Who's your favorite rhythm section? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-12-2004, 05:47 AM
Listening to a bunch of Minutemen records last night had me thinkin' about just how good Mike Watt and George Hurley were together. Sure D. Boon as guitar player and singer got a lot more attention, but these guys were tight as hell. I'm pretty partial since they're one of my favorite bands in general, but I figure there aren't many rhythm sections that can outdo those two. They can get jazzy, funky and still rock out like crazy.

Of course they list a lot when they lost D and fIREHOSE was never the same as the Minutemen, but if nothing else, that group gave these guys the cahnce to show how important they were to the Minutemen sound. I'd say its also notable that there aren't a lot of bands that you could really say were known more for their rhythm section than anything else, as fIREHOSE was.

I could name other favorites, but I figured I'd leave that to the rest of you. Anybody else got a favorite rhythm section they wanna name?

03-12-2004, 06:08 AM
I'd have to go with John Entwhistle & Keith Moon. Two of the best overplayers of all time...two of the ONLY overplayers of all time who did anything worth a damn. Too bad they influenced so many people who listened to how they did what they did a lot more than they listened to what it was that they actually did. After them I'd name the Beatles & Rolling Stones, both of whom undoubtedly influenced the rhythm section of the Who, and the Attractions. The Clash, the Ramones, & the Jam are all worthy of mention, as are Maureen Tucker & John Cale (and even Doug Yule). I guess props have to be given to the Police as well--very innovative, and it works for me in a way that Rush & Primus never could. Believe it or not, Husker Du exists in a similar vein, at least in the context of this discussion--very unconventional. On the slightly more traditional side, Booker T. & the MGs did some great stuff, under that name as well as backing Otis Redding & others, and there were other Stax outfits such as the Bar-Kays who were really good as well. And the Funk Brothers, of course, & James Brown's bands. And countless jazz combos...I'll limit my mentions to Miles' first quintet & Coltrane's quartet. But there are a lot worthy of mention, so feel free to jump into that pool.

Ex Lion Tamer
03-12-2004, 06:24 AM
The Thomas boys, Pete & Bruce, from The Attractions
Sly & Robbie
Entwhistle & Moon
Peter Hook & Stephen Morris from Joy Division & New Order

and my dark horse pick is Andy Rourke & Mike Joyce from The Smiths, though overshadowed by the more famour guitar player and singer, I think that the rhythm section is very underrated.

Honourable mention to Rick Buckler & Bruce Foxton of The Jam and Brian Ritchie and Victor Di Lorenzo of Violent Femmes, (though Ritchie plays his bass as more of a lead instrument, so maybe it should be Gordon Gano & Di Lorenzo?)


Dusty Chalk
03-12-2004, 06:29 AM
Crack the Sky -- I love some of the things they do, especially on, for example, Photoflamingo ("All We Know").

Listening to Drama recently, I enjoyed Chris Squire and Alan White's contributions to, for example, "Tempus Fugit". I love the way they dance around the beat, and then play on it, and then dance away again.

03-12-2004, 06:30 AM
after Watt/Hurley (I've seen both play, but not together, unfortuantely.. but both are amazing to watch).. I'd pick the rhythm section of the Jesus Lizard - David Wm. Sims on bass and Mac McNeilly on drums. Back in their heyday, these two monster players laid the foundations over which "vocalist" David Yow shrieked and guiterrorist Duane Dennison painted shards of amplifed strokes of riff-age. When all four hit their stride in full power, it was a sight to be experienced, both with body and mind. But when Yow was off dancing on the bar or Dennison was freaking out on some demented jazz-from-hell "solo", Sims and McNeilly would be there, locked together like cement shoes on some sobbing Gambino soldier.


Jim Clark
03-12-2004, 06:51 AM


PS, I crack myself up.

03-12-2004, 07:04 AM
Double Trouble was/is pretty dang good for my money.

I'd also consider the percussion/bass section for the Allman Brothers Band top rate.


