The better drummer?

Clive Burr or Nicko Brain

  • Clive Burr

    Votes: 24 26.7%
  • Nicko Brain

    Votes: 66 73.3%

  • Total voters
    90

Donner

Ancient Mariner
I think Clive was more unique with his swinging groove.  But at the same time, I can't imagine him playing something like Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Ghost of the Navigator.  Both drummers fit their eras perfectly.  My vote is for Nicko simply because he's been on more Maiden albums that I really love. 
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Clive was more of a jazzy drummer, his style fit into Maiden perfectly, he selected the piece he was going to hit one by one, I think. Nicko plays faster and stronger but at the same time stylized. They're equal for me.
 

Taker

Cannon Fodder
I'm not a drummer, but I think Nicko might be technically better than Clive. Having said this, it would be almost impossible for me to pick a favourite. I think they both are a huge part of the Maiden sound at their particular times with the band. Having seen them both play live, I'd say Clive Burr was the more exciting drummer to watch (of course it's pretty tough to see Nicko behind that behemoth kit). With the exception of Mickey Dee (Motorhead, King Diamond) Clive is the hardest working drummer I've ever seen live.
 

Habberdasher

Trooper
Hard to say. Nicko has "simplified" some of the drum parts on older Clive songs, but Nicko seems to be much more consistent overall. The real test would be to hear Clive play the drum tracks for Virtual XI? ;)
 

Dentura

Invader
Even though Nicko is technically the more proficient drummer, I prefer Clive's drum work more myself. For example, I much prefer the Beast over Hammersmith performance of "Hallowed Be Thy Name" over Live After Death, mainly because of the way Clive performed that song.
 

Castelle

"You'll take my life but I'll take yours too"
Nicko is the BEST drummer hands down. Clive set the standard and Nicko blew us away !! :)
 
Clive's style was looser, edgier, more toms, more raw energy. It rumbled and rang open. Definitely a punk influence to it.

Nicko's style is straight up prog rock, very technical, tight, clean, complex, plenty of change-ups in beat division, tempo, and time signature. He's right there with Neil Pert or Terry Bozzio. Sometimes a drummer like this can get too complex, and lose sight of their basic job of keeping time and establishing a backbeat. Nicko falls victim to this at times. Also his snare choice works against the song sometimes.

So I voted for Clive, partly out of respect, and partly for the fact that I would choose his style for my own music.

But I agree with the sentiment that each drummer is right for their era and the material they are playing. After Nicko joined, Maiden got progressively more progressive, and Clive probably would not have fit in as well. Just as Nicko's playing may be a bit too self-conscious and cerebral for the raw attitude of the early albums.
 
Last edited:

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Clive's style was looser, edgier, more toms, more raw energy. It rumbled and rang open. Definitely a punk influence to it.

Nicko's style is straight up prog rock, very technical, tight, clean, complex, plenty of change-ups in beat division, tempo, and time signature. He's right there with Neil Pert or Terry Bozzio. Sometimes a drummer like this can get too complex, and lose sight of their basic job of keeping time and establishing a backbeat. Nicko falls victim to this at times. Also his snare choice works against the song sometimes.

So I voted for Clive, partly out of respect, and partly for the fact that I would choose his style for my own music.

But I agree with the sentiment that each drummer is right for their era and the material they are playing. After Nicko joined, Maiden got progressively more progressive, and Clive probably would not have fit in as well. Just as Nicko's playing may be a bit too self-conscious and cerebral for the raw attitude of the early albums.

I voted for Nicko, for the exact opposite reasons of what you've said. I honestly feel that Nicko is more edgy and raw, whereas Clive (though clearly punk-influenced) provided a steadier backbeat for the band. Clive's drumming was always solid and often very impressive, where Nicko, I think, has had to play more technically due to the evolving nature of Maiden's music. His induction into the band opened up their sound a lot and gave the music a much needed burst of energy.

And although I think Nicko is a fun and incredibly talented drummer, I would never call his playing "cerebral" and I definitely could not put him in the same category as Neil Peart.
 

Luke

Metal Wizard
And although I think Nicko is a fun and incredibly talented drummer, I would never call his playing "cerebral" and I definitely could not put him in the same category as Neil Peart.

Was pretty much exactly what I was going to say.
Personally, I think Neil Peart is overrated, but that's besides the point.
Nicko's playing is very straightforward as it is, and even more so when comparing the two.
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
Yep, Nicko definitely isn't Terry Bozzio or Peart...Dare I say I sometimes think Nicko is a little bit overrated...? He is a hell of a solid, hard hitting ROCK drummer though with classic rock roots, he knows how to play his part in Maiden, happens to work awesome together with Steve and has a style and personality that is a perfect fit for Maiden. It's hard to imagine what classic albums like Somewhere in Time or Powerslave would have sounded like with a different style drummer on the drum stool...
 
I said Nicko's drumming is more cerebral (in comparison to Clive) because he has a high level of detail worked into his phrasing and a fairly complex structure, switching tempo and time signature on a dime. Nicko's drumming interacts with the other instruments on a peer level, rather than just laying down a framework for the music to fill, or mimicking their rhythm. This is why Steve wanted him in the band in the first place.

Clive's style was much more straight-forward rock, "lay down a groove and go with it" than Nicko.
I hear prog rock when I listen to Nicko and punk rock when I listen to Clive.

I have Nicko's contributions to the last few albums in mind particularly when discussing his abilities, which I think can be compared with Neil Peart, minus the grandiose soloing, of course.
 
Last edited:
Top