10 essential drum albums....


Platinum Member
It's understandable-- that list makes sense for a modern rock player. I'm glad he included Ringo-- maybe some of the chops guys who are into Portnoy try to take him a little more seriously for that.

Sobel's list is funny-- I didn't know anyone else in the world had that Brandon Fields record.


Senior Member
I do too. It reads more like a favorites list to me than an essentials list though.
I agree with most of the list's bands. Not necessarily the albums. Portnoy's favorites are that - a favorites list. No Jazz? No Stones? No Pink Floyd? No Van Halen? No Green Day? No DMB? For me, any/every musician could come up with 10 favorite/influential albums in a minute or two. His, are a good start.


Silver Member
ah...come on...we all know it's Sandy Nelson's "Let There Be Drums", "Drums Are My Beat",
"The Birth of The Beat" ah! ... no "Topsy pt2" ha! ok, just kidding but no 50's, 60's on there?


Silver Member
Sobels list was cool. I'll be checking out some of the records on that. I like his taste in drumming. Gavins one listed Secrets (Allan Holdsworth), as did Sobel, so that's clearly a drumming gem worth checking out.

Cobham didn't list any records released after the 60's, lol. All old jazz stuff.

By the way, these articles are all listed on the music radar website. They originally appear in Rhythm magazine months before they go on the website.


Senior Member
My personal favourite was Stewart Copelands list of top 10 albums. Man oh man so diverse, and he even included Joey Jordison of Slipknot in his top 10. I'm not into Mr Jordison to be honest, but for someone as tasteful as Copeland to approve, its hard not to give Joey that extra bit of respect.


Silver Member
Man lots of great albums listed.. tweeked a few memories;

- Brandon Fields!! Saw him play with Dave Weckl on a drum tour. Outstanding band!
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds of Fire.. I remember excitedly getting my hands on that record in Grade 9 from the 'big city' on a trip. When I got home I discovered the record was warped.. and 2 days later when I wasn't looking - my dog ate the cover! Billy rocked the Kazbah on that one.. but I was a big Dreams fan before that. Anyone remember those guys??? A bunch of unknown NYC jazz cats turned rockers featuring guys like Randy/Michael Brecker on horns, Will Lee on bass and Billy on the skins. They put out 2 fantastic albums Dream Suite and Calico .. after losing one of the vinyls, I searched for 20 years in vain until I discovered someone re-issued them on CD. I now keep the CDs in a vault surrounded by armed guards.

- TOP Oakland the best?? I dunno I'd pick the TOP album with 'What is Hip' on it - my all time fav! (I've got em all hehe!)

- Romantic Warrior.. a lot of people pick that one.. but my all time fav of RTF is Where Have I Known you Before? Chic's first big splash was a real eye opener for a lot of people.. and those buggers - Stanley, Lenny, et Al made it look so easy! Like how the heck could they play like that and smile the whole time like they were picking daisies??

Great lists by both Sobel and Portnoy!


Pioneer Member
Man lots of great albums listed.. tweeked a few memories;

- Brandon Fields!! Saw him play with Dave Weckl on a drum tour. Outstanding band!
- Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds of Fire.
I love me some Cobham and Jon Hiseman (Colosseum) drumming. Birds of Fire made my asplode when I first heard it.


Silver Member
I cant really think of 10 right away, but 2 that jump to me are Led Zeppelin IV (if you can hold down when the levee breaks with good grove you can go far, and the rest is great practice). And jazz at the philharmoncs, the drum battle, buddy rich vs gene krupa.


Senior Member
Portnoy's list is a matter of taste. All great drum records.

My favorite Ringo drumming albums would be Rubber Soul & Abbey Road. Just incredibly good and very musical playing.

Live At Leeds is a classic, for sure. My money for Moonie would be Tommy, Quadrophenia or Who's Next.

I'm not a big Song Remains The Same fan, especially in light of the How The West Was Won release. No comparison in terms of performances captured. Favorite Bonham stuff is on Physical Graffiti and In Through The Out Door.

KISS Alive...well...for nostalgia sake, sure. Great drumming? Oh, I don't know...

Hemispheres is good but, to me, all Rush albums are interchangeable as far as drumming goes. Peart is an interesting guy and his playing is superb; but it doesn't really grab me. If I had to choose standouts from his playing, I would probably go to the Grace Under Pressure, Presto or Counterparts albums.

Joe's Garage is wonderful Vinnie.

The Beck album is good Simon Phillips stuff. My fave Phillips would be Townshend's White City album. The drumming is so alive on that record. Love it.

Not a Metallica fan.

The Slayer album has great drumming, though not really my cup o' tea.

Bruford's playing on Close To The Edge represents his peak in that band. Everything Bill does is amazing in my opinion. If I had to choose a Bruford album, it's the BLUE album he did with Tony Levin. Wow!

Bozzio is another one that would be hard to pick a fave. Like Portnoy, I like Terry's playing with U.K., Zappa and am a great fan of the Missing Person's Spring Session M record. I love everything Terry does. His Chamber Works record is some of my all-time favorite music. Criminally unknown. Just mind-blowing!

Never heard the Anthrax album.

Here's 10 Essential Drum Albums( that I haven't listed above) off the top of my head:

Black Sabbath - Vol. 4 (Bill Ward)
Roxy Music - Siren (Paul Thompson)
Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent (Cliff Davies)
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Tinderbox (Budgie)
Herbie Hancock - Thrust (Mike Clark)
Buddy Rich - Roar of '74
Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood (Barriemore Barlow)
Roxy Music - Avalon (Andy Newmark)
Eric Clapton - August (Phil Collins)
Gov't Mule - Deep End Vol. 1 (Matt Abst)




Senior Member
For me in terms of essiential, its more which albums ive learned the most from


Tool Lateralus, tom based beats, metric modulation
Sting Ten Summoners Tales more metric modulation, 7 and 5 grooves
Art of Rebellion Josh Freeze Huge heavy rock grooves
Cinematic Orchestra Luke Flowers 6 and 7 grooves, and swinging funk
Led Zep 1 Bonham Fills. Using a swing feel of a straight beat.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Joni Mitchell - Wild hings Run Fast
Karizma - Document
Five Peace Band

Toto IV

Hiromi - Trio Project

Bendik IX
Ab & Zu - Ab & Zu

Tower of Power- Tower of Power
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