Best 70s Drummers

Best 70s Drummers

The 1970s was a decade that birthed some of the most talented and influential drummers in the history of rock music. These drummers not only showcased technical prowess but also brought innovation and a unique flair to their craft. Join us as we explore the best drummers from the iconic era of the 70s.

Key Takeaways:

  • The 70s produced legendary drummers known for their technical ability and innovation.
  • John Bonham from Led Zeppelin had a powerful and energetic style that shaped the sound of the band.
  • Jeff Porcaro made a name for himself as a session drummer, working with renowned artists like Toto and Michael Jackson.
  • Keith Moon, the wild and chaotic drummer of The Who, brought a unique energy to the band’s music.
  • Roger Taylor of Queen blended rock and jazz, creating a distinct rhythm that set the band apart.

John Bonham

John Bonham, the drummer for Led Zeppelin, is considered one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. Known for his powerful and energetic style, Bonham had a significant impact on the success and sound of Led Zeppelin. His drumming in songs like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love” showcased his mastery of rhythm and his ability to create unique and memorable drum patterns.

With his immense talent and creativity, Bonham pushed the boundaries of what a rock drummer could achieve. He brought a sense of groove and dynamics to Led Zeppelin’s music, elevating it to another level. Bonham’s playing was characterized by his thunderous bass drum strikes, dynamic fills, and impeccable timing, setting a new standard for rock drumming.

One of Bonham’s most distinctive qualities was his ability to blend power and finesse. He could unleash thunderous beats during intense moments of a song and seamlessly transition to intricate patterns during softer passages. This versatility made his drumming both impactful and nuanced, contributing to Led Zeppelin’s signature sound.

“Bonham was the powerhouse behind Led Zeppelin. His drumming was like a force of nature, driving the band and the audience to new heights. He had an incredible sense of rhythm and a knack for creating memorable drum parts that still inspire drummers to this day.” – Jimmy Page

In addition to his technical prowess, Bonham’s stage presence was legendary. His energy and charisma behind the drum kit captivated audiences around the world. The combination of his talent, showmanship, and innovative drumming style solidified his status as an icon in the world of rock music.

The Impact of John Bonham

John Bonham’s influence on rock drumming cannot be overstated. His unique approach to rhythm and his ability to create memorable drum parts still resonate with musicians and fans alike. His contributions to Led Zeppelin’s music set a benchmark for aspiring rock drummers, and his enduring legacy continues to inspire new generations of musicians.

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Jeff Porcaro

Jeff Porcaro, a legendary drummer, rose to fame as a highly sought-after session musician. His immense talent led him to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Toto and Michael Jackson.

Porcaro’s drumming style was characterized by his exceptional ability to create grooves and play with impeccable feel. Rather than relying on flashy solos, he prioritized the rhythm and flow of the music, making him a perfect fit for session work.

One of Porcaro’s most notable contributions was his work as the drummer for the band Toto. He played a crucial role in shaping their iconic sound, which drew influences from rock, pop, and jazz. Hits like “Africa” and “Rosanna” demonstrate Porcaro’s skill in crafting infectious grooves that captivated audiences worldwide.

“I’m a firm believer in playing for the song. If the song doesn’t call for a solo, there’s no reason to force one in. It’s all about serving the music.” – Jeff Porcaro

Porcaro’s versatility as a drummer was further showcased in his collaborations with pop superstar Michael Jackson. He played on some of Jackson’s most significant hits, including “Beat It” and “Human Nature,” adding depth and precision to the rhythmic foundation of these chart-topping tracks.

Jeff Porcaro’s impact on the music industry cannot be overstated. He was a musician’s musician, admired not only for his technical prowess but also for his ability to infuse soul and emotion into his drumming. His contributions continue to inspire and influence drummers to this day.

Notable Works:

  • Toto’s “Africa”
  • Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”
  • Toto’s “Rosanna”
  • Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”

Keith Moon

Keith Moon, the legendary drummer for The Who, was a force of nature on and off the stage. Known for his chaotic and wild style of playing, Moon brought an unparalleled energy to the band’s music, propelling them to new heights of success.

With his explosive drumming, Moon pushed the boundaries of what was possible behind a drum kit. He broke the mold of traditional drumming, incorporating intricate fills, unconventional time signatures, and unpredictable rhythms into his performances. Moon’s playing was a perfect match for The Who’s rebellious and energetic sound, cementing his status as a rock icon.

Despite his unpredictable nature, Keith Moon was an exceptionally talented musician. He possessed a command over complex rhythms and a technical ability that set him apart from his peers. His playing was characterized by a frenetic energy, with drum solos that were as much a spectacle as they were a display of skill.

“I think Keith was the greatest rock and roll drummer that ever lived.” – Roger Daltrey, The Who

Keith Moon’s influence extended far beyond his drumming. He pioneered the use of double bass drums, pushing the limits of what could be achieved with the instrument. His rebellious spirit and unconventional approach to music continue to inspire drummers to this day.

While Moon’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 32, his legacy as a chaotic drummer and rock legend remains. His impact on The Who’s music and the world of drumming is immeasurable, and his memory lives on through his incredible performances and unforgettable personality.

Roger Taylor

Roger Taylor, the legendary drummer for Queen, played an integral role in the band’s success. With his unique fusion of rock and jazz in his drumming style, Taylor created a sound that set Queen apart from other bands of the era. His ability to blend the raw energy of rock with the intricate rhythms of jazz resulted in a groove and rhythm that captivated audiences and made Queen’s live performances truly unforgettable.

