Something unique about drum solos awakes the audience and allows the drummer to showcase his talent further.
It is one of the showstopping moments where you can feel the audience’s energy steadily rising until it’s over.
In honor of those special moments, today we present the list of songs with incredible drum solos. Keep reading to uncover which one of the drum solos have made to out list.
Moby Dick – Led Zeppelin (John Bonham)
John was always something special, and nobody can deny the talent and skill he managed to develop over the years. To categorize his drum solo in “Moby Dick” is beyond my comprehension, which shows how special his part in this song really was.
In the album, we can hear just about two minutes of Bonham playing. However, Zeppelin would allow him to extend his solo, sometimes up to 20 minutes in concert. One of John’s most recognized parts in this solo is when he plays the so-called Bonham Triplets.
These three notes are categorized as hot licks, and many rock and jazz drummers use them today. Moby Dick was released in 1969, and it is very popular today.
YYZ – Rush (Neil Peart)
Neil is famous for his drum solos, and recently he showed use one more time how talented and skilled he is.
However, this time Neil decided to give us one more magnificent drum solo in the song YYZ.
YYZ is instrumental based on the rhythmic morse code of the Toronto airport location identifier. The song features Neil’s signature ride pattern.
Eleven – Primus (Tim Alexander)
I know what you are thinking now. However, this isn’t South Park’s theme song. The song’s name is “Eleven,” and it is my Primus.
The name itself suggests that the track is in 11/8.
The artist, Tim Alexander, has some noticeable grooves and fill throughout the entire song. In some way, his drumming is so tight, and you can see Neil Peart’s influence on him.
Gene Krupa & His Orchestra “Lover/Leave Us Leap” (Gene Krupa)
The story of Gene Krupa started way back in 1945 when he had already started hitting his stride and embarking on his drumming career.
Also, his swing jazz style was electric, and you could almost sense the energy flowing through the air.
This is debatable, but there is some indication that Gene Krupa was the first drummer to lead his own popular band.
On the particular track, Lover/Leave us Leap, you can notice how Krupa plays several blazing solos on a minimal kit. His exploratory style adds to the overall performance.
Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers “Night in Tunisia” (Art Blakey)
Art Blakey was another drumming bandleader, and his work started to get noticed in the 50s and became legendary.
In some sense, he is the opposite of Krupa since his playing style consisted of the hard bop drumming style.
In addition, he is the inventor of the previously mentioned style. In the song Night in Tunisia, Blakey kills the solo drumming part.
This is my subjective opinion, but this was one of the greatest jazz drum solos ever recorded. It is so powerful and full of energy that it’s impossible not to see its beauty.
In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly(Ron Bushy)
It’s definitely one of psychedelic rock’s most legendary songs. In addition, it is one of the longest songs. In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida by San Diego’s own Iron Butterfly is a staggering 17 minutes and 5 seconds long. T
he track’s epic length is thanks to a number of solo sections for each band member with a guitar, bass, and drums, each getting their turn in the spotlight.
Former drummer Ron Bushy’s part as the percussionist shines on the solo drum section and a dual solo with organ player and singer Dough Engel.
Even bassist Lee Dorman gets in on the act soloing alongside Bushy during the final show of In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida and its hazy proto-metal durge.
West Side Story Medley – (Buddy Rich)
You may call Buddy Rich the drummer’s drummer. The New York native has long been lauded as one of the finest drummers to pick up a pair of sticks, influencing countless musicians in the wake of his big band’s success.
Case in point Rich’s incredible work was recording the music of West Side Story. In particular, the series of selections that make up the West Side Story Medley.
Buddy Rich’s insane chops and flawless jazz technique are on full display here as he leads his swinging band in some impressive and innovative musical directions.
Simply stated, it’s an incredible piece of music that deserves a serious investigation from anyone remotely interested in the art of percussion.
Forty Six & 2 – Tool(Danny Carey)
They say that it isn’t always about the destination. It’s about the journey. This line of thinking can also apply to the musical approach of Danny Carey.
