Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Best Percussion Work by Roger Taylor

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Posted: 14 May 10, 17:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Legendary  Drummers such as Neil Peart, John Bonham and Keith Moon would easily make the top three drummers of all time.
Roger Taylor maybe an underrated drummer. His width, technique and use of the drum kit as a whole is marvelous. But what do Queen fans think about Roger's drumming?

In my opinion songs like Brighton Rock and Sweet Lady are highlights of his music career.

By Each Album:

Queen I - Liar is Roger's best moment
Queen II - Father to Son is amazing with his deep toms and his great use of various symbols. Ogre Battle is outstanding and White Queen percussion is very effective. I love his light touches on Someday One Day and Obiously Loser in the End is explosive. Roger is outstanding on Queen II.
Sheer Heart Attack - Brighton Rock is top class. Love Stone Cold Crazy and the smooth conrtol during Now I'm Here. Sheer Heart Attack is one of his highlights.
A Night at the Opera - I rate Death on Two Legs highly. Sweet Lady is very complicated (particulary at the end) and the Prophet's song is powerful.
A Day at the Races - Great Rock n roll drumming on Tie Your Mother Down. Yet again, Roger's drumming is at a high standard.
News of the World - Has some of his best drum work but It's Late is his best performance on the LP
Jazz - Great Power during Fat Bottomed Girls, control on Bicycle Race though Dead on Time is fantastic. I love his hi-hat sound. Jazz has some good work from Rog.
The Game - I love his sound on Play the Game/Save Me/CLTCL and his fast hi-hat on Dragon Time is very challenging to try but Rock It is his best on this album.
Hot Space - Under Pressure would be his highlight during an album where he was fairly quiet.
The Works - Machines or Hammer to Fall for me are his two best drum "works" on The Works. 
A Kind of Magic - One Vision would be the best drum work on Magic. Roger is very quiet throughout the LP.
The Miracle - I find Roger's drumming on Breakthru excellent but Khashoggi's Ship is my personel favourite of Roger's Drum Work. His drumming is starting to pick up at this point.
Innuendo - The song Innuendo might have some of his best drum work ever.
Made in Heaven - Like his drumming on this album. I Was Born to Love You is Roger's most challenging work on this album.

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Posted: 14 May 10, 17:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't think you can pick a song or an album.

The one thing that I credit Roger for is the opening of the hi hat while hitting the snare.  I believe he was the first to regularly do so.

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Posted: 14 May 10, 21:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I love the drumming on 'Leaving Home Ain't Easy', probably the most under-rated detail about one of the band's best and most under-rated songs IMO.

Now, album by album:

Queen: Keep Yourself Alive. Yes, it's too predictable to pick that one, but it's a cliché for a reason.
II: White Queen. Perfect way to support all the magic happening.
Sheer: Brighton Rock, especially isolated.
Opera: Good Company.
Races: Somebody to Love. It seems to me that he loved this song and played his heart out, also live.
News: It's Late. Very nice dynamics.
Jazz: LHAE of course, and Dead on Time as a close second.
Game: Need Your Loving. It may not be as flashy as Dragon Attack, but it's also wonderful.
Hot Space: Put Out the Fire. Perfect groove for the track.
Works: Man on the Prowl, very underrated.
Magic: Princes of the Universe.
Miracle: Scandal. I know he's not too fond of this song, but still he did a great job.
Innuendo: Don't Try So Hard and The Show Must Go On, just magical.
Heaven: Maybe the title track.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 14 May 10, 22:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I kind of like the look of him hammering those barrels in the Man on Fire video.   Maybe that's not what you're after...

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Posted: 15 May 10, 10:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think Innuendo wins it for his best drumming work. I mean, the flamenco part is in 5/8!


It's late, but it's time to set me free

It's late, yes I know but there's no way it has to be

Too late, so let the fire take our bodies this night

So late, so let the waters take our guilt in the t
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Posted: 15 May 10, 11:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Roger is awsome!! Better than John Bonham and far more control than Keith Moon. Listen to Airheads,My Country,Love With My Car,Sheer Heart Attack.Best drummer in the world at the moment is Dominic Howard.

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Posted: 15 May 10, 13:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i love roger's drumming on all queen albums, he's my fave drummer and i know there are many techically better drummers but roger just does it for me. you listed all great examples of his amazing drum work and i have to add one song that probably no one else would-sleeping on the sidewalk. it's imo one of the most underrated queen songs, i just love the lyrics (how they tell the story of rise and fall of some musician), brian's vocals and guitars and roger's drumming is superb, fantastic drum sound and he is really one of those drummer that are great not just because he knows what to play but also cos he knows when not to over do it. it's even more amazing when you look at the fact that it was recorded in one take


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Posted: 15 May 10, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote: I kind of like the look of him hammering those barrels in the Man on Fire video.   Maybe that's not what you're after...

There's a few songs where it sounds like he is drumming on barrels. I must be subliminally thinking of that video when I hear those songs!

I'm a 100% non-musical person - I fully admit to knowing nothing about anything when it comes to music. That said, my favorite Roger drumming songs are:

Brighton Rock - there's one part in particular during the guitar solo that I just love
Now I'm Here
Anything where he drums/sings - that just completely astonishes me.

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Posted: 25 Jan 14, 17:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just fallen into this thread after seeing the DW 'icons' promotion featuring Roger, Neil Peart and Mick Mason. Great thread. Peart is a magnificent drummer and technically a genius, however I think Roger has clearly carved a niche in the history of rock drumming, not just for the stuff very eloquently highlighted above, but I think as the 'singing drummer'. Anyway, great thread.



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Posted: 27 Jan 14, 15:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

I don't think you can pick a song or an album.

The one thing that I credit Roger for is the opening of the hi hat while hitting the snare.  I believe he was the first to regularly do so.


Sort of, but Aerosmith's eponymous album has Joey Kramer doing the same thing and that was in 1973, the same year as Queen I. Listen to Mama Kin in particular.


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Posted: 27 Jan 14, 16:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Here are my choices:

QUEEN: 'Great King Rat', 'Liar'
QUEEN II: Ogre Battle, 'The March Of The Black Queen'
SHEER HEART ATTACK: 'Brighton Rock', 'Stone Cold Crazy'
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: 'Sweet Lady', 'The Prophet's Song'
A DAY AT THE RACES: 'You and I', 'White Man'
NEWS OF THE WORLD: 'Sheer Heart Attack', 'It's Late'
JAZZ: 'Bicycle Race', 'Dead On Time'
THE GAME: 'Dragon Attack', 'Need Your Loving Tonight'
FLASH: 'Football Fight', 'Battle Theme'
HOT SPACE: 'Put Out The Fire'
THE WORKS: 'Man On The Prowl', 'Hammer To Fall'
A KIND OF MAGIC: 'One Vision', 'Princes Of The Universe'
THE MIRACLE: 'Kashoggi's Ship', 'Was It All Worth It'
INNUENDO: 'Innuendo', 'The Show Must Go On'
MADE IN HEAVEN: 'Made In Heaven', 'I Was Born To Love You'


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Posted: 28 Jan 14, 09:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

My favorite Roger drumming per album. This is obviously highly subjective. In some cases it's the pattern, in others the drum sound or the groove/feel.

