10 Favorite Videos Of Rock Drummers Singing Lead

10 Favorite Videos Of Rock Drummers Singing Lead

Feature Photo: daniel arnold from brooklyn, usa, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our 10 Favorite Videos Of Rock Drummers Singing Lead is just that. It’s not an article presenting the best drum performances of all time or the best drummers of all time. It simply lists our favorite videos featuring drummers singing lead vocals. Every video below presents drummers singing in live performances. Some videos are entirely live, while others were part of promotional videos. The one common denominator among all these videos is the songs. The songs also played an essential role in our selection. Of course, the important role that all these drummers played in classic rock history as members of some of the most influential bands of all time played a key role in our selections.

# 10 – Wild Thing – Sandy West of The Runaways

We open our 10 Favorite Videos Of Rock Drummers Singing Lead article with a band where the drummer rarely sang lead vocals. However, the video of the entire band, The Runaways, defines just how much fun the Runaways had together. Despite the group having two lead vocalists, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, they still gave the late Sandy West time to shine on stage every night. The live recording of the band performing the Troggs track “Wild Thing” was released on their only live album, Live In Japan. The album was released in 1977. It was not released in the United States.

# 9 –  Act Naturally – Ringo Starr of The Beatles

There was no way we could leave Ringo Starr off this list. He very well may be the most loved drummer of all time. He did not sing many lead vocals with The Beatles. Compounding that was the fact that The Beatles did not play a lot of live concerts, and the ones they did were short and did not feature Ringo Starr singing live. We are just left with the television show appearances, which, for the most part, were lip-synched. There is plenty of Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band videos, but we wanted something with the Beatles. We think we picked a pretty good one with his television performance of “Act Naturally.”

# 8 – Hard Luck Woman – Peter Criss of Kiss

When music fans hear the name Peter Criss and Kiss, they think of the song “Beth.” However, the hard-core Kiss fans will always point to the song “Hard Luck Woman” as defining one of Peter Criss’s shining moments in the band. This video presents his iconic, gravely vocal performance of the song fueled by his killer drumming skills that just made it all sound so good.

# 7 – We’re An American Band – Don Brewer of Grand Funk

I wonder how many people never knew that Don Brewer sang lead vocals on Grand Funk Railroad’s most famous song. Back in the 1970s, we rarely saw videos of our musical heroes. We just saw their pictures on the album covers or in rock magazines. Don Brewer not only sang lead on the song, he composed it. I spent an hour speaking with Don Brewer about the song’s origins, which was fascinating. Check out the interview I did with him about the music.

Read: The Don Brewer Interview 

# 6 – What I Like About You – The Romantics

If you grew up during the birth of MTV, you must undoubtedly have seen this video. Maybe at least a hundred times since MTV repeatedly played the same videos in the early 1980s. This was one of them. The Romantics were a fun band. They did not have a lot of hits. This one and “Talking in You Sleep” were the big ones, but they made their mark. This three-chord song was pretty popular for garage bands to play back in the day. And let me tell you, this song always got everyone up on the dance floor.

# 5 –  Sister Christian – Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger

MTV videos didn’t get more iconic than this one. Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” gave birth to the popularity of slow-motion effects in music videos that would become widely copied. Everyone loved this song. It would become Night Ranger’s biggest hit of their career. The band’s drummer, Kelly Keagy, wrote and performed the song. He wrote the song about his sister, Christy. It was initially called Sister Christy, but the band thought he was singing the words Sister Christian, so they just stuck with that instead.

# 4 – I’m In Love With My Car – Roger Taylor of Queen

If you were a Queen fan growing up, you probably remember how every Queen album always featured at least one or two Roger Taylor songs that definitely stood out on their albums. Roger Taylor’s “I’m In Love With My Car” will always stand as one of the best. It was the lone Roger Taylor song on the classic Queen album A Night At The Opera. My favorite line will always be how he rhymed: “Told my girl I’d have to forget her.Rather buy me a new carburetor.” The band released a very cool video of them performing the song in the 1970s.

# 3 – The Weight – Levon Helm of The Band

You can’t just call Levon Helm a singing drummer, even though that is what he did. Levon was so much more as he was such an essential member of the band as a songwriter, vocalist, and musician.  There were so many Levon Helm videos to choose from, but this one from The Last Waltz just seems to be the most memorable. Adding to the legendary clip were backing vocals by The Staple Sisters. This is such a breathtaking video it’s hard to find words to describe it.

# 2 – In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

There is Phil Collins, the drummer in the original Genesis, and then there is Phil Collins, the frontman in the late period Genesis. Of course, there is also the Phil Collins solo hit-making machine. Hand down, one of the greatest drumming moments in recorded history is the drum introduction in the song “In The Air Tonight.” You know,  it’s the most air-drummed lick in the history of the world. The video below is incredibly fun to watch as Phil Collins sings the opening vocal, walks around the stage, and slowly makes his way to the drum set for that magical moment in the song. Watch it from the beginning; it’s great.

# 1 – Hotel California – Don Henley of Eagles

This is as genuine as it gets. It also brings you back to a time in 1977 when bands like The Eagles were putting out the best music of their career.  One can’t think of Don Henley as just a drummer when he has put out so many iconic songs as both a member of the Eagles and during his solo career. Yet back then, his job was manning that drum seat in the 1970s. If we had to choose the best singing drummer of all time, it would be hard to argue against Don Henley.

10 Favorite Videos Of Rock Drummers Singing Lead article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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