The 10 best drummers in rock history

Singers and guitarists are the band members that generally attract most attention from fans and press. However, drummers, despite playing a key role in the sound of rock bands, can often go unnoticed. This slideshow seeks to right that wrong and bring to your attention the 10 best drummers in the history of rock music.

John Bonham

John Bonham was Led Zeppelin’s drummer until his death, aged 32, in 1980. He is remembered for his technical skill, fluidity and his loud and powerful style of drumming. One of his most celebrated drum solos came on the song “Moby Dick” which features on the album “Led Zeppelin II” released in 1969. Bonham has influenced many generations of drummers and has received many posthumous awards and accolades.

Related: Top 10 British rock groups of all time

Keith Moon

Keith Moon achieved fame as the drummer of The Who. Experts described his style as “savage” because of his exuberance and innovation when behind the drum kit. He would avoid basic rhythms and based his technique on speed. He died, aged 32, just weeks after the band had completed the album “Who are you” in 1978.

Related: Top 10 "live fast, die young" rockers

Dave Grohl

After having been in various bands during the 1980s, Dave Grohl became the drummer of a little-known band called Nirvana in 1990. The band shot to global fame with the release of the album “Nevermind”. Following the suicide of lead singler Kurt Cobain in 1994, Grohl released two solo albums. He then went on to form the band Foo Fighters, leaving the drums behind to become lead singer. He picked up his drum sticks again to play with the group Them Crooked Vultures in 2009.

Related: Top 10 rockers who should be dead but aren't

Ringo Starr

As a member of the most famous pop group the world has ever known, Ringo Starr is one drummer who was always going to achieve fame and recognition. As The Beatles began to conquer the music world, Starr began to receive acclaim for his innovative techniques behind the drum kit. Traditionally, drummers had held each individual drum stick slightly differently, but Starr preferred to hold them in the same way in both hands.

Related: Britain's most talented musicians

Joey Jordison

Joey Jordison was part of several bands until he joined the group "The Pale Ones" in 1995. The band later changed its name to "Slipknot". Jordison has also drummed live with other artists such as Metallica and Rob Zombie.

Related: 20 Moments that changed modern music forever

Lars Ulrich

Lars Ulrich is a founder member of the heavy metal band Metallica. His style of drumming is varied. It ranges from the simple rhythms found on the "Black Album" to much faster and complex sections like those on the albums “Master of Puppets" and "And Justice for All".

Related: 10 odd band food demands

Simon Phillips

This drummer is a British musician of high standing among his fellow musicians. He has played with bands such as Asia, Judas Priest and The Who. However, it is with the band Toto that he has received the greatest accolades. He was recruited by the band after the death of Jeff Porcaro and continues as the group’s drummer to this day.

Related: How to make it in the music industry

Carl Palmer

This British musician is one of the most respected drummers in rock history. He has formed part of several bands such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Asia. He has also worked on material with Mike Oldfield.

Related: The top 8 UK music festivals

Steven Adler

Steven Adler is rightly credited with playing a fundamental part in the sound Guns N’ Roses’ 1987 debut album "Appetite for Destruction". His live drumming is known for its toughness and brutality. It is a style which has been widely imitated by many other drummers.

Related: Amazing musicians you have never heard of

Peter Criss

Peter Criss demonstrated his musical talents from a young age and was able to play many songs by ear. His parents natured his talent and made sure he received the best musical instruction they could afford. He is one of the founding members of the rock group Kiss and he played a big part in defining the theatrical image of the band.

Related: Great writers who lived like rock stars

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author