Top 10 Opening Drum Beats of All-time

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About Jamie Reidy

Jamie Reidy is a writer and Propecia "before" model. His new book A Walk's As Good As A Hit: Advice/Threats from My Old Man is a collection of funny essays about him and his father. His second book Bachelor 101: Cooking + Cleaning = Closing is a cookbook/lifestyle guide for clueless single guys just like him. His book Hard Sell: Now a Major Motion Picture LOVE and OTHER DRUGS
in which Jake Gyllenhaal played "Jamie."


  1. there are so many Rolling Stones songs to name here but what about “Honkey Tonk Women”?

  2. Can’t believe you don’t have “California Uber Alles” by the Dead Kennedys on this list:

  3. Jamie Reidy says:

    HillRat, I don’t know any DK.

    Tyler, you are so right! Just changed the list.

    Also, turns out Paradise City starts with guitar for 10 seconds before the first drum beat. I. Am. An Idiot.

  4. Mark Ellis says:

    Like the post. I’ll differentiate between a percussion-only intro, however brief ( “Rock and Roll,/Magic Bus”) and a great beat that starts with music from the jump (“Shout/Back in Black”).

    In the former category I would add Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some” Ozzy’s “Over the Mountain” and Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

    In the latter category I would place The Kinks, “You Really Got Me” and the Sex Pistols “Anarchy In The UK.”

  5. Its not really rock, but the opening of “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross (drums by Tony Thompson of Chic) is brilliant.

  6. totally thought you were gonna have some hip hop or pop on this list.

    • I would nominate “Be My Baby.” just epic,

      BTW “Rock And Roll” is pretty much a direct nick from
      “Keep a Knocking” by Little Richard. In fact, the song started as a jam based on the earlier song.

  7. “Here Comes My Girl” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

  8. Personally, I would have put “When the Levee Breaks” by Zep on the list rather than “Rock and Roll” but that may just be my personal bias. R & R is instantly recognizable too. Great list BTW

  9. I know this is just for Rock, but man, I don’t think there’s anything more recognizable than the drum opening of Sing Sing Sing.

  10. Well, Back in Black’s count in is the “chunk” sound from the muted strings. When the drums kick in, so does the guitar chords, so it’s not actually a drum opening.

  11. Jamie Reidy says:

    I did not know that re: Zeppelin and the Little Richard song.

    As for “Back in Black,” it starts with a high hat or cymbal, right?

  12. Flyingvedhead says:

    Honkey Tonk Women should be Top 3 purely b/c of the cowbell. If there were a list of greatest cowbell songs in rock history, HTW is #1!

  13. Jamie Reidy says:

    I have no problem moving “Honky Tonk Woman” higher on the list. But Top 3???

  14. 50 ways to leave your lover/ Steve Gadd

  15. I think “Rosanna” by Toto should be on this top 10 list!

  16. Judas Priest – Painkiller

    the opening drum sound so evil!!!!!!

  17. So many missed, just off the top of my head:
    MC5 – Skunk
    Megadeth – Skin of my Teeth
    The Whigs – Right Hand on My Heart
    The Monkees – Mary Mary
    Toadies – Heel
    The Police – Walking on the Moon

  18. Jamie Reidy says:

    Me Me – Funny you should mention Paradise City, since I originally had it on the list. But then FlyingVedhead and another pal pointed out that it starts with a guitar. And, sure enough, they are correct.

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