Best Rock Drummers

The Top TenXW

1Neil PeartNeil Ellwood Peart, OC (born September 12, 1952 in Hamilton, Canada) is a Canadian-American musician and author, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances.

THE PROFESSOR DEFINITELY RULES THE DRUM WORLD, EVERYONE ELSE HAS BEEN OR IS INFLUENCED BY HIM, INCLUDING ME! I've SEEN RUSH LIVE SEVERAL TIMES AND BELIEVE ME THEY VERY RARELY HAVE AN OFF NIGHT, BUT I WITNESSED ONE OF THOSE RARE OCCASIONS ONCE AND WHILE ALEX WAS BREAKING STRINGS AND PLAYING OUT OF TUNE AND GEDDY WAS SINGING OUT OF TUNE, NEIL HELD IT ALL TOGETHER AND NEVER MISSED A BEAT! LONG LIVE THE KING!

Neil peart is most definitely the worlds beat drummer. With his amazing drum solos that can last up to 15 minutes he definitely deserves at least first place

Neil Peart blows everyone above him out of the water. Listen to ANY of Rush's songs and tell me that && drummers are better than him. They AREN'T.

Boy he can play...

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2John BonhamJohn Henry Bonham was born on May 31, 1948 in Redditch, United Kingdom. Bonham (nicknamed Bonzo) was a professional hard rock drummer who was best known for being the drummer in the band Led Zeppelin. Bonham was also one of the background singers in the band. His drumming is mainly displayed on the ...read more.

How in the name of GOD is Bonzo near the bottom? Where is Keith Moon as well? Do you people even know what good drumming is? It's not just ridiculous thrashing about on a kit at a mind numbing pace. You have to find a rhythm and keep its pace while sounding unique. Without this man none of these guys would even be up on that list! Nobody on this list is even CLOSE to the quality of Bonham's style and groove. You all suck, I give up on music!

Really? Number 8? Bonham should be a lot closer to number one after all he was the drummer for Led Zeppelin, the greatest rock band of all time! Yes that's right "greatest rock band of all time"

Kept scrolling thinking "Well surely Bonham's next... " Sixth? Really? I'm about to give up on humanity. It should be Bonham and Neil Peart battling for first and Keith Moon being satisfied with third and by "satisfied" I mean smashing his drums in disappointment.

I've got bad news for everyone who thinks the top 4 are even the best drummers today. They aren't. Mastodon's drummer makes them all look retarded. 32nd notes on one hand? Yeah, he's that good. He was trained as a jazz drummer too, so his technical precision is rediculous. His hands are as fast as Bonham's right foot.

No one can touch Bonzo though.

Bonham, and Peart should just be retired from Top 10 lists. They should be elevated to "Legend" status, and each (among others) forever known as "One of the Greatest to ever play"

He his like a hard rock version of ringo Starr

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3Keith Moon

Ohh! How disapointing! He is obviously better than much of the "drummers" before him. Have you ever listened to drums solos as "Cowbebs and Strange", "Won't get fooled again" or "Young Man's Blues", or the powerful beat of "My Generation", "Bab O'Riley" or "I Can See for Miles"? I Have, and I can tell you something: He is the BEST!

"Drummers"? This is Neil Peart and John Bonham you're talking about. - Songsta41

Keith Moon as #16, now come on this is a joke! Keith Moon, John Bonham, Gene Krupa, in no particular order, that's the given top 3. Keith Moon being my favorite though as he was an amazing personality, a true madman. Pete invented smashing the guitar on stage. Keith though followed swift and regularly blew (literally! ) up his drum set on stage. Now that's mad if anything. Not to mention his habit of blowing up hotel toilets. The Who, they were pretty much first with everything, there's not a trick any band can do that The Who did not already do. Young voters of this list, do some research. Go look up Keith Moon on Youtube, see and feel the magic. The Who, out-punking punk before punk was invented.

Keith was one of the best rock drummers, but smashing drums and blowing up toilets don't really add to skill level - Billyv

The posthumous tribute to him, "Under a Raging Moon" featured about 10 great drummers, who when playing simultaneously, barely added up to the sonic thunder of ONE Kieth Moon!

Wow he's really good

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4Mike PortnoyMichael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.

People who rate this list are not drummers, travis barker is and always will be nothing compared to MP, ya Danny bonham and neil are the only ones in the top 10 that deserve to be there (personally they should be higher up, but what are you gonna do? )Buddy is 22! 22! Mp is 12! Keith moon could own 75% of the top 10. Lars is good, Metallica has been holding back a bit but not top ten more like 15. Shannon can't do crap, and I've never even heard of the Japanese guy so ya... - Schwanie3

his odd time signature was so great. really awesome. and his jamming, it was cool.. also his speed, his feet's speed and his hand's speed. I think no one that can be compared with him. best talent ever! MIKE PORTNOY!

