Music

Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums 

Ranker Music
24.5k votes 1.5k voters 5.8k views 126 items

List Rules Only vote up bands or artists who have released five great albums. Not good albums. GREAT albums. This only includes studio albums. No live albums. No B-side collections.

Building a successful band is tough but keeping it going is much tougher. Even some of history's biggest, best-selling bands couldn't repeat the magic more than once. Break-ups and bad musical decisions have sabotaged some of the all-time best bands and artists. Just how hard is it? The Smiths, Cream and Velvet Underground lasted just four albums. Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix? Just three. The Sex Pistols? Only one.

Sure, plenty of bands continue to release albums for years but that doesn't mean they are good. The list of artists who have released what would be considered five great albums isn't as long as you might think. Not everyone can successfully reinvent themselves like Bob Dylan or The Beatles or stay as consistent as AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. 

So which artists have gone the distance five full times? 

list ordered by
1
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Abbey Road, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most ...more

More The Beatles 

#137 of 277 The Sexiest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing Behind The Scene Stories From The Recording Of The Beatles' 'Abbey Road'listed on The Best English Boy Bands

2
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin II
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. ...more

More Led Zeppelin 

#4 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #79 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80sfeaturing The Best Led Zeppelin Songs

3
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They emerged from London's underground music scene during the late 1960s, and became one of the most commercially successful and ...more

More Pink Floyd 

#14 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #4 of 350 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandsfeaturing Pink Floyd Tried To Make An Album That Ended Up Being Too Trippy Even For Them

4
Queen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals and piano), Brian May (lead guitar and vocals), Roger Taylor (drums and vocals) and ...more

More Queen 

#3 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #3 of 350 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandsfeaturing Behind The Scenes Of The Movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

5
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Let It Bleed, Exile on Main St., Sticky Fingers
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. ...more

More The Rolling Stones 

#77 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #134 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singersfeaturing The Best Rolling Stones Albums of All Time

6
Creedence Clearwater Rev... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
moezelpg added
Green River, Cosmo's Factory, Willy and the Poor Boys
Creedence Clearwater Revival (often referred to as Creedence or CCR) was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s which consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and ...more

More Creedence Clearwater Revival 

#54 of 632 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #15 of 2,218 The Best Rock Bands of All Timefeaturing The Best Creedence Clearwater Revival Albums of All Time

7
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
moezelpg added
Flaming Pie, Pipes of Peace, Ram
Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as bass player for the Beatles. His ...more

More Paul McCartney 

#1 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwritersfeaturing The Best Paul McCartney Songslisted on Famous Left Handed People

8
Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
moezelpg added
Songs in the Key of Life, Innervisions, Talking Book
Stevland Hardaway Morris (né Judkins; born May 13, 1950), better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. A prominent figure ...more

More Stevie Wonder 

#115 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #8 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Stevie Wonder Songs of All Time

9
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry ...more

More David Bowie 

#545 of 1,149 The Best Actors in Film History #7 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best David Bowie Songs of All Time

10
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Jack Deckard added
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot
Genesis were an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The most successful and longest-lasting line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, ...more

More Genesis 

#34 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #142 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singersfeaturing The Best Genesis Albums of All Time

11
The Police is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
moezelpg added
Synchronicity, Reggatta de Blanc, Ghost in the Machine
The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar, primary songwriter), Andy Summers (guitar) and ...more

More The Police 

#27 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #5 of 81 The Best Musical Trios Of All-Timefeaturing The Best Police Albums of All Time

12
The Who is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Who's Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and ...more

More The Who 

#14 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #268 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80sfeaturing Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About The Who's 'Who Are You'

13
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet
Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spans over 50 years. With his distinctive raspy voice and a stage show that ...more

More Alice Cooper 

#158 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #36 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwritersfeaturing The Best Alice Cooper Albums of All Time

14
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. ...more

More Bob Dylan 

#66 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #107 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Bob Dylan Songs

15
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Glenn J. Wiener added
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Disney's Sing-Along: The Lion King, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Sir Elton Hercules John (born 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 ...more

More Elton John 

#20 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #72 of 275 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the Worldfeaturing 14 Elton John Stories That Prove He's A Legend

16
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Glenn J. Wiener added
461 Ocean Boulevard, Crossroads, Pilgrim
Eric Patrick Clapton, (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo ...more

More Eric Clapton 

#14 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwritersfeaturing All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Laylalisted on Musical Guests of the Jay Leno Show

17
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Pet Sounds, Surfin' USA, Ultimate Christmas
The Beach Boys are an American rock and roll band. Formed in 1961, they gained popularity for their close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of surfing, girls, and ...more

More The Beach Boys 

#25 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #272 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80sfeaturing The Best Beach Boys Songs of All Time

18
Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
oosala added
Blue, Court and Spark, Ladies of the Canyon
Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell (née Anderson; born November 7, 1943) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell's songs often reflect social ...more

More Joni Mitchell 

#31 of 299 The Greatest Living Rock Songwritersfeaturing The Best Joni Mitchell Albums of All Timelisted on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time

19
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock
AC/DC are an Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014. Commonly referred to ...more

More AC/DC 

#17 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80sfeaturing The Best AC/DC Songs of All Timelisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

20
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Glenn J. Wiener added
The Stranger, Piano Man, 52nd Street
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first hit and signature song of the same ...more

More Billy Joel 

#31 of 1,057 The Best Singers of All Timefeaturing The Best Billy Joel Songs of All Timelisted on Famous Accordionists

21
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy ...more

More Black Sabbath 

#80 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #13 of 350 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandsfeaturing Drug-Fueled, Sordid Tales From Black Sabbath's Heyday That Prove Just How Unhinged They Really Were

22
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Marshall Mathers LP, The Slim Shady LP, The Eminem Show
Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem (; often stylized as EMINƎM), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, film ...more

More Eminem 

#133 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #229 of 282 The Best (Male) Actors Working Todayfeaturing Turns Out, Eminem Has Multiple Daughters And They're All Grown Up

23
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Hotel California, Eagles Greatest Hits, Volume 2
The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. With five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American ...more

More Eagles 

#32 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #9 of 350 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

24
Rush is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Moving Pictures, 2112, Hemispheres
Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion). Formed in 1968, the band went through several ...more

More Rush 

#74 of 2,187 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #97 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #207 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

25
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down
Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California in 1972. Credited with "restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene", Van Halen is known for its ...more

More Van Halen 

#18 of 505 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s #17 of 350 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandsfeaturing The Best Van Halen Songs of All Time