John Bonham of Led Zeppelin has topped Rolling Stone magazine’s newly-published list of the “100 Greatest Drummers Of All Time.”
The late sticksman landed at No. 1 ahead of major players like Keith Moon of The Who, Cream’s Ginger Baker and Neil Peart of Rush, among others.
Rolling Stone explains that their sure-to-be-hotly-debated list of timekeepers was based on “one important caveat: we used rock and pop as our rubric, so a drummer's work needed to directly impact that world (as we define it, of course) to make the list.”
“We valued nuance and musicality over chops and flash,” they added, “celebrating players who knew the value of aiding a great song more than hogging up a show with a silly solo.”
In describing Bonham’s work, the magazine acknowledged the immediate impact he had on rock.
“On the very first cut of the very first Led Zeppelin LP, John Bonham changed rock drumming forever,” says Rolling Stone. “Years later, Jimmy Page was still amused by the disorienting impact that ‘Good Times Bad Times,’ with its jaw-dropping bass-drum hiccups, had on listeners: ‘Everyone was laying bets that Bonzo was using two bass drums, but he only had one.’ Heavy, lively, virtuosic and deliberate, that performance laid out the terrain Bonham's artful clobbering would conquer before his untimely death in 1980.
"At his most brutally paleolithic he never bludgeoned dully, at his most rhythmically dumbfounding he never stooped to unnecessary wankery, and every night on tour he dodged both pitfalls with his glorious stampede through ‘Moby Dick.’"
Bonham died at the age of 32 on September 25, 1980 of a pulmonary edema brought on by inhaling his own vomit after drinking forty shots of vodka in a twenty-four hour period as Led Zeppelin rehearsed for a tour in support of
1979’s “In Through The Out Door.”
“100 Greatest Drummers Of All Time” (March 2016)
01. John Bonham, Led Zeppelin
02. Keith Moon, The Who
03. Ginger Baker, Cream
04. Neil Peart, Rush
05. Hal Blaine
06. Clyde Stubblefield and John “Jabo” Starks
07. Gene Krupa
08. Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix Experience
09. Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. & the MG’s
10. Stewart Copeland, The Police
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