15? Considering he made progressive drummer of the year 13 consecutive years straight he should at least be in the top ten. There have been drummers such as Mike Mangini, also known as the fastest drummer in the world, tell the media that there is no way he could compare to Portnoy. Portnoy elevated the level of difficulty for progressive metal consistently. But as the poster before me mentioned, it's obvious that there are some that comment only on the drummer in their favorite band. There are so many genres out that it would only be safe to do a "progressive" top ten or "metal" top ten or "thrash" top ten, since portnoy would be classified as the obvious, Lars Ulrich would be classified under thrash, (his words) etc... I mean, come on. What about Chris from Lamb of God... at this point in time he's listed as 43... that's shameful... He's much better than that. I am quite fond of the voting system you've got going on here.

One of the greatest drummers of history let alone our generation, anyone who says Mike Portnoy shouldn't be in the top 5 is honestly retarded.

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5Jimmy The Rev SullivanJames Owen Sullivan, professionally known by his stage name The Rev, was an American musician, composer and songwriter, best known as the drummer, composer, songwriter, co-lead vocalist and founding member for the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold.

He is the best drum
I like he skill and I love avenged sevenfold
Nobody like the rev because he is the best drum in the world
Avenged sevenfold is my favorite band and the the rev is drummer favorite

I have been looking at a number of "Best Drummer" lists and sadly, the Rev isn't listed on any of them. This is a tragedy! His drumming, in my humble opinion is pure genius, easily as good as Neil Peart (who is usually listed as the number one best drummer) and I feel that is only because of the Rev's untimely death that his talent and genius will never be fully appreciated, particularly by those who have no taste for A7X's music. The Rev is, indeed one of the best, if not THE best drummer I have ever heard and listening to his rhythms, solos and the complexity of his playing is music in itself even without the rest of the band's accompaniment.

REV FOR NUMBER ONE!

he is the best drummer & funny man ever... I love avenged sevenfold forever!

He was a drumming robot. Miss him a lot.

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6Dave GrohlDavid Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer. He is best known as the drummer for the grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters.

Dave Grohl played with Nirvana, Tom Petty and the Heart breakers, Queens of the Stone age, Them Crooked Vultures, and played every instrument including the drums on the FF debut album and that album went gold.

Dave Grohl not on top ten? Impossible! He played for Nirvana and made his first FF album solo and it went gold!

This man is a legend, deserves to be at least in the top 5. Dave is the most amazing drummer ihave ever seen.

Should be number one

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7Lars UlrichLars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band Metallica.

Lars should be at least 5th in the list... If you listen to the song "frantic" you will understand...

Its not ultra hard, there are several harder drum stuff and players

Well, in my opinion, Lars Ulrich is by far the best. He may not be the fastest drummer, but he can play amazing drum beats without even trying, and, he is pretty fast. Being fast isn't what it takes to be a good drummer, it takes being able to play complicated beats, staying on tempo throughout the entire song, and being able to smoothly change beats. Lars Ulrich does all of these in all of Metallica's songs. He is actually one of the biggest inspirations in the world. He inspired Joey Jordison, John Dolmayan, Jimmy The Rev Sullivan, Tre Cool, Alex Lopez, myself, and many others, if it wasn't for him, this list would be missing half the people on it. By the way, Tre Cool seriously sucks, he can't go above 16th notes, he has terrible beats, and has absolutely no right to be in the same list as Lars Ulrich, Joey Jordison, The Rev, Yoshiki Hayashi, or Neil Peart. P.S. who the heck are Gustav Schafer and Shannon Leto?

