Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekend Listomania (Special Rhythm is an Outmoded Western Conception* Audio/Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental arm candy and stress management expert Fah Lo Suee and I will be taking an emergency meeting with the Prince of Darkness, Satan himself. The subject: What the fuck can we do to keep Pat Robertson [R-Insufferable Lunatic] from talking utter shit on his stupid TV show about how the Haitian people made a deal with the Devil?

That being the case, further posting by moi will be sporadic for a day or two.

In the meantime, then, here's a hopefully fun little project for us all:

Most Memorable Drums, Drumming or Drum Simulation on a Post-Elvis Pop or Rock Record!!!

No arbitrary rules here, except no prog-rock or fusion. Seriously, I couldn't care less if Bill Bruford can play in 12/8 or whatever, and if you try to sneak any of that crap onto the list I will come to your house and rip your lungs out with a set of fireplace tongs.

Other than that, though, pretty much anything goes. My own choices here, as you can see, have more to do with sound or vibe or sheer novelty than with great drumming or any musical expertise per se, on the theory that I'm pretty sure we've already done a list featuring more traditional and technically impressive stuff. But like I said -- no arbitrary rules.

And my totally top of my head Top Eight is:

8. Esquerita -- Esquerita and the Voola




An utterly confounding record, beginning with the idea that somebody at Capitol in 1958 actually thought that this howling weirdness could be a hit. That said, although the track's mise-en-scene clearly belongs to its crazed auteur, I think we can all agree that Esquerita would have been nowhere without the credited-on-the-label drumming of Riccardo Young. Kudos and huzzahs to both of them, obviously.

7. Cozy Cole -- Topsy Parts 1 & 2




This was a double sided smash in 1958, although (as you'll note) I've always been partial to the more popular B-side, if only for the spoken introduction, delivered by Cole (one assumes) with just the right note of on-the-nod aplomb. In any case, few who've ever heard this have been able to resist the temptation to drum along with whatever utensils were immediately at hand.

6. The Beatles -- Long Tall Sally




Ringo, making the dawn come up like thunder. The fact that there are still people out there who think he couldn't play just blows my tiny mind.

5. Outkast -- Hey Ya!



Apparently, the video notwithstanding, there is no actual drummer on this, i.e. it's all programmed or computerized or whatever. Frankly, I don't care -- this is one of the most kick-ass tracks of the decade.

4. The Wonders -- Dance With Me Tonight



From That Thing You Do -- Tom Hanks simulacrum Tom Everett Scott as Guy Patterson, my favorite fictional drummer of all time.

3. The Legendary Stardust Cowboy-- Paralyzed




A perennial candidate for worst rock record ever made, obviously, but producer T. Bone Burnett's contribution, as the song's trash-can drum soloist, can't be over-emphasized. Titular star The Ledge (as he is known to his friends) has never had backing as sympathetic.

2. The Rolling Stones -- Honest I Do




A Jimmy Reed cover, and as laid back as that entails, but seriously -- Charlie Watts plays the entire song using only one hand. I'm not making this up -- just listen to it. And if you still don't believe me, get me drunk sometimes and I'll mime to the track and prove the point.

And the numero uno assault on those pagan skins (perhaps only metaphorically) clearly is...

1. The Residents -- The Booker Tease




The least convincing drum machine track ever (assuming it's even that technologically advanced -- it could be the percussion preset from a cheesy Casio keyboard for all I know) and yet there's a pretty cool groove here. In any case, I think I already posted the Flying Lizards' "Money" (which is even more cheesy sounding) in a similar context on another Listomania.

Awrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[*h/t Michael Sorrentino, who actually said it and meant it.]

[Shamless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: best or worst flicks about insects OR a character named after an insect -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, I'd really appreciate it if you could go over there and leave a comment, thus getting me in good with management. Thanks.]

54 comments:

dave™© said...

I'd pick about 7/8's of Sly's "There's a Riot Goin' On".

