November 14, 2018 / 10:01 PM

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7 Artists Who Released Multiple Classic Albums in One Year: Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and more

 

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It's rare enough for an artist to release just one classic album over the span of their entire career, but somehow, these seven artists managed to release multiple classic albums over the span of a single year. With the technology available to musicians today, you'd think more artists would release multiple albums in a single year, but this seems to be a thing of the past.

1. Bob Dylan

In 1964, Bob Dylan released his third and fourth LPs, The Times They Are a-Changin' and Another Side of Bob Dylan, respectively, which would have been impressive enough, if only he hadn't outdone himself the following year. 1965 saw the release of Dylan's first two "electric" albums, and arguably the best albums of his career: Bringing It All Back Home in March, and Highway 61 Revisited in August.


2. The Beatles

From 1963 to 1965, the Beatles released two albums each year, and though there's an argument to be made for each Beatles album being a classic in its own right, the band released two unimpeachable classics in 1967: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in June, and the weirdest Beatles album of all, the Magical Mystery Tour movie soundtrack, just five months later.


3. Led Zeppelin

When the Yardbirds broke up in July 1968, it took just seven months for guitarist Jimmy Page to form another group and release its debut album, which was of course the first Led Zeppelin album. Then, just eight months later in October 1969 came Led Zeppelin II, recorded in various places while the band was on tour. Both of these albums practically invented the iconic "classic rock" sound of the ‘70s.


4. Creedence Clearwater Revival

It would have been impressive enough for CCR to release two classic albums in a single year, but in 1969 the band released three incredible LPs: Bayou Country, Green River, and Willy and the Poor Boys. That's 26 songs in one year, 22 of which were written by bandleader John Fogerty. After the release of Willy and the Poor Boys in November 1969, CCR wouldn't release another album for a whopping eight months, 1970's also-classic Cosmo's Factory.



5. David Bowie/Iggy Pop

David Bowie's Berlin Period may have generated the most complex music of his career, but that didn't keep him from being absurdly prolific during this time. In 1977, not only did Bowie release two of his best albums, Low and "Heroes", he also co-wrote and produced Iggy Pop's first two solo albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life. That's a total of four albums between January and October of 1977.




6. Belle & Sebastian

Belle & Sebastian's music isn't exactly complicated, but the sheer size of the band and the depth of the song arrangements suggest that each album should take at least a couple of weeks to finish. However, the band recorded its first two (and best) albums, Tigermilk and If You're Feeling Sinister, in just a matter of days in 1996, and released both of them between June and November of that year.


7. The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Like Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Brian Jonestown Massacre somehow managed to release three albums in a single year, but BJM outdid CCR in two ways. For one, all three of BJM's 1996 albums (Take It From the Man, Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, Thank God for Mental Illness) are over an hour long, while CCR's didn't break 40 minutes. Also, while CCR released its first 1969 album in January, BJM didn't release its first 1996 album until May, which means that in just five months, the Brian Jonestown Massacre released three albums, consisting of 49 tracks in three and a half hours.



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