The website WhatCulture has come up with a list of the ten hardest drumming songs in hard rock and Alex Van Halen’s performance on Van Halen’s classic 1984 track “Hot For Teacher” placed tenth.
Tim Coffman set up his list by saying the drummers that made his list “are much more than just the pulse of the song…they’re the heart.”
“In addition to just adding in the casual drum fill here and there, these songs are what separate the rudimentary drumming from the technical mastery, being as much a part of the songwriting as the guitar riffs in between,” he added. “Hell, some of these performances are so integral to the song that it’s hard to really imagine them being played any differently, which could be either a positive or negative for those who actually dare play it. If you feel worthy to pick up the sticks for these, proceed with caution. Your limbs are about to do some work.”
Here’s what Coffman wrote of Alex and “Hot For Teacher”:
When it comes to a band like Van Halen, it’s pretty easy to get overshadowed when you have someone like Eddie behind the fretboard. Hell, Michael Anthony is probably thankful that he even managed to get any screentime in the videos in between David Lee Roth’s antics and Eddie annihilating the guitar at every single moment. In the back of the stage though, Alex Van Halen had his own taste for theatrics on Hot For Teacher.
Then again, it’s almost easy to dismiss something like Hot For Teacher as not being that difficult for drums at all. After all, the sounds of a diesel truck turning on for the first minute or so of the song doesn’t really leave the percussionist with very much to do. That is, until you realize that it’s actually Alex behind the kit, playing these syncopated tribal drum beats in time so precisely that they seem to blend together after more than a few listens.
Alex doesn’t even give you a minute of let up either, choosing to go straight into the verse rhythm, which can only be described as the traditional rock and roll drum beat if it were given a healthy dose of adrenaline. Even though the Van Halen faithful are willing to shower Eddie with praise, there’s also another virtuoso at work from the back of the stage.
Here is the rest of Coffman’s list:
9. Overkill – Motörhead
8. Everlong – Foo Fighters
7. Always – Blink 182
6. Assassin – Muse
5. Moby Dick – Led Zeppelin
4. Disposable Heroes – Metallica
3. Lateralus – Tool
2. Metropolis Pt. 2 – Dream Theater
1. La Villa Strangiato – Rush
You can read the entire article from WhatCulture HERE.
“Hot For Teacher” Isolated Drum Track: