The Top 10 Drum Legends and their Drum Kits
The top 10 Drummers and their kits
As a drummer, and I think a pretty good one, I look at these guys and recognise that these are special, not just great but special, gifted and most of all musical. Drumming is about more than cracking out a rhythm, there has to be swing and there really has to a musicality about the playing. All that and a bit of grove and you've cracked it. The drummers featured here, I believe are the top 10 drummers in the world. Of course this is a subjective opinion, they happen to be my top 10. I love to know yours...
I also love the kits these guys use, they are from different manufacturers, all with differing configurations but all beautiful in their own way. The kit shown above is a classic set up from Neil Peart, drummer with Canadian progressive rock band Rush. This guy, like all the drummers I have featured in this lens were a massive influence on me as I grew up. They were the inspiration to me as I developed as a drummer.
I've only just started this lens, so bear with me as I up-date with the other incredible drummers who have made my top 10!
10. Lars Ulrich
I start off my top 10 with Lars Ulrich. I think the only reason he is in tenth place is purely because he is a new boy, and I'm an old git!!!
I've seen Metallica Live a few times, my fondest memory was a few tears ago now, but they played "Master of Puppets" and I just watched Lars drumming all the way through and loved every minute of it.
Lars Ulrich Drum Solo - Lars Ulrich Drum Solo From The Live Shit Binge and Purge dvd
Lars Ulrich Drum Set Up
This is the classic Lars Ulrich set up and one I understand. This is very near my own set up, mind you, I've tried a few in my time!
9. Cozy Powell
Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Jeff Beck Group
Cozy was the backbone behind 2 of my favorite old rock bands, Rainbow and MSG. If you listen to Stargazer from the "Rainbow Rising" album for instance you will hear some of the best Rock drums ever.
Cozy Powell Drum Solo
Cozy Powell Drum Set Up
This is the classic set up Cozy had for years
8 Bill Ward
I remember back when I first started playing drums and playing in a teenage band called "Severed Head" (Stop sniggering in the the back) I was expected by my fellow band members to play just like Bill Ward. We were all massive Sabbath fans. Needless to say, I was just not good enough, but I soldiered through.
Bill Ward was the first drummer I tried to play like and even today, when I'm in rehearsal the thought goes through my mind "What would Bill Ward do here?"
Bill Ward Drum Solo 1978
Bill Ward Drum Kit
Bill's drumkit on the Reunion 99 Tour
Bill Ward's kit started off as a classic 4 and 5 piece kit and grew into a bit of a monster double bass drum set up in the 80's only to slim down again when he realised he actually didn't need them all!!
7 Scott Travis
Scott Travis has been one of the longest serving drummers for Judas Priest, who never seemed to keep a drummer for more than an album or two. This guy has some amazing double bass drum work. I have included the video for Painkiller, one because I love the song and two, because of the drum intro...
Scott Travis - Drums - Painkiller Live
This video was taken by me at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2004 if you like it then get over to my blog where I have loads more JP vids http://bongsworld.wordpress.com/music/judas-priest-sweden-rock-2004/
Scott Travis Drum Set Up
Solid Double Bass
Classic metal kit, 2 bass drums and 2 toms in the middle. This is Travis touring kit with Judas priest.
6, Ian Paice
Ian Paice, drummer with heavy rock band Deep Purple.
Purple have seen numerous line up changes throughout their long career, but he is the only drummer the band has had, playing on a whole string of million-selling albums.
Between 1973 to 76 Deep Purple were one of the biggest rock band in the world. Ian come from generation of drummers who brought a tight, precise, clean crisp sound taking the best from their predecessors and adding power.
Ian Paice - The Mule - drum solo
Ian Paice Drum Set Up
Ian's drum set up was classic and simple, never on for a huge kit, just the basics but boy could he swing.
5 Alan White
Taking over from Bill Bruford was a hard task, but Alan White was up to the challenge. In fact in some ways I preferred him in Yes, he seemed to settle the music and on the albums where he could make the tracks his own, I think he provided a solid rock backbone for Yes as opposed to the jazzier style of Bruford.
