The Greatest Rock Artists That Have Long Music Careers
via The Rolling Stones/YouTube
In a lot of ways, longevity is one of the secrets to greatness. Any artist may have one hit song, but to have iconic songs that will last over 50 years is remarkable. This list features rock artists who are at the top of their game as composers and performers over the years.
1. Neil Young
Despite his struggle with Spotify, Neil Young has been a mainstay in the music industry since his self-titled debut LP in 1968. Regardless of that dispute, Young has been on the scene making waves way before he fought the streaming giant and, in his words, their “misinformation.” He will soon be in the sixth decade of his musical career. Young has 45 LPs out so far, and more are on the way.
2. Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton who recently became an American Songwriter cover sensation, issued her first album on her own in 1967. 55 years later, Parton issued her most recent record, Run, Rose, Run, which was accompanied by the same-titled book, a new Christmas special called Mountain Magic Christmas, and more home and animal-related merchandise. She has released more than 60 albums to date and a rock album is set to come.
3. Patti Smith
Since the release of her first studio album, Horses, in 1975, the 76-year-old musician has become a regular in the New York music scene. She has managed to continue being one of the most significant personalities in American society despite only having one major single to her credit.
4. Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney co-founded the group that would become the Beatles when he was just 15 years old. 65 years later, McCartney is still producing music at the age of 80. He is one of the most productive musicians of all time.
5. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones were founded in London in 1962 and are still active today. The group’s most recent album, Blue & Lonesome, was published in 2016, and more new music is on the way. The Stones are reinventing what a band can do if it stays together for more than 60 years, led by the ageless, hip-swinging singer Mick Jagger and supported by guitarist-pirate icon Keith Richards.
6. Robert Plant
Robert Plant is more than just a man in tight jeans and long, wavy blonde hair. He was the frontman of the renowned blues-rock group Led Zeppelin, which issued its debut album in 1969. More recently, he has also received a Grammy for his two outstanding albums with the country music star Alison Krauss.
The 1976-founded Irish rock group from Dublin is still active today. Led by Bono and including The Edge on guitar, this band has long combined social advocacy and mainstream rock and roll music.
8. Elton John
In 1969, the British-born composer, pianist, and glam icon released his debut album, Empty Sky. Elton John finished his career as a touring musician in 2022. The Lockdown Sessions LP, which featured artists including Eddie Vedder, Lil Nas X, Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, and many more, was one of many albums he released in the meantime.
9. Buddy Guy
The 86-year-old musician is doing his best to preserve the American genre through his performances, brand-new CDs, and interviews. In 1967, Buddy Guy released his first studio album and in 2022, he released his most recent one, The Blues Don’t Lie.
10. Bob Dylan
The Bard might outlive all of us. In 1962, Bob Dylan issued his debut self-titled album, which contributed to the modernization of the music industry. This 81-year-old Dylan, who is widely regarded as the greatest lyricist of all time, released his most recent album in 2020 and a new book in 2022. Although it is true that times are changing, perhaps Dylan’s reputation as a musical icon will not.