Weekly Survey: Name the most underrated member of a big band
This week’s survey will require some critical thinking. Who is the most underrated member of a big band?
Let me give you a couple of examples.
- Mick Jagger and Keith Richards get all the glory in the Rolling Stones, but if it wasn’t for Charlie Watts holding down a rock-steady beat, the whole band would fly apart. (You can also make an argument that Ron Wood’s rhythm guitar playing keeps Keith on the straight-and-narrow.)
- Speaking of rhythm guitarists, the late Malcolm Young allowed his brother Angus to be the big guitar hero in AC/DC.
- And when it comes to The Verve, the attention inevitably went to singer Richard Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe. But if you listen carefully, you’ll realize that without the inventiveness of drummer Pete Salisbury, the band would be much more ordinary. Listen to this to see what I mean.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Let’s shine some light on the musicians who deserve more credit for their band contributions than they get. Leave your comments below.
16 thoughts on “Weekly Survey: Name the most underrated member of a big band”
Mike McCready – Pearl Jam
John Deacon from Queen. he could play any instrument and wrote 3 of the most Iconic Bass lines in pop music, most folks don’t know his name.
Bassist Ian Hill from Judas Priest. He is often overlooked from the other band members, but is a rock solid member who seemingly just stands at the back on stage.
John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin. All glory goes to Plant and Page, but the band’s iconic sound wouldn’t be the same without JPL.
U2’s Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen Jr.
Bono hogs the spotlight, and the little bit left over goes to The Edge, but this rhythm section deserves way more attention. From the staccato drums of Sunday Bloody Sunday to the driving bass line of Get On Your Boots, this duo has made a massive contribution to the biggest band of the past 4 decades.
Phil Selway (drums) and Ed O’Brien (guitar) from Radiohead. Simon Jones (bassist) The Verve. Ringo Starr (drums) The Beatles. Tina Weymouth (bass), Talking Heads.
John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin
I must also nominate John Deacon. Rock solid and reliable in studio and on stage.
Queen’s Deacon, check. JPJ of Zeppelin, check. Ringo, check. What about Ian Stewart? Listen to all the keyboard stuff on the Stones albums up to his death. Just gorgeous.
Ian Paice of Deep Purple. Rarely mentioned when discussing rock’s best drummers, but he should be in the conversation.
John Paul Jones (Zeppelin), Izzy Stradilin (G’nR), Matt Cameron (Soundgarden), the original Alice Cooper Band as a whole, all creatively unrated in their bands.
I’m going to go ahead and say George Harrison. It wasn’t until the Beatles were almost done that people sat up and realized that band was more than Lennon/McCartney; and he really just didn’t get the full respect he deserved until after he passed.
How about Andrew Fletcher from Depeche Mode?
I’m going with John Paul Jones as well.
Mike McCready – Pearl Jam
The drum machine from NIN