers. Bonham should be 1, eddie playes guitar, alex is the drummer, and does not belong, Phill Rudd is on of the top drummers, not saing he should be in , but should be considered

Ryan - I still would take Neil Peart and Ian Paice over John Bonham. But I do recognize Bonzo's talent. Hey -- No. 3 is not bad.

Good luck on your project.

What about Phil Rudd(AC/DC), Bill Ward(Black Sabbath), and Mitch Mitchell(Jimi Hendrix Experience). I think Neil Peart should be #2 because if you look at the set-up of his drumset, he has drum pads that could do things to add to the stuff he is already doing, but he is still good.

Ryan - great point on all three. Tought to create these Top 10 lists. You have to make choices I guess.

Jus thought id drop DAVE GROHL into the mix.
The work he did with Nirvana and the work hes done for Queens of the stone age on there song 'Know One Knows' shows his pure skill and ability!
Top 10 without question!

Id also like to give Joey Jordison a mention.

how dare you not mention Mike Portnoy ? Gotta give him some props. The list is terrific otherwise

Mike Portnoy? Hmm. Great drummer for sure, but I'm not sure he's Top 10. Definitely versatile and powerful.

john bonhan is number 2 i think and keth moon # 3

I don't see any mention of Danny Carey From TOOL, by far he should be ranked in the top ten. All these ranking systems seem to be out of wack a little IMO and seem to be more of a popularity contest over raw talent..

It is nice to see Ian Paice getting some much deserved attention. He'll always be #1 for me, because he swings in the world of hard rock.

Carl Palmer is much better than Neil Peart listen to Tarkus or Pirates or Pictures at an Exhibition or Karn Evil #9.

For Keith Moon how about you Listen to anything off Tommy or Live at Leeds or the Song "Who Are You?".

No Phil Collins or Ginger Baker or
Stewart Copeland hello have you every heard Syncronicity??

Cozy powell or Buddy Rich or Mitch Mitchell hmm sounds like someone did not do their research.
In all fairness you probably have to have multiple Ties for 1st through 10th place.

Peter Criss...ur joking right? I wouldn't even list him in the top 100....maybe just give him an honorable mention...Eric Carr was a much better drummer than Criss. Kiss as a whole really does not measure up to the standards of incredible musicians. True they are good...all bands have professional musicians...but as for legends they are more like jokes. I honestly have to say I really am shocked Stewart Copeland wasn't given a bigger mention. He is unquestionably one of the most talented drummers out there (he could definitely give Neil Peart a run for his money). I really strongly agree that the top ten list needs to be expanded to at least the top 20 and even then there are multiple ties, as someone here already stated. No two drummers are exactly alike, so comparison is based largely on opinions. Personally I could think of at least 20 drummers worthy of the top 10 category. Ian Paice for sure....Peart, Bonham, Bozzio and Baker win hands down...how come nobody brought up Chad Wackerman that guy is one of the most skilled drummers i've ever seen....Bill Bruford, Carl Palmer...and the Judas Priest drummer absolutely rocks the house good god does that man have speed and power on the drum kit. fyi Buddy Rich is a a jazz drummer...he does not belong on this list...he is unquestionably the greatest drummer who ever lived and will live.

Oh...also...and how could I forget Keith Moon...he makes the top 10 easily.

Lastly I am surprised nobody even mentioned Dave Grohl...as a St. Louisan myself (he is a native of here) I am greatly offended he was not given a better mention. Grohl would growl at not having his well-deserved slice of the pie.

If this is to rank Rock drummers specifically, I think Bonham has to be #1 and Ringo #2. What two drummers influenced more other drummers and musicians than these guys? Stewart Copeland should most definitely be there - he's very original and influential. Charlie Watts should be there. How about the drummer who practically invented rock n roll drumming - Earl Palmer? And if Zappa's drummers can make the list, it's a no-brainer to include Vinnie Colaiuta on this list. He's from another planet and can play anything - and can groove, too! How about Hal Blaine - the unseen drummer behind so many 60's and 70's hits? And I think I agree with other fellow posters here that Dave Grohl should make this list. I can't think of many other bands from more recent times that had the impact Nirvana did, and Dave's powerful, tatsteful drumming was a big part of it. He's still kicking it, too!

Honorable mentions: Jeff Porcaro, Mark Craney (what a sound on Brother to Brother!!), Steve Smith, Roger Taylor (Queen, not Duran Duran), Alex Van Halen, Tommy Lee, Tommy & Marky Ramone, Liberty Devito.

Hal Blaine.

where the hell is tommy lee!!! from motley crue

This list is pathetic.

As a drummer/percussionist of 40 years, it is difficult to understand why someone would place Neil Peart as "#1".

I look at the individuals who are the pioneers of drumming of a certain type, that pushed drumming and percussion to the limit.
Peart falls short of receiving an honorable mention.

