Our list of Musical Artists That Released Three Or More Albums In One Year focus on rock, pop and r&b artists that were very prolific at times throughout their career. We have pretty much just focused on well known artists in these fields. Of course there are many more artists that are not included on this list who have released more than three albums in a year, but this is just an article as opposed to a book so we have kept it to just the popular artists. We also would have liked to include the jazz and blues artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, John Lee Hooker and hundreds of others who released 4, 5 and even more albums a year at times throughout their careers. That’s a whole other story and will placed in a separate article. We stayed away from live albums unless they contained a lot of new material and greatest hits. At times, compilations are okay if they contained a lot of unreleased material. In the end, if it was new to the public, it was a new album.
The following list is in no particular order, although the groups that released the most albums are at the bottom.
# 20 – Creedence Clearwater Revival
We open up this list with one of classic rock’s most loved and legendary bands. Creedence Clearwater Revival released three astonishing albums in 1969 that were not just filled with great rock songs, but defined so much of the anti war sentiment and issues of the 196o’s that would echo throughout their songs for the decades to follow.
Bayou Country (1969)
Green River (1969)
Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)
# 19 – Paul Revere & the Raiders
The great Paul Revere & the Raiders released three albums in 1967
Just Like Us!
The Spirit of ’67
# 18 – Eric Burdon & The Animals
The Twain Shall Meet (1968)
Every One of Us (1968)
Love Is (1968)
# 17 – Deep Purple
Deep Purple released three albums within a 12 month period between 1968 and 1969.
Shades of Deep Purple – July 1968
The Book of Taliesyn – October 1968
Deep Purple – July 1968
# 16 – Cliff Richard
Listen to Cliff! – 1961
21 Today -1961
The Young Ones – 1961
Cliff Richard -1965
When in Rome – 1965
Love is Forever -1965
# 15 – The Searchers
The Searchers first three albums were released within a 12 month period. What a year 1964 was for music.
Meet The Searchers – June 1963
Sugar and Spice – October 1963
It’s the Searchers – May 1964
# 14 – The Temptations
Cloud Nine (1969)
Together (with Diana Ross & The Supremes) (1969)
Puzzle People (1969)
# 13 – The Monkees
The Monkees released three albums in 1967.
More of The Monkees (1967)
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (1967)
# 12 – The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones released three albums in 1965 after having released two in 1964.
The Rolling Stones, Now!(1965)
Out of Our Heads (1965)
December’s Children (And Everybody’s) (1965)
# 11 – The Dave Clark Five
The Dave Clark Five were another British Band in which their UK releases differed from their US releases. In 1964 the band released four albums in the U.S.
Glad All Over – 1964
The Dave Clark Five Return! -1964
American Tour – 1964
Coast To Coast – 1964
# 10 – Fairport Convention
The great Fairport Convention released three albums in 1969.
What We Did on Our Holidays’ – 1969
Unhalfbricking – 1969
Liege & Lief -1969
# 9 – Tommy James and The Shondells
Tommy James and The Shondells released three albums in 1967
It’s Only Love – 1967
I Think We’re Alone Now – 1967
Gettin’ Together – 1967
# 8 – Aretha Franklin
Take It Like You Give It (1967)
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)
Aretha Arrives (1967)
# 7 – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan was not an artist that was just banging out 2 minute songs. Bob Dylan’s albums were filled with epic masterpieces. So, it’s unbelievable that he could release more than just one album in a 12 month period, let alone three like he did in 1975. Blood On The Tracks. January 20 1975, The Basement Tapes June 26, 1975 and just making it with the 12 month limit the great album Desire released on Jan 6th 1976.
Blood On The Tracks – January 20 1975
The Basement Tapes with The Band – June 26, 1975
Desire – Jan 6th 1976
# 6 – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys were one of the most prolific bands to come out of the 1960s. The group released three or more albums in a year multiple times in their career.
Three great Beach Boy albums were released in 1963
Surfin’ U.S.A. (1963)
Surfer Girl (1963)
Little Deuce Coupe (1963)
Three great Beach Boy Albums were released in 1964
Shut Down Volume 2 (1964)
All Summer Long (1964)
The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album (1964)
Another three fantastic Beach Boy Albums were released in 1965
The Beach Boys Today! (1965)
Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) (1965)
Beach Boys’ Party! (1965)
# 5 – Elvis Presley
Some may think that Elvis Presley would have been an artist that released so many more albums in a year especially during his 1950s period. However, his early years were filled with mostly single releases. Nonetheless, in the 1960s Elvis released three new albums a year two times, including soundtrack albums that were big hits.
