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Greatest rock drummer

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Ringo Starr :lol:
I once read that all other three Beatles were actually better drummers than Ringo Starr. But somehow Ringo fitted into the picture perfectly (and I believe he got most attention of girls so he enhanced the early fanbase of the group).

For me John Bonham is the greatest rock drummer of all time. I know this is poor taste, because all experts claim that Bonham is not a great drummer, but for some reason his drumming attracts my attention more than any other drummer and while he got my attention I always enjoy his playing very much: for me his drumming elevates every song of Led Zeppelin to higher grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Why not? Is it possible to be a more average drummer than Ringo Starr? His inclusion among the likes of Keith Moon, Neil Peart, Charlie Watts, John Bonham, etc, and to not include so many others in his place, is delusional, and disrespectful to the great drummers of rock history (good thing this isn't a Jazz list too!). Over 20+ years, Ive never encountered a fanbase of any artist (any art form) that was, on average, more misinformed or exaggerative of their band's talents/accomplishments (granted, I make it a point never to discuss music with, say, Justin Beiber fans!) ... Obviously not applicable to all Beatles fans. After all, I am a fan of some of their albums, and miscellaneous other songs, even some outside of their more creative period.
So you know better? Since your opinion is so strikingly consistent with Scaruffi, I'm going be attacking Scaruffi, who is the source of many of your opinions. Him putting down the Beatles and elevating Beefheart, Wyatt, Buckley, and Red Crayola is a very specific, singular view, which is good, but also very narrow and imbalanced. So while it's interesting, his opinion shouldn't be taken too seriously. From reading his reviews he seems to have no knowledge of musical theory or composition, and prefers to delve in extraneous non-musical qualities. I never heard a single comment from him on the constructs of the music he is reviewing, other than gearing some very rudimentary, general elements that mean nothing by themselves, towards his bias. He is incapable of producing a musical analysis like Howard Goodall did with the Beatles. He can't knock down the Beatles musically, and he was dead wrong in saying none of their contemporaries ever spoke highly of them as I proved on another thread with Keith Richards and Leonard Bernstein (need I find more examples? :D). Any attempt to elevate Beefheart's Trout Mask over Rite of Spring was just nonsensical, as Rite of Spring is at the same time more complex, intricate, and developmental than Trout Mask for anyone who correctly analysed the music or looked at the score and sheet music for both.

In regards to including Starr in the list, He was top 15 in ALL the best drummers lists I've seen, so if I'm doing a disservice to the great drummers in rock, then I'm definitely not alone. He struck me as imaginitive in his accompaniments in certain songs like Rain, Strawberry Fields, and the latter half of Abbey Road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I once read that all other three Beatles were actually better drummers than Ringo Starr. But somehow Ringo fitted into the picture perfectly (and I believe he got most attention of girls so he enhanced the early fanbase of the group).

For me John Bonham is the greatest rock drummer of all time. I know this is poor taste, because all experts claim that Bonham is not a great drummer, but for some reason his drumming attracts my attention more than any other drummer and while he got my attention I always enjoy his playing very much: for me his drumming elevates every song of Led Zeppelin to higher grounds.
Huh, I've heard most saying he is top 2, along with Moon, some being #1. From work I got to know 2 drummers in recording bands that say Bonham is the best.
 

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Ringo Starr was competent rather than brilliant but with virtually all Beatles music he didn't need to be anything else, did he? That's not criticising Starr or the Beatles, it's merely the fact that the Beatles made great music which did not require flamboyant drumming. For me his best moments are on the aforementioned Rain (a style which seemed to be copied by a welter of Brit-pop drummers in the 90s) and the way he handles the fiddly 'I need a fix'.../'Mother Superior jump the gun' section of Happiness is a Warm Gun.
 

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So you know better? Since your opinion is so strikingly consistent with Scaruffi, I'm going be attacking Scaruffi, who is the source of many of your opinions. Him putting down the Beatles and elevating Beefheart, Wyatt, Buckley, and Red Crayola is a very specific, singular view, which is good, but also very narrow and imbalanced. So while it's interesting, his opinion shouldn't be taken too seriously. From reading his reviews he seems to have no knowledge of musical theory or composition, and prefers to delve in extraneous non-musical qualities. I never heard a single comment from him on the constructs of the music he is reviewing, other than gearing some very rudimentary, general elements that mean nothing by themselves, towards his bias. He is incapable of producing a musical analysis like Howard Goodall did with the Beatles. He can't knock down the Beatles musically, and he was dead wrong in saying none of their contemporaries ever spoke highly of them as I proved on another thread with Keith Richards and Leonard Bernstein (need I find more examples? :D). Any attempt to elevate Beefheart's Trout Mask over Rite of Spring was just nonsensical, as Rite of Spring is at the same time more complex, intricate, and developmental than Trout Mask for anyone who correctly analysed the music or looked at the score and sheet music for both.

