There's not many things I enjoy better than someone sending me a top five out of the blue, and this is one of those. Tony has had to put up with me discussing my latest top five down the pub for a number of years and finally decided to give it a go himself. It's a corker too, enjoy.
In no particular order, these are my top five songs from my teens which feature drums in some way and which probably influenced my musical taste for ever. I can’t play the drums myself (or indeed any musical instrument) but I have always enjoyed watching and listening to good drummers – especially if they are in a heavy rock ‘n’ roll band!
1. “Dreaming” Blondie - I bought this on 7 inch single (1979 I think) after I first heard it on Capital Radio (never really liked Radio 1). My brother and I shared a bedroom and he had a record player and I used to play it over and over again until he finally snapped and demanded that I use headphones. This meant that I could turn it up (to 11) and I properly got addicted to loud music from that point on. The drumming on this song is simply brilliant. There are a couple of videos on You Tube where the drumming is mimed, but there is one version where I’m sure he’s (Clem Burke?) hitting the skins as ‘live’. Mesmerizing.
2. “Overkill” Motörhead - To be honest the first time I heard this was in 1982 at Hammersmith Odeon when I saw Motörhead on the Iron Fist tour. I had a few of their albums but not Overkill and seeing/hearing the double bass drum crescendo of Philthy Animal Taylor really did blow me away. After the show I got hold of the album and the 12 inch single and played them to death. When No Sleep Til Hammersmith came out, the live version of Overkill got played so often that I scratched the vinyl at the beginning and end of the song!
3. “Bad Boy Boogie” AC/DC - Although the brilliant If You Want Blood live album came out in 1978, I probably got my hands on it a couple of years later. The third track, Bad Boy Boogie really demonstrates the amazing teamwork of drummer Phil Rudd and Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar. The song itself is dominated by Angus Young’s guitar solo but for me the sound of the drums makes the hair on the back of the neck stand on end!
4. “Rock ‘n’ Roll” Led Zeppelin - I don’t remember when I got hold of The Song Remains The Same album, but I do remember going up to Soho to watch the film in 1982 (in a dodgy cinema that usually showed more adult type films!). The live version of Rock ‘n’ Roll on this album is a classic – I only have to hear the ‘Okay lets go’ at the beginning of the track and I have to put my life on hold for the next 4 minutes. Jon Bonham - one of the best drummers, if not the best, of all time.
5. “In The Air Tonight” Phil Collins - I’m gonna get slaughtered for having this in the list but I absolutely loved it at the time. It’s more famous these days for having a gorilla play the drums but there’s no escaping the fact that it has great drums on it. It was either this one, or ELO’s Mr Blue Sky.