The Six Best Drum Fills

Categories: Nitpick Six

3. Queen - "Fat Bottomed Girls" (2:50)
There are many reasons why this fill is one of the best. It reclaims a song that, like many of Queen's strongest, has been diminished to novelty and reminds us that Queen was a band of unquestioned merit. It is ten times louder than anything else in the song, implying it is the most important thing happening in the world in those three seconds. But most of all, it is one of those fills where you imagine a drummer surrounded by toms, rotating his stool all 360 degrees throughout its duration.

2. Violent Femmes - "Blister In The Sun" (0:03)
Rarely is a drum fill as integral to the song as it is on Violent Femmes' "Blister In The Sun." The two sets of two snare hits have become more famous than the acoustic guitar intro that precedes it. If you ever need proof of this fill's importance, play the song in public. You'd have a better chance of yelling "Marco" and not hearing "Polo" than having your fellow humans not clap along or tap whatever item is in their hand along with that famous "tap tap, tap tap".

1. Phil Collins - "In The Air Tonight" (3:16)
Could the best drum fill of all time really be anything else? Phil Collins has played drums in the progressive rock juggernaut, superseded Peter Gabriel, sat in with Brian Eno, and wrote the music for Disney's Tarzan, and he's still more famous for his drum fill on 1981's "In The Air Tonight." It was spoofed in an awesome gorilla-playing-drums viral video, and it led musicians over the next ten years to think that's what drums were supposed to sound like. It's fitting that it comes in at 3:16, the same numbers that grace John 3:16 signs held up at sporting events (usually by people wearing rainbow afro wigs, go figure). For Phil Collins so loved the world, he gave his totally awesome fill, that whosoever believes in rhythm will not perish but have everlasting fun air drumming along.

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