Phil Collins Vs. Bill Ward: March Drum Madness
In 1970, Phil Collins and Bill Ward were at the beginning of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame careers, but they took far different paths to get there. Black Sabbath released a pair of genre-defining albums with Ward that year, helping to establish heavy metal, while Collins began to redefine Genesis as the prog band's new drummer and future frontman.
Their two worlds collide with our latest readers poll. We've placed 32 of the most famous drummers in classic rock history into our March Drum Madness bracket, and over the coming weeks, their ranks will be cut in half in each of five rounds until we arrive at your choice for the greatest rock drummer of all time.
Where you come down on these particular two probably has to do with whether you like your rock with a lot of menace or a little pop. As Collins continued with Genesis, he eventually took over leadership duties and guided the group toward the top of the charts. But even at his MTV-era peak, Collins could still bring a huge sound on songs like "I Don't Care Anymore," "In the Air Tonight" and "Inside Out." Ward was with Black Sabbath until 1980, then returned for a trio of short stints between 1982-94 before a lengthier reunion in 1997-2012 – extending his legacy of combining monstrous power with notable touches of jazz. Favorites over the years include "Paranoid," "Iron Man" and "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath."
Which will you choose? You can vote once per hour in each of our 16 opening March Drum Madness battles, until the first round ends March 23 at 11:59PM ET. The ultimate winner will be revealed on April 7.
See Black Sabbath and Other Rockers in Our Top 100 Classic Rock Albums of the '70s