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Bands where the drummer is the best thing


The topic is about drummers playing in bands. The drummer is the most integral part of the rhythm. If you don't have rhythm you don't have anything worth listening to. At no point did the OP or anyone here ask you to listen to a full hour of only drumming so why even go there? The drummer may not be the star but if any of these drummers weren't in those groups they woudn't have achieved the success they did. How do I know that? Because I've read about almost ALL of the bands listed in this thread and they have one thing in common: They weren't complete and did not start going places until they found the right drummer. A good drummer can save a band that is pretty weak e.g. Nirvana. A weak drummer will ruin a band. Trying building a house on a weak foundation. Do you think any of those "guitar playing and riffs" would have the same impact without drums behind them?

Take all the bands/guitarists that you two mentioned or are upset about, now remove the drum tracks and drummer from the equation. Do you really want to listen to that? Any I'm not talking about a acoustic guitar version of the song. Take the band version and remove the drummer. Would you really listen to that?
The OP specifically stated: 'How about your ideas of bands where the drummer is the best one in the band' - Which is what my post is aimed at. I don't think drummers can be the Best One In A Band.The Songwriters are the Best Ones in a Band - nothing happens without them. Give me who you consider to be the best drummer in the world - and unless they are a songwriter - they aren't the best. Integral to a bands sound and feel - sure - Keith Moon was the perfect foil for Townshend and Entwhistle - but he's still not the best in the


Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Billy Cobham in Mahavishnu Orchestra
Ginger Baker in Cream
Jack DeJohnette with Miles Davis
Dennis Chambers in Parliament/Funkadelic
Steve Gadd with Eric Clapton
As much as I love John McLaughlin, I'd say that Cobham is the driving force behind Birds of Fire. Just incredible.
He gave Laird a groove so wide it could have been followed with a drift net.


There was a band from Ottawa called "Buried Inside". Amazing band. I saw them maybe 15 times live between 1999 and 2009. I just stood there, on the edge of the pit (trying not to get knocked out by a stray mosher), watching Mike Godbout drum. He was mesmerizing really. Great band, great live shows, everything about them was top notch. Yet that drummer was from another universe.
Not an easy listen, especially for the average TGPer, but definitely worth it if you're into drumming.

Blink182 would fit in that category for me. That pop-punk is ok when they're at their best but Travis Barker's drumming is amazing.


Senior Member
i disagree w almost every band being listed here as an example of the drummer being the best. you guys are discrediting some of the most iconic guitar playing and riffs in the history of music. pretty absurd.
A good drummer adds a lot to a song. It doesn't discredit anyone to say that the drummer was in the engine room. And I don't see anyone knocking guitarists here.


Platinum Supporting Member
That's a bold post my friend. Probably true, but gutsy to say out loud.
I recently read "Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: Billy Cobham on Jazz Fusion and the Act of Creation" by Brian Gruber. It was a series of interviews with Billy, Jan Hammmer, Ron Carter, Randy Brecker and others. Billy said that when he was in Mahavishnu "he was just a drummer in the band" and "he was the guy that no one expected anything from". This set of interviews made me greatly appreciate what a driving force a really dominant drummer could be, and how such a drummer could be the difference between a good band and a great band. As a guitarist I greatly admire and respect Eric Clapton and John McLaughlin, and I love the music of Miles Davis and Parliament/Funkadelic. But I don't think any of those artists/bands would have been as powerful in either their records or in their live performances without an outstanding drummer.

For example, Eric Clapton could probably work with any drummer in the world he wanted to play with. There's a good reason he had Steve Gadd, one of the most well-known and highly regarded drummers, play on Live at Hyde Park (DVD), Pilgrim, Reptile, Riding with the King, One More Car, One More Rider, Me and Mr. Johnson, Sessions for Robert J., Crossroads Guitar Festival 2004, Back Home, Clapton Chronicles and Old Sock. And in Mahavishnu when you think about the performances, and not the compositions that McLaughlin wrote, Cobham and sometimes Jan Hammer were way more important to the sound of that band then McLaughlin was. If you listen carefully to John McLaughlin he has a problem keeping time. He has a tendency to speed up the tempo, and Cobham deftly anchors his playing to keep the time where it should be. Billy can play in a groove that sets and maintains the rhythm and tempo of the piece, which is something that McLaughlin doesn’t so well. And listen to Cobham’s playing on the “Jack Johnson” album. Billy Cobham brought a funkier approach to Miles' recordings, and the groove on “Right Off” and also "Corrado" on “Bitches Brew” are among the strongest Miles Davis ever recorded.

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