Queen I: Don't like the sound, but Rog's drumming is top notch in Keep yourself alive and Liar.
Queen II: Loser in the end and Ogre Battle.
Sheer Heart Attack: Brighton Rrrrrrock!
ANATO: Death on two legs and You're my best friend. Overall, Roger plays some solid drums throughout the album. Not a dull moment in there. He's always doing 'something', even in the quieter pop songs.
ADATR: He shines on Somebody to Love and the drums sound huge in White Man. Just as good as anything he did in ANATO, if not better.
NOTW: The band lost some of it's "magic" for this album but it was by design. More straight up rockers than grandiose compositions but this didn't affect Roger. I would go with It's Late on this one.
Jazz: Never liked this album too much but I really like his insane drum-roll before the last chorus in Fat Bottomed Girls. All the bad production in the world couldn't mess with it.
The Game: Play the Game... like I said earlier, Roger shines on the quiet tracks. There's something really nice about his more understated playing. You can still tell it's him. The intro to Coming Soon has a nice sound also.
Flash: Battle theme/The Hero/Flash's Theme (reprise), any track on the album that has the "The Hero" riff in it.
Hot Space: Tough call as I'm not even sure in which tracks he is playing and where is a machine playing. Some are very obvious. I'll play it safe and go with Put Out the Fire.
...

... I guess I'll take a stab at the remaining albums later.

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Posted: 28 Jan 14, 11:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Djdownsy wrote:

Micrówave wrote:

I don't think you can pick a song or an album.

The one thing that I credit Roger for is the opening of the hi hat while hitting the snare.  I believe he was the first to regularly do so.


Sort of, but Aerosmith's eponymous album has Joey Kramer doing the same thing and that was in 1973, the same year as Queen I. Listen to Mama Kin in particular.


Gene Krupa did it before both of them. I believe a number of big band drummers used this method to help the snare cut through the volume of the other instruments.

I'm a huge fan of his playing, which has been very underrated in some circles. As far as picking out his best bits. Too many to mention, however RT him self has said in a number of interviews that Now Im Here was the hardest song to play.


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Posted: 31 Jan 14, 15:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He sure is quite underrated drummer. He's had always excellent drum bits throughout his career but I personally love his live work in the 70's. Everytime I listen to their concerts from 70's I notice myself listening only his drum work amazed ! He truly was uncontrolled beast at that time. Especially usually before and after Brians solo spot they had this jam where he rolled his toms like madman and with John playing his bass on top of it, they really were the sonic volcano!
I've always liked his way to play these fast drum rolls in slow songs, like in I'm in Love With My Car live and in The Show Must Go On bridge. Such a dynamic and exciting player!

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Posted: 31 Jan 14, 18:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lapetsu wrote:

He sure is quite underrated drummer. He's had always excellent drum bits throughout his career but I personally love his live work in the 70's. Everytime I listen to their concerts from 70's I notice myself listening only his drum work amazed ! He truly was uncontrolled beast at that time. Especially usually before and after Brians solo spot they had this jam where he rolled his toms like madman and with John playing his bass on top of it, they really were the sonic volcano!
I've always liked his way to play these fast drum rolls in slow songs, like in I'm in Love With My Car live and in The Show Must Go On bridge. Such a dynamic and exciting player!


Great post.

Kobe 1975 is one of his finest drumming shows (even Freddie mentions it), and his drumming on the 1973 shows is phenomenal.


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Posted: 01 Feb 14, 20:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:

I don't think you can pick a song or an album.

The one thing that I credit Roger for is the opening of the hi hat while hitting the snare.  I believe he was the first to regularly do so.


And this "little" detail makes such a difference that in my head i can´t think of another way of doing it- and i´m not a drummer.
Everytime i hear other groups i found out that something it´s missing. And it´s that detail. I only found out that this was Roger´s signature when i heard other drummers pointing that out. I thought everyone did the same - for 6 years of my teenage years i only listened to Queen!

My favourite drumming from Roger is "Summer time blues" on the Mick Ronson tribute with Roger Daltrey.

Starts 3:13, but if you listen to it on CD with great sound it´s even better. Its a beast of a song played brilliantly by Roger.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW51L5T9X38

With Queen in the studio, maybe "Sheer heart attack". LIve i allways thought he was brilliant throughout, but maybe "We are the champions" and "Staying power" stand out for me. Of course the list would be different on another day.