Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Drummers

  • 1. Neil Peart (Rush)
  • 2. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
  • 3. Ginger Baker (Cream)
  • 4. Keith Moon (The Who)
  • 5. Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck)
  • 6. Bill Bruford (Yes)
  • 7. Danny Carey (Tool)
  • 8. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre)
  • 9. Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
  • 10. Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer)
  • 11. Stewart Copeland (The Police)
  • 12. Dave Lombardo (Slayer)
  • 13. Steve Gadd (Steely Dan)
  • 14. Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Sting)
  • 15. Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band)
  • 16. Tim Alexander (Primus)
  • 17. Simon Phillips (Toto, Jeff Beck)
  • 18. Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Winger)
  • 19. Matt Cameron (Soundgarden)
  • 20. Dennis Chambers (Santana)
  • 21. Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)
  • 22. Phil Collins (Genesis)
  • 23. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
  • 24. Virgil Donati (Planet X)
  • 25. Max Weinberg (E Street Band)
  • 26. Vinnie Paul (Pantera)
  • 27. Ansley Dunbar (Jeff Beck, Whitesnake)
  • 28. Mike Shrieve (Santana)
  • 29. David Garibaldi (Tower of Power)
  • 30. Steve Smith (Journey)
  • 31. Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle)
  • 32. Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)
  • 33. Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
  • 34. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath)
  • 35. Alan White (Yes)
  • 36. Carmine Appice (Beck, Bogert & Appice, Vanilla Fudge)
  • 37. Stanton Moore (Galactic)
  • 38. Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
  • 39. Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche)
  • 40. Hal Blaine (Elvis Presley, Beach Boys)
  • 41. Joey Jordison (Slipknot)
  • 42. Marco Minnemann (Weirdoz)
  • 43. Cozy Powell (Rainbow)
  • 44. Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake)
  • 45. Chester Thompson (Santana)
  • 46. Morgan Agren (Frank Zappa)
  • 47. Jeff Porcaro (Toto)
  • 48. Dean Castronovo (Journey)
  • 49. Mike Giles (King Crimson)
  • 50. Jeff Campitelli (Joe Satriani)
  • 51. Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
  • 52. Greg Bissonette (Joe Satriani, David Lee Roth)
  • 53. Ralph Humphrey (Mothers of Invention)
  • 54. Mike Bordin (Faith No More)
  • 55. Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
  • 56. Zak Starkey (The Who)
  • 57. Jon Theodore (The Mars Volta)
  • 58. Phil Ehart (Kansas)
  • 59. Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull)
  • 60. Jimmy Chamberlain (Smashing Pumpkins)
  • 61. Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones)
  • 62. Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
  • 63. Brian Mantia (Primus)
  • 64. Mike Sus (Possessed)
  • 65. Jason Rullo (Symphony X)
  • 66. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Scream)
  • 67. Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson)
  • 68. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac)
  • 69. Raymond Herrera (Fear Factory)
  • 70. Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
  • 71. Matt McDonough (Mudvayne)
  • 72. Scott Travis (Judas Priest)
  • 73. Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam)
  • 74. Roger Taylor (Queen)
  • 75. Jose Pasillas (Incubus)
  • 76. Earl Palmer (session man)
  • 77. BJ Wilson (Procol Harum)
  • 78. Joey Kramer (Aerosmith)
  • 79. Gene Holgan (Death)
  • 80. Danny Seraphine (Chicago)
  • 81. Igor Cavalera (Sepultura)
  • 82. Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy)
  • 83. Travis Barker (Blink 182)
  • 84. Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)
  • 85. Nicholas Barker (Dimmu Borgir)
  • 86. Paul Bostaph (Slayer)
  • 87. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • 88. Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine)
  • 89. Alan Gratzer (REO Speedwagon)
  • 90. Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver)
  • 91. John Dolmayan (System of a Down)
  • 92. Chad Sexton (311)
  • 93. Mark Zonder (Fate's Warning)
  • 94. Gary Husband (Level 42)
  • 95. John Densmore (The Doors)
  • 96. Jon Fishman (Phish)
  • 97. Al Jackson (MG's)
  • 98. Jim Gordon (Derek & the Dominos)
  • 99. Dave Abbruzzese (Pearl Jam)
  • 100. Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains)

Where are these people sir.

