A career in beats: Phil Rudd

With the whole world going slightly AC/DC crazy after the announcement that the vintage rockers will headline this year´s Download festival, Rhythm thought it was the perfect time to take a doe-eyed look back at just some of the beats that have defined Phil Rudd´s career.

Let There Be Rock

Let there be drums, and there were drums! Rudd keeps things rocking along at break-neck speed as ‘DC blast into this 1977 classic. Look out for Rudd´s typical head down, blast it out approach and Bon Scott´s unspeakably tight strides.

Highway To Hell

Ah, the perfectly timed introduction of Rudd´s familiar backbeat atop that iconic riff never fails to send a shiver up the spine. Here we see Rudd at his rock steady best.

Back in Black

New singer, same old Phil. Others may gush over the lead riff, which we must concede is awesome, but here at Rhythm we can´t help but think that it´s the hi-hat count in and pre-chorus fill that make this such a classic.


After a mid-career ‘DC lull and a break from the drum stool, during which he dabbled in flying helicopters, the steadiest drummer in rock returned in time for ‘DC´s 1995 Ballbreaker album. The title track sums up everything there is to love about Rudd and the boys. Unbelievable fun powered by an unshakable 4/4.

Anything Goes

After eight long years without an AC/DC album, the Aussie legends returned in 2008 with the monumentally successful Black Ice. While the typical AC/DC rocker ‘Rock ‘n Roll Train´ earned the honour of being the album´s lead single, it was follow-up ‘Anything Goes´ that really showed that the boys still had what it takes. Check out this clip, in which Phil has to contend with cannons, a giant inflatable lady friend and a middle-aged schoolboy.

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.