Bands That Released Three Or More Studio Albums In One Year

Bands That Released Three Or More Albums In One Year

Photo: Ron Kroon / Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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!

Midnight Ride

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

1961

Listen to Cliff! – 1961

21 Today -1961

The Young Ones – 1961

1965

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

In 1969, The Temptations released three albums one being with The Supremes.

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)

Headquarters (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.

1965

The Supremes Sing Country, Western and Pop (1965)

We Remember Sam Cooke (1965)

More Hits by The Supremes (1965)

Merry Christmas (1965)

1968

Reflections (1968)

Diana Ross & the Supremes Sing and Perform “Funny Girl” (1968)

Diana Ross & the Supremes Join The Temptations (1968)

Love Child (1968)

1969

Let the Sunshine In (1969)

Together (1969)

Cream of the Crop (1969)

1970

Right On (1970)

The Magnificent 7 (1970)

New Ways but Love Stays (1970)

1971

The Return of the Magnificent Seven (1971)

Touch (1971)

Dynamite (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.

Hot (1976)

Get Up Offa That Thing (1976)

Bodyheat (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

Many other rock artists have released multiple albums in a single year many times. Some of these releases are complex because of the combination of reissues with various 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.

Bands That Released Three Or More Albums In One Year article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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