The names on the list may not be surprising, but the performances certainly are. We've taken the most incredible feats of rhythm in the Vault and put them all in one place. From explosive bashing to sophisticated syncopation, we've got the best.
1. Emerson, Lake & Palmer / Karn Evil 9 - We begin where technical ability and feel intersect. ELP's music requires almost inhuman precision at times, but that doesn't mean that drummer Carl Palmer can't funk it up with the best of them.
2. The Police / Next To You - the King of the Ghost Note, Stewart Copeland introduced a whole generation to drumming that was understated yet still complex. This track demonstrates his other greatest strength: breakneck tempos.
3. The Who / Sparks - The Who's lovable jester behind the kit played drums the way he lived life, with total reckless abandon.
4. The Buddy Rich Orchestra / Tommy Medley - One of our greats paying tribute to another. Buddy Rich was drumming personified.
5. Rush / YYZ - Our list had to include Neil Peart. This somewhat abbreviated version of the band's signature instrumental still has plenty of room for some seriously athletic stick wielding.
6. Cream / Sunshine of Your Love - More then a couple guys on this list owe a huge debt to Ginger Baker. His unusual playing style and big personality helped set Cream apart from the competition.
7. Max Roach Quintet / It's Time - Adding a touch of class to the proceedings, Max Roach also helped to develop many of the techniques employed by modern drummers to this day.
8. Band of Gypsys / Them Changes - It's all about the groove, and Buddy Miles is a triple threat: drummer, singer and songwriter.
9. Santana / Soul Sacrifice - It can be hard to tell where the rest of the band ends and the drums begin in such a rhythm-heavy outfit, but Michael Shrieve makes it abundantly clear.
10. Paul Simon / 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - In our final entry, session ace Steve Gadd proves that drumming can be tastefully impressive on this smooth classic.