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June 14, 2006


Back when I was growing up in Liverpool, England - I am ancient, this was the early 60's - my favorite band was Rory Storm and the Hurricanes - they had this incredible drummer named Richard Starkey...I wonder what ever happened to him???


There are many categories to recognize people as being good at what they do. I believe that neil peart is absolutely one of the greatest ever. He had that huge drum set for a reason because he could use every piece of it. He's an immortal soul that can play the drums better than nearly any could dream of. And there is also people like buddy rich. I saw him play a solo and these two may have very well sold their very souls to play like they do or did. But then again who knows what some kid is doing with his drum set in his parents garage.

Ok, this list is completely wrong. You forgot to put Joey Jordison from Slipknot and Jordan Mancino from As I Lay Dying (especially on their song 94 Hours)

It is hard to put rock drummers into a list, since you've got Ian Paice, Keith Moon and John Bonham to consider.

No.1 - Neil Peart is my no.1 because his ability to play at different times with each hand is amazing and sometimes frightening, so much so that his solos sound like several tribal drummers.

No.2 - I would have to put Keith Moon at no.2, simply because of his influence on me and the rest of the rock drummers here. He was larger than life in life, and in drumming and he was certainly the most energetic drummer of all time. His fast paced bass and Tom Tom drumming is awesome.

No.3 - John Bonham influenced more drummers than you can shake drumsticks at. He was the secret of success (along with Jimmy Page of course) to Led Zeppelin. His inspiring me, timing and loud, raw sound made him one of, if not, the greatest rock drummer of all time.

No.4 - Ian Paice was fast, raw and fast. His speed, like all my top four, made him Deep Purple's heart and drove them to be one of the most influential bands ever. He is also one of my biggest inspirations. His skills were perfect for Deep Purple just like John Bonhams were to Led Zeppelins and Keith Moon to the Who.

No.5 - Ginger Baker was the first rock drummer of the first super group ever. He gave Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce a drive that was unique and his Toad solo was excellent. Easily one of the most influential drummers ever.

I think you're being sarcastic Adam but just in case, he became The Beatles drummer and obviously became Rigno Starr and his son, Zak Starkey drums for Oasis and the Who and a few other bands as well, that is cool how you grew up watching him as an ammateur. Did you know him.

Yes, listen to the "Burning for Buddy" CDs then consider that Neil Peart was the only muscian to play his tracks off of Mr. Rich's own sheet music. This plus just prior to those releases had took lessons and started jazz drumming. A lot of good drummers on those discs, but a another reason why "The Professor" is listed as #1.

This is not fair list... You judged according to drummer's success, not according to his skill... Theres a lot o better drummers in music then these 10 guys. If drummer played in Led Zeppelin for example, that doesn't mean that he is better than drummer of Slipknot... I mean, Jordison is so much better than this guy...

Better in wich way?, i agree that Jordison is one of the best drummers right now but if u hav to compare then do it in 1969, the year led zeppelin take out their first album, and compare bonham with other drummers from that era, Bonham is in that list, because his diverse style to play diferent rithms, not just the fast paced sound that slipknot does, and he did it in a time when they were not so many names for rock (progressive, emo, punk, metal, heavy metal, rap metal), led zeppelin along with other bands from the 60´s and 70´s inpired or even created sounds that a lot of bands right now are still using, and to say he doesn`t deserve a rank in thist list is like forgeting one of the roots in rock music and one who could have probably influenced Jordison.

P.D I ll put Jon Theodore former drummer of the Mars Volta, and one of the more unique and versatile drummers right now, and yes, Bonham is one of his influences.
look for Cygnus vismund cygnus, cassandra geminis, eriatarka or cicatriz esp

In my list (not in order of any)...
1)Cozy Powell
2)Ian Paice
3)Bobby Rondinelli
4)Vinny Appice
5)Steve Smith
6)Simon Kirke
7)Tommy Aldridge
8)John Bonham
9)Nicko McBrain
10)Matt Sorum
11)Dave Lombardo
12)Gary Driscoll
13)Frankie Banali
14)John Tempesta
15)Pete Homes
16)Phil Rudd
17)Lee Kerslake
18)Clive Burr
19)Keith Moon
20)Russell Gilbrook
~) and many other good ones...

Ronniw vannucci of the Killers should be on this list

Perhaps I have overlooked them, but what about Steve White (plays with Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene -at times-, Talbot & White, and The Players). Talk about Back Beat, listen to Talbot & White instrumental album 'off the beaten track'. Also played with Weller and Talbot in Style council.

