Music

Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums  

Ranker Music
20.8k votes 1.3k voters 4.8k views 112 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? 

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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 that formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the greatest and ...more
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 guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John ...more
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. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive music. Distinguished by their use of philosophical lyrics, sonic ...more
4
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 5 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 Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more
6
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet
Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and occasional actor whose career spans five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa ...more
7
Queen is listed (or ranked) 7 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, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. Queen's earliest works were influenced by progressive ...more
8
Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Highway 61 Revisited, Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the ...more
9
The Who is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Who's Next, Tommy, Quadrophenia
The Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They ...more
10
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 10 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 CBE is an English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since ...more
11
U2 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Joshua Tree, War, Achtung Baby
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to ...more
12
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Thomas Rudnicki added Murmur, Green, Automatic for the People
R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular ...more
13
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush
Neil Young is a singer-songwriter, Musician,film score composer, film producer, film director, actor and screenwriter.
14
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Doors, L.A. Woman, Strange Days
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger. The band took its ...more
15
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell
Black Sabbath are an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, singer Ozzy Osbourne, and drummer Bill ...more
17
Rush is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Moving Pictures, 2112, Hemispheres
Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968 in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee; guitarist and ...more
18
Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Last DJ, Damn the Torpedoes, Into the Great Wide Open
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. In 1976, the band's original lineup was Tom Petty as the primary vocalist and guitar player, Mike Campbell as ...more
19
Eagles is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. Metallica was formed in 1981 when vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer ...more
21
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Thomas Rudnicki added Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. Other musicians ...more
23
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire), The Kink Kronikles
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Dave Davies and Ray Davies with Pete Quaife in 1963. The band, which rose to fame during the mid-1960s and ...more
24
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down
Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1974. From 1975 until 1985, the band comprised guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, ...more
25
Yes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Bands Or Artists With Five Great Albums
Michael McGinnis added Fragile, Close to the Edge, 90125
Yes are an English rock band that first achieved success in the 1970s with a progressive, art, pop, and symphonic style of rock music. They are distinguished by their use of mystical and cosmic ...more