Runner-up: About 1/2 of Rundgren's "Todd" elpee.

BTW, you're old enough to know that Residents' track came out WAY before there even WAS a Casio keyboard. Probably the same kind of drum machine Sly and Todd used...

dave™© said...

And I can't believe you left out "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida"...

Dave said...

The first song that popped into my mind was "Happy Jack." It's the happiest drum I've ever heard.

And although it isn't showy in the same kind of way, I've always loved the drumming in "Until You Come Back To Me" on Aretha's original.

Marsupial said...

For pure cheesy Casio-style drum sounds, 'Da Da Da' by Trio is tough to beat.

Mark said...

Pat Robertson may be an effing moron but he will end up doing more good, forwarding more resources and aid to Haitians than you will ever do in a 1000 lifetimes, so lay off the smug, self-righteous priggish attitude.

Hell, the Haitians speak French and will never know what the dude said but they'll eat his food and wear his clothes and be thankful which is more than a fool like you will do for them.

I don't come to this blog to hear your moronic looney leftie crap, so keep it to yourself you moral midget.

steve simels said...

Don't worry, Mark, I just got off the phone with the Devil, and he tells me that you won't have internet access in the little circle of Hell he's got reserved for you.

Have a nice day, of course.

MBowen said...

What kind of ignorant tool would go on someone else's blog and tell the blog owner what he or she could write about?

Why, an ignorant right-wing Xianist tool like Mark, of course!

Back on topic, I'd nominate Bill Bruford (heh, heh) and his playing on "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge", not for the technical dexterity, but for the unique snare sound he had.

There's also the drum intro to "Watching The Detectives", which sounds like a bunch of garbage cans rolling down a flight of stairs. I'm pretty sure that's Pete Thomas, but it may have been Steve Goulding from The Rumour.

Sal Nunziato said...

Ringo on the live, "Roll Over Beethoven" from Swedish Radio in 1963, is what I always play for all the ignorant asspains who laugh and say he can't play drums. Absolutely killer.

Billy B said...

Zep's D'yer Mak'er comes to mind.

As to the troolie, besides being insane, Dr. Pat Robertson is as good an example of a "moral midget" as one is likely to find.

And don't come to this blog...

Gummo said...

Well, I hate to keep coming back to Ringo, but the moronically simple but insanely catchy drum solo that climaxes the 2nd side of Abbey Road is still wonderful.

Not to mention McCartney's drumming on Back in the USSR.

Ringo's own favorite Beatles drumming was on the song Rain. He admitted he never did anything like it before or since.

And an honorable mention to Tommy Ramone for the locked in drum-bass-power chord combo that opens the first song on the first album, Blitzkrieg Bop.

Gummo said...

And anyone who defends Pat Robertson after his lifetime of odious vicious and inhumane comments and grifter-like bilking of the old, sick and vulnerable of their hard-earned money is an utter fool who has forfeited any right to be taken seriously on any subject whatsoever, including pop music.

Ken J said...

I am with Sal. Those Swedish Radio sessions are mind-blowing, revelatory for folks who never give Ringo credit. I don't know if it is the mix or what, but Ringo's drums cut through. And you realize that - at least at that young age - he might have been the most proficient Beatle. Would they have gotten where the did if not for a kick ass drummer raising the game?

Anonymous said...

My dad, a drummer in the Purdue marching band, was always stupified by the behind-the-beat drums on Buffalo Springfield's "Hour of Not Quite Rain." fairly classic psych drumming.

Gummo said...

Ken J, Sal --

It's difficult for a lot of people now to remember that when the Beatles first hit, in '63 and '64, Ringo was considered a wild, loud, pounding drummer compared to what was current at the time.

Anonymous said...

What Ken J said. Counterbalancing those people who do not or cannot hear Ringo, are others who think that before he joined up, the Beatles were just a good bar band.

