25 More Of The Most Distinctive Opening Drum Beats In Rock Music

25 More Of The Most Distinctive Opening Drum Beats In Rock Music

Feature Photo:Harmony Gerber / Shutterstock.com

When we first published the 25 Most Distinctive Opening Drum Beats In Rock Music list, we knew we would get a massive response over not what was on the list but rather the ones that were not on it. That’s just the nature of publishing. So, in response to the never-ending swarm of emails we have received and the heavy amount of comments, we have put together a second part of the list. This sequel is based on the most popular choices that readers demanded should have been on the first list. We agree with all of them, and they would have been on the list, but there was just not enough room. So here we go with part two……….

We made one major change to this list. The criteria for other instruments not to accompany all opening drum beats is no longer in force. This will allow us to add some that were previously disqualified that we wanted to place on this list.

# 25 – Keep A-Knockin’ – Little Richard

This is for everyone complaining that Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll” was on the first list and not Little Richard’s “Keep A-Knocking.” Yes, yes, yes, we know that Bonham used the beat from Little Richard’s song. Bonham even admitted it. Rock and roll music is all about reinventing. How many millions of songs use the same three-chord 1, 4, 5 pattern? I mean, it was pretty apparent that Led Zeppelin was paying homage to early rock and roll on the song. The song was based on that basic three-chord 50s rock pattern. People need to just freaking chill.  Nonetheless, John Bonham turned it into something else as only he could, and that’s why we picked that one for the first list instead of this one. Yet, out of respect for the original and to basically just stop people from screaming at us, (which will never happen) here it is.

# 24 – Slow Ride – Foghat

We love Roger Earl’s legendary kick drum opening to Foghat’s classic track “Slow Ride.” This song was released on the Fool For The City album back in 1974.

# 23 – Love Stinks – J Geils Band

It’s good to get the J. Geils Band on the list. The band’s drummer Stephen Jo Bladd opened up this classic song with a killer groove.

# 22 – Do It Again – Steely Dan

Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” was released on the band’s debut album in 1972 called Can’t Buy A Thrill. It was the opening track on the album. Jim Hodder played drums on the track. The musicians on the track included Donald Fagen on lead vocals, electric piano, and plastic organ, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar, Denny Dias on guitar, Walter Becker on electric bass, and, of course, Jim Hodder on drums and percussion.

# 21 – I’m Just A Singer In A Rock And Roll Band – The Moody Blues

This one was always a lot of fun to listen to. The song was released on the band’s album Seventh Sojourn, which came out in 1972. Graeme Edge played the drums on the track. At the time, The Moody Blues consisted of John Lodge on lead vocals and bass, Justin Hayward on vocals and guitars, Mike Pinder on vocals and keys, Ray Thomas on vocals, and Graeme Edge on drums and percussion.

# 20 – YYZ – Rush

This is a cool one. Neil Peart was in a league of his own. It’s the first of three Rush songs on this list.  “YYZ” was featured on the Rush album Moving Pictures.

# 19 – Come Together – The Beatles

We had to get the Beatles and Ringo Starr on this list. This is easily one of the most distinct drum openings in rock music history. It’s not solo drums, which is why it was not on the first list, but that rule was released for part II.

# 18 – We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister

This was the song that broke the band big time a long, long time ago. I used to see these guys play in the rock clubs of Long Island back in the 1970s. It was cool to see them make the big time. A. J. Pero plays the drums on the track. The rest of the band included Dee Snider on lead vocals, Eddie Fingers and Jay Jay French on guitars, and Mark Mendoza on bass.

# 17 – Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills

Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” was released on the album The Number of the Beast. The album was released in 1982. Clive Burr plays the drums on the track.

# 16 – Middle Of The Road – The Pretenders

This is a really good one; you think it’s over, but then drummer Martin Chambers does it again……

# 15 – Rock And Roll High School – The Ramones

This is pretty much my favorite rock and roll movie of all time. It is so stupid, it is brilliant. I saw this when I was a senior in high school in 1979 when the movie first came out.

