For more than 50 years in his career, Neil Young has worked with lots of drummers. However, he confesses to always coming back to Ralph Molina for the best drumming sessions.
There are very few drummers who are gifted enough to work with top players in the market more than twice. And this is the reason why Ralph Molina appears on the list as one of the tops. It is not only in his expert approach to drumming but also in his outgoing personality. “To be great, you have to work well with others,” Molina was always heard saying this, and it got him to places no one else would have reached in his capacity.
Neil Young and Molina met back during the times of the Buffalo Springfield. At the time, Molina was a member of the Rockets, a group that he helped shape and grow from glory to glory.
Young says he was immediately impressed when he heard the younger drummer perform his magic. There was so much energy and stamina and skills in his approach to drumming that it pulled in him to his style almost immediately. “Good drumming comes as a talent,” Ralph said about Molina.
Molina stands as the furthest things you can imagine about a cookie-cutter virtuoso, just like his Crazy Horse friends. When Biographer Jimmy McDonough was interviewing Neil, he was impressed at just how proud the drummer was to work with Molina.
He recalled how he could play the guitar, and Ralph would pick from anywhere, even a wrong beat and start playing backward. Such things are normal as they happen all the time, but you can never hear them from professional teams. That is how Young felt about Molina, not as an insult but just to show how gutty the drummer ways.
There was a knack of earthly backbeats that elope along with the primary grace of Young’s signature that makes everyone fall in love with his work.
Using such skills in professional drumming requires a lot of practice and understanding. Ralph always ensured perfect delivery for every project he worked on, which earned him a top stop in the world of drummers. It is the same commitment and innovativeness that helped him lay the foundation for “Down by the River,” “Cinnamon Girl,” and other classic beats that have never run aged. And for many years, his work continues to inspire many other drummers who look at him as an icon in his own rights.
Back in 2011, Ralph talked about his work with Young, stating that they never had charts and never knew the songs they worked on. They just started playing, and everything fell into place like magic.
This is true for any Crazy Horse recording from 1969 to 2012. In this case, you will find albums like “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” and “Psychic Pill” defined by time differences, yet carry the same drumming power from the two drummers. Ralph has never stopped to impress those who listen to him as he makes sure every sound comes out with energy.