Which bands and singers have released the most albums?
Paul Weller released his 11th studio album last year, the 42nd album of his career (including The Jam). 42 albums! Given that the first one came out in 1977, The Modfather is currently averaging over an album a year (although, admittedly, some of them are compilations).
Still, by some standards, Weller is actually pretty lazy. Here are a few artists who put one of the hardest working men in music to shame.
Mark E. Smith and the gang have released 100 albums in total, including 30 studio albums, 30 live albums, 35 compilations and 5 half studio/half live albums.
It’s a remarkable level of consistency considering the band’s line-up changes roughly every 5 minutes; as Mark E. Smith once famously said, ‘if it’s me and yer granny on bongos, it’s The Fall.’
The legendarily weird Frank Zappa has released 119 albums, with 100 studio albums, 13 compilations and 6 rock operas and bootlegs.
38 of those albums were released after his death in 1993, with another, Dance Me This, released next month.
To date, the Man in Black has released a jaw-dropping 167 albums, although 104 of those albums are compilations (making him the official compilation heavyweight champion of the world).
Cash also managed to churn out 55 studio albums, on top of presenting his own TV show, playing shows for prisoners and leading a life worthy of an Oscar-winning film. Remember that the next time you think you’re busy.
You’d be forgiven for thinking a man who wears a KFC bucket on his head wouldn’t be particularly enterprising, but Buckethead is ridiculously prolific. It must be all that chicken.
Since 1992, Ol’ Bucket has knocked out 166 studio albums, a feat made even more impressive by the fact he released 123 of them in the past 3 years. Last year, he released 59 albums – that’s over an album a week!
Amazingly, those albums are just the tip of the iceberg. If you count all of his other projects (including an ill-fated attempt at filling the Slash-shaped hole in Guns N’ Roses and 11 albums with Viggo ‘Aragorn’ Mortensen), Buckethead’s final figure comes in at 204 albums!
When he wasn’t gallivanting around Vegas in a jumpsuit or chilling at Graceland with a cheeseburger, Elvis was making albums like there’s no tomorrow. Until his death in 1977, the King released over 60 albums, including numerous collections and soundtracks.
Amazingly, though, Elvis has been more prolific from beyond the grave. There have been 87 compilations since his death, although that’s nothing compared to the 130 albums released by Follow That Dream (a record label exclusively releasing rare Elvis recordings).
In total, Elvis has appeared on a frankly ridiculous 313 albums.
Masami Akita AKA Merzbow is a Japanese ‘noise’ artist who could make a legitimate claim to be being the most prolific musician ever… although some would argue his ‘noise’ isn’t really music. Have a listen, you’ll see what we mean.
Anyway, Merzbow has released…wait for it… 418 albums since 1980. That’s a release every month for 35 years!
That includes a phenomenal 279 studio albums and 74 live albums. Assuming each album is 40 minutes long, that’s about 278 hours of music. 278 hours of this:
Who is the world’s best selling female singer? Madonna? Beyonce? Lady Gaga?
Nope, nope and nope. It’s Nana Mouskouri, a Greek songstress who’s still active at the ripe old age of 80. She’s sold over 300 million albums worldwide.
She’s also possibly the most prolific musician of all time. Although it’s hard to find an actual figure, it’s estimated she’s made 450 albums in total. Even more impressively, she’s recorded in 15 different languages!
Can you think of any artists with bigger discographies than the artists in this post? Let us know in the comments.
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