Mark Brzeziki, of Big Country fame. Also played with Midge Ure (of ultravox), Simon and Pete Townsend, Roger Daltry, and Procol Harum.

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater.

Peter Salisbury, played with the Verve and Richard Ashcrofts solo material. Also has played Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Another great back beat drummer.

Chad Gacey of the band Live hits like a monster.

We must not ignor the late great Pete DeFritas of Echo and the Bunnymen fame. Listen to the albums Porcupine and Heaven up Here and tell me I'm Wrong.

Another new monster on the scene is Gunnar Olson from the band the Exit. Please listen to the album 'Home for an Island'. this guy has the best of Stewart Copeland and Neal Peart. An amazing acheivement.

On that note, I do agree with everyone elses assessment as it goes for the token ten. These are just some names that tend to go under the radar. If nothing else, this should give you all some fun new music to listen to.

Steve, in California

Oops, How could I leave out Chris Sharrock. His drumming with The Icicle Works is ginormous. I would swear that he has three arms. He reminds me of Keith Moon on the Quadraphenia record. When they do slow the tempo down, they must have forgotten to tell Chris.

Ringo Starr should not be placed on this list. In terms of skill he doesn't even come close to guys like John Bonham and Ginger Baker. I also think that while Keith Moon was a great drummer, Bonzo and Baker spun circles around him...Moon had absolutely no soloing ability compared to these two. Neil Peart as a rock drummer is clearly one of the best. These are the drummers I would put in the top ten for rock...John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Carl Palmer, Neil Peart, Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford, Danny Carey, Ian Paice, Stewart Copeland, and THEN Keith Moon. In fact i'm not even sure I'd put Moon in the top ten. top twenty though for sure. Bonham, Baker, Palmer, Peart, Bozzio, Bruford, Paice, Carey, and Copeland are all definitely among the 100 most skilled drummers of all time.

my top rock drummers based on the influence they had on the music of the bands they played in:

Ian Paice - Deep purple - Smoke on the water, Burn, black night, speed king, when a blind man crys
John Bonham - Led Zep - his groove and kick drum skills - good times bad times, kashmir, whole lotta love
Mick Tucker - the Sweet Fox on the run, Ballroom blitz
Clive Burr - Iron Maiden: they never sounded as tight when he left, listen to their first 3 albums - prowler, Genghis khan, run to the hills
Phil Rudd - AC/DC: for his amazing groove back in black, let there be rock, highway to hell, long way to the top
Keith Moon - the Who :Won't get fooled again, My generation, who are you
Neil Peart - Rush: la villa strangiato = a masterpeice
Stewart copeland - the police: walking on the moon, mesage in abottle, roxanne
Jeff Pacaro - toto: Rosanna, I'll supply the love, hydra, Hold the line, goodby elenor

technical skill is not the be all and end all of being a drummer, keeping and holding time is, and then doing the appropriate drumming to the song. As we are basically accompanists. Great list by the way.

I think that Moby Dick and Toad alone explain why John Bonham and Ginger Baker should be considered among the best ever. Both are the monster drum solos played by monster drummers. Bonzo and Baker are KINGS. What a different world this would be if John Bonham had lived....imagine...Led Zeppelin Reunion 2007. Brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. We will never forget the great BONZO!!!

I can't believe someone is comparing Joey Jordison to John Bonham. Jordison is a tiny speck compared to John Bonham. Put him on John Bonham's kit and he wouldn't know what to do. Jordison couldn't play anything remotely close to Moby Dick. He's all about speed, no technique. Jordison does not belong in the same category as John Bonham, period. Bonham towers over him even in death. Jordison needs two bass drums to match John Bonham, can't do Bonzo's crossovers, and can't hand-drum like Bonham. There is no comparison between the two. Jordison belongs low on the list of rock drummers. he does not compare to the likes of Bonham, Peart, Baker, Bozzio, etc. He is way out of his league with those guys.

Bonham, Peart, Copeland, Baker, Bozzio, and Bill Bruford all belong in this list for reasons other than being just rock drummers. THese guys essentially bring jazz grooves into the mix along with rock ones. Bonzo while he does not use the cymbals very much (he specifically stated he didn't like using them except to top off fills), brings jazz rhythmic patterns to the snares, bass drum, and toms. You can hear the complex rhythmic patterns in his drumming. The "jazzers" so to speak IMO are the best rock drummers. The greatest rock drummers were far more than just rock drummers...they combined other forms of drumming into their rock drumming to basically launch themselves over the top.

Wow, no mention of Roger Meadows Taylor from the apparently little known band called 'QUEEN'.

It is impossible to rank the best rock drummer ever although it is fun to speculate. they all have skills and can do things most of us drummers can only dream of doing. but some do things better than others. though he might be simple in style nobody lays down a groove as well as Phil Rudd of AC/DC. Just listen to the For Those about to rock album, he lays it down with style and groove but with balls. he's right on the money and i don't care how good you are or how long you've been playing i have never heard a smoother rock drummer. (besides Bohnam) that is. if you want fast fills but no substance listen to neil peart. but the drummer who had it all was the forementioned John Bonham. i don't think i need to mention the name of his band. he was simply the best rock drummer who ever picked up a pair of sticks. I still can't figure out Fool in the Rain. and yes it is all on who you like and listen to. some of the new drummers i have no idea who they are. Kiss is one of my favorite bands and when i was a kid no one influenced me more than peter criss but as i've gotten older i realized how futile he was on the drum kit. yes he is fun to play along to but i agree when someone said i wouldn't put him in the top 100. As agreed Eric Carr was a fantastic drummer and would destroy criss in everyway. it was really sad he past away so young. anyway, in all the emails i read i didn't see one mention of John Densmore of the Doors. who else could play with the GREAT and erratic Jim Morrison and keep time and tempo. His accents and fills were perfectly fitted to Morrison's phrasing and lyrics. There should be a top 200 list with a tie going from 2 through 200. You have Bohnam and then everybody else. and yes Ringo is a great drummer just ask anybody that you put on this list. If they started playing after 1963 he influenced them in some way.

BUDDY RICH!!....he's just amazing...just chek out his technicality its scary

john bonham are the best ever nr 1

I guess ultimately we have to decide what the criteria is. Are we ranking the best drummer just as an individual (and even then it can be broken down further. ie technically, rhythmically, etc.) or how the drummer brings out the best in the band. Either way I could never put anyone ahead of Bonham. As fanatic as you Rush fans are about Peart, that's the way I feel about Bonham. Except Peart could never play in a band other than Rush, which for some reason favors his millionlet tom fills with absolutely no creativity or rhythm...they are just a lot of hits in a short period of time. And You can find 8 year old kids on youtube playing his solo just fine. I also want to mention STEVE JORDAN who has rediculous rhythm. He doesn't do fancy useless unmusical bashing, every hit counts and it's executed in absolutely perfect timing...And I think only one person mentioned Jon Theodore but he's defintely got a fairly unique, bombastic style - kind of reminds me of mitch from hendrix except he lays down some heavier grooves and jumps time signatures more often. And I cant believe no one mentioned Darrell Sweet from Nazareth or Jimmy Chamberlin from Smashing Pumpkins, both drummers really complimented their bands. (Which is the idea for the most part I thought)



Peart is definitely the best by far. It's good to see Paice at #2 -- he is outstanding and my understanding is that Paice and Moon were the two drummers Peart looked up to when he was developing his technique. I must say I was rather annoyed to see him add elctronic pads to his kit in the 80s. Anyone as good as he is doesn't need pads.

Bill Ward deserves an honorable mention. If you have ever seen the Black Sabbath DVD The Last Supper featuring their 1999 reunion tour, you'd see that that big old bastard can play the drums.

You folks who bash Peart just have outstanding percussionist envy. There is no one who can hold a candle to the guy -- not even close.

also, stop bashing electronic drums!!!!!Lots of drummers use triggers for recording and live situasions. They stil create the noise and put it where it belongs!!!! They are fun and a added dimension to drumming!!So get the @#%& over It with the electronic drum fear.

i like the list, when i first heard Rush (the fact that they had such a distant style to commercial rock is testament to all the bands prowess) I thought they had 2 drummers!!! Man speed notes galore!! and to handle the whole wrap around set -up omg... saw him live.....the only one i thought who should of cracked thruogh is the drummer from the Police, very intricate playing I thought

