Now we are into the best of the best. Artist's who in one way or another, have dramatically impacted their band, the music or just reset the bar for how the Drums need to be played in order to get noticed.
Spot #5 on my list, goes to someone that really didn't get as much recognition for his talent, but has always been thought of as the glue that kept the band and their music together. Ian Paice often amazed wanna-be Drummers by the complexity of his play. With nothing more than 1 Bass, 1 Snare, 3 Tom-Toms and a couple of symbols, songs like Highway Star, Space Truckin' and Hush brought to light Ian's greatest talent as mentioned earlier. These were songs that could tear the band up during live performances, were it not for the driving leadership of Ian himself. As Gene and Buddy lead large orchestras with their abilities, Ian lead several variations of Deep Purple to some of the tightest live performances and most incredible studio tracks ever recorded. Ian Paice is something that every Drummer no matter what genre you happen to fit into wants to be. Ian is a Drummers Drummer. I've seen seven of these 10 plus minute sessions of his live and I can still only wonder in amazement, at his ability to keep it all together and maintain what he's always been known for. Simple perfection.
You'll have to go HERE to be amazed. They've disabled embedding for some reason.
Number 4 on my little list, is a Drummer that went far too un-recognized for his contributions to our art. The creator of incorporating rolls and stop and chop drumming, did not come about these talents easily. Bill Ward came about them out of necessity. The creative juices inspiring the writing for Black Sabbath, took no mercy on the percussion sections of any song. Young Mr. Ward would just have to figure it out on his own. And figure it out he did! Making his Drums an integral and very alive part of the band that Black Sabbath would soon become. Bill was one of the pioneers of following the bass guitar riffs to get the percussion sounds he was looking for. A method copied by just about every Drummer that played any kind of grunge'esque type music, from the 90's through to today.
And now we take things to an entirely new level kiddies. These three Drummers are so incredible at what they do and how they play, they deserve every detail of attention for their skill, commitment and development of each of their styles that I can give them.
Numero tres is a modern Cuban and the new Ricky Ricardo. What's that? Oh! Okay for the younger crowd out there, this is Ricky Ricardo.
Taking the art of percussion to new hieghts, new sounds and without a shadow of a doubt at all, certainly to new speeds! Slayer's Dave Lombardo sets the bar pretty high for anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps. He has always had the fastest feet and hands of just about any Drummer out there playing today, but on the album Christ Illusion, even Dave surprised himself. Where we have Ignatious, The Drummer World has Dave. " the godfather of double bass." His creativity and innovation in style of play is unique only to him. Oh there of course have been immitators, but faint images of Dave at best. All using gimmicks of some kind to detract from there short comings as real Drummers in the brotherhood. Until I see otherwise, Dave will always be his own one of a kind Drummer to me!
Now for the least popular decision on the list, by far I'm sure!
Here's where I can address STB's concerns about me "bashing" Tommy Lee of Motley Crew. You see Tommy Lee and number two on my list, are absolute polar opposites. Tommy is a legend built far more on myth and character, than on his actual drumming abilities. NOT to say that he is not good! Tommy Lee is one of the best Drummers to come out of the 80's for certain, just not good enough to be on any top 10 list of Drummers. In fact in my humble opinion, he would have to be placed below Peter Criss of Kiss, the Drummer he takes the vast majority of his inspiration from when he plays. Tommy Lee built his legend, on the wings of the "rock and roll" lifestyle. Motley Crew was hugely successful and rightfully deserve any and all praise that they receive, just not because of the way that Tommy Lee played the Drums. He was good, the band as a whole was just better. But Tommy Lee's popularity and mythical or real life persona, make him one of the single most popular known Drummers in the World.
Number two on my list is also a bit legendary, but not for too many good reasons. If Drumming can be considered the soul to any good music, playing for the artistic style of James Hetfield and Metallica must be like throwing a dozen razor sharp knives into the air, just to sit there and hope that they all happen to miss you when they come down. Lars Ulrich has managed to dodge those knives repeatedly, all while maintaining a beat that is totally unique in style and sound.
Unlike Tommy Lee, Lars is pretty well known for being an asshole. There are so many reasons for this that no one could list them all I don't think. Most notably the "sell out" that was Bob Rock and the album Metallica, was largely thought to be a decision made by Lars alone. That sent the die-hard thrashers away in droves and helped make Lars the bad guy that ruined Metallica. I don't know the man, so I neither like or hate anything to do with him personally. I do hate the personna that he displays at almost any time the lights are on him however so, I'll go with what he shows the World to be himself, is pretty much the asshole that he has become so well known for around that World.
But he does have my full respect and admiration for his skill at the seat of a Drum kit! I will give him that. Considering how much input Lars has with song directions and sounds while writing, it's astonishing that he continues to challenge the Drums and what he can do on them in any given song! His image and his skill, are a large part of why Death Magnetic is not as popular as it should be. Old fans are not ready to return to a Metallica, that has such a predominant Lars Ulrich sound and feel.
I could offer up the Enter Sandman intro as a sample of this man's total domination and understanding of a set of Drums and how they support the song, but I think All Nightmare Long may just be the ultimate example of how much of a total package Lars Ulrich really is. Stop and chop, thrash it out and softly support the rythm like he always does. Like him or hate him, no real Drummer will tell you that Lars can't play.
And so we come down to #1.
Based on all the criteria that each of the previous Drummers have been judged by, there is only one Drummer that the words absolute perfection can be associated with. They that judge such Drummers also use words such as "best technical, most stamina, simply genius" and also, "the one and only" to describe Drummer Neil Peart. Simply put, "Neil Peart is the most popular Drummer today. When it comes to voting in Modern Drummer or Drummerworld - Neil Peart is always the No. 1."
He is that for a reason. Neil Peart is the new standard that any Drummer shall ever be judged by. Consider that he wrote this song and then had to figure out what he was going to do to fit the Drums into it. His creative genius has no boundries because of his ability to play.
When I say that Neil Peart is the new standard, I mean no disrespect to Gene and Buddy. When Cathy Rich, Buddy's daughter wanted someone to play with Buddy's former band members at a charity gala, the entire Drum World told her one name. See how you think he did....
In the typical Neil Peart quest for perfection Neil wrote this afterwards.
"And yet...I still had a nagging feeling that when I played in that style, I was just imitating it, not really feeling it properly. As the old Duke Ellington standard goes, 'It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing', and I didn’t think I did."
I guess when you deserve and have no real critics, you have to be pretty damn hard on yourself about everything!
So there you have it! The official Bam-Bam Top 10 best pure Drummers ever list. I hope you enjoyed it, as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....