Jaki Liebezeit? (Can)
Alan John "Reni" Wren (The Stone Roses)
Britt Walford (Slint)
Maureen Tucker (The Velvet Underground)
Klaus Dinger (Neu)

Don't know, but it's Rolling Stones' list, so I can't take the credit

Oh ok.


No problem. I've never been a huge fan of the lists Rolling Stone makes, but I like to read them nonetheless. This list of theirs isn't too bad, I thought.

"This list of theirs isn't too bad, I thought."

From what I've gathered, its very likely that this isn't a Rolling Stone list at all.

Haha I know, I mentioned that in the author's note. The comment above yours is a couple of years old :P

haha, oh... whoops

How about Larry Mullen, Jr. (U2) ?

Where is Mel Gaynor ?? This crapy list seems to be just someone's favourite bands! What about actual technical ability. This list is littered with average drummers with a few good ones thrown in. Ringo star was not a top drummer. Famous yes as the case with half this list

Rolling Stone never did a list of the Top 100 drummers. Someone made this list and tried to pass it off as coming from the magazine. Do a search if you don't believe me. It's not anywhere on their site, and the only references to it come from message boards.

Meh, I'll take your word for it. I did suspect something peculiar about it-it's somewhat decent.

lol. My thoughts exactly. RS are responsible for some truly atrocious lists.

like when Kurt Cobain was ranked #12 on 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time while John Frusciante was left at #18...under Kirk Hammett, Keith Richards, Jack White, and Johnny Ramone. That list thoroughly pissed me off and incinerated any shred of credibility RS had with me from that point forward. RS is a fucking joke.

I'm confused. Where's Bernard Purdie? Where's Buddy Rich? Surely anyone interested in drumming should know of them...

This list is awful! It's as bad as any of the Rolling Stone magazine "Greatest" lists!

How the hell is Neil Peart number one? I dont get it, cause..
#1. Rush SUCKS
#2. Bonham came before Neil. Neil wouldn't even be alive if it werent for Bonham. Bonham was and will forever be the greatest drummer in the world.

And where the hell is Jimmy Chamberlin?

Number 60- there's 59 drummers who are better than him? Wtf

1.) That's your opinion. If you seriously believe Neil shouldn't be number one just because of that, you're a fucking moron.
2.) By your logic, Keith Moon came before Bonzo, so without Keith there would be no Bonzo, Peart, Baker, etc. so Keith is the greatest drummer of all time, hallelujah!!1!!111!!1one!

No. The criteria for a greatest drummers list should be like this: Influence, Innovation/Originality, Creativity, Technical Ability and Versatility.

Influence: Bonham, though Peart doesn't trail far behind
Innovation/Originality: Bonham, again Peart ain't fair behind, but Bonzo did with one bass drum what most people could only do with two.
Creativity: Peart. Bonzo basically did the same heavy-hitting drumming throughout his entire career, while Peart made use of several different techniques. Hell, listen to the drumwork on La Villa Strangiato. I'd argue Keith Moon to be more creative than Bonzo
Technical Ability: Peart by a fucking landslide. Any 5 year old could play what Bonzo did.
Versatility: Peart. Bonzo was stuck in the same old hard rock type drumming for his entire career, while Peart varied from Hard Rock through Rock to Progressive, and Progressive drumming is always very interesting.

"Technical Ability: Peart by a fucking landslide. Any 5 year old could play what Bonzo did."

I doubt that any 5 year could play bass note triplets with one foot.

I think I saw in a movie once about Rolling Stone being against the whole Led Zeppelin bandwagon which I agree with and they've listed Meshuggah as one of the metal bands to watch yet Thomas haake isnt even on this list? Is there a Zeppelin song that a 5 year old couldnt play? I've even heard this guy get off beat on one of their songs, i mean really? I watched several drummers attempt to mimic Haake's performance on "Bleed" when Meshuggah had a contest and not even the winner had it close! Who is coming up with this stuff?

Okay, I just read the list and Dave Mackintosh isn't on it. Haven't the Rolling Stone ever heard of Dragonforce? For f*** sake!!!!!!!!

Now thats just gay.


Um, Jeremiah Green?

Sully Erna -- hello, awesome drum battles, youtube it, people. He should be up there top 25. Oh, and wth.. no Bill Kreutzmann? He should be top 3, maybe not over Peart, but c'mon guys!