03-12-2004, 07:20 AM
Funny, but for all the ones I might have come up with, Pete and Bruce Thomas of The Attractions (ala ELvis Costello) came most quickly to mind. No one did it better in the 80's than these guys did on This Years Model & Armed Forces.

Mr MidFi
03-12-2004, 01:19 PM
For pure skill, it's hard to beat Peart/Lee or Bruford/Squire, I guess. But a good rhythm section is always more than the sum of its parts.

I always liked the way REM's Bill Berry and Mike Mills played together, especially on the earlier albums. Greatest ever? Probably not. But definitely underrated.

03-12-2004, 01:49 PM
I'll go with Convertino/Burns of Giant Sand, Calexico, Friends of Dean Martinez, Barbara Manning, Lisa Germano, OP8, Howe Gelb, Norfolk & Western, Richard Buckner, Neko Case, Goldfrapp, Victoria Williams, Bill Janovitz, Jenny Toomey, etc...

I don't know if they're considered great players or not, but they appear on so many albums that I love, that they would make a good pick for my favorite rhythm section.


Dusty Chalk
03-12-2004, 04:36 PM
For pure skill, it's hard to beat Peart/Lee or Bruford/Squire, I guess. But a good rhythm section is always more than the sum of its parts....or Bruford/Levin, for that matter (they even did some session work as a team during the late 80's...Al Di Meola comes to mind...I forget what else, but it was mostly during that period...)

paper warrior
03-13-2004, 03:34 AM
Jonathan Richman gets all the credit as the frontman of The Modern Lovers though I think the secret to their sound is the driving rhythm section whoever they are.

I always thought the greatest dance music was 96 Tears by ? & the Mysterions with the cookin' bassline. The only song I heard by the Cramps is something called Human Fly and I knew I had to dub it when I heard the line:

I got 96 tears and 96 eyes

mad rhetorik
03-14-2004, 01:35 PM
Bruford/Levin (King Crimson)
Moon/Entswistle (The Who)
Hoglan/DiGiorgio and later Christy/Clendenin (Death)
Benante/Bello (Anthrax)
Gotobed/Lewis (Wire)
Morris/Hook (Joy Division)
Jones/Garrison (John Coltrane's early to mid '60s quartet)
Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughn)
Portnoy/Myung (Dream Theater)
Miles/Cox and later Mitchell/Cox (Jimi Hendrix)
Cameron/Shepard (Soundgarden)
Hurley/Watt (Minutemen)
Bonham/Jones (Led Zeppelin)
Those insane dudes from the Dillinger Escape Plan

03-20-2004, 08:50 AM
My votes for best Rythm Sections.

1. The Funk Brothers... see standing in the Shadow of Motown, played on more #'1s than Elvis, Beatles and Stones combined. Simple as that.

2. James Browns various core sections... Pee Wee Ellis, etc...

3. Tower of Power's - Rocco Prestia and Dave Garabaldi show what happens when a bass and drummer really "lock up".

4. Lennon, McCartney and Star. They weren't flashy but they were tight.

5. The Stones... loose sometimes but on purpose...

Da Worfster

03-20-2004, 09:18 AM
No one has mentioned the Muscle Schoals rhythm section, they played on 1000's of well known tracks. Barry Becket, David Hood and Roger Hawkins.

Rod Stewart, Aretha, Otis, Candi Staton,Wilson Picket, Boz Scaggs to name but a few. In the '70's they toured as Traffic's rhythm section.


03-22-2004, 07:41 AM
1) White/Clarke
2) Bruford/Squire
3) Bruford/Wetton
4) Bonham/Jones


03-22-2004, 04:29 PM
1. The Funk Bros - why are they so overlooked?
2. Sly Stone's rythym section
3. Rolling Stones
4. Tower of Power
5. Allman Bros (rotating door)

03-22-2004, 04:30 PM
Definitely underrated and overlooked too often