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What's so great about Charlie Watts, after all?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dr. Robert, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    First of all, this is not trolling or threadcrapping, a serious question

    I never really understood what's the hype about when it comes to The Stones' drummer. Yeah, I get that a drummer doesn't need to be Neil Moon or Keith Peart to be a good drummer, and quite a few of my favourite drummers are of the "they serve the song" type, such as Ringo and Jim Gordon.

    But when it comes to Charlie, I can't help but feel underwhelmed by his playing. It's not that I expect a fill every ten seconds and a double kick drum, but his playing feels amateur and honestly, pretty bad. He sounds as if he's desperately attempting to keep up with whatever the hell the other five guys are doing and never actually manages to do so, stumbling and not managing to keep time with his stiff, weirdly rushed playing style.

    This is mostly live, as he sounds pretty much ok in the studio (which is even more disappointing, as it hinders my enjoyment of live Rolling Stones quite a bit), and more apparent in the fast numbers. And for those of you who say it's because Keef dictates the rhythm and he just follows him, it's not quite as simple as that.

    First, in his "other" band, the Winos, Steve Jordan manages to keep time perfectly well behind Keith's very idyosincratic rhythm playing, and second, Watts' drumming seems to have deteriorated over time. In 69/70 he sounds honestly pretty good, but from '72 onwards it's downhill.

    So, am I missing something? I'm not throwing hate at the guy or trying to be controversial or anything, completely sincere. I just can't understand why people seem to love his style of playing so much while I can't seem to "get" it. If y'all could explain it to me, I'd be glad to be wrong, and learn to love a new drummer :D
     
    TGH7, kouzie, mono-o-mono and 25 others like this.
  2. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Let's please keep this civil, folks. My hope is that it takes at least fifteen minutes before people are calling eachother names :D
     
  3. finslaw

    finslaw muzak to my ears

    Location:
    Indiana
    I agree to some other person's assessment that there is nothing more exciting in rock n' roll than Keith (or whoever) digging into a riff and then Charlie and Bill kicking in a little later with a solid rhythm. The formula of the Gods. Sure, Charlie's repetitive drumming is the only thing that drags down Satisfaction IMO, but I appreciate his general ability to hang back and find that serviceable beat.
     
  4. wwaldmanfan

    wwaldmanfan Born In The 50's

    Location:
    NJ
    o_O
     
  5. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawai'i
    Ask Keith Richards, he’s a big fan of Charlie’s drumming!
     
  6. trumpet sounds

    trumpet sounds "The radio makes hideous sounds." Bob Dylan

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
  7. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Yeah, in the studio he sounds great. But live he seems to drag down the band quite a bit, especially when I listen to the '78 tour. The band is playing at light speed with punkish attitude and poor Charlie's there, struggling to even pretend he can keep up :D
     
    tug_of_war likes this.
  8. trumpet sounds

    trumpet sounds "The radio makes hideous sounds." Bob Dylan

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
  9. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon
    Having heard that record that Ry Cooder made with The Stones, minus Keith, to me it sounds like The Stones. Clearly an integral part of that sound comes from the rhythm section.
     
  10. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Listening to it right now, and I maintain my opinion. Sure, it's not as bad as in some instances I've heard, but still not great
     
  11. Octavian

    Octavian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisiana


    Who cares? He's such a lovable guy who is obviously very humbled. No reason to berate him. He was a part of the Stones', he'll be praised for that alone..
     
  12. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Jamming With Edward? I haven't heard that one yet, will give it a listen and see if I like it
     
    Evethingandnothing likes this.
  13. lightbulb

    lightbulb Not the Brightest of the Bunch

    Location:
    Smogville CA USA
    During The Rolling Stones earlier prime years, Charlie Watt’s drumming is basically perfect for their various songs, whether early Rock n Roll, RnB, and Soul covers, or new Jagger-Richards compositions.
    No gaudy flash nor excess pyrotechnics necessary.

    Watt’s drumming is also perfect for their classic string of albums.
     
  14. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    At no moment am I trying to put him down, berate him, or say he's not entitled to play the drums for the Stones. All I'm saying is I don't like his style of playing, and want to know why people like his style of playing so much. He seems like a likable dude, absolutely, I'm just trying to understand what makes him good :D
     
  15. trumpet sounds

    trumpet sounds "The radio makes hideous sounds." Bob Dylan

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Not bad for a senior citizen...
     
    spindly and Rockford & Roll like this.
  16. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Agreed. He's great in the studio. But when it comes to playing live, his playing suffers quite a bit, in my view
     
  17. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    It's been consistently not-great since he was in his late twenties, what's your point?
     
  18. somnar

    somnar Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC & Amsterdam
    Great feel, great groove - an absolutely key part of what make the Stones sound like the Stones. But it's his tone that I love the most. Knows how to drive the band without thwacking the drums into submission. He plays them like the musical instruments they are.
     
    Old Rusty, laf848, Peter K and 37 others like this.
  19. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    That's something I forgot to mention - I might not be a fan of his technique, but his drum sound is fantastic. Especially his snare sound, in albums like Sticky Fingers
     
  20. trumpet sounds

    trumpet sounds "The radio makes hideous sounds." Bob Dylan

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
  21. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Believe it or not Charlie once said that he doesn’t know how to play the drums and he can’t believe he’s gotten away with it for so long.

    The above is true. Really
     
  22. El Rich-o

    El Rich-o Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia

    If you ask me the problem with the Stones live is that they always play too fast and sacrifice the groove. The don't really have many songs that benefit from being played at light speed and with punkish attitude. 'Honky Tonk Women' is actually a pretty slow song, but with a great groove. It probably sounds better the slower you play it. If the rest of the band paid more attention to Charlie they might be be a lot better off.
     
    forthlin, bdfin, polchik and 29 others like this.
  23. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy

    All you have to do is cue up Tumblin’ Dice.

    /thread ;)
     
  24. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Oh, you mean the one with Jimmy Miller on drums? :D

    Just kidding. I love his studio performances, as I've said at least 5 times in this thread alone, my problem is with him live.
     
    hoggydoggy likes this.
  25. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    I was coincidentally listening to Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out tonight for the umpteenth time and was struck as always by how great Charlie’s drumming was on that album. Listen to Midnight Rambler and tell me you don’t agree.
     
    laf848, polchik, CDFanatic and 16 others like this.

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