@nickkkk are you fucking stupid? Dude Rush is an incredible band, they have been around for 42 years, still kicking ass. They have been very influential on very many bands. Neil Peart is an incredibly talented musician, by my opinion he is in the right spot at number #1.

Neil Peart on there? Respectable. Bonham, Moon, etc? Nooooo problem. Overall, for the most part, this is a decent list, but its one MASSIVE flaw is that Rick Allen of Def Leppard is not on the list.

Hmmm... Where's the greatest drummer on earth?? Jimmy ''The Rev'' Sullivan ??

Dead. Hahaha

I love bands like The Beatles, The Who, and Rush; but their drummers don't have the talent or skill that someone like The Rev does

Rush's drummer I think is one of the top 10 best drummers but The Rev is more like a top 30 or if he's lucky a top 20 or 15 if he's really lucky though he didn't have a long enough life to show his full potential.

Also if I made a list like this I'd mainly pick drummers that are tecnically really good and not just sounds like what I like though I would also choose on that though what I like is usually tecnichally good.

For anyone who thinks The Rev, Travis Barker or Joey Jordinson deserve to be here, please kindly GTFO. None of those three have the influence, originality, skill or creativity to even be considered for this list.

Plus, everyone who says 'omg bonham/peart/moon/etc. aren't skilled like this guy they dont deserve to be that high blah blah im a moron', shut up! Skill alone is not enough for a drummer to get on a greatest drummers list! notice 'GREATEST drummers'. That includes influence, originality, creativity AND skill.

Anyways, this list seems vaguely reminiscent of one I've seen on Maybe a precursor? A pretty bad precursor, at that. I think the top 20 is more like this now:
1.) Neil Peart
2.) John Bonham
3.) Keith Moon
4.) Ginger Baker
5.) Bill Bruford
6.) Carl Palmer
7.) Terry Bozzio
8.) Ian Paice
9.) Hal Blaine
10.) Dave Lombardo
11.) Danny Carey
12.) Ringo Starr
13.) Mike Portnoy
14.) Carmine Appice
15.) Earl Palmer
16.) Jeff Porcaro
17.) Stewart Copeland
18.) Bernard Purdie
19.) Bill Ward
20.) Benny Benjamin
Pretty decent list, really.

for you to say that about The Rev isn't just ignorant, it's fuckin cold man. to compare him to travis barker? wow that's brutal. he may not be in your top whatever but fuck rankings within music anyways. he was an amazing and extremely underrated drummer. look past the genre and the speed and just listen to his technical prowess.

Oh boy, an Avenged Sevenfold fanboy come to release their holy wrath upon me! lol
Get over yourself, the Rev was an average drummer in a popular band, and as a result is hugely overrated by people like you who think he's the greatest drummer to ever walk the earth. He has NO influence, NO creativity, NO musical impact and absolutely NO versatility. He isn't great on skill either. Dave Weckl, Steve Gadd, Bill Bruford, Terry Bozzio, Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, Carl Palmer, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart... they are just some examples of extremely skilled drummers who also score well in the things I mentioned before.

It is all subjective, but realistically, rock drummers cannot hold a candle to the best jazz drummers.

Buddy Rich
Jo Jones
Elvin Jones
Max Roach
Louie Bellson
Dave Weckl
Steve Gadd
Dennis Chambers
Jeff Tain Watts
Paul Motian
Joe Morello


As great as Neil Peart is, he pales by comparison to those men. And I love Rush.

I didn't compare anyone to anyone, you're simply pissed because I'm dismissing a member of the band you so obviously seem to love. Fucking fanboys.
And in my experience, he's unbelievably OVERRATED by A7X fanboys like you.
'Look past the speed and listen to his technical prowess' Isn't technical prowess being able to play fast? lol

lol ok man your vast, elitist knowledge is far more powerful than mine. you win. i should never have tried to go against your infallible word. please find it in your heart to forgive this lowly fool.

Since you seem so certain of yourself and your vast elitist knowledge of half-rate sellout metal bands is far greater than mine, please enlighten me as to what makes The Rev so skilled.

k buddy how can you say travis barker doesnt deserve to be on the list? if anything he should be way higher than what he is right now. You want to talk about influence? that band he was in influenced a whole generation with there music and they would be nowhere without travis. Originality? kindly send me some links to some drummers before his time that replicate what he does and do it as good or better then him because to me the speed he can play at is remarkable and i dont know many other drummers that can do it. Skill and creativity, seriously man this guy is full of that he is one of most gifted drummers to ever play the instrument especially in the last 20 years. from your list what i see is a bunch of old guys, dont get me wrong i have a lot of respect for them and you cant deny that they did a lot for the instrument, but that was a long time ago and there are new drummers rising as some of the greats and travis is one of them.

