/ sound + vision:

“a film is more like music than like fiction.” —Stanley Kubrik

Top 30 Studio Drum Sounds Ever

The Beatles Abbey Road Studios

Don’t argue, young’uns. Go to your room and don’t come out till you finish your homework:

Not talking strictly performance or technical prowess. It’s the texture, man.

In no particular order:

  1. John Lennon: Watching The Wheels
  2. Spoon: All the Pretty Girls Go to the City
  3. Dusty Springfield: Son of A Preacher Man
  4. The Beatles: (tie) A Day In The Life/Tomorrow Never Knows
  5. Cream: White Room. Just for you, hippies.
  6. Joy Division: Transmission
  7. Led Zeppelin: (tie) Fool In The Rain/Good Times Bad Times
  8. PJ Harvey: O Stella
  9. The Police: (tie) Roxanne/Every Breath You Take. Don’t lie, you love it.
  10. Velvet Underground: Oh Sweet Nothin’
  11. Gang of Four: Damaged Goods
  12. The Smiths: How Soon Is Now?
  13. Prince: (tie) Lady Cab Driver/Pop Life
  14. Beastie Boys: Sabotage
  15. The Fall: Chicago, Now!
  16. Lou Reed: Coney Island Baby
  17. Fleetwood Mac: Dreams
  18. David Bowie: Five Years
  19. Elvis Costello: Lipstick Vogue
  20. The Cure: 10:15 Saturday Night
  21. The Cars: Candy-O
  22. Gary Numan: Cars
  23. Psychedelic Furs: Pretty In Pink (OST Version).
  24. U2: (tie) New Year’s Day/Elvis Presley In America
  25. Adam Ant: Goody Two Shoes
  26. R.E.M.: 7 Chinese Brothers
  27. The National: Brainy
  28. Elliott Smith: Alameda
  29. Big Country: In A Big Country
  30. The Who: Eminence Front. Surprise! Keith Moon doesn’t play on this track.
  1. Friday 12.15.2017 | 7:14 EDT

    Lee says:

    As there is obviously no shortage of great drum sounds throughout the years, I wanted to make mention of Steve Smith’s drum sound on Journey’s 1983 Frontiers album. The toms especially were absolutely incredible and “HUGE” sounding with the most beautiful sustain I have ever heard!
    I’m hooked!

  2. Monday 03.03.2014 | 3:35 EDT

    hoveringwaxwing says:

    Nice list. I get a kick out of the big county distorted bass drum sound at the beginning. Spose that’s Kenny Jones on Eminence Front. Also interesting to hear Entwistle playing with such restraint.(at least until the chorus) I tried to google the drummer on the Dusty Springfield track but came up emptyhanded. I’m consistently blown away by the sound of Ringo’s kit as well as his unique fills. Thanks for the post.

  3. Wednesday 02.29.2012 | 3:12 EDT

    samiam says:

    Eminence Front, but no other Moonie?

    Other than that , so fun. That photo is great.


  4. Monday 07.25.2011 | 3:57 EDT

    powrsac says:

    How can you not have “When The Levee Breaks” on here?

    1. Saturday 01.26.2013 | 3:09 EDT

      passthecurry says:

      i agree. when the levee breaks has one of the best drum sounds ever

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