Greatest Drummers of All Time


The Contenders: Page 3

41 Billy Cobham Billy Cobham William Emanuel "Billy" Cobham is a Panamanian American jazz drummer, composer and bandleader, who permanently relocated to Switzerland during the late 1970s.

Anyone who knows a thing about drumming for real would put Billy Cobham above the majority of the drummers listed here simply because he was their teacher, their rolemodel, the one all drummers looked up to. Just ask Dennis Chambers, Steve Smith, Sheila E. (she and her dad Pete Escovedo played together with Billy Cobham on his 1977 Magic album) Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl and all your other favorites. Either they were a fan of Billy Cobham or they were a fan of one of his many students. Billy Cobham is truly your favorite drummer's drummer! When you talk about drums there is a before Billy Cobham era and an after Billy Cobham era, that is probably the best indication as to why he is the absolute number 1 drummer. In the sixties he was a pure jazz drummer playing with George Benson (Billie's Bounce! ), Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter or Horace Silver in 1968 (check out the live track Nutville! ), invented jazzrock fusion drums with Miles Davis (Bitches Brew), Dreams (featuring ...more

People who have voted, probably did it out of popularity, Cobham is one of the best drummers in the World, and maybe of all time, just not the most popular unless your a renowned drummer, or follower that really understands what drumming is all about!

I saw Cobham twice in my life. He changed the way I listened to music from then on. Also got to meet him when he played with Dreams. Truly a great and humble man. So much talent. Also saw him with the late George Duke. Another historic performance. One of the best of all times.

Easily the best drummer of all time.

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42 Antonio Sanchez Antonio Sanchez Antonio Sánchez is a Mexican jazz drummer. In 2014 his popularity increased significantly when Sánchez composed original music for Birdman.

Richie Sambora plays in a band with drums in it. That qualifies him for this list, doesn't it?

Just listen to his Birdman score. Incredible drumming.

Can hang in the Pat Metheny Group


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43 Dennis Chambers Dennis Chambers Milton "Dennis" Chambers, is an American drummer. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2001.

Denis Chambers at 10 was better than Gene Kruper who was himself a drum genius. He has played with santana and a whole number of funk bands. He is a virtuoso. Look up the tube clip with denis chambers and McGlaghlon playing and see the awe in his eyes when Chambers goes into a solo break which lasts for about 5 minutes. Buddy Rich was all speed by comparison to Chambers. Tony Royster Junior who I don't think is even on here was playing drums at age 4 and competed against Chambers in a drum off when Chambers was about 30 and Roster Jnr was about 10 - wow what a great drummer he is too. Jo Jo Mayer may not be pecifically a funk drummer but he is the quitessential 'everything drummer'. May just be better than Roster but not better than Chambers. - gumobe

Drum extrodinaire. Has play with George Clinton, Santana, various jazz musicians, as well as Latin and other types. Probably the most diverse drummer of our time. - AKPickin

Top five for sure. I guess metal fans are the only ones voting on this bunk list.

Number one!

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44 Steven Adler Steven Adler Steven Adler is an American musician. He is best known as the former drummer and co-songwriter of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s.

not the best drummer of all time but he deserves some credit. No one suited guns n roses bluesy/hard rock style on appetite for destruction like steven did. You gotta love that cow bell!!

On the drum, Mr. Steven "Popcorn" Adler

which is better than Matt sorum, Frank Ferrer and other drummers that guns n roses had - ronluna

Popcorn Adler. The Original Guns N' Roses Drummer. Brilliance was in his work. Deserves appreciation. Especially in Rocket Queen!

Such a great drummer perfect for Guns N' Roses love the cowbell and rocket queen is just brilliant

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45 Ron Bushy
46 Tre Cool Tre Cool Frank 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. Maybe he's not #1 because perhaps the others are better in some way(I don't listen to Japanese music... ) But Mr. Wright deserves a position above #5, unanimously, hands down, and THAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING!

I am a big Green Day fan but Green Day would be nothing without Tre Cool. All those great songs would not be so great. American Idiot would be really bad. But The how crew is amazing and they are going in the hall fame in the next few years maybe this year. Love yah Green Day. Best of the best. They are the punk rock kings.

