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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Manu Katché
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57. Manu Katché

Artists like Peter Gabriel and Sting refused to sit rhythmically still in the late Eighties and the early Nineties; and they called upon wildly dynamic French-via-Ivory-Coast drummer Manu Katché to translate their expansive worldbeat visions. Instantly recognizable thanks to his nuanced splash cymbal work and stuttering beats, he provides the West African pulse of Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" and the trip-hop groove of the singer-songwriter's "Digging in the Dirt." For Sting's schizophrenic "Englishman in New York," he vacillates between reggae lite, a jazz break and some mid-Eighties hip-hop boom 'n' pound with the smoothness of a DJ. "When we did the Amnesty tour [in 1986], I asked Manu Katché if I could sit down behind him and watch," said U2's Larry Mullen Jr. "He was freaked and didn't know what I was doing, but I just wanted to see what real drummers get up to!"

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