"Skill alone is not enough for a drummer to get on a greatest drummers list! notice 'GREATEST drummers'. That includes influence, originality, creativity AND skill."

That's how they determine their list, and is not in any way, shape, or form, the definitive way to determine how great a drummer is.

My Lord, how could they leave off one of the all time great drummers of the 70's - Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad. I'm sure their others who should be on this list.

smokeweed, I agree with you, The Rev is a great drummer and deserves a spot on the list. Also on the "revised" top 20 list above, where is Carter Beauford??
Now I know the Rev may be a stretch but Carter Beauford is undeniably one of the best and should be in at least the top 20. Ringo Starr???? Really, Icon maybe, talent PFFFFFT!!! What did his set consist of? A snare bass and a symbol???? You learn one beat and you learn every Beatles song ever played. He may have been part of the biggest band ever, but he isn't one of the elite. But please no-one get there panties in a bind, this is opinion based:)

Thanks man. I find it kind of funny that he put Mike Portnoy at 13 under Ringo fuckin Starr and proceeds to bash on The Rev. The worst part is that Art Blakey is nowhere to be found on his list or the original list. In all technicality, if you are judging based on "influence, originality, creativity AND skill", Art deserves to be #1 on that list above Pert, Moon, and Bonham without question. He probably didn't know who Art was until he googled it after he read my comment though.

By the way, is doa944 supposed to be a reference to the Foo Fighters? If so, I fuckin love you ahahha

I take it you don't know anything about drums, and think that hitting the drums super fast = greatness.

In reference to Starr vs. Portnoy: Portnoy is more skilled and a TINY bit more creative than Ringo. Ringo did have the same beat in many songs, but that beat was probably as creative as anything Portnoy ever did. Ringo quite comfortably takes influence and innovation, and I'd say they're probably tied on versatility, since neither really did anything outside of metal/rock. So Ringo's lead in innovation and creativity beats Portnoy's lead in skill and creativity.

And as for Art Blakey: I don't claim the list to be the greatest all-genre drummers of all time. If it came off that way, then that's my bad, the list I posted was the 20 greatest ROCK drummers (and rock strictly. No jazz/fusion/whatever). But if I did, I doubt Art would be in the top 10. Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham... and that's just in jazz. He may be more skilled than the 3 you mentioned, but they beat him in other criteria. Plus, do you want me to provide a list of more skilled drummers than him?

And as for the retarded generalisation; first off, I said in my post the list I posted was from a different website. Congratulations for not being able to read. And secondly; though I forgot to post 'greatest rock drummers of all time' in my post, you should have the common sense to know that if I'm going on about 'creativity/versatility, influence, innovation and skill' then surely I must have some idea about drummers outside of rock. Buddy Rich is, in my opinion, the greatest drummer to have ever walked the Earth.

And as for the Rev; once again, explain what makes him great. From what I've seen, he has little to no influence, versatility, creativity or innovation, and not a great deal of skill. So while you can whine and cry all you want because I hates Avenged Sevenfold (and what a fucking terrible band they are), you're not going to get anywhere. The Rev is not a great drummer. End of.

I just want to chime in with my opinions on this because I personally claim to enjoy and appreciate all genres of music. I've read all of the comments and just had two-eight cents to throw into the mix. Please remember, and respect, that these are just opinions (now I'm just hoping I remember everything I wanted to contribute).

Jimmy Sullivan - R.I.P. - I can make an argument for both directions. He's a definitive part for a very creative and popular band. He's got boat loads of charisma and yes, he's talented enough to throw down speed metal beats and maintain 4/4 on their 'ballads'. On the City of Evil Album he goes off and does some very unique things but I think he sort of gets complacent and, dare I say, digress after that album? I love Avenged Sevenfold because of their support for our American Troops (I'm in the military) but I would never consider them one of the greatest bands of all time (too many genres) and I probably wouldn't consider them a Top 50 metal or Top 50 rock band . . . so no, I don't think Rev should be on this list but I can appreciate what he brought to A7X.