Carl Palmer was the individual who took drumming and tuned percussion to the extreme, and far advances anything Peart did/does in Rush.

On top of this, there weren't many drummers out there who emulated Mr. Palmer, until later in the 70's. Again, Peart falls short because of drummers like Terry Bozio, Steve Smith, et. al.

In closing...all one has to do is listen to the CD "Burning for Buddy" ( a drummers tribute to Buddy Rich) and any drummer/percussionist who knows drumming, would note, right away, that Neil Peart fails in comparison to many of the drummers featured on the CD.

Neil Peart is over rated, while many of the drummers who are more creative and play better are under rated.

Nickelback's Daniel Adair should be added to every list of best drummers. He is truly phenomenal.

I def think that Mitch Mitchell should be on the top 10, he was on fire with keeping up with hendrix and he is what made the Experience what it was. just listen to manic depression, and catfish blues, the only thing against him is that crittics say he was a little inconsistent in his solos. ringo, and nick mason are also good no matter what anyone says, they played what was necessary and kicked ass at it. the music of the beatles and floyd was so good that it diddnt need fancy drum solos. alex vanhalen also deserves credit.

Don't forget Deen Castronovo. He has taken the mentorship of those like Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Bozio and Louis Bellson (a TRUE pioneer) and has polished it into a tight, creative style of his own. No one has feet like Deen-o on the kick drums. I guess it's what you look for in a drummer. Granted, Peter Criss is about as un-tech as it gets, but as Ringo did with The Beatles, Peter did with KISS. They're ALL good, cuz they made it....and WE are writing about it! :)

I agree about the pioneering part in terms of great rock drummers but skill, techinque, and speed are definitely all heavy factors. Ringo was not a pioneer...he was just a drummer in a great band. Ginger Baker and John Bonham are the top two pioneers of rock and to leave Baker off is just wrong. He is absolutely out of this world...maybe doesn't quite dominate the bass drum like bonham but on two he is unmatchable than anybody who could try imitating him on the double bass drums. he has incredible hand speed and accuracy...Moby Dick and Toad are the two greatest drum solos I have heard to date in terms of rock, namely because they were not on huge kits like Peart's but more average types, and simply because they are near impossible to play. My list: 1 being best 10 being worst (which is still legendary lol)...1. john bonham 2. ginger baker 3. keith moon 4. neil peart 5. Terry Bozzio 6. Ian Paice 7. Bill Bruford 8. Danny Carey 9. Carmine Appice 10. Stewart Copeland

Correction about Dave Grohl. Lol I got him mixed up with Dave Weckl...Grohl is from D.C., Weckl is from St. Louis. Either way, both of these guys definitely make that list, although Weckl may be a bit more jazz-oriented...both Grohl and Weckl are out of this world just like the other drum legends of rock and jazz.

Neil Peart is NOT overrated!!!! That is ridiculous. He may not be the best but jesus don't degrade him to being average the guy is FUCKING PHENOMENAL!!!! He is more than worthy of the top ten, and if not that, the top 20!!! People forget how hard it is to play like the legends of rock and that there are definitely more than 10 that are out of this world....to get near any of these guys is a task in itself. Peart is fantastic. i don't like listing who is best, just will say Bozzio definitely could compete with Peart. His drumkit is bigger and he actually seems faster in many respects. But Peart is a drum god...very few drummers can match him at least in the world of rock.

I like Moon. He is unique. No one ever played the drum fill like him. He played percussion like a lead instrument. Throw in the rock lore. He's number 1. We will never see the likes of hm again.

Daniel Adair is good but he is not one of the greatest. John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, Peart, and Bozzio, and basically many other drummers I can think of rape him off the stage. Those guys were once in a lifetime. Daniel Adair is not like that.

Hal Blaine is awesome too, he kicks ass. Jesus this list is way too small. there are many more than 10 out of this world rock drummers....I could easily expand that list to the top 30....top 30 being guys that are pretty much godlike.

Here's a new name for all of you, I just went to the Who concert in Indy, and Zak Starkey is amazing I tink he should definetly be in the Top 10. He took the same songs Moon did and made them better. I know its easier to look back and say I should have done that than actually create the music.

Hey, Neil Peart is really great, don´t you know the YYZ drum solo. It´s the best drum song I have ever heard...
What a pity Rush doesn´t make many concerts in Europe.

And you completely forgot younger drummers. There are many of them who are great. For example Travis Barker from +44 (former Blink 182 drummer). He plays incredibly...

Travis Barker is good but I wouldn't put him in the top 10...Bonham, Baker, peart, etc....if travis barker is incredible, then Bonham, Baker, and Peart are immortal and Buddy Rich is God. I'd put him in the top 100 though.

wat about rick allen?!?!?!?!?!?! one armed drum god of def leppard? his fills still kick ass after lost his arm. listen to that last 30 seconds of pour some sugar on me

Neal Smith from Alice Cooper.
Clem Burke from Blondie.

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