Danny Carey has made a career by perfecting the art of restraint and precision. This can be best heard on songs such as ticks and leeches and forty-six & 2, the dark, brooding intensity of which has played a major role in defining the tool’s progressive metal sound.
Carey crafts percussive buildups with his hard-hitting style lurching alongside guitarist Adam Jones and bass player Justin Chancellor to create dreary symphonies of drum-heavy bliss on the latter, which was released in 1998 as Enema’s fourth single.
Pain Killer – Judas Priest(Scott Travis)
Subtlety? No thanks. The heavy metals legends and Judas Priest would rather hit you over the head with this pile-driving title track to their 1990 opus Pain Killer.
Drummer Scott Travis pummels listeners with an unaccompanied double bass intro and never looks back, driving the song from first note to last with furious aggression.
Judas Priest always had a revolving door drum position within their ranks, and Painkiller was Travis’s first album with the band.
Travis still holds that position today as Priest’s longest-serving drummer, but Pain Killer might be the man’s best performance with the band.
A tour de force track that serves as a highlight of Judas Priest’s enviable career.
Wipe Out – The Surfaris(Ron Wilson)
What comes to mind when you think of the musical genre known as surf rock. Sandy beaches? Bikinis? Pounding drums? If you are a fan of Surfaris, then it is most definitely the latter.
This is proven especially true when examining the pioneering surf rock group’s biggest hit, “Wipe Out.” Wipe Out is largely instrumental other than the brief cackled intro.
Wipe Out rocks and tolls with Tremolo picked reverb-drenched guitar and the frenetic drumming of Ron Wilson.
Wilson, in particular, gets to bust put on his own alternating energetic drum solos against the riffing and solos of guitarists Jim Fuller and Bob Berryhill.
It’s a driving infectious little number that has transcended genre to become one of the world’s most instantly recognizable songs.
The End – The Beatles(Ringo Starr)
Not every drummer enjoys standing in the spotlight to perform a flashy self-serving drum solo. Beatles legend Ringo Starr was a famously understated performer.
Still, he nevertheless performed one to kick off the end of the final track on what would be the iconic rock & roll band’s second to last studio album.
Setting aside the hidden track “Her Majesty,” the end appropriately closed out Abby Road. Starr actually re-recorded the simple yet effective solo alongside guitar and tambourine while in the studio.
However, these instruments would be lowered in the mix before the album’s release allowing Starr’s hard-hitting tom work to shine through on this fan-favorite Beatles cut.
Rat Salad – Black Sabbath(Bill Ward)
The founding four members of the Black Sabbath are all monumental musicians in their own right. However, the drummer Bill Ward arguably flies under the radar as the most underrated performing with the group.
Ward’s impressive and impactful talents as a drummer were always put to good use by the band but perhaps didn’t receive the attention they deserved.
Case in point, the Rat Salda, sometimes forgotten instrumental tucked away on side two of Sabbath’s 1970 album Paranoid.
At barely two and a half minutes, the track nevertheless manages to leave a mark thanks to the heavy interplay between Ward’s octopus-esque kid abuse and guitarist Tony Iommi’s beefed-up blues menace.
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who(Keith Moon)
During his time with The Who, Keith Moon paired self-destructive behavior with serious drumming skills.
My Generation is a great showcase of his chops, but we had to go with the epic Won’t Get Fooled Again for this pick.
Not only does this track from The Who’s fifth album who’s next feature one of classic rock’s all-time best screams from singer Roger Daltrey, but it also boasts an incredible solo section from Moon near the track’s back end.
Keith begins to ramp up his playing around the six-minute mark before coming near the song’s finale for one final rush to the finish line.
There are many songs with great parts that bring everything to life. However, only a handful of them has drums solos worth remembering.
The most notable thing about drum solos is the energy it provides to the whole audience. Nevertheless, the brilliance of the drummer is showcased as well, and the better the drummer, the better the energy that comes along with it.