In regards to including Starr in the list, He was top 15 in ALL the best drummers lists I've seen, so if I'm doing a disservice to the great drummers in rock, then I'm definitely not alone. He struck me as imaginitive in his accompaniments in certain songs like Rain, Strawberry Fields, and the latter half of Abbey Road.
Re: So you know better? ... Well, there is some or a lot of subjectivity at play as in all things art, but aside from that: Yes, in the sense that I've assimilated far more art than any hardcore Beatles fan I've ever met, and can therefore compare their work to the history of art in its proper context. Of course, it's still subjective in the end, but I would also say that I have never seen someone else take a similar path of experience and then draw the conclusion that The Beatles were among the most significant artists in rock (or any) history.

Re: Scaruffi ... Scaruffi actually talks about composition quite a bit, and the technical side of music quite a bit, when necessary. In general he discusses the result of the music (emotionally/conceptually/creatively) in relation to the art at hand, and in relation to rock history. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand or how it could possibly be invalid (aside from the subjective aspect of simply disagreeing with him). I haven't seen a single bit of in depth analysis of your own that even approaches the lengths or detail he's gone to (with works he cares about).

Re: Goodall ... If an analysis such as Howard Goodall's leads one to believe the Beatles are the most significant artists since Beethoven, then I would pass, as he is ignoring the resulting music which is the only thing that is important in the end (and granting way too much significance to other factors). And also, clearly hasn't indulged in the same evaluation and "insights" as to thousands of artists that were and are far more musically advanced/striking and creative than The Beatles (aside from the popularity/cultural phenomenon).

Re: TMR or Rite of Spring ... I don't think Scaruffi has ever compared the two (unless I'm mistaken). If you're referring to me, I think you're granting way too much significance to my statement that I think TMR is the greater work, that it takes its art to a greater extent. That it goes much further, to a greater extent than Rite of Spring is true even if only for the simple fact that it is a far longer work and continues innovating the entire time. Whether one thinks TMR is "better" is up to them. But I think Rite of Spring is among the greatest works of music in history too, so I don't understand why this is such a big deal to you.

Re: Starr ... He is on the lists because he was one of The Beatles, and it is practically an obligation. I'm sure George Harrison is among the greatest guitarists rivaling Jimi Hendrix ... and ... what-the-hell, Paul McCartney would rival Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau if you were to do a combined poll of Classical/Rock vocalists. If you think Ringo was a truly extraordinary drummer, by all means...
 

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I once read that all other three Beatles were actually better drummers than Ringo Starr.
I've never read that, but it doesn't surprise me at all. I went with some friends to a show 2 weeks ago where their sons were playing in an amateur high school band that was playing covers of The Beatles + The Monkees' I'm a Believer. And although they weren't as good at harmonies, and none of them were as good as Lennon's vocals, they were each vastly superior technicians (of guitar, bass and drums) than their Beatles counterparts (despite being random amateurs) and the songs bristled with heft and a frantic, vibrant, extra degree of excitement (in those parts).
 

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I am in trouble with the whole concept of "greatest" - since these guys played in different bands we have no way to compare them, furthermore when I think of an artist like Peter Gabriel IMHO it does not make much difference if the drummer is Collins, Marotta or Katché, it is Peter Gabriel's drumming anyway. You can be the greatest when you define the song, who was the drummer on Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover? Steve Gadd? OK, so he is great but how many times has he done that? Same goes with Levon Helm and The Weight. No doubt Keith Moon defined the Who sound, but he had the freedom to do that, how do we know if another (better?) drummer would have performed when allowed such a leading role? so maybe in the end rock drummers are an overrated bunch.
 

