Most Overrated Drum Solo
Ron Wilson on “Wipe Out” from Wipe Out (1963) by The Surfaris. It doesn’t take much skill to play this piece of surf rock history, though “Wipe Out” could also fall under the “Most Influential Solo” category.
Most Complicated Drum Solo
Terry Bozzio on “The Black Page” from Make A Jazz Noise Here (1991) by Frank Zappa. The composer wrote this solo piece as a challenge to Bozzio. In essence, the title says it all — loads of inexplicable notes.
Most Compositional Drum Solo
Neil Peart on “O Baterista” from Rush In Rio (2003) by Rush. Nominated for a “Best Instrumental” Grammy in 2004, this live cut exemplifies Peart’s methodical approach to crafting solos.
Most Indulgent Drum Solo
Tommy Lee in a rotating cage during Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood tour. It inspired legions of headbangers to flash the devil’s horn sign as Lee sailed overhead, but it also signified a low point of rock drum soloing.
Fastest Drum Solo
Buddy Rich on “Machine” from Big Swing Face (1967) by Buddy Rich. In truth, this category could go to any one of dozens of Rich solos that take technique into the stratosphere, and defy physical limitations.
Best Rock Drum Solo
John Bonham on “Moby Dick” from Led Zeppelin II (1969) by Led Zeppelin. The absolute epitome of the Bonzo style, Bonham thrashes triplet figures around his kit and invents the heavy metal drum solo.
Best Jazz Drum Solo
Buddy Rich on “Channel One Suite” from Mercy, Mercy (1968) by Buddy Rich. This Don Menza arrangement reveals the remarkable big band jazz drummer at his most explosive peak of soloing prowess.