6. Alex Van Halen
I ranked Alex Van Halen higher than the legendary Jeff Porcaro? Well, this is a most favorite list after all.
If Jeff represented perfection, Alex represented the FUN part of playing drums. It's not just the high energy in AVH's drumming that makes me smile when I hear him play, but also the "what, you did that?" moments. Playing crash cymbals as a ride source. Playing the Billy Cobham
double bass every chance he gets. The unusual fills. The "delayed" hits. Or that freaking bridge in Right Now. I especially loved how the more complex song structures starting in 1984 showcased his drum composition skills on top of the rock drumming chops he exhibited in earlier albums. Fair Warning, 1984, 5150 and especially F.U.C.K. are my go-to albums whenever I feel like enjoying some Alex Van Halen goodness.
My Alex Van Halen CD-length playlist (which I arranged in chronological order which for some reason worked):
I'm The One
Light Up The Sky
Loss Of Control
Dirty MoviesSinner's Swing
- this is just pure joy in drumming form!
Hot For TeacherGirl Gone Bad
- one of Alex's finest compositions. Love the melodic use of toms (ala Mike Mangini), that intro on the ride, how the bass drums drove the feel for the different sections of the song.
Get UpSummer Nights
- Alex's finest bass drum playing moment, locking in with Eddie and Michael Anthony for that infectious groove.5150
- another gem of a drum composition. If only they could re-record this with an acoustic drum kit!
A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)
Pleasure DomeRight Now
- my favorite Alex Van Halen song. His composition is amazing. The melodic use of toms. The bass drums syncing up with Michael Anthony's bass for the groove. The perfectly-timed shifting between the hi-hats and the ride. And again that freaking bridge. Perfect.
Doing Time / Baluchiterium
On another note, whenever I listen to this playlist, I can not help but notice how Michael Anthony is not just chugging on the root note on these songs. Must be something in the rhythm of these songs that inspires MA to play differently.