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I am in trouble with the whole concept of "greatest" - since these guys played in different bands we have no way to compare them, furthermore when I think of an artist like Peter Gabriel IMHO it does not make much difference if the drummer is Collins, Marotta or Katché, it is Peter Gabriel's drumming anyway. You can be the greatest when you define the song, who was the drummer on Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover? Steve Gadd? OK, so he is great but how many times has he done that? Same goes with Levon Helm and The Weight. No doubt Keith Moon defined the Who sound, but he had the freedom to do that, how do we know if another (better?) drummer would have performed when allowed such a leading role? so maybe in the end rock drummers are an overrated bunch.
I think I agree with this, with the exception of those drummers who were clearly very important sources of input in shaping how the music was to sound; co-equals with the other members. Trios allow this more, so we have Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. And we have Bonham of Led Zep because Led Zep was about being quite different from just about everybody else.
 

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Phil and AfterHours, I think the two of you may want to spend this year's summer holiday together! And have a conference! You really have a lot to talk about. :lol:
I think arguments can appear exaggerated by the internet, by the text of it all which isn't always the best at showing nuance, facial expression, tone of voice. My life is quite busy. When I post here it is usually from my phone, and I don't have a ton of time to beat around the bush, so my directness can appear more antagonistic than it really is. Sometimes it really is, and I try and distinguish the two so it is evident! :lol: In the end, Phil and I just have different views and criteria, especially in Rock and probably Jazz.
 
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There should be separate categories for prog and regular rock. It is silly comparing drummers like Bruford, Bozio, Chester Thompson and Gavin Harrison with the likes of Watts, Moon, and Starr.
 
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Don't forget Clive Bunker and Barriemore Barlow.
That set me looking for them on Youtube and it seemed that Bunker was not quite as relaxed as Barlow. I then watched Peart, and Collins with Thompson. This reminded me how much I liked Bozzio both with Zappa and UK.

In fact, it proved that drum solos, when they can strut their stuff, can get very tedious and it seemed to me that drummers have to have something to play along to and not just bugger about with a bigger and bigger kit.
 

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For some reason I tend to pay less attention to the drummers. I like the thunderous, tribal approach of Keith Moon, and also the more light sophisticated jazzy style of a Pip Pyle (not in the list). And the funky style of a Ziggy Modeliste.
And for all my limited understanding of the instrument, I like Jim White of the Dirty three for his "organic" sound.
 

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In fact, it proved that drum solos, when they can strut their stuff, can get very tedious and it seemed to me that drummers have to have something to play along to and not just bugger about with a bigger and bigger kit.
So true! The drum solo is not one of humankind's best inventions. Drumming is the essential skeleton giving structure and shape to the living body of music. But when the flesh is stripped away to reveal only the underlying skeleton, the result is irritating, jarring, and ultimately boring (to these ears).

Under "Other", I would add Stephen Perkins of Jane's Addiction and Max Weinberg of the E Street Band. Weinberg sits at his kit looking like an accountant, yet producing thunder behind The Boss.
 

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Why are people dissing Ringo when he wasn't a Rock drummer but a Pop one?

If you want to mix genres then no-one on that list comes anywhere near the planet that Chris Coleman, Keith Carlock, Omar Hakim, Dave Weckl and a few dozen others I could mention, live on.

Horses for courses! And those records without Ringo would be less interesting. Don't take my word for it....

 

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Aynsley Dunbar! I once took the time to list all of the bands/artists with whom Aynsley Dunbar played....

Bluesbreakers
Jeff Beck Group
Retaliation
Blue Whale
Mothers of Invention
Flo & Eddie
Journey
Jefferson Starship
Whitesnake
David Bowie
John Mayall
Bonzo Dog Band
Lou Reed
Nils Lofgren

Am I missing anyone?

Afterthought: under "Other", let's include Stewart Copeland of The Police. Another case of a drummer as a co-equal member of a trio.
 

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Christian Vander solo Korusz

There are many solos of him on YT. He is also the main composer in the work he does.

magma "last seven minutes" only drums view

Palmer is also the most complex musically, with Collins and Bruford also up there.
 
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Why are people dissing Ringo when he wasn't a Rock drummer but a Pop one?
Thanks - some great quotes which perfectly illustrate how good Starr was and what a drummer should be.

"It's that sloppy, swampy, falling down the stairs kind of sound, it is the coolest thing ever."
"Sitting inside the song"
"If you can do this, and have people dancing, you're a f****** badass"
 
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