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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Ian Paice
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21. Ian Paice

Without Deep Purple's only continuous member, Ian Paice, there would be no heavy metal drumming. A epic rock legend who has "never played with ear plugs," Paice is an old-school pro who plays fast, furious and full-on. A fan of Frank Sinatra, Ringo Starr and Count Basie drummer Sonny Payne, Paice imbued hits like "Hush" and "Smoke on the Water" with a studied, infectious swing. Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse told Drum!, "He has a swing that feels just right. And his dynamics are great. The drummer in my trio, Van Romaine, calls him the 'Steve Gadd of rock.' ... It’s like a gigantic locomotive thundering down the tracks with everything totally in sync."

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