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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Dale Crover
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69. Dale Crover

"A drummer like Dale Crover, you can tell when Dale is playing in Nirvana because he's the best drummer in the world," said no less an authority than Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. "I've always thought if things didn't work out [with me], they could always get Dale." Though he can be heard bludgeoning on nine officially released Nirvana Bleach tracks and B-sides, Crover's main gig is his ongoing 30-year-plus stint in unstoppable art-sludge institution the Melvins — equal parts earthquake machine, hard-sticking showman and ad hoc mathematician following the ebb and flow of Buzz Osborne's Beefheart–ian riffs. Fueled by his love for Kiss and Zeppelin, Crover's distinct sound comes from tom-toms that explode like cannons, metal slats that sizzle, double kick that sputters and a sweat-soaked attack that still hits harder than your favorite teenage punk.

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