Songs that are recognizable just by the beat


Junior Member
I was watching random people play random Bonham beats on youtube and i realized so many Zeppelin songs can be instantly recognized just by the beat and it made me wonder what other songs are completely recognizable just by their beats. I don't think any other single drummer has as many as Bonham but there are for sure other songs. A google search didn't bring up anything even remotely related so I wanna start a list here. I hope you will all post songs you know of that are recognizable just by the beat.

Just to be clear not songs with great drum beats but songs that you'd be able to recognize if you heard a random drummer playing it alone in a music store.

Here are a few examples of what I mean.


Immigrant Song
The Ocean
When The Levee Breaks
Good Times Bad Times
Since I've Been Loving You

Not Zeppelin:

Come Together - Beatles
Smells Like Teen Spirit

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Honky Tonk Woman by the Rolling Stones.
Wipe Out by the Surfaris
Sky Rockets in Flight by the Starland Vocal Band
Moonlight Feels Right by Starbuck

Well, the first two anyway ;)

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I am thinking intros

Get off my cloud
Walk this way
Ice cream cakes
rock and roll, Zepplin
Last edited:


Senior Member
Nice 'n Sleazy - The Stranglers
Tommy Gun - The Clash
Are We Not Men - Devo
Cars - Gary Numan
I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
We Will Rock You - Queen
Smoke on The Water - Deep Purple

There's quite a few when you start to look.


Well-known member
Journey: Don't Stop Believing

Paul Simon: Late In The Evening

Van Halen: Hot For Teacher & Everybody Wants Some


Billion Dollar Babies - Alice Cooper
Lakeside Park - Rush
Heart of the Sunrise - Yes
The Ides of March - Iron Maiden
Watcher of The Skies - Genesis


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
In My Life - Beatles
Get Together - Youngbloods


I take a little exception at Billie Jean though. While the drum intro is recognizable, and that's another topic, the beat is the standard, ubiquitous 2&4 "money beat" used in countless hits across various genres. Several others mentioned are also intro-specific, but the beats in the song are more generic and widely-used.

Billion Dollar Babies and Are We Not Men? are quite unique however, those wouldn't have come to mind even though they're from a few of my favorite groups!

Last edited:

Anon La Ply

Heaps of them ...

Moby Dick - Zep
My Sharona - The Knack
Sing Sing Sing - Benny Goodman
Blue Rondo A La Turk - Dave Brubeck
Roxanne and Walking on the Moon - The Police
Burning Down the House - Talking Heads
Taxman and Getting Better - Beatles
Touch Me - The Doors
Suck My Kiss - Chill Peppers
Let's Dance - Bowie
I Can See for Miles - The Who
Don't You Eat that Yellow Snow - Uncle Frank
White Room - Cream
Led Boots - Jeff Beck
Tusk - Fleetwood Mac
Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder
A Night in Tunisia - Art Blakey
One More Red Nightmare - King Crimson

etc etc


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Totally agree. It's a money beat......the single most common 4/4 pattern used in popular music. Take the music away and it could be one of a million tracks.

I use that in my clinic when talking about how the drum parts don't always define the song/genre. For example, playing a funk song doesn't (necessarily) mean playing a funky, busy beat. I play straight time, and ask what genre/style it is. Nobody gets it right, and everybody gets it right. A single beat usually applies to a LOT of songs. I've been accused of being able to play a lot of styles with Al, when in fact I'm mostly playing 2 & 4 while the guitar, bass & keys actually define the style.

That said, there are indeed some signature beats that seem to exist only in one song. But they shouldn't be confused with a specific intro, fill, or in Bonham's case in particular, the sound.