Nobody mentioned Vinnie Colaiuta! A Wikipedia entry on him has the following quote from Steve Vai: "He's one of the most amazing sight-readers that ever existed on the instrument. One day we were in a Frank rehearsal, this was early '80s, and Frank brought in this piece of music called "Mo 'N Herb's Vacation." Just unbelievably complex. All the drums were written out, just like "The Black Page" except even more complex. There were these runs of like 17 over 3 and every drumhead is notated differently. And there were a whole bunch of people there, I think Bozzio was there. Vinnie had this piece of music on the stand to his right. To his left he had another music stand with a plate of sushi on it, okay? Now the tempo of the piece was very slow, like "The Black Page." And then the first riff came in, [mimics bizarre Zappa-esque drum rhythm patterns] with all these choking of cymbals, and hi-hat, ruffs, spinning of rototoms and all this crazy stuff. And I saw Vinnie reading this thing. Now, Vinnie has this habit of pushing his glasses up with the middle finger of his right hand. Well I saw him look at this one bar of music, it was the last bar of music on the page. He started to play it as he was turning the page with one hand, and then once the page was turned he continued playing the riff with his right hand, as he reached over with his left hand, grabbed a piece of sushi and put it in his mouth, continued the riff with his left hand and feet, pushed his glasses up, and then played the remaining part of the bar. It was the sickest thing I have ever seen. Frank threw his music up in the air. Bozzio turned around and walked away. I just started laughing."

1 John Bonham 'Untouchable'
2 Ian Paice so fast and faultless
3 Bill Ward one of the most
underated drummers ever,the bounce in his hands is immense
4 Ginger Baker one of the great pioneers of drumming
Mitch Mitchell
Grooviest drummer there was

Jimmy Chamberlin - pumpkins... gotta be on there

too many classic drummers. drumming has been takin so far ahead of what the 70's and 80's brought. matt mcdonough of mudvayne, joey jordison of slipknot, morgan rose of sevendust, and of course danny carey of tool all should have some kind of mention

its a good list but i would have worked in some newer drummers in there.

1-neil peart
2-danny carey
3-john bonham
4-ian paice
5-mike portnoy
6-tom bozzio
7-joey jordison
8-carl palmer
9-ginger baker
10-morgan rose
11-tim alexander
12-matt cameron
13-bill ward
14-matt mcdonough
15-vinnie paul
16-phil collins
17-keith moon
18-dave lombardo
19-chad smith
20-dave grohl
21-john dalmyan
22-lars ulrich
23-mick fleetwood
24-stewart copeland
25-travis barker

now thats a list!

Very good list, but I would present to you someone you may have never heard of, but who fits in perfectly with your inclusion of Terry Bozzio: Jon Theodore of The Mars Volta. Now, he's young, and obscure, but listen to any song off of that band's "Frances the Mute" record, and his drumming, though strangely mixed down, is brilliant brilliant brilliant. And in a group who's rhythms are so unbelievably complex, to keep up with what they do is an awe-inspiring feat.

Oh, and I completely forgot to mention Dave Grohl. Which is not an easy thing to do. Show's you how caught up I was on Jon Theodore. But yeah, Dave Grohl is brilliant in every sense of his drumming. And Taylor Hawkins, AKA the only man Dave Grohl trusts with drumming in Foo Fighters.

ROGER TAYLOR!!!!(QUEEN) What a stylish,powerful drummer!Often overlooked, mainly due to the fact that only now are Queen cool.Only a few better exist, namely Carl Palmer,Buddy Rich, Krupa.

too much classic...

should be:
1neil peart (rush)
2john bonham (led zeppelin)
3danny carey (tool)
4terry bozzio (zappa...etc.)
5mike portnoy (dream theatre)
6ian paice (deep purple)
7carl palmer (elp)
8ginger baker (cream)
9matt mcdonough (mudvayne)
10matt cameron (soundgarden)

in my honest opinion, danny carey is the most underrated drummer in the world. along with john dalmayan, matt mcdonough, matt cameron, and dave grohl. and i know i excluded alot of people on the list, but hey, my top 25, they r all on it.

I love Deep Purple's Ian paice.
Why not give this Drummer a look at Jody Wheatley Manifest Destiny.
Stillwater,Okla. Metal Band!
I think you might be surprised.

Oh and Travis Barker!

NICKO MCBRAIN!!!!!!!!! is the best

NICKO MCBRAIN!!!!!!!!! is the best

Good list, I would suggest Simon Philips Toto.

where the hell is mike portnoy, dave weckl, buddy rich, lewis nash, jason bittner, chris adler.

and whoever said ringo star should be up there. go away. ringo star is the most boring drummer ive ever and he does absolutely absolutely nothing creating or innovative.

seriously wheres mike portnoy

oh yeah dany carey and joey jordinson have got to be up there too

Ringo Starr should way be up that list. He is anything but a boring drummer, and blooming influential as well.

Clive Bunker, early Jethro
Tull. Bobby Chouinard also.

Clive Bunker early Jethro

Where's Joey Jordison

Bill Ward? if Bonzo (the best btw) and Paice get a mention - where's Ward?

um buddy rich??!!!

um buddy rich??!!!

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