Joey Jordison - He was thrown into Adam's original 'dare you to tell me [these guys] are great drummers' comment. For me . . . Jordison should be a bit higher on this list. If we're talking influence, versatility, creativity/innovation and skill . . . this man certainly has positives in every category. For me, Joey's beats take on their own emotion and really set the tone for the music. Whether you're a Slipknot fan or not, there's a certain bit of respect that should be thrown out when the front man of a band (in this case Corey Taylor) consults with his drummer before deciding how he's going to sing the song based on what the drummer is going to do with the lyrics. Not only is that peer influence but there's no doubt that Slipknot has paved the way for nu-speed-metal (again, my opinion). There are plenty of metal bands before Slipknot that drum faster or drum harder or drum, overall, better . . . but I'm hard pressed to find someone that drums as fast AND as hard as WELL as Jordison. And he blows the roof off of creativity/innovation . . . the dude holds 250bpm in intricate drum solos while rotating upside down and diagonally across a mechanized pentagram . . .

Ringo Starr: I actually like his rating on the list Adam posted. Maybe drop him down a peg or two (I'd like Portney above and it'd be a toss up with Appice). Ringo was extremely talented and it's BECAUSE of his simplicity. A drummer's job is the keep the song together . . . not outshine the rest of the band. Even though I like Jordison I'll be a hypocrite and say that Starr is better for being the exact opposite. Where JJ is known for his fast beats and being the "evil root" of the song and spinning upside down on pentagrams, THAT is exactly what he's known for . . . Starr is known for keeping the song's together and doing exactly what he had to and nothing more (even though I'm sure he was able to) . . . to me that's beautiful and respectable . . . a lost art, certainly. His work on The White Album would rate in my top 10 drumming album of all time.

Neil Peart: Shouldn't have to say anything. Absolute master of his craft. To me it's as if he wanted his work to 'speak' to the listener as a second voice and to me he's the only person that pulls that off. Clear cut number one for me. Anyone that says Rush sucks probably thinks Justin Beiber should have taken home Grammy's.

That's all I'll say for now. Just my thoughts.

"He may be more skilled than the 3 you mentioned, but they beat him in other criteria."

Ummmmm... am I missing something here? Last time I checked, there wasn't any criteria for this list, it was just some bullshit put together by Rolling Stone.

Oh I see, you like referring to this website.

"Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham..." That looks alot like their top 7. Quoting someone else's deductions and conclusions and asserting them like they're just an extension of your own knowledge is not a legitimate way to argue IMO.

EDIT: that is their top 7.

write an essay.. tl;dr

That is probably the stupidest fucking acronym I've ever seen. If your mind is too fucking simple and lazy to read something that isn't even fucking long, don't fucking reply. Jesus Christ, you're a moron.

the internet is serious business adam j lawton

Neil peart is no.1, but a old time faverite is also Jerry Mercer from April Wine. Also he still rocks hard at close to 70 years of age. Also just seen a vid of Buddy Rich, he was great. Travis Barker just seems to bang hard and fast, makes a lot of noise, but that's only my opinion.

Unbelievable how the rev can be over looked like this. I've listened to classic rock my whole life, no problem with Neil and Bonham etc. Joey Jordison, my favorite drummer until I discovered Avenged. Joey and the rev are a few on a short list that had or have no limit of their technical ability. They can pretty much play any thing they want. The big difference is creativity. The reasons the rev should be on the list.

City of Evil. This album is outstanding showcase for Jimmy. This album alone should put him on the list. If u haven't heard u should. Blinded in Chains if I had to pick one. Skill. Score for the Rev.

Self titled Avenged Sevenfold. The rev did not get complacent or digress. Quite the opposite. When you really listen he took his drumming to the next level. First off, this album has at least 3 songs that move from 4/4, 2/2, and 3/4. #1 Critical Acclaim, #2 Almost Easy and an absolute masterpiece A Little Piece of Heaven, I think #10. No metal band has ever done anything as creative as this song. Time signature changes including 3/4, creative?
Score for the Rev.

The cymbal work in this last album is spectacular. Even in slower songs when an accented beats 1 and 3 are nesassary and usually boring he those in complex syncopation and original work. So he didn't just beat the bass drum 250 bpm for three minutes in every song ( sry Jordison is kinda one dimensional), Jimmy made real music. He created a mood and emotion for every song. Especially on this their self titled album. Real out of the box creative stuff. Haters should really give cd another chance.

