My Top 10 Drummers by Steve White Of Paul Weller / Style Council

Steve White is one of the most respected drummers in the UK having played with Paul Weller/Style Council and many others. he has the rhythm skills as well as a sharp mod touch and a ear for all the great drummers from jazz onwards… He is a man who know about drums so it was great to get his top 10 drummers from him.

1) Buddy Rich – ‘to me still my favourite drummer , a force of nature ‘

 

2) Al Jackson Jnr – ‘the playing polar opposite of Buddy but no less great to me’

 

3) Art Blakey – ‘the daddy of the Bop scene , so many great musicians played with him in the messengers’

 

4) Elvin Jones ‘John Coltrane’s right hand man for so long , a polyrhythmic genius’

 

5) Vinnie Colaiuta – ‘the ” session ” drummer par excellence , to me the greatest drummer alive’

 

6) Billy Cobham ‘The powerhouse of fusion’

 

7) Clyde Stubblefield / Jabo Starks ‘No better funk drummers’

 

8 ) Bernard Purdie ‘Superlative groover’

 

9) Earl Palmer  ‘The daddy of rock and roll drumming’

 

10) Kraftwerk ‘Man or machine ?’

 

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  1. I’m in no position to challenge Steve White’s top 10 drummers, having precisely zero musical talent. But here’s an alternative top 10 drummers, in no particular order, which probably just proves that it all depends on what’s in your record collection…

    1. Keith Moon (The Who) – I think there’s a law against ‘top 10 drummers’ lists without Moon included in there somewhere, isn’t there?
    2. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience) – You had to be good to keep up with Hendrix – and Mitchell was. A young Chris Millar was certainly among those listening.
    3. Rat Scabies (The Damned) – A great fast & loose drummer, a natural whose talent was all too often obscured by his fondness for smashing up / setting fire to his kit.
    4. Topper Headon (The Clash) – Too often dismissed for his part in the disintegration of The Clash, the fact that they were never the same without him, proves his worth.
    5. Paul Ferguson (Killing Joke) – Astonishingly precise and powerful, Ferguson’s recent return to the KJ fold has confirmed him as the only person capable of truly driving the band’s live delivery.
    6. Jet Black (The Stranglers) – Quite unique. Both in style and longevity.
    7. John Densmore (The Doors) – Translated jazz drumming into rock music.
    8. Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Creatures) – Imaginative and extraordinarily powerful.
    9. Clem Burke (Blondie) – A relentless performer. Once had his heart rate monitored during a gig – works harder than a Premier League footballer, or something, I seem to recall, but I’m not sure how much of an achievement that is!
    10. Dave Grohl (too numerous to mention!) – but just check out his contributions to QOTSA’s ‘Songs For The Deaf’ and Killing Joke’s self-titled 2003 albums.

    If 10 was 14… arguments can also be made for…

    Reni (Stone Roses)
    Rob Heaton (New Model Army)
    Ginger Baker (Cream)
    Jaki Liebezeit (Can)
    John Bohnham (Led Zeppelin)

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