Celebrating the 15 Most Underrated Drummers Of All Time

Vistalite Black

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Goliath.com has cast the spotlight on rock drummers who "don’t get the credit they deserve for what they’ve been able to accomplish with two sticks" by pointing out the strong points of 15 drummers who have sometimes been maligned.

It's interesting that many of these same names have come up in the thread, "Can you name a popular and commercially successful player who isn't a highly talented player?"

Thankfully, Goliath took time to emphasize the outsized contributions of each of these drummers while also discussing the reasons they've been maligned (mostly unfairly).


You can read all about: https://www.goliath.com/music/the-15-most-underrated-drummers-of-all-time/

Here's the list:

15. Charlie Watts

14. Stephanie Bailey – The Black Angels

13. Tommy Ramone

12. Brian Chase – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

11. Simon Kirke

10. Don Henley

9. Larry Mullen Jr.

8. Levon Helm

7. Mick Fleetwood

6. Michael Shrieve – Santana

5. Meg White

4. Anysley Dunbar

3. Topper Headon – The Clash

2. Carlton Barrett – Bob Marley and the Wailers

1. Ringo Starr
 

Old Dog

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These types of lists are ALWAYS SO SUBJECTIVE. It's not like they used an algorithm that produced the list. It's mostly opinion right? HOWEVER, I agree with #2 without a doubt! #1, pretty much agree with that too. Although, many will scoff at that I bet.
 

moodman

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I don't care who, besides me, they are but, let me know when the celebrating starts.
What are the top 15 ways to waste time on BS and possibly provoke confrontation?
 

Mongrel

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The "Pied Piper of DFO" strikes again!

Ears up....dogs on point.....ayooooo! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!

Love how many of my favorite drummers "made the list"....

Lol
 

franke

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Not sure if by "underrated", what the compiler of the list you referenced really meant was "unnoticed"?

Regardless, at the risk of perhaps overstating what is likely obvious (to musicians):

Anysley Dunbar played with Zappa, which in itself has gotta' mean something. He was also the original drummer for Journey (back when they were a jam band who could play a three-minute song for forty-five minutes).

It wasn't until I was all growed up before I finally got Levon Helm. This here video being the best exemplar of what led me to such an epiphany (note the cowboy boots):

Ringo, like Helm, only perhaps even more so, given the breadth and depth of the Beatles' career, created interesting drum parts in places where he could've just as easily played boom-bop-boom-boom-bop.

Henley is like Helm (singing drummer), though I will concede that his drum parts weren't necessarily as interesting as Helm's (or Ringo's), but then again, The Eagles were first and foremost a singing group that just so happened to have above-average guitar players.

Topper Headon was probably the closest thing to a "pro" musician the Clash ever had, and my saying this isn't a knock on the other three guys; far from it, as I was, and remain, a fan of the band, just that Headon's playing seemed to suggest that he understood how to not only play for the song, but for the listener as well. If I had been a fly on the wall during the London Calling sessions I'd venture that Headon got the least amount of direction from the producer.

Simon Kirke was rock-solid and had the perfect sound for Bad Company. Moreover, though I was but a young lad at the time, I recall reading in one of the music mags of the day (anyone remember Circus, or perhaps Circus Raves, or Creem?) where the band members stated their desire to play simple music, simply, a position which further underscores Kirke's relevance in the band.
 

Maggot

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Most underrated players ever: 1) this guy who no one's ever heard of, 2) that woman no one's ever heard of, 3) this one kid.
 

funkypoodle

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Yeah, list are always highly subjective. I'm just happy to see some love for Carlton Barrett, who was effectively a hell of a drummer. If the list were made by more Reggae-savvy folk Carlton Barrett would be on the A-list with the likes of Sly Dunbar, Horsemouth Wallace & Lloyd Knibb & we'd get to hear about the real obscure players on the underrated list.

Carlton Barrett has had to have played on practically as many tracks as Blaine or Purdy (at the respective age of 38, as his life was cut short). The session band, The Hippy Boys were stretched between Slim Smith, Lloyd Charmer, Lee "Scratch" Perry (when it wasn't the Upsetters) & producers Bunny Lee, Harry J., Joe Gibbs, Sonia Pottinger & King Tubby among others. The Barrett brothers literally left a trail of legendary hits behind them.

I had the honour of meeting Aston "Family Man" Barrett briefly before opening for a modern incarnation of the Wailers a few years ago. Here's the brothers pumping it up on some early studio stuff

 

hawker

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I don't know you well rikkrebs...but you are seriously underrated in my book. ;)

One thing about that original list; two of the richest underrated drummers in the world are on it. I would be LOVE to be that underrated.
 

VintageUSA

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There might be a couple of drummers that should stay on that list but, I have NEVER heard anyone underrate Shrieve or Dunbar.
Ridiculous.............
 


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