Some musicians choose not to water down their music by releasing quality over quantity. These bands don’t understand that concept. Here are 10 of the most prolific artists.
Robert Pollard has written or co-written over 500 songs for his band Guided by Voices which seems extraordinary until you consider the fact that he’s written over 1600 in total over the span of his career. Since their first in 1987, and even after a six year break, Guided by Voices have released 22 studio albums alone.
From 1963 to 1970 The Beatles released 12 albums which is an impressive feat. Since their break up, all four members continued making music by themselves at a frenetic pace – most of all Paul McCartney who’s released 36 studio albums.
Zappa is unarguably one of the most prolific musicians of all time. Before he died in 1994, he had released 62 studio albums, and since then the Zappa Family Trust has put out 37 more for a grand total of 99.
Animal Collective could one day be in the company of Robert Pollard or Frank Zappa as one of the most prolific bands in history. Since their inception in 2000, they’ve released nine studio albums and almost as many EPs. Most members of the band have also been churning out solo albums over that time, including five from Panda Bear alone.
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
The New Pornographers is almost cheating since they are a supergroup. If you were somehow able to count up every album every member has done by themselves or in different bands, it would be in the 100s. If we take Dan Bejar alone since 1996 with all his bands, he’s released 26 studio albums.
James Brown was known as the hardest working man in music and that has a lot to do with the sheer amount of records he released over his lifetime. Since his debut in 1959 as James Brown and the Famous Flames, he put out 71 studio albums.
Neil Young has had a long and fruitful career, releasing 35 studio albums himself, three more with Buffalo Springfield in the 60s, and another three as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Jack White is another musician who one day could be known as one of the most prolific. Even though the White Stripes have only put out six albums since their debut in 1999, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and his solo work alone, double that number. And that’s all before considering his Third Man Records Vault which regularly releases live work and rare singles.
When you count up all of Johnny Cash’s studio, Christmas, gospel, compilation, and so on albums, he clocks in as one of the most prolific artists of all time releasing a whopping 96 records.
Depending on how you measure it, Tangerine Dream could be the most prolific band of all time. They’ve released 103 studio albums alone and have been featured on 76 compilation albums, and 34 soundtracks.