Anonymous said...

how about Clem Burke's amazing work during the fadeout of Heart of Glass? i imagine a lot of rock drummers seriously considered hanging up their sticks when they heard that.

and on a punishingly pedantic note, 12/8 time isn't at all exotic or difficult to play. it can be counted in either 3s or 4s, and usually has a rolling, loping quality, e.g. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

Mark, the world would be a better place if you were buried under tons of rubble.

ms. rosa said...

Buddy Holly Cardboard Drums!

Noam Sane said...

I never had much use for Blondie, but Burke's drumming on "Dreaming" is fucking ostentatious. In the best way.

"'Til You Come Back To Me" - that's Bernard Purdie. Like butter.

Is Tutti Frutti post-Elvis? Not sure of the date, but Earl Palmer...man.

But my two faves would be Ringo on "The Word" and Tom Ardolino on "Me and the Boys".

Anonymous said...

Keith Moon's drums on the version of "Can't Explain" from the Kids are Alright movie once made me weepy.

And Charlie Watts's fills on the second and third choruses of "Loving Cup" are the most musical drum fills ever written.

And any jackass knows that any aid that comes from the likes of Pat Robertson and his ilk will consist of 3 bibles for every blanket.

Feral said...

Peter Gabriel's solo stuff often had excellent drum work, e.g. "Red Rain" and "Secret World", and I always liked the tone and mix of Bev Bevan's drumming on ELO's "On the Third Day" LP.

And Mark, if you really want to know what motivates Mr. 700 Club, just Google "Pat Robertson" +"blood diamonds" or "Pat Robertson" +"gold mines" - it may open your eyes, if that's possible...

geor3ge said...

Damn near every track on Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde."

geor3ge said...

BTW, here's a live TV clip of "Paralyzed."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdiDW6qyg1k

It's notable for the hilarious announcer who just can't resist quipping: "I suffer for my music, and now it's your turn."

Brooklyn Girl said...

And then there's Moon's drumming at the end of "Won't Get Fooled Again" ... sets up Daltry's Greatest Scream in The History of Rock and Roll perfectly.

But for great cheesy drumming, you can't beat Propellorhead's "History Repeating", sung by the one and only Shirley Bassey.

Oh, and the Pat Robertson toadie can just STFU.

My word verification is "proog" ...

jackd said...

Surely we can spare a moment's appreciation for the widdle boombox that accompanies Byrne on the live "Psycho Killer"?

Back in my ute, I caught one or two shows by the Dixie Dregs. The drummer, Rod Morgenstein was great fun to watch because of his constant expression of amazed delight at what he was doing.

jackd said...

Followup: I googled Morgenstein and he plays for Winger now. Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.

Peter said...

It may or may not be "post-Elvis" but ignore at peril to your cred Earl Palmer's volcanic fills on the original "Good Golly Miss Molly." It's the record we use to explain rock and roll to the aliens.

Speaking of Purdie's work with Aretha, I've always been partial to "Rock Steady."

And how could anyone leave out the great Dino Danelli? His stick-twirling alone....

And Mark? I am more conservative than you will ever be. Come back when you grow up, girl.

Billy B said...

Levon's drums on "The Weight" are great also.

That shuffley backbeat is too cool.

Sal Nunziato said...

And if I may, Mr. Simels, here is an old post I did highlighting some of my faves.

http://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/2009/03/give-drummer-some-weekend-mix.html

John Fowler said...

First, seconds from me on Dave's "Happy Jack", Marsupial's "Da Da Da", Noam's "Dreaming", Brooklyn Girl's/dave(TM)'s "Won't Get Fooled Again"

a few quick nominations of my own -

Pretenders - Martin Chambers throughout that first album - with "Precious" and "Mystery Achievement" as drum highlights, for me

Husker Du - Grant Hart on "Eight Miles High", a cover, of course. Loud is good.

and I've always really liked the extended fade-out from
Dire Straits - "Skateaway", with Pick Withers' playing providing just the right accompaniment to the other instruments. Rhythm great throughout the song. (An unrelated comment on this song is that, in contrast to most pop songs, I find that the repeated chorus - "she gets rock'n'roll, etc" - to be not-that-good; the verse & fade-out outshine it by far.)