Jimmy the Rev and Matt Shadows are ( or were ) the song writers for Avenged. Jimmy was a solid piano player and one he'll of a singer. He sang in prob close to half their songs. And not just background. Main melodies in several. Critical Acclaim and A Little Piece of Heaven come to mind. Singing melodies while double bassing and playng crazy syncopation, and of course lots of the background vocals. Talent? By the way singing and playing is the only thing Ringo Star ever did that was creative. Much love to the Beatles but influence is the only thing he has. He should be much lower.

Now I have to touch on Portnoy. I'm sure everyone knows Portnoy is avenged new drummer. Their Nightmare album is all him. Matt and Jimmy had written the lyrics and had a general theme for about half of the songs. These licks are all Portnoy. Please don't miss understand I love this album, Portnoy, and Avenged and they are lucky to have a legend step in for Jimmy. (Portnoy was Jimmys favorite drummer and his biggest influence FYI). When you compare the self titled album and nightmare the differences are clear. Although mikes feet are unbelievable, his cymbal work is very blah. Just steady 1234 in pretty much every song. He does do some 3/4 time in Save Me, (another masterpiece), but nothing as creative or melodic As Jimmy does. Trust me if listened to these two CDs for hundreds of hour each, literally. Portnoy is awesome but even he can't replace Jimmy. I love Jordison but such a skilled yet one dimensional drummer is not better than Jimmy. The pentagram is one of the coolest things I've seen hut it's just smoke and mirrors brother. Some may prefer not see the Rev for what he really did but me, my eyes are wide fucking open. By the way Adam, you may be the most ignorant smart guy on the planet.

Every where you look in this album the Rev is doing things out of the box.

Sorry about the grammar. I'm typing on an iPhone. Last sentence was supposed to be In the middle and misspelled words everywhere. I'm sure Adam will have a heyday with that.

Ok first of all, Ringo Starr should be much higher; not only was he good, but he was drummer for one of the most successful bands of rock!
Second, Lars Ulrich should also be higher because Metallica wouldn't have sounded as good without a drummer like him!
Third, How can Ginger Baker be third?! Was he that well known, or that good? Not saying that he was bad, but third?
And fourth, Keith Moon, fourth? Really? He was good, but he wasn't that good. Sure The Who needed him, and he kept good rhythms, but four? Not that high!

That's hardly a credible argument. Could you please back up those claims? Ginger Baker played for Cream btw; just some obscure little underground band. No big deal or anything...

His influence extends to probably half the drummers on this list, minimum.

Honestly. Some people. Tsk tsk

Terrible arguments.

1.) Saying Ringo should be higher simply because he was in the Beatles was retarded. Charlie Watts is in the Rolling Stones, but he fucking sucks ass.
2.) Lars shouldn't be higher, his drumming is the most boring, basic run-of-the-mill rock drumming in the world (besides Charlie Watts)
3.) I could see Keith and Ginger swapping, but are you fucking kidding me??? There's a little band called 'Cream', you may have heard of them? Yeah, that band that Clapton played in in the 60's.
4.) 'Not that good'? ALL your arguments have been based off saying 'omg this guy is good move him up but this guy isn't move him down!' which is purely subjective (your opinion). In a greatest drummers of rock list, Moon rapes the shit out of everyone except Bonzo and Peart, and even then it's close.

This message is destined to everyone, not only to Adam:

After seeing all these comments, I decided to react. Listen people, a "Greatest Drummers Of All Time List" is a very personal thing, and it shows one's opinions about who's better and who's first and blah blah. You shouldn't quarrel over this, because it will lead to nothing: like I said, everyone has his own opinions, and we must respect them, whatever they are.

And you shouldn't criticize drummers by saying "he fucking sucks ass". Instead, saying "i think that..." is a lot more adequate way to express your feelings about it in a situation like this.

Why ? First of all, because what do you know? Who the hell are you to judge people like that? Huh? Who are you to say all this? Second of all, if you simply say that "his drumming is the most boring rock drumming in the world", that means everybody thinks the same way. That's not true at all. That's why you should say "i think that.." or "personally" just like Molasses did. Jeez, this is like the most basic rule of all.

If you people don't respect other's opinions, seriously, f off.

