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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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Cozy Powell
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50. Cozy Powell

From the time he burst upon the scene as part of the Jeff Beck Group in 1970, Colin Trevor "Cozy" Powell earned a reputation as a first-call journeyman drummer and session hand, a hard-hitting power player vital to the development of English hard rock and heavy metal. Though he regularly anchored his own projects, Powell is best remembered as an asset to groups like Rainbow and Whitesnake; as one third of the short-lived Emerson, Lake & Powell; and as a guiding force in a critically maligned but undeniably heavy latter-day Black Sabbath. In a 1999 interview, Emerson shared memories of a rehearsal for which Powell assembled his massive kit, but then realized he'd forgotten his sticks: "He considered using some fallen branches from my orchard, until a local farmer drove into town to get some proper ones. They weren't the correct weight, but were sufficient when he held them upside down using the fat end. Then he'd do his drum solo, and it would be like World War III had broken out."

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