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.