Alan White Drum Solo - 1998
An amazing drum solo performed by Alan White during the classic 'Whitefish' duet with Chris Squire.
4. Bill Bruford
Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, UK, Earthworks
When I started to get into drum rudiments, a drumming coach asked me what sort of music I liked, I told him "mainly Metal" and his heart sank. Then I said I liked progressive rock, Genesis, Yes and ELP. He brightened and said "OK, listen to Bill Bruford" so I did, and boy am I glad I did!
Bill Bruford Drum Solo
3. Phil Collins
Genesis, Brand X
To my mind these two drummers compliment each other perfectly, Apart from anything else, I believe, Phil Collins is one of the most musical drummers I have ever heard. His early work with Genesis not only provided a solid framework for the music, it brought the music alive.
When Peter Gabriel left in 75, Phil Collins took over the vocal role but still carried on with the dumming duties on all the albums. Do yourselves a favor and revisit both "Trick of the Tail" and "Wind and Wuthering" and just listen to the drumming, outstanding!
Phil Collins - Drum Duet - Drum duet with Chester Thompson.
There are so many versions to choose from from these two incredible drummers. Phil Collins and Chester Thompson perform a flawless drum duet. Drum War at Genesis. This was taken from the Mama Tour.
Phil Collins Drum set up
This is the typical drum set up Phil Collins has always used, this particular kit is a Gretch kit
2 Neil Peart
No doubt about it, Neil Peart was one of the biggest influences on me as a young drummer. I loved Rush right from when I started listening to them around 1976. The first track I ever heard was round a friends house and that was Bastille Day from the Caress of Steel album. From then on I was hooked. I bought the album and discovered the track "The Fountain of Lamneth" which used drums in a way I had never heard before. The next Album 2112 came out and that was it. They would play 3 nights at the Hammersmith Odeon and I was there all three nights!!
I bought every album and went to see them around the country until Signals came out in 82 and for me the golden age of Rush was over. I can still appreciate the music but it's not as mind blowing... maybe I'm just getting old!
Neil Peart Drum Solo
One of the worlds most technically skillful and musical drummers. Neil is also a prolific lyric writer for Rush. I would have loved to get a clip of Peart's drum solo prior to all the electronic drums and backing tracks but this will have to do for now.
The Neil Peart Drum Set up
1 John Bonham
The most influential drummer - ask any rock drummer!!! - May 31st 1948 to September 25th, 1980 R.I.P.
John Henry Bonham has got to be my No.1. I was listening to some old Zep albums on my iPod the other night and just listening to Bonham, and even now just totally blown away by the rhythm and swing he brings to the music. He's not the flashiest drummer in the world, he never used a big kit but in my book still the best drummer in rock by far.
John Bonham - Moby Dick - The John Bonham Drum solo
Moby Dick was of course John Bonham's vehicle to show the world what a great soloist he was. When I first saw this, I couldn't believe it, the guys playing drums with his hands, no sticks and still heaver than most.
The John Bonham Drum Kit
The classic Bonham kit is probably the most sought after of all Vistalite set ups. Bonham Vistalites were amber - a 26 inch bass drum with rail tom mount and bass-drum mounted cymbal stand; 14 inch rack tom; 16 & 18 inch floor toms and a 6.5 inch 402 snare drum.
My top 10 drummers are
Awesome drummers with amazing kits
10 . Lars Ulrik
9. Cozy Powell
8. Bill Ward
7. Scott Travis
6. Ian Paice
5. Alsn White
4. Bill Bruford
3. Phil Collins
2. Neil Peart
1. John Bonham
Special Mention for Mike Portnoy Drum Solo - Drum Solo from the progressive drum legend
Really shows off his double bass drum technique
DEBATE: What do you think of my top 10 list?
Am I right, is John Bonham the best Rock Drummer of all time?