100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Steven Adler
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98. Steven Adler

Guns N' Roses' landmark debut, Appetite for Destruction, gets much of its swagger from the tense yet swinging beats of Steven Adler, the band's energetically goofy drummer. "To Steven's credit, and unbeknownst to most, the feel and energy of Appetite was largely due to him," Slash wrote in his autobiography. "He had an inimitable style of drumming that couldn't really be replaced, an almost adolescent levity that gave the band its spark." Bassist Duff McKagan agreed: "Without his groove, we wouldn't have come up with a lot of those riffs," he told The Onion A.V. Club in 2011. Adler, who was fired from the band in 1990, was replaced by technically advanced drummers like Matt Sorum and Frank Ferrer, but no one can properly capture his exuberant, whiskey-soaked, youth-gone-wild pulse.

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