Best Rock Discography

There are several threads involving popular music that are active on this forum right now. Reading them, and posting in a few, has provoked me to consider;
Which current R&R recording artist (solo or group) has created the best overall “body of work”?

I will qualify my question by suggesting that the artist must meet all of the following qualifications:**

  1. Must have released an album in the past 3 years
  2. Must have released at least 5 albums in their career
  3. Must have released their first album prior to 1990
  4. Must have (at least) one song that is now a staple of “Classic Rock” radio
    After carefully considering the many artists that meet those qualifications, my nomination goes to Tom Petty. IMHO, his discography, album by album and song by song, is one of the very best of all time. From the self titled debut album, released in the disco dominated year of 1976, to his 1999 release*“Echoes”*, Petty has provided more great songs, more consistently, than any other artist currently recording rock music, IMO.

The range of his songwriting ability is amazing. His influence on contemporary music can be heard in genres as varied as country, punk, new wave, alternative, and even bubble gum pop. Many music fans know the words to as many as a dozen, or more, of his songs by heart, without even realizing it. Some of the most innovative and entertaining music videos ever produced are Tom Petty songs. Finally, and best of all IMO, he has stayed true to his musical roots, creating music that has stretched the limits of American Rock & Roll, while doing it in a basic straight-forward musical style.

There are many other artists that have careers that compare with Tom Petty’s, but IMHO, none of them have been as consistent in both quality and quantity.

Does anyone else have a nomination?

I think you are trying to sway votes in your favor because of the limitations you have enacted. How many others are there? Maybe two or three… c’mon. :rolleyes:

It sure as hell 'aint Stevie Nicks and it 'aint the Allman Brothers. I think your guidelines are rediculous.

So, allow me to open this up a bit and say anyone, anytime.

My vote goes to Bob Marley.

I was trying to narrow the field, not sway votes. You may think it’s rediculous(sic) if you like, but it will keep the category so that there might actually be some insight in the discussion. I was soliciting CURRENT artists specifically. If you don’t like the narrowed playing field, then why respond at all?

How many others are there? Hmmm, let’s see…
Eric Clapton
ZZ Top
Bonnie Raitt
Fleetwood Mac
Pearl Jam
Bon Jovi
Shall I continue?

Please do, because I think you will agree that those that you have posted are practically one or two-hit-wonders, with the exception of E.C., Aerosmith, and Fleetwood Mac.

Let me see if I understand correctly. You have made over 700 posts in 2 months? Where they all this asinine, or did you save that for me? If you want a battle of the wits with me, then let’s head off to the pit. If not, FUCK OFF. There are at least 100 recording artists that meet those qualifications. I could care less whether or not you can figure out which ones they are.

That would be copasetic.


In risk of sounding like a complete jerk, I will suggest that you submit a request for a name change for this thread to a mod. Might I suggest: “The best of the sucky bands that have by the grace of God maintained a prolific career.”

Seriously, I apologize if I offended you by saying your guidelines sucked. But I must admit that I would be hard pressed to consider either Pearl Jam or Bon Jovi classic rock, and I suspect I am not alone. I think the line for classic rock stops at “hair bands”. I have heard newer Petty songs on “classic rock” stations, but he had earned his place among classic rockers long before hair bands were around.

Two symbols - one letter, one number - U2. I dont’ honestly remember when Metallica released their last album but I think they qualify as well. Those are my two picks.
I would go one step farther wishbone, I don’t think that Pearl Jam is even GOOD rock let alone classic.

I have to go for Radiohead.

5 albums and various EP’s.
Looking at just the albums there’s been:
1 which was just so-so.
1 which was really, really good.
and 3 consecutive classics punctuated by a classic EP.

Released in that order. The ratio of classics to number of albums released is pretty damned impressive in my book.

Another band which fits the bill is Archers Of Loaf, though one of the 5 released albums is a compilation of demos and such. All of them are top-notch releases.

Looking back at the OP, I see that I’ve violated the pre-1990 rule in both cases, and the radio hit rule in the case of the Archers (unless you count college radio). And I’m okay with that.

Doesn’t this award pretty much have to go to the Rolling Stones?

Plus Tom Petty wore a big hat, and that’s gotta count for something.

wishbone, that was completely uncalled for. If you don’t like the thread, don’t respond to it. In the future, you will check that attitude at the door. Understood?

Buck Nekked, you’re new here, but you seem to know that shouting and cursing goes on in the Pit. Then try to stick to that, please - no matter how someone is trying to piss you off. Otherwise, no worries, you’re doing OK.

I’ll even toss an answer to the OP at you: RUSH. And I can indeed name 25 more bands that meet your qualifications.

Does REM get any play on classic rock stations?


I do humbly apologize for the vulgarity. You are absolutely right, I do know that it belongs in the pit, and I should have held my tongue. (or in this case, my fingers) Please edit that message, if it’s appropriate to do so.

You are again correct in saying that I am new here, in terms of actively participating in the forums, but I have been reading this site as an unregistered guest for a while now. I originally found Cecil’s column in our weekly newspaper and thought I’d check out the site. This is the first time that I have posted a new thread, and perhaps I did make it too narrow, but I don’t particularly care for threads that cliche’ warning compare apples to oranges.

This is also the first time that I have been provoked. I attempted to correct the situation with my first response, but I lost my temper with the second one. Again, I’m sorry.

Thanks for the response to the OP. Wishbone does have a point in that it is very narrow. Perhaps the first qualification should be five years instead of three, to broaden the field even further, but I’d like to stick with contemporary artists. Rush, the Rolling Stones, and U2 are all great choices. There are many others that come to my mind, but I will wait until a few more nominations are posted before I nominate another artist.

They do where I’m at, Lot’s of it, and that’s another good choice. Thanks.

Boy, howdy, will I second Rush. I would also like to add (IMHO, since this is…um, IMHO) Jethro Tull and Neil Young (w/&or without Crazy Horse).

If you count the “1” album, I’d say the Beatles own this one. As far as the whole Stones vs. Beatles debate, the Beatles win. I mean, the Stones have some great tunes, but they’ve been in the business forever. They’re bound to have some good ones. The Beatles made albums from '62-'70, and every one was good! Okay, I’ll admit there were some weak ones (Beatles for Sale, Magical Mystery Tour, Let it Be), but the streak Rubber Soul-Revolver-Sgt. Pepper’s-White was amazing. They changed through the course of the career, starting as a “boy band,” going psychedelic, and ending their career with the phenominal Abbey Road (the last they recorded, though the 2nd-to-last released). They’re proove that the whole was definitely better than the sum of the parts. So don’t diss the Beatles!

My pick is Jefferson Airplane/Starship. Jefferson Starship released a studio album in 1998, and Jefferson Airplane has a boxed set due out this month. As for having released an album before 1990, JA released Takes Off in 1966. JS released Dragonfly on 1974. As for a classic rock stsple, Jefferson Airplane has “Somebody to Love”, “White Rabbit” and “Crown of Creation”. Jefferson Starship has “Miracles”, “Caroline” and “Devil’s Den”

Another vote for the Beatles. Let me also add Bruce Springsteen and Melissa Etheridge.

OK boys and girls.

It’s RUSH!!!

23 releases since 1975, including 3 complilations and 4 LIVE albums.(kick ass live records at that!)

‘Limelight’ is still a classic rock staple, ‘Tom Sawyer’ was used in a car commercial, and put-near everybody has owned a copy of ‘2112’.

And they still know how to rock!!