Favourite drummers

By timhorton69 timhorton69
updated 4 months ago

In alphabetical order.

For me, a great drummer is someone who doesn't bash the hardest, or has the most complex grooves; they're someone who is intensely musical, can talk within the song, and groove and swing with a slippery ease.

  1. Phil Collins

    Collins is like Graham Jarvis, only more intense: his drumming creates a thick universe of its own. He seems to slip over the drumkit and gather in every sound possible from it, mounting up a dense percussive mass, out of which the rest of the song can seem to spark or radiate, as exemplified by Sussudio.

  2. Graham Jarvis

    Jarvis is in my list solely for Wired For Sound (I don't know what other work he's done). I'm not sure exactly what that beat is, or how he achieves it, but it's so skippy and airy, but punchy and damn catchy, it just drags me out of my seat. He seems to make a whole universe swirl around and slightly outside the rest of that song, so that he lifts it into the ethereal abstraction signalled by the lyrics.

  3. Stephen Morris

    Morris is intense, wired and wound up, the epitome of a new wave drummer. He often seems to be behind the beat, so a slow song becomes even more hesitant and despondent; yet on songs like "Face Up" (off Low-life) or "Bizarre Love Triangle" (off Brotherhood), he seems to run scared and lead the song headlong over the precipice.

  4. Steve Prestwich

    Swinging jazzy grooves are Prestwich's hallmark, so cool and fluid, and seemingly so out of place in Oz rock, which makes Cold Chisel's work, and his contribution to it, all the more remarkable. Under Prestwich's percussive control, the reggae-influenced "Best Kept Lies" (off East) becomes a smoky, languid but almost funky chilled piece of despair.

  5. Bob Siebenberg

    To me, Siebenberg is the consummate musical drummer, absolutely precise, yet fully engaged with the rest of the music, versatile and flexible. He doesn't just hold the groove, he holds a conversation with all other elements of the song, including the instruments, the vocals, and the melody. On Dreamer, he doesn't just underpin the rhythm, but smacks up against the self-directed and separated vocal elements, simultaneously trying to knock a kind of sense into them, but also spinning them out of kilter, and all the while driving the song forward to an undefined resolution. With Dougie Thomson on "Even in the Quietest Moments" (off the eponymous Even In The Quietest Moments...), he turns a beautiful self-reflective song into a transcendant meditation, without overwhelming the song's inherent intimacy. Yet I also love how he whacks out a smacking groove on the live version of Cannonball (off It Was The Best Of Times).

  6. Ringo Starr

    I often read that Ringo's talent is overstated, yet he's been the drummer that has engaged me the longest. He's got such a loose flicky feel that seems to ramble over or under a song, helping to set songs free rather than locking them in. To me the scattering and messy beats of "A Day in the Life" (off Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band) are one of the best aspects of the song: it seems to skid all over the place without settling anywhere.