Libby Spencer said...

ZOMG, I'm so late to the game and no one has mentioned Ginger Baker's solo on Wheels of Fire? Surely not the best drum solo ever, frankly I didn't like Baker all that much, but I thought it was the most famous one. It went on for like an hour or something. All the hippies in my little corner of the world were always talking about it.

Mark said...

That's right, morons, not one of you denies the fact that Pat Robertson has done more good, saved more lives than any of you will do or even wants to do in a 1000 lifetimes.

He may be a chump but he's a damn sight better human being and less smug than any of you fools here.

Let's hear it for Danny Glover while we're trashing fools who say god or the devil did it.

What a bunch of self-righteous prigs. And hey, Simels, love that snappy comeback. Wow, you really know how to hurt a guy. Clever.

ms. rosa said...

@ Sal:
HE DOESN'T KNOW WHEN TO COME IN! HAHAHAHAHA! I'm stealing that one...

Steve if the annoying gnat above me were a film, I would've listed him over in listomania. Bzz! Bzz!

John Fowler said...

Hi Mark,

The name of the blog is "Powerpop". Steve's post that started this topic is clearly focused on the (pressing!) issue at hand, Memorable Drumming. The vast majority of the followup posts have been commenting on that topic.

However, you have yet to weigh in on Memorable Drumming. Can I ask that either you do so, and thus contribute in a positive way to this conversation? Or else acknowledge that you have nothing relevant to say, and then the rest of us can ignore you completely?

Thank you!

nora charles said...

The drums -- think it's Mick Waller -- on the Rod Stewart "I Know I'm Losing You" hammer me.

And now I sing a few bars of "Go Away, Little Troll."

steve simels said...

Our friend Mark has admitted that Robertson is a moron. I'll take him at his word and leave it at that.

steve simels said...

An "effing" moron at that, come to think...

Jeffrey said...

Too many to mention, but I'll go with Clayton Fillyau's manic fervor on JB's "I've Got Money" (like a Mardi Gras parade moving at 60 mph).

http://popup.lala.com/popup/432627099389092810

J. Loslo said...

No one should be allowed to mention Pat Robertson without including the phrase "non-specific drip."

TMink said...

Hey Mark, I read and post here and have for a while and I am an evangelical Christian. The folks here have always treated me with kindness and respect as we talk about music. On the rare times when folks here talk about politics, I read what they write, and consider it. These people have earned that right through their hospitality and kindess.

It is Steve, Mary, and KC's blog, and I am a visitor. To me the Christian thing to do is to reciprocate to them the kindness and respect that I have been shown.

While I appreciate that you disagree with their views of Pat Robertson, the hostile tone of your post is really jarring and if you are a Christian, unseemly in my view.

Please consider appologizing to everyone.

Peace.

Trey

TMink said...

Back the the music, I just do not hear or listen to drums as much as I listen to the bass and guitar. While I can hear the drums of some of the listed tunes, I will have to go listen especially to the ones I have that I can't bring to memory.

Of course I love the Who and the Blondie drumming, Keith and Clem rock, but I need to pay more attention to the skins.

And at the risk of being banned, I really love the drumming on Roundabout. (ducks)

Trey

geor3ge said...

I googled Morgenstein and he plays for Winger now. Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.

They still exist? I thought they went down during the great AquaNet Wars of '89.

steve simels said...

Nobody dug the Esquerita?


Wow, I'm definitely gonna have to post about him at greater length...
:-)

dave™© said...

Hey, kids, I just noticed that way, way back in my first post, I forgot to include a reference to "best use of an early drum machine".

Simels regrets the error.

I still can't believe he left out "Won't Get Fooled Again." Or "Wipeout," for that matter...

