Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Personal View of Classic Rock Drummers

My 10 Favorite Rock Drummers on Record by P Hershon

Unless I see a group live, I usually don't notice that many rock drummers strictly on the basis of their recordings. The following musicians are my favorite rock drummers on record in that they either have a signature sound I love and can immediate recognize and/or play to a certain type of groove that I can recognize. In any case, their drumming to me is integral to their group's sound and would be missed if someone else was on drums. This list is based on strictly rock recordings not folk rock, straight blues, jazz, funk, soul, folk, etc. and is based on consistent recording performances for one rock group, I'm sure I left a bunch of people out that are equally deserving and included a bunch of people you either said "Huh" or "Who's he". For instance I left Ringo Starr out, and as a non-musician, I can't say the Beatles wouldn't sound like the Beatles without him, but I'm guessing many trained drummers would. Anyway, here is my list of my 10 Favorite rock drummers in alphabetical order with some brief comments and a prime example of their drumming:

Ginger Baker - Cream - His drumming to me made Cream's blues rock sound mystical "NSU" from "Fresh Cream"

Dino Danelli - The Rascals - Gave the Rascals a deep driving foot tapping fun beat. "Good Lovin'" from "The Young Rascals"

The Big Figure - Dr. Feelgood - Gave Dr. Feelgood one of the best blues rock grooves and bottom ever. "Going Back Home" from "Malpractice"

Bruce Finley - The Sorrows - You're probably going who? The Sorrows were an incredible English Freak Beat group in the 60's and Bruce's punchy "burlesque type" drums made them sound like the Rolling Stones would if they just drank and didn't use drugs with a mod drummer! "You Got What I Want" from "Take Her Heart"

Kenny Jones - The Small Faces (only) - His drums and Steve Marriot's voice and guitar gave the Small Faces a driving mod beat that couldn't be beat. Funny enough, his drumming seemed to lose something in translation when he joined the Who. "My Way of Giving" from almost any Small Faces Collection

Simon Kirke - Free - Simon's drums gave Free an incredible beat and groove. To me, Free though commercially successful, should have been the third biggest rock group ever as everyone in the group was fantastic and their songwriting was great too. Other then songwriting,l I'd rate Free, and I know this is heresy, a better group then the Beatles and the Stones. They had the greatest rock singer in the world, Paul Rodgers, one of the best and innovative Bass players ever in Andy Fraser, Paul Kossoff on guitar who played wailing single notes that bled like you couldn't believe, and of course Simon, who set the beat and groove and played incredible fills."Wishing Well" from greatest hits album

Keith Moon - The Who - Most manic rock drummer ever and the perfect drummer for The Who. "I Can See For Miles" from "The Who Sell Out"

Greg Sowders - The Long Ryders - I'm sure you're going "who" here as well. The Long Ryders were and are an excellent American Roots group and to me Sowders' drums almost sounded like riffs as they just totally power the group along. "Run Dusty Run" from "Two Fisted Tales"

Charlie Watts - The Rolling Stones - Forget Keith the Riff. Without Charlie, there is no Rolling Stones sound."Honky Tonk Woman" from any Greatest Hits Album

BJ Wilson - Procol Harum His Majestic beat and Matthew Fisher's Hammond Organ made thier sound. "The Devil Came to Kansas" from "A Salty Dog Returns"

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