Elvis – 1960
Elvis is Back! in April 8, 1960
G.I. Blues in October 1960
His Hand in Mine in November 23, 1960
Elvis – 1965
Girl Happy March 1965
Elvis for Everyone! August 1965
Harum Scarum November 1965
# 4 – The Beatles (The U.S. Albums)
We all know the Beatles released 13 original albums in the United Kingdom that stand as the basis for the albums that really counted. However, in the United States in the 1960s, fans were presented with a series of albums that combined different tracks from the UK albums plus the addition of singles that were released on the UK original albums. So with that in mind, we thought we should present the year 1964 when Capitol Records released five new Beatles albums in the United States.
Meet The Beatles! – January 1964
The Beatles’ Second Album – April 1964
A Hard Day’s Night – June 1964
Something New – July 1964
The Beatles’ Story – November 1964
Beatles ’65 – December 1964
# 3 – The Supremes
The Supremes released many more albums per year than many music fans might remember.
The Supremes Sing Country, Western and Pop (1965)
We Remember Sam Cooke (1965)
More Hits by The Supremes (1965)
Merry Christmas (1965)
Diana Ross & the Supremes Sing and Perform “Funny Girl” (1968)
Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations (1968)
Love Child (1968)
Let the Sunshine In (1969)
Cream of the Crop (1969)
Right On (1970)
The Magnificent 7 (1970)
New Ways but Love Stays (1970)
The Return of the Magnificent Seven (1971)
# 2 – James Brown
James Brown was a legendary artist that released more albums than almost anyone else in show business. The man released 59 studio albums, 41 compilation albums and 15 live albums. What is even more mind blowing is the fact the he released 144 singles. Here is a look at some of his peak years in album releases.
James Brown released three albums in 1964 including Grits & Soul, Showtime and Out of Sight.
In 1966 James Brown released four albums including Mighty Instrumentals, James Brown Plays New Breed (The Boo-Ga-Loo), James Brown Sings Christmas Songs, and Handful of Soul.
After having release seven albums in a two year span, James Brown followed up in 1967 with three of his landmark albums of his career including James Brown Sings Raw Soul, James Brown Plays the Real Thing and the legendary album Cold Sweat.
1968 would turn out to be the year James Brown released more albums than in any other year with the release of five new albums.
I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me (1968)
I Got the Feelin’ (1968)
James Brown Plays Nothing But Soul (1968)
Thinking About Little Willie John and a Few Nice Things (1968)
A Soulful Christmas (1968)
James Brown Released four albums in 1969
Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (1969)
Gettin’ Down to It (1969)
The Popcorn (1969)
It’s a Mother (1969)
Even in the 1970s James Brown was still releasing a great deal of material. James Brown started off the decade releasing four albums in 1970. Six years later and after having released another 12 albums from 1971 to 1975, the year 1976 saw the release of three new James Brown albums.
Get Up Offa That Thing (1976)
# 1 – Frank Zappa
Many people will argue that Frank Zappa was the greatest musical mind of the twentieth century. The body of work that he has left behind from someone who died so young is astonishing. While we have not included live albums on this list, we will make an exception for Frank Zappa because many of his live albums were full of all new material. Many of the albums listed below were often multi record sets.
These are some of his highlights, he had more multiple years releases than are listed below.
Three albums in 1970
Burnt Weeny Sandwich Feb 1970
Weasels Ripped My Flesh August 1970
Chunga’s Revenge October 1970
Three albums in 1972
Just Another Band from L.A. – March 1972
Waka/Jawaka – July 1972
The Grand Wazoo Nov 1972
Five albums in 1979
Sleep Dirt – Jan 1979
Sheik Yerbouti – March 1979
Orchestral Favorites – May 1979
Joe’s Garage Act I – Sep 1979
Joe’s Garage Acts II & III – Nov 1979
Five albums in 1981
Tinsel Town Rebellion – May 1981
Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar – May 1981
Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar Some More – May 1981
Return of the Son of Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar – May 1981
You Are What You Is – Sep 1981
Three albums in 1983
The Man from Utopia – March 1983
Baby Snakes – March 1983
London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. I – June 1983
Four albums in 1984
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger – Aug 1984
Them Or Us – Oct 1984
Francesco Zappa – Nov 1984
Thing-Fish – Dec 1984
There have been many other rock artists that released multiple albums in a single year many times. Some of these releases are complex because of the combination of reissues with multiple bonus tracks or exploring different musical styles far from the style that made them famous. It would include artists such as Rick Wakeman, Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe, John Zorn Johnny Cash, Pete Namlook, Bob Pollard and Guided By Voices and of course all the great jazz and blues artists that constantly released new music at an incredible pace every year.