NO. Lars CANNOT be any lower than fifth. At the very least. Listen to literally any song by Metallica and you notice that the rhythm and speed are unmatched and flawless. Why? Lars. He doesn't miss a single beat, ever. And he's incredibly creative with everything he does, especially the double bass, which is best exhibited on the Justice album I'll throw out a list of his very best drumlines: Hit the Lights, Whiplash, Metal Militia, Fight Fire With Fire, Creeping Death, Fade To Black, Battery, Master of Puppets, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Disposable Heroes, Damage Inc, virtually everything from Justice, Sad But True, Through the Never, Fuel, That Was Just Your Life, The Day That Never Comes, and Cyanide. These are his very best songs in my opinion, listen to ANY of them and you'll know that there's genius behind that kit. Seriously, I've listened to songs by all of the drummers above, and there is NOBODY in there who can do anything that Lars can't. Always has and always will be the ...more

Definitely the best - marco-cat

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8Buddy Rich

You are all retarded. lars should be nowere near any list of good drummers. Buddy was THE and always will be the best drummer alive. as a drummer, I'm completely offended at the stupidity of this list. Carter and Danny should be top ten. shannon leto as #1? WTF?! Do your research dummys. Were the F. is Tomas Haake, Stef Broks, Martin Lopez?! what about Dave Mackintosh and Dave Weckl?!?!? You are all crazy

Buddy is by far better than any of these drummers. Travis Barker 5? Really? Just because he can play an average snare solo doesn't mean he can sum up to the career of a man who has been playing the drums his whole life without lessons. Let's start off by saying he has more technique, style, and flair than any of these drummers. Sure he didn't have an enormous drum kit like Neil Peart, but Buddy could make it sound like a whole coliseum of drum kits. Buddy not only played with technique but he also play with speed, which almost all the drummers above him on this list couldn't do. Buddy was also a genius, being able to invent technical beats on the fly. I mean come on, even Neil Peart said it himself that Buddy is the best. I think that's nuff' said.

The simple fact that buddy is not number 1 shows that this list isn't serious. None of the other drummers are even remotely close. In fact I wouldn't even call them drummers next to Buddy Rich. Buddy Rich even though he's been gone for nearly thirty years still destroys everyone on this list and anyone who dares to come on this list another thirty years from now. If you call yourself a drummer and you haven't listened to Buddy Rich do us all a favor and put your sticks away and don't ever play the drums again until you've listened to Big Swing Face and watch the countless videos of this monster playing drum solos on YouTube.

Come on, he's the greatest drummer ever, but he's a JAZZ player, not a rock one

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9Joey JordisonJoey Jordison, is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer best known for his work as the former drummer and co-songwriter for the heavy metal band Slipknot as well as guitarist in the Horror-punk band Murderdolls.

Without question the most amazing drummer on the planet today. You know it from the first moment you watch him. There are so many other great drummers on this list, but it isn't even a contest anymore when Joey Jordison walks in.

BEST DRUMMER that I've ever heard! Joey is the fastest. If you would listen to some of Slipknot's songs, you wouldn't believe how fast he is!

Dude it is not just about being fast but yeah he is really fast and he keeps his beat to that is what makes him awesome and the best drummer in the world no other drummer can compare.

Joey is the best drummer of all time in all aspects...

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10Ginger Baker

I can hardly believe the position of these two in this list (Bonham 8, Baker 52? ) Drumming is very peculiar to say the least... Some sound very rehearsed and predictable, some sound very much on target timing wise as we think they "should sound" well timed, pronounced and profound exactly the moment that is anticipated with creative impulse conspicuous and impressive - all which deserve credit for the hard work and effort expended to get on this list... But nil are they to the unreasonable creativity of these two Rock Drummers. Always a millisecond off expected tempo, they paint beat the way Van Gough painted "Starry Night" - they decide the next moment and we arrive... These guys determine things the other guys realize but only worship in their quiet moments... These two are truly the the different drummers that most of will never march to... Because our ears are closed... These two never do what is expected... They create the great that "is" the sound ...more

baker's underrated. there's one song that not many people have heard before. do what you like by blind faith. the song features a solo from all three instruments, guitar solo with clapton, bass with winwood, and drums with baker. the drum solo is incredible, where he hits almost every one of his drums at the same time or within half a second. - pauler94

Just look at Eric Clapton's reaction in the fantastic Ginger Baker documentary when the journalist says that people compare John Bonham or Keith Moon to Ginger Baker...

Ginger has "battled" the best jazz drummers in the world. What he did none of the people above him in this list could ever dream of doing.

If there's a documentary about the guy you can assume he's good. He is one of the most incredible drummers of all time

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The Newcomers

?Tobias DererV1 Comment

The Contenders

11Shannon LetoShannon Leto is an American musician and songwriter best known as the drummer of rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Full of energy, plays like a beast.
So pure, so natural, love it

Shannon plays with a passion that it be circulated to anyone who is around. And it only takes passion, but also love, fun and every particle of his body. Shannon is all one with the drums, the rhythm, rhythm that sweeps you making you lose track of time. Hearing him play is like hearing the heart beat of life... Well, we can say that is the best drummer of all time!

Love to watch him play! He's just a perfect drummer!

