Chill Out About the 100 Greatest Drummers Of All Time (Rolling Stone)
As I have mentioned before, I am a drummer, I noticed Rolling Stone put this out and that other sites like Consequence of Sound were losing their minds.
These lists mean at the same time absolutely nothing and everything to some folks. I am just glad all the great stick men and women (I see you Sheila E.) are getting some press.
Click HERE for a link to the list.
Just because arguing is what we do:
What a SHOCK, Rolling Stone values classic rock-God drummers from the 60's and 70's above 90's and 2000 drummers NOOOOOOO.
In other words, NOBODY should be surprised by the top of Rolling Stone's list or about non-drummers (or non-attentive drum followers) freaking out about this list.
The thing that is shocking to me is not that Neal Peart was 4th or that Dave Grohl wasn't in the top 10, it was that Bonham and Moon were ahead of Krupa and Buddy Rich.
This wasn't the best "rock" drummers of all-time list, it was the best 100 drummers of all time, meaning Jazz is included, meaning many rock drummers should really have NO chance (no offense intended - I myself am a rock drummer, but I appreciate the skills). There are obvious exceptions (for instance Ginger Baker and Charlie Watts were both very good Jazz drummers too).
IMHO Consequence of Sound (and other sites) are undervaluing the drummers they don't "know" as well and Rolling Stone is overvaluing the drummers for the bands that built them in the first place. I do agree with COS that Danny Carey should make the list (but it is zero surprise Rolling Stone doesn't "get" all the 90's and later stick folk).
No matter how much you care about music, drummers are rarely immortalized to the level Moon or Peart have by the music press (to some extent Grohl). The fact that you don't know a drummer hardly means he doesn't deserve the ranking.
Also, and this is important, the sign of a good drummer is not just his or her ability to play fills, it is also about consistently being in the pocket and serving the song.
So, before anyone loses their minds, I would suggest that you have to have actually heard and know that you have heard a drummer before you get mad. Is that fair?
This was the top 10 (followed by my comments):
8. Mitch Mitchell (perfect example of why COS is wrong, nobody knows the rest of The Jimmy Hendrix Experience, but everyone knows his drum work - just not his name).
7. Gene Krupa (Great, and I mean Great, Jazz Drummer)
5. Hal Blaine (Interesting inclusion - studio guy but appeared on like 35k recordings)
4. Neal Peart (Four is pretty awesome for Peart considering Rich isn't even in the top 10 - I suspect that would piss him off almost as much)
3. Ginger Baker (Honestly, maybe should be #1 IMHO - musical genius, sure also kind of an a-hole but a total genius drummer, played in Cream most popularly if you are not familiar)
2. Keith Moon (Iconic, amazing, everyone knows him, but let's face it, sloppy and self-destructive - as much as I love his work, this is very high)
1. John Bonham (I wore a black armband the day he died at my Junior High School, so, I am a fan, but I think this may be a bit high too - he is clearly benefiting from this being a Rolling Stone list)
If I were going to get grumpy it would be for higher placement of:
Buddy Rich (I mean come on #15?)
Charlie Watts (ALWAYS in the pocket - ALWAYS - has anyone ever heard Charlie outside of the pocket? Seems low to me at #12)
Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste (The Meters man, the Meters, if you don't know..you should know)
Tony Williams (one of Miles collaborators)
Billy Cobham (another of Miles collaborators)
Clifton James (I mean arguably created the Bo Diddley Beat)
Again, just thrilled people are getting out from behind the kit in the press for once!
Who are your favorite drummers and why? What criteria should Rolling Stone have used? Let me know what you think, Leave a comment!