At number 5, Gene Krupa, the flamboyant showman who defined swing-era percussion. His flair for a frantic drum solo meant that even when he played as an accompanist, jazz bands left plenty of room for his iconic tub thumping.
Oft mocked but seldom bettered, Phil Collins is one of the few drummers to have made the leap from simple rock drummer to multi-talented rock star. Credited with creating one of the most recognisable drum sounds in history, there’s far more to Collins than just his gated snare.
Now for another rock drummer who stepped into the spotlight. Dave Grohl’s respected but marginalised stint in Nirvana set the stage for his prodigious return as Foo Fighters’ main man. These days he’s seldom behind the skins but those memories remain.
Buddy Rich’s legacy is well-known by nearly every drummer on the planet. The only thing to match his powerful on-stage presence was his fiery off-stage temper. Still a legend in the industry for his machine-gun licks.
At number one we had to choose John Bonham, the ultimate drummer’s drummer. Behind Led Zeppelin’s kit, his unique style redefined rock-era percussion from the band’s very first album. His untimely death in 1980 only adds to his mythical status as the greatest drummer who ever lived.