When it's good to be the drummer: Great "drummer's" songs

Also from The WHO and Keith Moon, I’ve always liked Happy Jack. It’s not necessarily the toughest thing to play (i have no true idea) but i like it for the fact that he is “lead drumming”. In other words he playing the lead part. John and Pete just support him as he pounds through the song.

Let us not forget Mr. Bean.

If you’re looking for songs that are BUILT around the drums, that are largely dominated by the drums, I’d suggest…

  1. “I Don’t Care Any More” by Phil Collins

  2. “When the Levee Breaks” or “D’yer Mak’er” by Led Zeppelin

  3. “Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant

These are all good offerings, especially “Happy Jack.”

I’m no expert, but how about:

“Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles. I’ve always wondered but been too afraid to ask: Is that one drum track or two?

“Most Likely You Go Your Way” on Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde”.

“Honest With Me” from Dylan’s “Love and Theft.” That song is so minimal but the drummer sounds like he’s having a hell of a time.

‘Swhat I’m talkin’ about! I love the way the drummer gets deeper and deeper into the song. Good stuff!

Brave Combo’s El Cumbanchero. All that racket is produced by one guy, Mitch Marine.

p.s. if you can locate the whole song, he goes solo at about 1:20. You can really appreciate how many notes he is hitting.
I saw him do it live. Simply amazing.

Overkill…3 fake endings later, and the drummer’s still going.
ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta…ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta…ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta…
ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta…ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta…ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta…

I’m partial to The Power Station’s “SOme Like It Hot.” Also, “In Dulce Decorum” by The Damned is a fun one to rock out on.

I’m not a kit drummer, but I’m fond of the drumming in I Know There’s Something Going On.

Not necessarily a drummer’s song, though written, as I understand it, to showcase drummer Joe Morello’s skills during the drum solo: Take Five

Btw, OP, I’ve seen Phil Collins on TV talking about the drum part you (and I) like so well, and he seems rather contemptuous of its popularity. He said it was one of four or five different versions he recorded for that part of the song and that version just happened to be the one that eventually made the cut. He seems generally annoyed that that part of the song is what gets all the attention.

I saw the same sort of attitude from Steve Martin with regard to King Tut when I saw him perform in the late seventies. Everybody kept saying “Do King Tut” and finally he said, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll do it but I’ve got this other shit to get out of the way first!” Then he said something about spending years working on his routines and all anybody wants to hear is a piece of shit I threw together in twenty minutes.

Then he’s being a butthead about it. The drum crash is the release, the catharsis that resolves the tension that builds in the first two-thirds of the song. You can’t have the last third without the first two-thirds, and vice-versa. If a musical moke like me understands that, it shouldn’t be too hard for Phil Collins to explain it.

On the other hand, I completely understand Martin’s attitude. “King Tut” was a goofy piece of crap that should have been fun for about ten minutes. Its unearned iconic status illustrates the insipid shallowness of American culture.

I agree. I thought he was being kind of a jerk about it, too, but I’ve seen enough of him in documentaries and so forth to get the impression that he can be rather difficult.

Regarding the cartharsis that occurs at that point in the song, I can only give him sufficient props that he knew enough about what he was doing (which is undoubtedly the case) that he figured the other versions he worked out would have accomplished pretty much the same thing. Essentially, I think he just thought it wasn’t that special and was annoyed that it became the focus of everyones’ attention, rather than the song in its entirety.

Some musicians seem to be that way. I seem to remember reading that Henry Mancini was somewhat scornful of the way the public to his theme from Peter Gunn and also the Pink Panther. IIRC, he regarded them as ‘the most overrated notes in all of music’, or some such.

Or simply the desire of people to be entertained by something they enjoy. Any artist who expects a mass audience – in the U.S. or otherwise – to subjugate their own tastes to his, or even to know the difference, is bound to wind up dissapointed and angry (and which may explain why Martin has the reputation of being a jerk to his admirers).

I don’t have anything to add, other than to say thanks for reminding me of that great composition. It’s been a few years since I’ve heard it. Props to you.