Taylor’s innovative drumming can be heard in iconic Queen songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” His incredible technical skill, combined with his undeniable stage presence, made him a force to be reckoned with and solidified his place as one of the greatest drummers in rock history.

“I like my drumming to be a fusion between rock and jazz, with an underlying funk groove. It’s about finding that balance and creating something unique.”

Born on July 26, 1949, in King’s Lynn, England, Roger Taylor initially pursued a dentistry career before fully embracing his passion for music. Alongside his drumming duties, Taylor also contributed vocally to many Queen songs and wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Radio Ga Ga” and “I’m in Love with My Car.”

Roger Taylor’s Contributions to Queen’s Music

Roger Taylor’s style of fusion drumming played a crucial role in defining Queen’s sound. His ability to seamlessly transition between different genres and incorporate complex rhythms added depth and complexity to the band’s music. Taylor’s drumming contributed to Queen’s ability to experiment with various musical styles, resulting in a diverse discography that resonates with fans to this day.

Here are some of the key contributions Roger Taylor made to Queen’s music:

  • Blending rock and jazz rhythms to create a unique sound that set Queen apart.
  • Adding intricate drum fills and dynamic fills to enhance the melodic and rhythmic elements of Queen’s songs.
  • Incorporating elements of funk and disco into his drumming style, adding a danceable groove to many of the band’s tracks.
  • Providing powerful vocals on songs like “Under Pressure” and “I Want It All,” showcasing his versatility as a musician.

With his incredible talent and contribution to Queen’s success, Roger Taylor continues to be regarded as one of the most influential and innovative drummers in the history of rock music. His impact on the music industry, both as a drummer and a songwriter, is undeniable, and his legacy lives on through Queen’s timeless music.

Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts, the renowned drummer for the Rolling Stones, had a fascinating journey from graphic designer to becoming a blues drummer extraordinaire. His expertise in jazz and blues genres brought a unique flavor to the Rolling Stones’ music, setting them apart from their contemporaries.

Watts’ subtle playing style seamlessly blended with the band’s sound, creating a one-of-a-kind melody that captivated both jazz and rock enthusiasts. With his impeccable sense of rhythm and understated fills, Watts provided the backbone of the Rolling Stones’ iconic sound.

Throughout his career, Charlie Watts showcased his versatility by incorporating diverse rhythms and intricate beats, solidifying his reputation as a true blues drummer. His contributions propelled the Rolling Stones to the pinnacle of success, chart-topping hits, and unmatched live performances.

In recognition of his influential role in shaping the band’s sound, Charlie Watts earned his place among the legendary drummers of rock and roll history. His impact on the music industry remains enduring, and his legacy as a blues drummer continues to inspire and resonate with audiences around the world.

Notable Quotes about Charlie Watts

“Charlie’s inimitable style of drumming, rooted in the blues, gave the Rolling Stones their backbone. His understated playing was the secret behind their success.” – Mick Jagger, lead vocalist of the Rolling Stones

“Charlie Watts’s contribution to the Rolling Stones’ music cannot be overstated. His impeccable sense of timing and groove added a unique depth to our sound.” – Keith Richards, guitarist of the Rolling Stones


The 1970s was undoubtedly a remarkable decade for the world of drumming, producing some of the best and most influential drummers in music history. These legendary drummers, with their undeniable talent and innovative styles, continue to inspire generations of musicians and shape the landscape of drumming today.

From John Bonham’s powerful drumming with Led Zeppelin to Keith Moon’s wild and chaotic style with The Who, the 70s drummers pushed the boundaries of what was possible on the drum set. Their technical prowess, creative flair, and unforgettable performances elevated the role of the drummer and solidified their status as iconic figures in the music industry.

Notable names like Jeff Porcaro, with his impeccable sense of time and versatility as a session drummer, and Roger Taylor, who seamlessly blended rock and jazz rhythms in his drumming with Queen, also left an indelible mark on the 70s music scene.

Lastly, Charlie Watts’ transition from graphic designer to the bluesy drummer for the Rolling Stones showcased his unique approach to rhythm and added a touch of jazz sophistication to the band’s sound.

The legacy of these talented 1970s drummers lives on through their groundbreaking contributions, and their influence can still be heard in the drumming styles of today. As we reflect on the past, we acknowledge the immeasurable impact these drummers had on shaping the world of drumming and securing their place among the best drummers from the 70s.


Who is considered one of the greatest rock drummers of all time from the 70s?

John Bonham, the drummer for Led Zeppelin, is considered one of the greatest rock drummers of all time.

Which legendary drummer worked as a session musician in the 70s and collaborated with Toto and Michael Jackson?

Jeff Porcaro, known for his work with Toto and Michael Jackson, was a legendary drummer and session musician in the 70s.

Who was the drummer for The Who in the 70s and had a chaotic and wild style of playing?

Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who, had a chaotic and wild style of playing that became iconic in the 70s.

Which drummer from the 70s was a key member of the band Queen and known for his fusion of rock and jazz?

Roger Taylor, the drummer for Queen, was known for his fusion of rock and jazz in his drumming style.

Who was the drummer for the Rolling Stones in the 70s and brought a unique blend of blues and jazz to the band’s music?

Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones, brought a unique blend of blues and jazz to the band’s music.

Who were some of the best drummers from the 70s who left a lasting impact on the music industry?

John Bonham, Jeff Porcaro, Keith Moon, Roger Taylor, and Charlie Watts are among the best drummers from the 70s who left a lasting impact on the music industry.

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