CoS Exclusive FeaturesList 'Em Carefully

10 Artists With Remarkably Consistent Discographies

on March 04, 2014, 12:08pm
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Artwork by Cap Blackard (Buy prints + more!)

If you’re looking for a car that won’t break down, get a Lexus, a Toyota, or an Acura. Need a dishwasher that’ll leave your cereal bowls sparkling for the next decade? Try a Bosch or Whirlpool. That’s according to Consumer Reports, a highly useful website that’s among the Internet’s least sexy. It’s the digital equivalent of a cold shower or kick to the nards, and that’s because there’s nothing exotic or arousing about dependability. That’s especially true in rock ‘n’ roll, where artists are supposed to challenge listeners and forever push themselves to try new things.

But there’s something to be said for consistency, especially when it comes to true originals who arrive on the scene nearly or fully formed. The 10 artists on this list aren’t one-trick ponies—there’s variation from record to record, for better and for worse—but over long stretches of time, they have been (or were, in the case of those no longer with us) remarkably consistent. They settled early on signature sounds and have never really let us down. In 20 years, we’ll still be blasting ‘em in our Corollas.

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August 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Foo Fighters: 5 Platinum albums in a row, last 2 albums went Gold. I’d call that a truly consistent discography.

March 28, 2014 at 11:04 am

talking heads

March 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

This list, it is terrible

Nathan Dirck
March 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I’d add the Strokes. They’re the definition of un-boring musical consistency.

March 6, 2014 at 4:50 pm

A couple of quibbles: 1) No one would say that Belle & Sebastian invented twee. No one. Made it famous? Maybe. 2) Though critical reception to REM’s “Up” was generally tepid upon release, the years have been kind to the album. Yes, it’s a complete departure — which is what gave it trouble in the beginning — but it has become beloved by REM fans and has gotten critical praise in recent years. Wikipedia will tell you that.

Aside from those two points, great list!

Carter Gray Shelter
March 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Dr. Dog

Andrew Drummond
March 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

The Ramones? They released more mediocre albums than good ones…not sure how that counts as consistent exactly

March 5, 2014 at 5:50 am


March 5, 2014 at 3:51 am

I’d say Low, Yo La Tengo and Super Fury Animals are all good choices for this too.

Alex Young
March 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Re: Radiohead fans, We tried to select bands that not aren’t normally in the conversation and I think we did that. Rest assured, we all still love Radiohead.

Robert Palmer Plore (@R_PalmerPlore)
March 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I give CoS credit. They have found a way to eat the shit that comes out of their ass and turn it into news.

March 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Deerhunter has a way more consistent catalog than almost all of these bands. Except maybe Stereolab and REM.

March 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm

The National

March 5, 2014 at 11:12 am

I was wondering why they weren’t on the list.. Everything from SSFDL to HV is pure gold (ymmv on Trouble Will Find Me)

March 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Um, hello, Radiohead?

March 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Fuck Radiohead! They’ve got to be the most overrated band of all time second only to U2.

Nathan Dirck
March 27, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I’d agree with you if this was about delivering consistently innovative/well-received albums. But compare The Bends to Kid A to In Rainbows. Completely different styles of music.

March 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm

Yo La Tengo

March 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm


March 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Foo Fighters

March 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Frog Eyes should be at the top of this list.

March 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm

What about Rush?

March 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Drive by Truckers. Most consistent band of the last 15 years and one of the most consistently amazing bands of all time. That sounds hyperbolic but it is true. On their lowest rated album since 1999 is 4 out of 5 stars. They have 8 (8!) which received 4 and a half stars (including a 7 album streak of 4 and a halfs). On Metacritic their lowest score is a 78. For those that know them, they are the best rock n’ roll band of the last 20 years regardless of their accolades.

March 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

REM ???!!!? You gotta be kidding me ! They should have called it quits when Bill Berry quit
The band !!! Everything after that just plain sucked!!


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