Basic Background Info

Birth: February 10, 1949
Location: Wallasey, Cheshire, England
Band: Elton John, Platic Penny, Uriah Heep
Genres: Rock, Pop
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician



Nigel Olsson was born in the small Cheshire town of Wallasey, England, to John and Elsa Olsson. Nigel Olsson spent most of his childhood and teen years in Sunderland where his musical career began. Nigel Olsson started as the vocalist for the band Fireflies. When the Fireflies' drummer quit, Nigel Olsson took a chance on the drums. Nigel Olsson quickly became passionate about playing and he focused his attention strictly on drums.

After teenaged Nigel and a childhood friend auditioned for the band Plastic Penny, the band immediately hired Nigel Olsson and he moved to London to work with them. Plastic Penny released two albums during Nigel's tenure before they broke up in 1969. Nigel Olsson capitalized on his popularity with Plastic Penny, and he quickly joined the Spencer Davis Group. But after one tour through the United States, the group disbanded.

Nigel Olsson then sought help from friend Elton John; John referred Nigel to Uriah Heep, who was looking for a drummer. Nigel Olsson toured with Uriah Heep while playing with Elton John on the side. Nigel Olsson recorded several albums with Elton John, including Tumbleweed Connection, Friends, Madman Across the Water, Honky Chauteau, GoodBye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou, and many more.

Nigel Olsson has also released four solo albums. Currently, Nigel performs with several bands and tours with Elton John. Nigel Olsson is married to Schanda Olsson; their son's name is Justin Carl.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1969 Currency Plastic Penny
1969 Empty Sky Elton John
1969 Two Sides of a Penny Plastic Penny
1969 Funky Spencer Davis Group
1970 Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble Uriah Heep
1970 Heads I Win, Tails You Lose Plastic Penny
1971 Nigel Olsson's Drum Orchestra and Chorus Nigel Olsson
1971 11/17/1970 Elton John
1971 Tumbleweed Connection Elton John
1971 Friends Elton John
1971 Madman Across the Water Elton John
1971 Swallow Tales Cochise
1971 In My Time Mike Hurst
1972 Mick the Lad Mick Grabham
1972 Honky Chateau Elton John
1972 Don't Shoot MeÖ I'm Only The Piano Player Elton John
1972 Everything Stops for Tea Long John Baldry
1973 GoodBye Yellow Brick Road Elton John
1973 Resurrection Big Three
1973 Loving and Free Kiki Dee
1973 Smiling Face Davey Johnstone
1973 Communication Hookfoot
1974 Caribou Elton John
1974 Greatest Hits Elton John
1974 Land's End Jimmy Webb
1975 Once In a While Kai Olsson
1975 Nigel Olsson Nigel Olsson
1975 Drummer's Can Sing Too Nigel Olsson
1975 Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirty Cowboy Elton John
1975 Caribou Elton John
1975 Something New Barbie Benton
1975 The Hungry Years Neil Sedaka
1975 Prisoner in Disguise Linda Ronstadt
1975 Atlantic Crossing Rod Stewart
1976 Endless Flight Leo Sayer
1976 Wait for Night Rick Springfield
1976 Here and There Elton John
1976 Greatest Hits Volume 2 Elton John
1976 White on White Brian Cadd
1976 Tom Thumb Michael Dinner
1976 Farewell Fairbanks Randy Edelman
1976 Word Called Love Brian and Brenda Russell
1976 Wedding Album Leon and Marry Russell
1976 Steppin' Out Neil Sedaka
1976 Do I love You Peter Lemongello
1977 Boats Against the Current Eric Carmen
1977 If Love is Real Randy Edelman
1977 El Mirage Jimmy Webb
1977 Singer of Songs, Teller of Tales Paul Davis
1977 Ear Candy Helen Reddy
1978 Change of Heart Eric Carmen
1975 Nigel Olsson Nigel Olsson
1978 Heaven Must Have Sent you Bonnie Pointer
1978 Heaven Help the Fool Bob Weir
1978 You're the One Randy Edelman
1979 Nigel Nigel Olsson
1980 Twice Nightly The Tremblers
1980 21 at 33 Elton John
1980 In The Pocket Neil Sedaka
1980 Changing Tides Nigel Olsson
1981 The Fox Elton John
1983 Too Low for Zero Elton John
1983 Greatest Hits Volume II Barry Manilow
1984 Breaking Hearts Elton John
1987 Great Dirty World Gowan
1987 Golden Archive Series Spencer Davis Group
1988 Reg Strikes Back Elton John
1990 River of Love David Fostser
1991 The One Elton John
1992 Too Country Billy Hardwick
1992 Holes in the Heavens Warpipes
1993 If Only my Heart had a Voice Kenny Rogers
1994 Landsowne Tapes Uriah Heep
1995 Temporary Tattoos Blakey St. John
1996 Show Must Go On: Anthology Leo Sayer
1996 Not Dressed Jon Blackstone
1997 Guitar Haus Dan McAvinchey
1997 Definitive Collection Eric Carmen
2000 Elton John's The Road to El Dorado Elton John
2000 One Night Only The Greatest Elton John
2001 Songs From The West Coast Elton John
2001 Nigel Olsson's Drum Orchestra and Chorus, Vol. 2: Move the Universe Nigel Olsson
2002 Greatest Hits 1970-2002 Elton John
2002 Through the Looking Glass Toto
2004 Peachtree Road Elton John
2005 80 B.B. King
2006 The Captain and the Kid Elton John
2006 Elton John's Christmas Party Elton John
2007 Goin Hme: A Tribute to Fats Domino Various Artists
2007 Eric Carmen/Boats Against the Current/Change of Heart Eric Carmen
2007 Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Elton John
2007 Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden (DVD) Elton John
2008 The Red Piano Elton John
2008 The Red Piano (DVD) Elton John
2009 The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 Rod Stewart
2009 Cavern Stomp: The Complete Recordings The Big Three
2009 Another Year/Endless Flight Leo Sayer
2010 Original Album Series Linda Ronstadt
2010 On the Rebound: A Very 'Eavy 40th Anniversary Collection Uriah Heep
2010 Live in Verona 2009 Elton John
2010 Duet Ronan Keating
2011 Gnomeo & Juliet (Movie Soundtrack) Gnomeo & Juliet
2012 The Tra-La Days are Over/Overnight Success Neil Sedaka
2012 5 Classic Albums 1970-73 Elton John


  • Nigel is a giant car fan. He has owned a wide range of cars from Ferraris to Mini Coopers.
  • In the music video for Elton John's "All the Young Girls Love Alice," Nigel is driving his Mini Cooper.
  • Nigel also races vintage cars in the Vintage Auto Racing Association and the Historic Motor Sports Association.
  • Nigel took a hiatus from music for most of the 1990s before rejoining Elton John in 2000.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Paiste
Heads: Remo
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips