Thanks for those who've replied so far. And like youenjoy said his swing capabilities are mediocre at best (what is with that trigger big band finish at the end of his solo's?)
I will get a hold of La Villa Strangiato and see what he has to offer. But while we're on the topic of his playing with the rest of rush, I've seen videos of that too and I also just found his grooves to be boring (once again not to be mistaken with simplicity).
Neil is not the greatest drummer in the world and HE would be the first to admit that. I don't believe there is such a thing but Neil is among the greatest drummers in history.
I never said he was or that even such a tag should exist. "The greatest drummer in the world" is just such a pathetic title, it really doesn't mean anything to me when someone throws it on a drummer. Has anyone heard every drummer in the world? No. Then there's the sheer vagueness of it, and the fact that so much of why a drummer is good or bad is due to taste or opinion. And I can't see why Neil is among the greatest (once again bad title), and this why I came here because Drummerworld is obviously the best place.
As for the rest of CJh2112's comments, I told you everything I thought and WHY I thought it, so to just see these huge statements like "Neil is one of the greatest soloists in the history of our instrument and that is a fact" means absolutely nothing. First off how could it be a fact? If we're gonna talk facts here, why not mention Gene Krupa. He made the drums a solo instrument; before him no one had heard of a drum solo. That's a fact. After going to such lengths to explain why he's a boring soloist, how could I believe that he's one the best with a statement like that? You didn't even give one reason. If you can't break down why he's so good then that's alright for you but I'm really trying to get some real answers here. But thanks for your reply :)
I'm not won over yet! :P