# 14 – Soul Sacrifice – Santana

There is a lot going on in this one. Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” was released on the band’s debut album entitled Santana. The album was released in 1969. Fueling this fantastic opener were musicians Michael Shrieve on drums, Michael Carabello on congas and percussion, and José “Chepito” Areas on timbales, congas, and percussion.

# 13 – Led Boots – Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck’s tribute to Led Zeppelin stands as one of the best tracks on his acclaimed 1976 album Wired. Narada Michael Walden played drums on the track.

# 12 – Lowdown – Boz Scaggs

Some people may argue that this is not rock. While it falls right into the pop and R&B categories very easily, it is too good and classic to ignore. Jeff Pocarro again proved why he was one of the greatest groove drummers in music history.

# 11 – Jesus Is Just Alright With Me – The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers’ rendition of “Jesus Is Just Alright” made its debut on their second album, Toulouse Street, in 1972. “Jesus Is Just Alright” originated as a gospel composition by American artist Art Reynolds. The first rendition was recorded by Reynolds’ ensemble, The Art Reynolds Singers, and featured on their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is.

# 10 – Bargain – The Who

We really didn’t want to keep Keith Moon off this list because he was one of the greatest drummers in classic rock history. We couldn’t think of any Who songs that opened up with just bare drums. However, there were plenty that opened with just a minimum instrumentation fueled by some killer Keith Moon drumming. This was one of the best.

# 9 – Something’s Comin’ Our Way – Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush

Everything about Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush is underrated; they were one of the best but never got the widespread credit they deserved. This one is killer. Jimmy Ayoub plays drums on the track. “Something’s Comin’ Our Way” was released on the What’s Next album in 1980.

# 8 – One Little Victory – Rush

Neil Peart is on fire on the opening of the Rush track “One Little Victory. The song was released on the Rush album Vapor Trails. The album was released in 2002.

# 7 – Radar Love – Golden Earring

While the drums don’t initially open this one, they serve as part II of the song’s opening. This one got a lot of votes to be on this list, so here it is.

# 6 – Fireball – Deep Purple

One of our favorite bands of all time comes in at number six. Legendary drummer Ian Paice opens up Deep Purple’s classic track Fireball with a crazed, intense drum solo that explodes into the hands of John Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, and Roger Glover before Ian Gillan lights it all up with his iconic vocal sound.

# 5 – Stargazer – Rainbow

The Deep Purple connection continues with Ritchie Blackmore’s band Rainbow. The song was released on the album Rising in 1976. Drummer Cozy Powell opens this one up with some pretty exciting playing. Also in the band at the time was Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Ronnie James Dio on lead vocals, Jimmy Bain on bass, and Tony Carey on keyboards.

# 4 – Exciter – Judas Priest

Judas Priest nails the number four spot with their heavy track “Exciter” with an extended drum solo that’s one of the best. Les Binks was hitting the skins on this one. A lot of people asked for this one.

# 3 – Iron Man – Black Sabbath

Even though this drum opening constitutes just a basic quarter-note kick drum, the number of emails and comments we got about not including this one on the original list was only eclipsed by the next two songs.

# 2 – Tom Sawyer – Rush

Believe me; this was one of the first songs we thought about when we put together the first lists. However, because we had limited the first list to solo drum parts unaccompanied by any other instruments, we did not include it. We lifted that criteria for this list pretty much for the sole purpose of including this song, which we all know is fueled by one of the most legendary openings in classic rock history.

# 1 – Hypnotized – Fleetwood Mac

We close out our 25 More Of The Most Distinctive Opening Drum Beats In Rock Music  with the legendary track “Hypnotized.” This was by far the one song that most people complained should have been on the first list. Its cool swinging groove, played by Mick Fleetwood, deserved to be there.  The song was written by Bob Welch and released on the Mystery To Me album. The band at the time included Bob Welch, Bob Weston, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood.


If you have not seen Part I of this series, just click on the link below.

25 Most Distinctive Opening Drum Beats In Rock Music History

Special thanks to Thomas Neokleous and all the readers who sent comments, emails, and more.

25 More Of The Most Distinctive Opening Drum Beats In Rock Music article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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