Shannon beats Everybody with his energy and passion! Born to play drums!

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12Alex Van HalenAlexander Arthur "Alex" Van Halen is a Dutch-born American musician, best known as the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.

Look up one of his drum solos. He is really fast! - rocker1796

A monster can play slow, fast, heavy or with jazz improvisation, and does it all with feel. Always overshadowed by playing in a band with the greatest guitarist also his brother. Check out his work on a great track called Out of Love. Perfect

I saw Alex in concert in 1980. He speed was incredible. He keeps a cup of drum sticks in the center of his set in case he loses one. He did lose one or tossed it to a fan and quickly grabbed another one and did not lose a beat. That was at the Cape Call of Duty Coliseum in 1980

He plays really fast seriously listen to any of his solos, he's really good!

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13Danny CareyDaniel Edwin "Danny" Carey, born May 10, 1961 in Lawrence, Kansas, is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known for his work in American Grammy Award-winning progressive rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by and played with such artists as Zaum, Green Jellÿ, Pigface, Skinny ...read more.

WOW! Such a cool drummer isn't in the top 5?! I bet the guys from two first places can't even after long rehearsal play what Danny does without any troubles!

This guy deserves the name of possibly the best drummer in history, maybe even ahead of Neil Peart, who's incredibly overrated. And Travis Barker?!? You guys must be retarded! No competition there. Danny has incredible speed and creativity, especially in The Pot, Sober, Schism and Lateralus, but also the craziest time sigs, far better than Mike Portnoy. It's difficult to compare all these drummers because their genres differ from alt. metal to deathcore to progressive rock. But there's no question that Danny's playing is incredibly more versatile than several of today's metal drummers. Obviously better than Joey Jordison and whoever those Japanese guys are. Best drummer hands down. None of you guys know drums at all! - metalhead89

Danny is a maniac on the drums. In concert he goes hard from start to finish. I mean, the dude hits drums behind and over his shoulder, then hits a gong, then right back to pillaging a land of traditional and electric drums without missing a beat. Danny Carey, top 5 without a doubt!

How is he not even in the top 10?! That man is a machine!

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14Tré CoolFrank Edwin Wright III, known professionally as Tré Cool, is a German-born American drummer, best known as the drummer for the American punk rock/pop punk band Green Day. He replaced the band's former drummer John Kiffmeyer in 1990.

The best drummer in the world, and the best band They are fantastic! I love their music, because it carry consignment. Greetings from Poland!

GO TRE!
You do not get anywhere as much credit as you deserve.
Just listen to some of the rolls and beats in dookie, they are crazy!

Keep the beet going' Tre!

You never go through one video from a concert without him goofing off. And with some of the drumming this guy has to do, why isn't he #1.

Tre cool is the best drummer of all time. Vote for him

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15Travis BarkerTravis Landon Barker is an American musician and producer, and the drummer for the American rock band Blink-182. Barker has also performed as a frequent collaborator with hip-hop artists, and with the alternative rock band +44, the rap rock group the Transplants, and the alternative rock band Box Car ...read more.

Travis Barker I think, is definitely one of the best drummers of all time. He's got some major talent. I'm amazed every time I see him start playing the drums. He should at least be in the top five.

Travis your drumming is awesome its like if you play whole night ill be there to listen it and loved the way you played hi hat in your song first date by blink 182

Every time I think a song couldn't be any better Travis Barker changes my mind with his unique timing. He got mad skills!

He should be number 1

V315 Comments
16Stewart CopelandStewart Armstrong Copeland is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and composer best known as the drummer for the English-American rock band The Police and for his film and video game soundtracks.

Name me one other drummer that sounds like Stewart Copeland. that's all that is needed to say to prove that he is the best drummer. He created his own unique style of drumming based on beats he had picked up in his childhood listening to Arabic music while he was growing up in Lebanon. The talent it takes to take Arabic music and Jazz music from his dad and take what he liked out of all music and put them together for his drumming is just incredible. His use of missed/added beats (Spirits in a Material World) are what propelled him to be one of the best drummers ever. He is not know for being a soloist but he is an amazing drummer that no one has been able to emulate and his contribution with songwriting in the band was also a major point in his legacy that he left with The Police.