Come on, people! Tre Cool is the greatest drummer alive! His abundantly eccentric energy, his hilarious antics, his madcap demeanor, and his undying passion for what he does-- Tre is the physical embodiment of drumming!

He's a baller

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47 Gene The Atomic Clock Hoglan

This list really is silly. People are just voting for the drummer of their favourite bands (Hence 30 Seconds to Mars and X-Japan being in the top ten! If only real drummers voted and it was actually down to skill and talent, then this guy, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Chris Adler, Tomas Haake, Joey Jordison, Buddy Rich, John Bohnam, Gavin Harrison & Dave Lombardo would be in the top 10, as well as others not far behind like Dave Grohl and Mitch Mitchell etc. NOT regular drummers from popular bands!

One of the greatest drummers of all time...part of Dethklok's success is due to Mr. Hoglan.

He drum for two legenadry DEATH albums!

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

He is 67 now and just recently seeing him live I have to say he is still kicking it big time. How can he of all drummers be rated at only place 53? he was a pioneer... so accurate you could basically calibrate your metronome with his timing...

Just give a listen to "The Mule" by Deep Purple, a song released in 1971. Also Fireball, Burn. - Metal_Treasure

How come that he is ranked so low?

Lmao ringo star is above him that's a joke

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49 Terry Bozzio Terry Bozzio Terry John "Ted" Bozzio is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.

Determining who is the best needs to know all drummers. I don't! But o know that Terry was able to play "black page" composed by franck Zappa.

Clearly underrated by a solid 30+ spots. A bit of a mercenary which probably hurts him in these rankings but do yourself a favor and seek out his music.

How did he get beat by these other dudes?! Except peart, makes little sense. Taste perhaps

number 1

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50 Carl Palmer Carl Palmer Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer is an English drummer and percussionist most famed for playing with the prog-rock bands Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia.

A true progressive, programmer, musician, and all-around artist, Carl Palmer belongs in ANYONE'S top ten list!... Anyone who is informed and knows the difference between cheap thumping showmanship, and true technique and virtuosity, anyway. What a biased, superficial list of drummers, this is. A popularity contest for many. Carl Palmer is amazing, in a word, and his gifts and talent are legendary. If most of you could please remove your collective heads out of your asses and LISTEN and WATCH, you would know well what I mean. Carl Palmer is "the show that never ends! "

Welcome back my friends. Let's get to the point, Carl Palmer is the best drummer of all time. He is insanely adept at playing any kind of music. He is a model for drummers everywhere. You think Neil Peart is #1? In Peart's biography he stated his number one influence was Carl Palmer. Palmer won Rolling Stone's drummer of the year 1970-1976. He is so forgotten, but when progressive rock was on the rise, this man along with Emerson, was a GOD of progressive rock. He is the rock drummer, no THE drummer. Legendary musician. Percussion virtuoso.

This list is quite lame overall, but Palmer at this rank must mean that he and ELP have been forgotten. To see what this guy can do, see YouTube. In addition to all else he's a showman, by far the best solos in rock (caveat: never saw Moon play live). I think of his performances as a Cirque de Soleil of drumming - - technically dazzling, cross-genre, acrobatic and with laser precision against an extremely complex musical backdrop.

Please please please just listen to his song entitled "drum solo" from elp's debut album

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51 Nick Menza Nick Menza Nick Menza (1964-2016) was a professional drummer best known for his work in Megadeth from 1989-1998 and in 2004. He recorded drums on four of Megadeth's albums "Rust In Peace", "Countdown To Extinction", "Youthanasia", and "Cryptic Writings".

He is so complex and passionate player!

This is a ridiculous list. Nick should easily be in the top 20.

Another king is dead... Long live the king! from their legacy other drums must learn... specially you Lars... you have much to learn!

Desite him being at number 47, he influence d me to be a drummer

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52 Francesco Paoli Francesco Paoli Francesco Paoli is the drummer for the Italian technical death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse, formed in 2007.

Just listen to the whole of the Agony album.

His hands go to over one million speed

53 Dennis Wilson

Dennis attached the drums like few could and still keep a steady beat.

