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Copley is largely a session musician who has worked with Jeff Beck, Graham Parker, Upp, Paul Young, Roger Glover, Magnum, Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Go West, Killing Joke, Tears for Fears, Seal, Tony Iommi and Paul Rodgers. Copley has been the drummer with Manfred Mann's Earth Band since 2007.
In 1998, Copley released his first solo album, Slap My Hand. Featuring tremendous performances from Jeff Beck, Pino Palladino, Peter Cox, Micky Moody, Ian Jennings, Dino Baptiste, Bernie Marsden, Steve Evans, Neil Murray, Char, Paul Jackson, Koji, Chris White, Mark Stanway and Mo Birch.
Copley is a master of the Open-handed drumming technique. The method is without crossing the hands when playing the hi-hat (or ride-cymbal) and snare drum simultaneously as opposed to the more traditional way of playing drums which features crossed hands as the basic playing position. This allows players such as Copley to play more freely and also to incorporate more melodic motifs to songs.
Copley has been a long time Tama drums endorser. He has used Superstar, Granstar, Artstar II and Starclassic drums throughout the years. Another long time association is with Zildjian Cymbals. Copley also uses Vic Firth drumsticks.
- Upp (1975)
- This Way Upp (1976)
- Tears for Fears: Live at Knebworth '90 (Change, Badman's Song, Everybody Wants to Rule the World) (1990)
- Going To California (Live from Santa Barbara) (1990)
Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Tribute
- Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Tribute (1993)
- Soul on Board (1993)
- Last of the Independents (1994)
- Live: The Loreley Tapes (live album, 1996)
- Now (1997)
- Now and Live (2CD compilation, 1997)
- Electric (2000)
- Mayfield (1998)
- The Best Of Go West - Live at the NEC (2001)
- Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow
- Livin' The Dream (2005 Live DVD)
- Slap My Hand (2008)
- "Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Band Members (Jimmy Copley)". Platform-end.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- Carson, Annette (2001). Jeff Beck: Crazy Fingers. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books. p. Page 226. ISBN 0-87930-632-7.
- "Tama Drums: Jimmy Copley". Tamadrum.co.jp. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Firth, Vic. "Artist Roster". Vicfirth.com. Retrieved 2 October 2012.