Stylus Magazine’s 50 Greatest Rock Drummers.

Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
edited December 2008 in History of Rock

Everything you need to about rock and roll drumming, you can learn from a YouTube video of an Asian man trying to sell you a Creative keyboard. “Rock and roll is very simple. Just four counts. And on every count, play the hi-hat….On the first and the third beat, play the bass drum. On the second and fourth, play the snare drum. This is rock and roll.” Just like every great rock drummer worth their salt, though, he soon goes off, striking the keyboard like a wild man, adding flourishes and fills like he’s been playing this thing for years. The following list operates in the same way. Rock and roll is very simple. Some of these 50 drummers helpled define it, some of them redefined it, and some of them ignored it altogether. So, without further ado, Stylus Magazine’s 50 Greatest Rock Drummers.

50. Rat Scabies
49. Damon Che
48. Janet Weiss
47. Brian Chase
46. Billy Cobham
45. Lol Tolhurst / Boris Williams
44. Grant Hart
43. Hal Blaine
42. Gary Young
41. Ziggy Modeliste
40. Mik Glaisher
39. Tony Allen
38. Igor Cavalera
37. Jeremiah Green
36. John Densmore
35. Hugo Burnham
34. Zach Hill
33. Steve Shelley
32. Reni
31. Jim Eno
30. Clyde Stubblefield
29. Brendan Canty
28. Al Jackson, Jr.
27. Yoshimi P-We
26. Ringo Starr
25. Levon Helm
24. Jimmy Chamberlin
23. Bill Bruford
22. Neil Peart
21. Larry Mullen, Jr.
20. Bill Berry
19. Joe Easley
18. Mitch Mitchell
17. Bill Ward
16. Ginger Baker
15. Klaus Dinger
14. Glen Kotche
13. Tony Thompson
12. Chris Frantz
11. Dave Lombardo
10. Bernard Purdie
09. Moe Tucker
08. Stewart Copeland
07. Topper Headon
06. Dave Grohl
05. Stephen Morris
04. Charlie Watts
03. Jaki Leibezeit
02. Keith Moon
01. John Bonham


  • HardRocker12HardRocker12 Rising Star
    edited December 2008
    If this is based off skill, not too good of a list IMO. Dave Grohl is a little close to the top. He's a good drummer (Nirvana is my favorite band) but he should probably be more in the 30s or 40s. And Niel Piert needs to be closer to number one. I am by no means a drumming expert, but that is just my two cents.
  • SteelersFreak1SteelersFreak1 Opening Act
    edited December 2008
    Dave Grohl at 6 and Peart at 22 ruins the credibility of this list. Grohl is a great drummer, but that's ridiculous.
  • a21schizoidmana21schizoidman Prog-nosticator
    edited December 2008
    Bonham at 1? and No mention of Palmer or Brewer? this list sucks
  • thedoorsdkthedoorsdk Road Warrior
    edited December 2008
    As I was scrolling down I saw Peart somewhere in the middle and ignored the rest.
    As with all "greatest" lists, this one has missed the mark completely.
    Also, what the hell is Stylus magazine? What makes them qualified to create such a list?
  • Soror_YZBLSoror_YZBL Road Warrior
    edited December 2008
    I was actually happy to see peart so low. I wanted to see steve shelley up there more, too. I actually found the list by looking for pics of Mr. Shelley and wondering how he could be so chubby after his insane drumming skillz. I'm of the "neil peart is a pretty good drummer" camp myself. He can play prog and pop really well, but he doesn't have the soul for much else. I suppose that's fine if that's all you listen too. Personally, I feel he's like a drum machine that reads too much Ayn Rand.

    I find the list is actually good, and recognizes a lot of drummers that normally don't get recognized. Steven Morris in the top 10 (and including Janet Weiss) is enough to give it my thumbs up.
  • AxlVanHagarAxlVanHagar Road Warrior
    edited December 2008
    Soror_YZBL wrote: »
    I find the list is actually good, and recognizes a lot of drummers that normally don't get recognized. .

    I would agree with that. I am saddened, though not surprised, to see Neal Smith omitted from the list.
  • supernova1324supernova1324 Headliner
    edited December 2008
    As much as I love Dave Grohl, 6 is a little too high. He should switch places with Neil Peart and that would make more sense.
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited December 2008
    i'm also in the "this list isn't half as bad as most posted here" camp.
  • Shredder87Shredder87 Road Warrior
    edited December 2008
    ....but Lombardo is up there. I'm happy.


    Wait a minute. Somebody had already posted this article a while back.
  • JMcQ77JMcQ77 Opening Act
    edited December 2008
    Dave Grohl and Larry Mullen ahead of Neil Peart? Stewart Copeland behind Grohl? And unless my eyes do deceiveth me, no Danny Carey...anywhere??!!

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