Best drumming album of all time?

Having only read four of the 17 pages, I'm going to cheat and name two that have possibly (probably, actually) already been named:

Miles DavisThe Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel
Already quite conversant with the studio recordings of his first and second great quintets, I was in no way prepared for what young whelp Tony Williams could and would do live. The first time I heard the by then incredibly familiar "So What" I was beyond flabbergasted. And I'm not the only one--right after the intro, when the main body of the tune kicks in, you can hear at least one guy in the audience laughing, no doubt in astonishment. (Sadly, Davis himself is not at his finest on this recording, having had several health challenges shortly before it was made, but the rest of the unsurpassed band is absolutely on fire.)

Mahavishnu OrchestraThe Inner Mounting Flame
In which Billy Cobham apparently eats Ginger Baker for breakfast, Keith Moon for lunch, John Bonham for dinner and then plays at a level none of them were even capable of approaching without even breaking a sweat. Which is honestly not meant as a slight on almost any of them—Moonie would have had no interest in even trying to play this kind of music and would have laughed like a loon at the very idea, while one suspects Bonham (sometimes my favorite drummer ever and beyond integral to the artistic and commercial success of Led Zeppelin) would have equally had little interest and happily acknowledged Cobham's monstrosity. Some may prefer Spectrum or Crosswinds, both of which are superb, but when I think of Cobham or incendiary fusion playing, this is always where I first go.


Senior Member
Chick Corea: Album name "Friends" Drummer Steve Gadd. This project through Gadd out there for drummers just to go what the hell is that!! Outstanding performance by Steve on this record.
Gadd's off the planet on that album. Amazing!


Well-known member
I find this fascinating that this thread started 15 years ago and still going strong.
My stepdad the drummer had this album when I was first leaning to beat the skins, it’s pretty impressive.


Well-known member
man...i don't know if I could even answer this....too many come into my head, but these were the first because I feel like they cover "a lot of bases"

Time Out by Brubeck
Permanent Waves by Rush
It's Hamilton Time by Jeff Hamilton Trio

my head hurts,,,


Senior Member

The first album i heard that didn't feature 'traditional timekeeping'. Before i got into DT i was listening to classic rock and i liked the Nickelback albums up until then (after The Long Road i didn't bother checking them out anymore, too commercialized music). But after hearing what MP did on those drums my eyes (and ears) were openend and led to thoughts like 'he does what there?'.
Also the variations on beats after a verse comes back again really was something new to me; why play it again when you have several bars to try that other beat you like to play?


Silver Member
Smashing Pumpkins "Gish". Butch Vig captured quite a sound, and Jimmy Chamberlain, on top of his great technique, simply overpowers all the rest ! Peace !!


Gold Member
For me.. easy choice... he blows me away everytime i listen to this. In the dictionary under "Rock Drummer" it should just be a pic of carmine...