Jimmy Chamberlin

Jimmy Chamberlin.

The first time I heard Jimmy Chamberlin playing drums, it was on a car radio. I was heading home from work when the Smashing Pumpkins’ song “Rhinoceros” came on. I pulled off the road. I listened. I waited for the song to end, and I turned right around to go back to work—I needed to find this band and get in touch with the drummer.

Only a couple of times has music ever run me right off the road. I had been waiting years to hear this—psychedelic rock with real power, where a band that cared about sonic structure and texture had a killer rhythm section as well. The importance of this music was obvious.

Like Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell before him, Jimmy Chamberlin came from Jazz music to flourish in a psychedelic rock idiom (this might be the key to psychedelic rock, if it is going to be successful). Chamberlin was unique though, in adding, and blending and joining in with the band’s sonic experimentation.

Billy Corgan, the mastermind of Smashing Pumpkins, could cover almost everything if he wanted to: the songwriting, the guitars, the production values, the overdubs… One thing he couldn’t do is is add the sheer drive that pushed it all forward so seamlessly and expressively. It is safe to say that without Jimmy Chamberlin, the 1990’s would have gone without one of the most important bands in rock.

Jimmy also turns up in recordings of Zwan, (a later Billy Corgan project), as well as bands: The Last Hard Men, Starchildren, and his own Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. A big share of his attention these days, however, involves his post as CEO of LiveOne, a social media company that is increasing engagement around any live-stream content.

One of the most listened-to drummers, working to help people listen—and we’re here to share what Jimmy himself is listening to.

Listen to the Jimmy Chamberlin Podcast

Jimmy Chamberlin Playlist

Fred — Tony Williams

Album: Believe It, 1975
Drums: Tony Williams

Proto-Cosmos — Tony Williams

Album: Believe It, 1975
Drums: Tony Williams

Air Blower — Jeff Beck

Album: Blow By Blow, 1975
Drums and percussion: Richard Bailey

Scatterbrain — Jeff Beck

Album: Blow by Blow, 1975
Drums and percussion: Richard Bailey

Dancing Madly Backwards — Captain Beyond

Album: Captain Beyond, 1972
Drums and percussion: Bobby Caldwell

Running on Three — Brand X

Album: Unorthodox Behaviour, 1976
Drums: Phil Collins

Long Distance Runaround — Yes

Album: Fragile, 1971
Drums: Bill Bruford

Straight, No Chaser — The Buddy Rich Septet

Album: Argo, Emarcy and Verve: Small Group Sessions, 1960
Drums: Buddy Rich

The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys — Traffic

Album: The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, 1971
Drums: Jim Gordon; Percussion: Rebop Kwaku- Baah

Passion Dance — McCoy Tyner

Album: The Real McCoy, 1967
Drums: Elvin Jones

Billie’s Bounce — George Benson

Album: Blue Benson, 1976
Drums: Billy Cobham

Nardis — Bill Evans

Album: Paris Concert, Edition II, 1979
Drums: Joe LaBarbera

Jimmy’s Website