Cozy Powell

Mini Biography

In The Beginning...

Cozy Born in 1947 on December 29th as Colin Powell, but changed his name to Cozy after jazz drummer Cozy Cole.

He started out as a drummer playing the German club circuit with The Sorcerors in 1965. In 1968 he returned to England and played in several small bands, but his first real break was with the Jeff Beck Group in 1970. Being the only drummer turning up to audition who brought his own kit and then playing it in the driving, aggressive but imaginative style he has made his own, he convinced Jeff to take him on. Unfortunately it took couple of years for the rest of the band to be recruted during which time he and Jeff recorded an album with session musicians, which never got released, and Cozy himself started doing session work for other musicians and bands such as Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi Quattro.

In December 1973 he released a solo track, "Dance with the Devil" which made an impact in the charts. He released a couple of other singles and continued his session work but the life style was getting him down so he decided to quit the music business. He took up Formula Three motor racing for Hitachi, though he kept a foot in the music world with a two bands - Beast (which later became Bedlam) and later his own band Cozy Powell's Hammer.


In September 1975 he got a call from Ritchie Blackmore asking him if he wanted the job as Rainbow's new drummer. He stayed with Rainbow for three albums. Rainbow Rising and Long Live Rock and Roll with Ronnie James Dio on vocals were toured extensively. Eventually Dio seemed to tire of the band and the line up changed. Down to Earth was released with Graham Bonnet on vocals but when it started to tour he was unable to keep his voice in good form. In addition Blackmore's insistance that they become more commercial and poppy and increasing unproffesionalism towards the audience made Cozy decide it was time to look elsewhere for a band. He played with Gary Moore for a while in spare moments and then eventually quit Rainbow in August 1980 after the Monsters of Rock concert in Donnington.

After recording a solo album, Over The Top, with Jack Bruce and Gary Moore he joined the Michael Schenker Group. In his spare time away from the group he recorded a second album, Tilt.

Things with the MSG started off well but before Michael Schenker was losing control. In the middle of it all Cozy was approached by Robert Plant who was thinking of reforming Led Zeppelin. His strict contract with MSG prevented him from taking the opportunity and he had to leave the project. Eventually Cozy decided that enough was enough and quit the band to a great deal of criticism from fans.

A drummer of Cozy's class doesn't stay silent for long and he recorded another solo album, Octopuss.


He soon found himself in Coverdale's blues-rock band, Whitesnake. Whitesnake was a very different experience to earlier bands, being a vocalist's band. Much more feel was needed and the rhythms were simpler. Cozy even ditched his trademark double bass drums for one album, Slide It In, although he took them on the tour afterwards.

Eventually the clash of personalities claimed yet another band as Coverdale and Powell fell out over the deal that was destined to bring the band to the US.

Black Sabbath
Brian May
The Drums Are Back
Black Sabbath
Splinter Group
[Brian May]