Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Demos and Alternates Week, Part Three: John Bonham & The Purdie Shuffle

Lost, quite literally, in the shuffle of all that's going on in Led Zeppelin's "Fool In The Rain," is the absolute beauty of John Bonham's drumming. The rhythm is the Purdie Shuffle, so named because legendary drummer Bernard Purdie, created the beat with those damn ghost notes on the snare and funky as all hell hi-hat and bass drum hits. Hard to believe that Purdie was the very first drummer to employ this exact rhythm, but that research is best saved for another post. Right now, I am focused on the power of Bonham's attack and just how deep his pocket is. I could listen to this for days on end, and I have.


Anonymous said...

Been a Led Zep since day one and have always understood what an integral part Bonzo played in the chemistry of the band, but when I heard these isolated drum bits several years ago, my love of his drumming rose to a new level. He was so much more than a heavy hitter and what he contributed to the sound of Led Zeppelin can never be overrated. To go along with that, I remember hearing the heaviness of John Paul Jones' two solo releases and thinking that heaviness was missing from the Page/Plant projects that were happening during that era.


Bill said...

That was fascinating. I didn't think I'd enjoy listening to a drum track so much. (Although I have listened to all 8 1/2 minutes of John Entwistle's isolated bass on Won't Get Fooled Again, so you never know.)

buzzbabyjesus said...

I always say there aren't any great bands without a great drummer, and Bonzo certainly fits the bill. I also say I can't listen to music if I hate the drum sound, and he like Ringo in The Beatles, is a big part of the sound.
I also admit to only listening to the first 30 seconds of things before moving on.
I was compelled to listen to this all the way through.
It is indeed the Purdie Shuffle. Bernard claims a lot of things, including replacing Ringo on Beatles tracks. That isn't true, but he did overdub drums on some early recordings, obliterating Pete Best.
I don't know to what extent he invented the Purdie Shuffle, and I don't care. He can have it.
I love playing drums, and I watch the occasional lesson on YouTube where I found this one by Bernard. He is a clearly a great teacher, and charming individual. The journey starts a little after the 4 minute mark. It is the definition of groove, and he's wearing cowboy boots while doing it.

Bombshelter Slim said...

Jimmy Page's most important innovation was elevating Bonzo's sound in the mix. He really was the heart & soul of the Zeppelin sound.

steve simels said...

I’m not really Zep fan, but Fool in the Rain just kills me.

cmealha said...

What gets me is the precision throughout and this is long before the days of quantizing the timing challenged.

FD13NYC said...

Yep, good drumming by Bonzo as usual. Purdie also did "the shuffle" on Home At Last by The Dan.