View Full Version : Drum solos

11-23-2001, 01:20 AM
There's been a few comments in various threads about drum solos recently. So I'm wondering what everybody thinks about them. I am a drummer, so I'm always willing to listen to a solo just to check out what a drummer's doing.

But, I've always thought that drum solos should fit into the song their played in, and make a musical statement, rather than be a clinic, or a brag sheet for the drummer performing it.

Given the previous paragraph, I find that most drum solos that are recorded are one of the following (in this order):
self indulgent
good moments with lots of filler

the 30 second solo in "Hours" by FM - my idea of a perfect drum solo
the solo in "eighteen" by Pat Metheny (if we haven't got it on the station yet, we will soon)
almost anything by Carl Palmer or Neil Peart
some of Alan White's stuff
part of Phil Ehart's solo on "Incomudro"

and there's probably more but it's late on Thanksgiving, and I'm tired. Comments? I'd especially love to hear about solos that are technically good AND fit into the song...

11-27-2001, 02:55 PM
Well, I guess I don't need elaborate on Alan White's drum section of "Ritual," but I will. It's not a "drum solo" in the classical sense as much as it is an "orchestrated drum moment" that definitely fits the music (with actually four drummer live). I alos like Alan's short solo moment in "Release Release," as well as the whole RELAYER and TALK albums. Bill Bruford's solo in the YESSONGS version of "Perpetual Change" is good. AN EVENING OF YES MUSIC PLUS has an electronic solo by Bruford, the first half of which I think is not very good, but then he sits down at the kit and it's much much better. And correct me if I'm wrong, but there's pretty good drum solos in "Think as a Brick" and "The Fountains of Lamneth." Not really a solo, but there is some incredible drumming by Ansley Dunbar (Bowie, Zappa, Journey) on Journey's "Kahoutek," which is on AM - check it out. There is some stuff on there where you think "man that guys' working that double kick pedal hard," but as it turns out, he was only using ONE KICK PEDAL! That is some dexterous footwork!

But my all time favorite solo is by Steve Smith of Journey. On the live album CAPTURED, at the end of the song "La Do Da." It's not super flashy, but it's technically great and fits the music of the song. If you don't own that albu, (which I'm sure most of you don't), find an mp3 of it just to hear that solo. It'll be tough though because 98% of the "La Do Da" mp3's will probably be the studio version.

BTW, I'm not a drummer, so what do I know?

Yesspaz out.

11-29-2001, 12:53 PM
Also check out the Neil Peart like drumming of Sam West of Stavesacre (a much heavier band than Rush, mind you).

11-29-2001, 07:54 PM
Release Release - Now THAT's a great solo. The drum movement from Ritual is super cool, but like you said, isn't a solo per se. Relayer is a good album, but I don't remember the drum parts excelling - I'll have to listen again with that in mind. Talk bores me (sorry). And the Perpetual Change drum solo from Yessongs is a perfect example of what I meant by "clinic" rather than fitting into the song - technically very impressive (there are a few parts I still haven't figured out), but mostly having nothing to do with the song -which is unusual, because while I forgot to mention him, Bruford has an incredibly good melodic sense.

I don't remember a drum solo on Thick As a brick, but Barriemore Barlow is a great drummer - can't remember offhand if he was on that album, or if it was Bunker.

Aynsley Dunbar is great - anyone who started out playing for Zappa has to be good. And Steve Smith is better than most people give him credit for. Later Journey (post Infinity - remember, I'm an old fart) is too pop for me, but they were still super talented.

So, for a non-drummer, I'd say you fared pretty well :D

12-02-2001, 06:46 PM
Listening to AM with drum solos in mind, I heard ELP's "Toccata" and King Crimson's "Pictures of a City". Man, how can drums get any better than that!

12-04-2001, 10:08 AM
The best early crimson drum song, to me, is In The Wake Of Poseidon.