Drummers are the true unsung heroes of any good band. While guitarists and vocalists steal the spotlight in the front and bass players provide a vital link that ties the entire rhythm section together, drummers pound away in the back driving the music, content with the knowledge that they’ll probably be the first member kicked out when the lead singer inevitably goes on an ego-driven power trip. Of course, there are many percussionists who have become household names over the years, with names such as John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Neil Peart earning the praise of not just other drummers, but music fans in general. But while those rock legends are undisputed in their skills behind the kit, there are way more drummers out there who simply do not get their due for their contributions.
While the following 15 drummers may not be among the greatest drummers to ever play (though a few could certainly qualify), they don’t get the credit they deserve for what they’ve been able to accomplish with two sticks and a burning desire to make lots of noise.
If you like this list, be sure to check out our countdown of the 15 most underrated guitarists of all time.
15. Charlie Watts – The Rolling Stones
When it comes to legendary rock ensemble The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards hog the spotlight. After all, how can you overlook one of the greatest songwriting partnerships in music history? Of course, the Stones’ music is characterized by more than just Jagger’s bluesy vocals or Richards’ memorable guitar riffs. While the band has seen many personnel changes over the years, the only other founding member still with the Stones is drummer Charlie Watts, who has provided the beat to Jagger and Richards’ songs ever since the band was formed in 1962.
The secret to Watts’ longevity is his rock-solid (apologies for the pun) playing, always doing what’s required of him to make the song great. Whether he’s playing fast, slow, quiet, or loud, Watts always delivers a reliable performance and has formed an integral component of The Rolling Stones’ sound since day one.