It really does seem like some bands have been around forever, refusing to either burn out or fade away, chugging around the world playing to stadiums full of thousands of adoring fans every night.
I was sitting in the pub recently with a few friends and the conversation was beginning to become fuzzily nostalgic, when an old school friend of mine suddenly sprang up and bounded over to the jukebox.
In a few seconds the pub was filled with the drums and milk bottle intro to Love Cats by the Cure, and as I became swamped in memories from my childhood another friend turned and said, “God, this was released in 1983! I wonder how long they’ve been going now then?”
As is customary in this day and age, I got my smartphone out and googled the answer, one thing lead to another and we ended up with the following list of some of the most enduring bands of our time…
U2 – 36 Years
Formed in Dublin in 1976 by fellow Mount Temple Comprehensive School students Larry Mullen, The Edge, Bono and Adam Clayton, U2 have gone on to become world straddling behemoths of popular music.
Over the course of their 36 years together they have sold 150 million albums worldwide and their last world tour grossed over $700 million after playing to more than 7 million people.
Nowadays front man Bono is known as much for his globetrotting activism as he is for the bands recent musical output, but hey, you don’t play to 7 million people in a year unless you have few well known tunes do you?
The Cure – 36 Years
Despite forming in the same year and initially being lumped into the ‘post-punk’ genre, The Cure and U2 could not have followed a more diametrically opposed career paths.
While the latter have been one coherent unit since their inception and went straight for pop stardom, The Cure’s only original member is Robert Smith and they had a rather more tortured route to success.
Their path from gothic gloom-mongers to the writers of intelligent pop hits like ‘Just Like Heaven’ and ‘Friday, I’m in Love’, The Cure have become one of the most enduringly successful alternative rock acts of all time, shifting 27 million albums in the process.
Kiss – 39 Years
I have to admit I never quite got Kiss, it all just seemed a little silly to me. But I guess that was the point really, and you definitely don’t have a 39 year career and sell 40 million albums unless someone, somewhere is taking it seriously.
Known around the world for their frankly stupid make up, Kiss have had some major hits such as ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ and have survived various break ups and break downs to retain their crowns and the most theatrical hard rockers going.
AC DC – 39 Years
What is there to say about the Australian rock monsters that are AC/DC? Not only have the survived the death of their first singer Bon Scott in 1980, but they then went on to release the second highest selling album by any artist ever in Back in Black (second only to Thriller by Michael Jackson), which has been bought 50 million times around the world.
AC/DC have shifted an incredible 200 million albums in their 39 year career, and recently had a mini-revival as their songs were used to promote the latest Iron Man film.
The Rolling Stones – 50 Years
Yes, you read that right. 50 years. Half a century. The amount of time Jamaica has been an independent country.
The Rolling Stones are one of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands of all time, releasing 24 albums and selling over 200 million units worldwide.
The band continues to cock and strut its way around the world, acting like not even a mix of mace, insect repellent and molten lava would be able to stop them performing in front of their millions of adoring fans (although that sounds like a cocktail Keith Richards might be tempted by).
I hope I haven’t missed out any really obvious ones, don’t hesitate to leave a comment if I have…
Susannah Perez is usually a fashion and beauty writer, but occasionally dips into writing amateurishly about music as well. Susannah writes blogs in conjunction with a number of different partners, including the Pest Control Group.