I'm not going to express my point of view on the topic of who's better or who should be on that list, cause first that's just stupid and second people like Adam would completely disrespect and criticize in a cruel way the drummers I prefer over the drummers they do.

That's all.

You obviously miss the entire point of this so if you have no opinion on the SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION then dont interupt the grownups again.

I agree with Neil Peart at one, but Dave Grohl should have been higher... Rev should be on here.
btw, Molasses, you are my new favorite person. The Rev did so much more then drumming too, it shouldn't be overlooked.

I know Ginger Baker played for Cream, I guess I just didn't listen hard enough for his drumming.

All the talk about "The Rev" on here I thought Id check him out and after at least half a dozen youtube videos trying to find something at least remotely impressive I have to say that whoever thinks he was a drum god needs to get off the pot. Ive been playing drums for many years and consider myself to relatively suck compared to what I know the drummers I listen to can do, but Im pretty sure I could play anything that dude ever played. A couple vids of his "skill" at the end of, or during songs where he hits more than 3 cymbals or beats in succession for a few seconds were actually labeled "drum solos"? Im so glad I didnt sit through a gay7x show when they came here. I feel cheated just having sat through the videos waiting for an actual solo!

You all are right. I guess I just don't know. I guess I just have a different (and not so good) taste for music. Guess i'm really a music fan if it comes right down to this!

I know there's a little band called Cream out there, and I've heard them, but it hasn't been for a few years. And if it were me listening to the drumming of Ginger Baker, I wouldn't have been able to hear it. I understand now that he is considered to be so high because I've done some research. And I guess Lars does not deserve to be higher, even though in And Justice For All he was good, but in others he was not. Keith was actually good in my sight when I heard The Who back a few years ago. But Ringo? I thought he would be higher because he was a part of the Beatles and what I heard from him was good. Do I not make sense?

No because a three year old is better than Ringo.

Ringo isn't a very technically proficient drummer but he has good taste and plays what he should, when he should. Is he overrated? Perhaps. He's still good though. I'd say he was the perfect drummer for the Beatles.

And so where's Gene Krupa? And Sheila E? And Lee Goodness? And Liberty DeVito? If RS doesn't know that Sheila E is streets ahead of Ringo Starr, then Ringo himself at least acknowledges it every time they share a stage.

Guys really.

First of all EVERY good best drummers list MUST HAVE: Neil Peart, John Bonham, Keith Moon and Ginger Baker in it and at the top. END OF STORY. EVERYONE OUT THERE WHO IS FAMILIAR WITH DRUMS KNOWS THIS.PERIOD.

Second: As long as these others: Dave Lombardo, Terry Bozzio, Mike Portnoy, and Matt Cameron are in the top 20 AT LEAST, I'm fine.

Third: Please explain how The REV was the "best" (*coughing fit*) drummer of all time. As I sure as shit cannot see any!

I have a couple of issues with this list and other people...
1. Peart is fucking great - maybe not number 1, but top five.
2. Mitch Mitchell would have inspired nearly every single drummer on the list in some way, he should be bumped up to top 5.
3. Yes Ringo Star revolutionised drumming, but come on he's shit, even in an interview John Lennon was asked, 'do you think Ringo Star is the best drummer in the world?' Lennon said ' No... I don't think he's the best drummer in the Beatles'.
4. Chad Smith is so so so so much better than John Irons (both RHCP drummers), have you heard Irons' solo career? Its sickening.
5. Finally, maybe Grohl could go up some more i mean after all he's a God Like Genius.

Mitchell probably isn't top 5 material , but he's up there. I can guarantee you that John Lennon wasn't serious about that comment.

I don't think this is actually a Rolling Stone list. I can't find it anywhere on their website. I've seen this list floating around the internet before, and I'm pretty someone just made it up and called it a rolling stone list. Still fun to discuss though :D

I think Dale Crover from The Melvins should have been included. Glad to see Mike Bordin and Brain Mantia were included.

Overall, good list. I have no problem at all with placing Neil Peart at the top. Not a huge Rush fan, but enough respect for their music to realize that Peart is amazing, and I've seen them live.