It's notable that Copeland has a very tasteful, yet masterful approach to the drums, much in the way that jazz drummers play. His technique is grounded in jazz and as such he drums in a way that is technically very difficult to play, but is not flashy, adding to the music in which he's playing instead of mugging for attention. He worked tremendously well as a counterpoint to Sting's bass playing, as well as actually contributing to the reggae stunning style as opposed to just conforming to it. One of Copeland's greatest strengths though was knowing when to take a backseat and let the other musicians do their thing

Stewart Copeland on drums is an exhilirating sight. Always looks like the drums are too small for him! Tight, punchy, pacy drumming that smacks you rapidly in the face. some maybe more elegant, some more wild, some more technical. But for high octane on the drums - STEWART COPELAND!

Should be number 2 right behind Bonzo - Parklink

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17Dave LombardoDavid "Dave" Lombardo is a Cuban American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Only 38th? What?

Dave Lombardo is the undisputed king of double bass, he should be higher than most of the drummers on this list! In fact he should have been top of the leaderboard. Shannon Leto is simply the wrong genre, Tre Cool doesn't have flashy fill-ins, and Lars Ulrich, while good with composing music, is not what you'd say was the best drummer.

Only The Rev and Dave Mackintosh might come close, but Rev is dead and gets a lot of sympathy votes here, while Mackintosh's fill-ins get a bit repetitive after a while.

Seriously... Just because you like Metallica and Green Day doesn't mean their drummers are the best drummers. I love Metallica but Ulrich isn't that good. I like Green Day too but Tré isn't the best drummer in the world either. Tré is very good at what he's doing. He's tight and and does not do more than he need to do. Dave Lombardo on the other hand is extremely fast and he's kicking the crap out of the bassdrums. He's very tight too and that's not very easy when you're playing that fast.

I like Metallica and Green Day more than Slayer but we're voting for who is playing the best drums right?

Oh my god only fanboys here... DAVE LOMBARDO SHOULD BE NUMBER ONE, just listen to his solos. No drummer here other than Dave could play in Slayer.

Dave should be higher duh

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18Ian PaiceIan Anderson Paice is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the English rock band Deep Purple.

Ian is extremely talented and one of the most underrated drummers. His speed and footwork are among the best. He should be around number 5.

Ian Paice should be in the top 10 as he is one of the best drummers I have ever seen

He can be top ten drummer. One of my favourite one. Watch his drum solo "Live in California". He ever played drum solo with London Philharmonic Ochestra in early 80s. But one think funny is that when look at "animal"who play drum in the "muppet show" has the same syle as Ian Paice.

Ian Paice is the only drummer Deep Purple has ever had. Since 1968! That tells who is the MVP of this band. - BobG

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19Ringo StarrRichard Starkey known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.

Ringo is the best Drummer in the world, I'm not the only one who say that, it was Paul McCartney before me, and many more

People often mock Ringo's simple drum beats, but the fact is they are perfect for Lennon and McCartney's songs. He could play obscure timings and was able to compromise John's psychedelic material, Paul's pop stuff and George's Indian inspired music. He is humble and the best darn drummer of them all. He was the first real drummer who didn't play in the style of jazz or RnB to appear on television and inspire the British invasion drummers to play. No Ringo. No rock music. Besides, the Beatles wouldn't have been the Beatles if one member was missing and, love them or hate them, none of the bands we know and love would've existed without the Beatles, making Ringo the most important drummer of all time. :) x

Here's the deal; the biggest stars [and biggest sellers] in the history of rock music are the Lennon/McCartney song compositions, which will last forever.
The drummer's responsibility is to keep the beat, and let the song be the star, not himself.
Most of the so called "star" drummers would have been unable to allow the greatest songbook ever written to shine; Ringo did it exactly as it needed to be done.

No one better than Ringo

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20Bill WardWilliam Thomas "Bill" Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

Bill Ward was recognized with black sabbath, you people who believe some unknown japanese loser is better than neil peart, john bonham, and keith moon, etc. but you should listen to rat salad on the album paranoid and you'll comprehend that bill ward is one of the best drummers ever - pauler94

WOW! So good. Very underrated. Just listen to war pigs. Fantastic. Just fantastic. Vote for him. Top Ten material definetly.

Amazing-he cuts loose, gets aggressive and hits hard but with a positive, jazzy motion and feel to it and the interaction and chemistry he has with the whole band just makes the Sabbath sound-dark, dirty and ass kicking-I have his drumstick and I will never let it go!

Best drummer

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List StatsUpdated 8 Dec 2016

145,000 votes
505 listings
9 years, 334 days old

Top Remixes (161)

1. Danny Carey
2. John Bonham
3. Ginger Baker
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1. Buddy Rich
2. Ginger Baker
3. Alex Van Halen
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1. Neil Peart
2. Jimmy The Rev Sullivan
3. Mike Portnoy
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