John Bonham of Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" drum solo off the 1969 album Led Zeppelin II is considered by many to be the best rock drum solo of all time The track is featured both above and below in two very different versions.
The above clip, taken from The Song Remains The Same DVD, captures the late, great artist (tragically dead at the young age of 32) at his best live -- only problem with the film clip is that it keeps cutting away to non music footage when all you want to see/hear is the drumming.
Meanwhile, below is an audio only (just one still image) YouTube clip of the song but in a completely different, raw version. It is the drum solo as it was originally recorded -- isolated from all other sounds. Reportedly recorded in May 1969 in Los Angeles, this earlier solo (only the drums for whole track) was originally titled "Pat's Delight" and the solo here, as you'll hear, is much longer than the one that later appeared as part of the Led Zep Moby Dick track.
Revisiting this drum solo now -- at a time when Led Zeppelin have surprised the world and reformed after not playing a full concert together as Led Zeppelin since Bonham died in 1980 -- makes it all the more fitting and profound, not to mention sad. One can't help but wonder what if John Bonham hadn't died so young in life? What if he were alive and able to join Robert Plant and the newly re-banded Led Zeppelin?
Renowned for his speed, precision, intensity, power, and plain ole natural feel for the groove, Bonham (who came to Led Zeppelin on Robert Plant's shrewd recommendation) was the perfect percussion component for a group who were more than just a band. "A powerhouse -- four virtuoso musicians," is how Jimmy Page (then fresh from the Yardbirds) described the dream band he wanted to form back in 1968. And that was what he got, including a self-taught drumming sensation that the Encyclopædia Britannica later labeled "the perfect model for all modern heavy metal and hard rock drummers that have followed him."