What band has gone the longest without a line-up change?

What band (any genre) has gone the longest continuous period of time without adding, losing, or replacing any members or breaking up then reuniting?

My guess is ZZ Top Their first album came out in 1970, and the still have the same line-up 32 years later.

My second place guess is U2. Boy came out in 1980 and nothing has changed 22 years later. And they formed a few years before that, 1978 I believe. Does anyone know if that was the same line-up, or do they have a Pete Best in their background?

Third place looks like a tie between The Rolling Stones, who stayed stable from 1975 (Ron Wood replacing Mick Taylor) to 1993 (Bill Wyman departing), and Aerosmith, who haven’t changed since Joe Perry rejoined in 1984. Both racked up 18 years. Note I asked “continuous”, so Aerosmith doesn’t get bonus years for the 1973-1979 period.

I know someone will point out an obvious one I’ve forgotten.

Brad Whitford also left and came back in the time that Joe Perry did the same.

WAG: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?

We had this on the temp board, actaully I asked.

My guess was Golden Earring, they have been at it since 62 or so, but the last line-up change was '69 and have been at it ever since. My second guess was ZZ Top, then Rush. Aerosmith broke up in the late 70s so I didn’t count them.

The final answer we got though was a Motown group, 4 Seasons, 4-Tops, someone like that. They were at it for 44 years until one died. You should be able to find it on the other board, if you can find the board.

Well, Levi Stubbs, Abdul Fakir, Renaldo Benson and Lawrence Payton sang together as the Four Tops from 1954 until 5 years ago, when Lawrence PAyton died of cancer.

That’s 43 years without a lineup change, which is rather impressive. The three surviving members still tour as “The Tops.”

Among current bands… well, do you count Phil and Don Everly as a band? They still sing together professionally, and have since the mid 1950s.

The Who made it fourteen years from their first single (under the name “The High Numbers”) in 1964 to Keith Moon’s death in 1978.


Before U2 was U2, they briefly called themselves Feedback, then the Hype. They had one or two others involved for a very short time, but the U2 that we know has always been the same four guys.

Rush released thier 2nd album Fly By Night, in 1975, That was thier first album with Neil Peart and they havent broken up or changed since(actually, Neil joined some time before that). Thats what, 27 years or so. I dont think many have that beat.

Bassist Ron Blair left and was replaced by Howie Epstein after a couple of albums. In the last couple of years, drummer Stan Lynch flew the coop.

? and the Mysterians. But really, who the hell could tell?

Not the longest ever, but according to the Guiness Book, the longest running female act is The Three Degrees, most famous for their 1974 hit “When Will I See You Again?” Yup, they are still around though they haven’t toured the States since the late ‘70s - being able to sing in 5 languages has kept their career afloat in Europe and Asia over the last 20 years. They are one of Prince Charles’ favorite groups and were invited to his wedding to Diana back in '81.

Btw, they formed in 1966.

Interesting point, Rush is coming out with a new album and tour next month. That would be 27 years, same lineup, making albums and touring the whole time, not bad…

Warning! High quality guess work coming up.

I recall watching CNN a few weeks back and they were showing this Contry & Western group who were also a family who had been together since the 40s or maybe earlier. And the newscaster mentioned something like they were the band that had stayed together the longest. Maybe somebody who’s knows something can googles us up a link?