Brooklyn Girl said...

"Wipeout" ... OMG. Every 13-year-old boy in the country wanted a drum set after that came out. Some girls, too.

John Fowler said...

Two additional nominations that I can't believe that I forgot...

Talking Heads - Chris Frantz - "Burning Down the House" - as with "Skateaway", I wouldn't give up a second of the fadeout on this song...

Sleater Kinney - Janet Weiss - "Entertain" from The Woods. I realize S-K aren't at the top of some folks' lists here, but, this album stayed on the top of my iTunes during most of 2006...

Jeffrey said...

Just got around to listening to the Esquerita and the Cozy Cole. Wonderful! (Cole's drumming confirms my prejudice for jazz-inspired playing.)

cthulhu said...

Pretty much the entire Who oeuvre with Keith Moon, of course; several tasty morsels have been nominated above, and the drums on Won't Get Fooled Again may be, on balance, Keith's finest hour (well, 8 minutes anyway), but...take a listen to the drum roll for the ages that leads out of the second bridge on The Kids Are Alright, and be prepared to swoon.

Somebody up there mentioned Peter Gabriel; on the "So" disc and subsequent tour, he had Manu Katche drumming for him, and rather spectacularly at that. Hearing Red Rain in concert, with a full-bore acoustic drum sound, was revelatory - sounded like the reincarnation of Keith Moon.

Jim Fox always did a great job backing up Joe Walsh in the James Gang; their classic 7-minute-plus The Bomber features a nice mix of drumming.

And Bev Bevan's drumming all over ELO's best disc, "Out of the Blue", is wonderful - check out Night in the City for some tasty power pop.

Brooklyn Girl said...

One more ... if you'll excuse me for mentioning Motown, but the drumming in "Heard It Through The Grapevine" is very, very cool.

Actually, that's true for both versions.

rurritable said...

I'll have to go with virtually everything Terry Chambers did for XTC, but mostly his work on English Settlement. He's aggressive,but he has that emotive quality that Phil Collins had until he got out in front of Genesis. A lot of drummers don't have the slightest idea how to work with vocalists.
I wish XTC would re-form with old Terry.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...tall order,but,may I include: Sandy Nelson's "Teen Beat",great snare sound."Fool In The Rain" which show's off Bonzo's power and dexterity,ie: the roll he plays coming out of the latin feel section.The oft-maligned,"Radar Love" by Golden Earring has some nice Cozy Cole-ish pounding.As for straight-up solos,Carmen Apice's on "Feel So Good" by Cactus is quite nice.
Dino Danelli on "Come On Up'by The Rascals really drives the track.
Isn't it Kenny Aranoff on the Wonders' tracks ?
I saw the Ting-Tings on SNL,liked the drum-driven,"That's Not My Name".
When Pink Floyd won induction to the British Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame,Nick Mason said the following;
A young boy said to his Mum,"When I grow up,I want to be a drummer". His Mum replied,"You can't do both,dear" GB

Brooklyn Girl said...

Yeah, so this thread is long forgotten. So sue me.

But I heard "Watching The Detectives" on the radio this morning, and it most definitely needs to be added to the list.

TMink said...

Sue me next. Rurritable mentioned Phil Collins, and his drumming for Eno and Bowie was KILLER!

Not much of a singer/songwriter in my book, but Phil was a great drummer.

Trey

Marsupial said...

I can't believe we went through this topic and I forgot to mention something about Terry Bozzio with Missing Persons, during the 'Spring Session M' era (before he became all-consumed with electronic kits). It seemed so out-of-place to hear his kind of, ummmm.... prog(?) drumming in L.A. New Wave music.

JJO said...

I'm late to the party here, but I wanted to put in a word for Connie Kay's hi-hat on Sweet Thing from Astral Weeks. The entire song is just hi-hat, except for one measure, which is a full kit. I've always wondered whether that was an editing mistake or what.