4) Stephen Morris
By contrast to the previous two drummers, Steve Morris’ contribution to Joy Division’s sound was in some ways audibly diminished by their producer, Martin Hannett. Anyone lucky enough to witness Joy Division live can attest that their passion and power stood in marked contrast to the icy detachment of their recorded output. While it’s difficult to argue that Hannett’s futuristic production isn’t one of the reasons Joy Division remain seminal to this day, it’s hard to listen to Steve’s explosive fills on the ‘Something Else’ version of ‘Transmission’ (expunged from the single version) and not wish that they could be heard with something better than the transistor-radio-in-the-next-room production that sadly was the norm for rock music on TV back then.
For number 5 in Paul Hanley’s top 10 drummers please go here