He wasn't on the list!? - Powerfultekin

54 Shawn Aulbrook
55 Tomas Haake Tomas Haake Tomas Haake is a Swedish drummer and main songwriter of the experimental metal band Meshuggah. He is known for his polyrhythms and technical ability. In 2012, he was named the 5th best Modern Metal drummer by He was named the number one drummer in the "Metal" category, in the July 2008 more.

A lot of people would not have heard Meshuggah's music and are able to digest the shear undeniable inventory of rhythm this man has created... A complete, totally unique and ground braking drummer of epic proportion... Tomas Haake has taken a simple 4/4 beat and created the most mathematical equations to blow your brain into separating peices... I think he is a genius and should be recognised for taking rhythm to a place we have never seen before... When talking about greatest drummers of ALL TIME, this man has re-created time and should be recognised as one of the most significant influences of the next many generations... It will be years before people actually realise the depth of this man's raw talent...

tomas haake is the best drummer of all time but few of them know about him his simply born as a drummer and after him is george kollias - ado006

why is this guy after lars ulrich? metallica are great but when it comes to talent meshuggah rape - Pravus

The best drummer ever

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56 Tony Royster Jr.

He has got to be the greatest drummer on the planet. He's played for a lot of artist all around the world, won many drum battles and contest, can play any style well, and solo with blazin speed not mention he has more trix and combos than any drummer out there. Without a doubt Royster, Jr. Is #1.

Never seen anyone play like this. Slipping easily from on beat to off. Watch the videos, you'll see what I'm talking about.

the best of all time
he also play dw drums, wtf, he so the best! - gerald_dk23

We have been blessed with another Buddy Rich and his name is tony Royster. innovative and inspirational. Born to play the drums. legendary and easily sits at the top 5 of all times. just watch the video's and you'll see he plays all styles of music with incredible precision and mastery.

C. Ritchie

C Ritchie

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57 Vinnie Paul Abbott

Why is this man not in the top 10?

One of the greatest drummer in history!
Should be in first 10. Just listen some song of Pantera.

58 Matt Cameron Matt Cameron Matt Cameron is a American composer, and musician. He is mostly famous of being the drummer of three grunge bands: Soundagrden, Pearl Jam, and Temple of the Dog.

I have now seen Pearl Jam 3 times in my life just to hear Matt play. Massive thanks to Matt for every single note he has have ever hit.

Drummer for Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, two of the greatest Alternative rock bands of all time.

Wow! He should be at least number 10. He's just amazing. Cheak his work in Soundgarden. Just great

He's incredible cheak out his work on the song "Jesus Christ Pose"
Underrated drummer

59 Philip Selway Philip Selway Philip James "Phil" Selway is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the drummer of English rock group Radiohead.

He's just an incredibly underrated drummer, who deserves a spot for his immensely technical drumming, which has helped to define Radiohead's sound. Listen to Pyramid Song, 2+2=5, or Little By Little to understand why he belongs here.

60 Cozy Powell Cozy Powell Colin Trevor "Cozy" Powell was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Robert Plant, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath.

People are just sick, they don't know much about drummers than about John Bonham, Neil Peart and etc etc.. because these guys were in the most greatest bands... They are good, how about Cozy? He do deserve well. Check out Rainbow Black Sabbath Whitesnake jeff beck group and etc etc... Wonderful drummer.

Also I would vote for Thin Lizzy Drummer Brian Downey...

Cozy joined Greg Lake and Keith Emerson in an outstanding self-titled album (Emerson Lake and Powell). His thunderous style added a new dimension to this band. - BobG

Excellent enough to drum for Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and also replace Carl Palmer in ELP. Had a great solo album featuring the likes of Bernie Marsden, Jack Bruce and Don Airey ("Over the Top"). - BobG

Unbelievable that Cozy could be so low on this list!

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List StatsUpdated 24 May 2017

31,000 votes
375 listings
9 years, 188 days old

Top Remixes (70)

1. Neil Peart
2. Buddy Rich
3. Vinnie Colaiuta
1. John Bonham
2. Keith Moon
3. Dave Grohl
1. John Bonham
2. Keith Moon
3. Neil Peart

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