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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Clem Burke
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61. Clem Burke

Blondie's Clem Burke brought unexpected rhythm to the raw punk and New Wave roaring out of Seventies New York clubs like CBGBs. The band did name their breakthrough album Eat to the Beat, after all — and Burke's combo of crisp backbeat and kinetic, Keith Moon-influenced bluster helped set Blondie apart from the pack. With Burke behind the kit, Blondie put everything from disco grooves and reggae to hip-hop beats into the group's smash hits. And he had a presence and charisma beyond your typical sticksman. "He was into jumping over his drum kit fairly regularly," lead singer Deborah Harry told the Chicago Tribune. "Clem showed up, and he was a real star. He could play, and you could tell that it was his life."

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