My beef with the list is, I don't see Phil Rudd or Ricl Allen. If I missed seeing them, then I apologize. But Phil Rudd may not be flashy, but his drumming and timing is amazing. And Rick Allen, homeboy has one freakin' arm. Enough said.

fuck this shit what the hell about Jimmy the rev!?

oh god! a blunder slipknot's joey jordison at no 41. fuck the rolling stones.whether u r not a fan of slipknot but let me remind u the dude holds 250bpm in intricate drum solos while rotating upside down and diagonally across a mechanized pentagram . . . its amazing feat of any drummer and his drumming is one of the most influential inspiration for today's drummers in the metal scene.

Phil Collins was ranked higher up then I thought he would be, at #22 or the top 100.

Neil Peart is #1 on every list out there, including the authoritative Rolling Stone Mag list.

John Bonham and Kieth Moon get #2 and #4. Respect I think, and good.

Taylor Hawkins fromt he Foo Fighters is surprisingly low on the list at #84. Maybe he hasn't been around long enough. The guy was ranked #1 "rock" drummer in 2012 in UK Drummer magazine, so #84 seems a little off.

Stewart Copeland from the Police stands at #11. In the right range, but probably more like top 10.

Lars Ulrich gets ranked #62 in the Top 100 drummers,,. (but I think #1 for being an asshole)

Interestingly, Dave Grohl gets #66. (Foo Fighters band head, & lead vocal & guitar, formally Nirvana drummer). Interesting.

John Densmore from the Doors gets #95. I wonder if this is more about The Doors then John Densmore, but #95 is pretty far down the list of 100. Guess he contributed to music history, wrote a book, movie, etc. I know that he didn't show for the Doors when I saw them in Vancouver.

Dave Abbruzzese from Pear Jam sneaks in at #100/100.

Charlie Watt's of the Rolling Stone's gets #61. That's got to be embarrasing.

Ringo Starr get's #55, and I think that's a token ranking. Music history I guess. He didn't revolutionize drumming that's for sure.

I noticed that Larry Mullen's Jr., was not on the list of the top 100 drummers. LMJ founded U2 and is recognized by the band members for filling in the gaps on many songs in the studio sessions... and he's a pretty darn good drummer too. Larry involves creativity that I believe Niel Peart is known for in the studio, so it's funny that he is not on this list.

I also read "Suspension's" comments and the 8/16/2011 blog and am onside with their comments.


Interesting rankings.

This is not the right list. Rolling Stone did not do this list until 2011, at which time Bonham came in #1. Not real sure how this list gets to be called the Rolling Stone top 100 drummers, when it is not.

@Hammerhead - I addressed that in the author's notes, durrr

Alright, the Rev.
Jimmy seems to get a lot of shit about his "lack of talent" and "sucky skill." I fail to see how untalented the man was. He wrote most of the band's good songs (Critical Acclaim, A Little Piece of Heaven, etc.) which is talent enough on it's own. You think just writing an 8 minute song, nay, story, along with an orchestral arrangement, playing a solid drum beat and singing, and managing to not lose a beat isn't talented, go fuck yourself. Hell, just writing a song in general takes large amounts of talent. A Little Piece of Heaven and his work with Pinkly Smooth shows how creative the guy was, never afraid to do something new. If you doubt his skill, listen to "The Beast and the Harlot" off their 3rd album. Only a moron could say "lul that drumming suckZ" in the song. He wasn't just a drummer, he was an actual musician, unlike most drummers nowadays. I'll finish here by when you say I'm a "gay7x fanboy," I am a fan of Avenged. However, I listen to anything ranging from Dire Straits to Rush to Pantera. Hate here all you want, you don't have to agree. It's called "comments" for a reason,


I guess they never heard of Buddy Rich...dah? Most rock drummers don't hold a candle to him.

Another list I don't agree with. Bill Ward should have been much higher on the list. So should Lars Ulrich and Matt Sorum.Don't forget about his days with The Cult.What about Vinny Appice of Ronnie James Dio and Black Sabbath fame? He should have been on the list somewhere. And is Stewart Copeland of The Police really the 11th greatest drummer of all time? I do think Alex Van Halen is a good drummer (even an underappreciated drummer) but he shouldn't be above Bill Ward.This list is obviously biased against so called "80's hair bands" because like the band or not, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue should be on here somewhere. He is a great drummer despite the asshole 80's metal haters that are just gonna say he was only popular for banging Pamela Anderson. Besides, you have Travis Barker and The Smashing pumpkins drummer on the list! If you think either one of those 2 can play better than Tommy, you can go suck a big one.