15 Best Drum Fills Ever

Drum fills are the exhilarating moments in songs when drummers unleash their creativity and technical prowess, leaving an unforgettable impression on the listener. 

From thunderous rolls to lightning-fast paradiddles, these rhythmic bursts elevate the music and command attention.

In this article, we delve into the realm of drumming brilliance and explore the 15 best drum fills ever. 

Spanning genres and decades, these drum fills have become iconic, celebrated for their musicality and sheer virtuosity.

We will also pay homage to the drummers who have left an indelible mark with their awe-inspiring fills that continue to inspire and captivate drum enthusiasts worldwide. 

So get ready, grab your sticks, and join us on this rhythmic journey!

1. In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

I bet you everyone who listens to this track is eagerly waiting for the exact moment to play air drums and sing out loud. 

Released in 1981 as part of the album Face Value, this track has one of the most iconic drum fills of all time.

Through enigmatic lyrics, Phil Collins sets an intense landscape that prepares the song for the break. 

Once the time comes, this atmospheric climax is broken by the surprising and amazing sound of the drums.

2. Africa – Toto

In second place appears this iconic track from the 80s that loads of people have chanted eagerly. 

Featured in the 1982 album Toto IV, this nostalgic song has a drum fill that, although it seems simple, is so perfectly placed that it makes the final chorus an amazing experience.

Just right after the keyboards solo, and alongside Kimball’s vocals, Jeff Porcaro makes his glorious entrance with some chopped beats on the toms. 

Although the fill also appears in the first chorus, the interesting thing is how it links the ending of the solo with the next section, such a wonderful job!

3. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin has accustomed us to its powerful, raw tracks and this is no exception. 

Released in 1969 as part of their album Led Zeppelin II, this electrifying song features a drum fill that no one can forget.

After an atmospheric section full of Robert Plant’s vocal games, Bonham prepares the scene for Page’s iconic guitar solo. 

The studio version is incredible but John Bonham’s live performances are outstanding.

4. Back In Black – AC/DC

Back In Black is a rock anthem known by everyone in the world. 

The song gave the title to AC/DC’s seventh studio album released in 1980.

From the very beginning, this track is genuinely distinct thanks to its aggressive and rocking chords and that characteristic chromatic riff with pivot note. 

However, the drummer Phil Rudd joins the melodic line with a drum fill that even though is not a big deal or complex to play, makes the riff stand out.

5. No One Knows – Queens Of The Stone Age

Featured in the album Song For The Deaf, this groovy stoner rock song showcases an unbelievable drum section. 

Released in 2002, the one in charge was none other than Dave Grohl.

The track consists of an up rhythm that sets the mood for most of it but when the chorus appears Grohl unleashes his inside beast. 

With a fast-paced, edgy, and aggressive drum roll, Dave showcases his talent and makes this section of the song sound awesome.

6. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due – Megadeth

Megadeth is perhaps best known by his lead singer Dave Mustaine and the story around him but the drummer Nick Menza plays an important role in the band. 

Released in 1990 and included as part of the album Rust In Peace, this classic, epic track is a fan favorite within Megadeth’s catalog.

The song’s intro opens with a trashy guitar line alone that becomes even more intense when the drums show up. 

Working as a link between the first part intro and the next section, the drum fill highlights and merges the guitar line.

7. Tom Sawyer – Rush 

When it comes to iconic drummers, Neil Peart, a true legend in his own right, undeniably claims the well-deserved place he holds. 

Released in 1981 as part of their album Moving Pictures, this track shows Peart’s expertise.

Every single move made by the drums in this track is delicious but towards the end of the song, everything intensifies. 

Just before the second chorus, there’s an amazing break with plenty of drum fills followed by an atmospheric synth, everything combined comprise a perfect progressive rock piece. 

8. Everlong – Foo Fighters

Released in 1997 in the album The Colour and the Shape, this passionate, cathartic tune is one of the most popular songs by Foo Fighters. 

Although in the music video, we can see Taylor Hawkings playing drums, the recording was made by Dave Grohl.

Dave’s talent is unquestionable, as it is the second track in the list which has him as a protagonist. 

When you listen to the pre-chorus fill, whether you play drums or not, I bet you will be playing air drums along with it!

9. The Trooper – Iron Maiden

The Trooper is a classic heavy metal song that up to this point, every music lover must know. 

Released in 1983 and included in the album Piece of Mind, the track is the perfect introduction for the talented Nicko McBrain who had recently joined the band. 

The energy evoked by this tune is the heart and soul of 80s metal, with histrionic dual guitars and a galloping bass line staple in this band. 

The drum fills add even more power to the intro with countless different toms, creating a kind of melody that fits perfectly.

10. Time – Pink Floyd

Featured in the acclaimed 1973 album The Dark Side Of The Moon, this atmospheric track is the perfect example that less is more. 

Nick Mason isn’t such a virtuous drummer but his good taste made him stand out from some technically gifted ones.

If you listen to the intro of Time, the clock sounds, bass, synth, and guitar are perfectly combined to create an intriguing atmosphere. 

But it all makes sense and comes together perfectly when the drum fill appears, just before the mood of the track changes to make way for the vocals.

11. Come Together – The Beatles

12. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

13. Uprising – Muse

14. Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who

15. Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds