Phil Rudd

Over the course of his two-tenure, 20-year-plus career holding down the thunderous backbeat for hard rock legends AC/DC, drummer Phil Rudd has proven himself almost as essential a piece of the band's musical puzzle as its founders and creative lynchpins, Angus and Malcolm Young. Though technically skilled enough to showboat as well as the next guy, Rudd's unusually Spartan approach to his kit is virtually unique among heavy rock drummers, but it fit right in with the Young brothers' blue-collar rock & roll vision for AC/DC, and his metronome-like precision duly became the backbone of their signature sound. So much so that, although he was replaced by a pair of perfectly capable, if slightly flashier drummers (Simon Wright and Chris Slade), during his 12-year hiatus from the group, his return on the Ballbreaker album only confirmed the widely held notion that AC/DC simply never sounded quite like themselves without Phil Rudd.