INTERNET VORTEX – Isolated John Bonham drum tracks
In addition to wacky cat videos, pictures of food and annoying political posts, the internet is chock-full of amazing isolated tracks from some truly iconic music. The wealth of isolated Led Zeppelin material online is fairly staggering – especially since so much of it is focused on the genius of John Henry Bonham.
A lot of isolated tracks started popping up online with the advent of the Guitar Hero video game. That wildly successful game needed individual instrumental and vocal tracks from famous recordings in order to function, so inevitably they found their way online. The Led Zeppelin material wasn’t featured in the initial iteration of the game, so these tracks leaked through other outlets. For music-obsessed weirdos like me who are inclined to listen to Led Zeppelin without guitar, bass or vocals it’s freakin’ AWESOME.
There’s no mystery why John Bonham is so widely regarded as the greatest rock drummer of all time. It’s not his chops, his speed or his precision – it’s his feel. Bonham’s naturally loose and behind-the-beat style combined with the absolutely megalithic tone he got from his giant Ludwig tubs is simply magical. It’s got sexiness and swagger – two crucial elements to great rock drumming that are very sorely lacking in the vast majority of other players.
So let’s fall into the internet vortex of isolated Bonham tracks…
Here’s “Whole Lotta Love”. Check out how you can hear his snare rattling during the opening riff. Everything about this is just too damn cool.
Did you catch Bonham’s audible yell right before the big fill at the 5:07 mark? If that doesn’t make you want to jump on a drum kit and throw down at this very moment, you need your head examined.
Zeppelin’s final studio album, 1979’s In Through the Out Door, has provided a lot of the isolated tracks available online. Just about every song from the album can be heard in a Bonham-only version. Here’s the classic “Fool in the Rain”:
That incredible beat is essentially Bonham’s take on the “Purdie Shuffle” – the unique shuffle beat made famous by Bernard Purdie (Jeff Porcaro of Toto also used the Purdie Shuffle on their 1982 hit “Rosanna”). Here’s Bernard Purdie himself with an extremely entertaining lesson in the “Purdie Shuffle”:
See how easy it is to fall into a drum vortex when you start listening to this stuff? Let’s get back to the mighty Zeppelin. Here’s “Heartbreaker”. The kick drum work on this is spectacular.
Wanna hear “Ramble On”? Of course you do.
This one is really kickass. It’s “Wearing and Tearing” from the posthumous album Coda. This song was originally recorded during the In Through the Out Door sessions but didn’t make the cut for that album. Bonham is absolutely CRUSHING on this jam:
Let’s wrap this up with the man himself in his prime – “Moby Dick” from the legendary 1970 Royal Albert Hall gig:
So, yeah. ISOLATED BONHAM TRACKS ARE THE GREATEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNET