It's been a bit since the last time Rolling Stone published a "Greatest" list, something that is always sure to generate a good deal of controversy.
This time, they've taken on drummers, specifically, those who have had an impact on pop and rock music but they appear to have used a fairly wide definition of those worlds. They openly admit they skipped jazz artists like Max Roach and Roy Haynes, but Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams and Elvin Jones are all in the top 20. They've also included R&B drummers which, while not specifically rock, do fall under that umbrella when you consider the members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Topping the list is Led Zeppelin's John Bonham followed by Keith Moon of the Who and Ginger Baker of Cream and a number of other bands. Neil Peart of Rush and session drummer Hal Blaine round out the top five.
Let's face it, this is one publication's opinion and, as there is no ranking system for the skills of any musical artist, it is obviously open season to agree or criticize the list.
The top twenty:
- John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
- Keith Moon (Who)
- Ginger Baker (Cream)
- Neil Peart (Rush)
- Hal Plaine
- Clyde Stubblefield and John "Jabo" Starks (James Brown)
- Gene Krupa
- Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
- Al Jackson, Jr. (Booker T. & the M.G.'s)
- Stewart Copeland (Police)
- Benny Benjamin (Funk Brothers)
- Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones)
- D.J. Fontana (Elvis Presley)
- Ringo Starr (Beatles)
- Buddy Rich
- Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson)
- Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa)
- Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste (Meters)
- Tony Williams (Miles Davis)
- Bernard Purdie (Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Mongo Samtamaria)