The problem with being a musician is popularity comes and goes. One year hard rock gets all the attention and the next year “boy bands” are making a comeback. To stay on top is incredibly hard, and if one wants to stay in the industry they must realize that being the biggest thing in the world won’t last very long, if at all.
A “real musician”, one who does it for the love of creating music and not for the fame, will continue to put out albums and singles long after they’ve faded from the ears of the masses. Let’s give some props to these musicians that are still devoted to their art, regardless of how many are still listening. These bands still have huge cult-followings, and it’s for those fans, and themselves, that they are still at the craft and doing what they love.
10. Van Halen
The biggest reason Van Halen comes as a surprise is because they’ve broken up and gotten back together so many times, it’s any wonder as to whether the members are on bad terms or if the band is simply on hiatus between tours and albums. Fortunately for fans of the group, they’re still kicking it.
It must be hard to be a Van Halen fan considering all of their different eras with various singers. One might be a huge fan of Sammy Hagar but not so much a fan of the David Lee Roth years. Considering Van Halen’s biggest decline in popularity was during the Gary Cherone years, fans of either Hagar or Roth weren’t very excited for that revival. At present, the Van Halen family has brought Roth back for both recording and touring purposes. Their latest album, A Different Kind of Truth, dropped in 2012 and their last tour was just over the summer of 2013.
9. Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode was always more of an 80’s college radio sensation, but they definitely hit huge levels of fame in the 1980’s with hits like “People Are People” and “Master and Servant.”
While Depeche Mode’s popularity has for the most part come and gone, they’ve maintained a huge fan base in Europe, particularly in Germany where New Wave and Industrial music seem to have remained popular.
The band releases albums steadily every few years; they’ve just finished up a U.S. tour for their 2013 album, Delta Machine, and began to tour Europe just this year. They have recently won an ECHO award for best international group for 2013, and Delta Machine was even nominated for the German music award’s 2013 Album of the Year.
8. The Eagles
Much like Van Halen, it’s hard to determine if you aren’t hearing from The Eagles because a member is in poor health, the members are fighting among themselves, or if they’re just taking a hiatus from touring to rest or record. They’ve had a number of “reunions” so it’s hard to say exactly what they’ve decided at any point in time.
As of right now the band is on tour in support of a documentary released about the band. According to member Don Henley, the tour will go through 2015 and it includes every band member past and present with the exception of two; Bernie Leadon will be rejoining the band for the tour, Randy Meisner can’t perform due to health issues, and ex-member Don Felder was not invited to due to ongoing legal issues with the band.
The Eagles are best known for their hit single, “Hotel California”.
7. The Presidents of the United States of America
The Presidents of the United States of America are best known for their studio debut self-titled album. The album featured three tracks that would become hit singles: “Lump”, “Peaches”, and “Kitty”. Weird Al would even go on to parody the single “Lump”, re-naming the tune “Gump” and filling it with lyrical references to the film Forrest Gump, which was also popular at the time.
After the self-titled album, the band wouldn’t see the same kind of success but maintained a cult following and produced albums every four to five years. There has been a small line-up change but their unique “bassitar” and “guitbass” instrumentation remains intact.
The band has recently put out a new album this past February called Kudos To You, and they are currently in the middle of a U.S. tour in support of the album.
Fastball had two hit singles during the late 1990’s known as “The Way” and “Out of My Head”, the latter remaining on the Billboard Top 40 for 29 weeks. The former track was listed by VH1 as one of the greatest songs of the 1990’s. Fastball has yet to see that kind of mainstream acceptance again, but they persisted to release an album every three to four years without experiencing even the smallest line-up change. Fastball still consists of the same three gentlemen that started the band back in 1993.
Recently, the band released a new single titled “Love Comes in Waves” with a video for the track premiering on YouTube less than a year ago. There has yet to be news on if this track will appear on a future album but the band has yet to announce any plans to retire.
5. New Kids On The Block
They took one heck of a long break but fourteen years later one of the most famous “boy bands” of all time decided to get back together to the delight of moms across the world.
Since 2008 the members have all been busy with their own projects but have put consistent effort into keeping New Kids On The Block alive. For the past six years the band headlines an annual concert on a cruise ship, they’ve put out two albums since 2008, and they’ll be performing a special engagement for a number of nights in Vegas.
Their latest album, 10, is the bands fifth album to appear in the Billboard Top 10. It would seem their revival is much more than just a novelty.
It seemed like the Nu Metal genre had all but disappeared with the exception of a few bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park, that were still hanging on and making sure everyone knew they were still around through collaboration with other acts and soundtrack work.
Even when Nu Metal was huge in the early part of the 2000’s, Saliva was a little more under the radar than the aforementioned acts, but they were consistently putting out records up until 2011 when front-man Josey Scott decided to leave the band to pursue a career in Christian music. It only took one year for the band to find a replacement vocalist and the new album tiled Rise Up will be out in 2014.
3. Uriah Heep
Uriah Heep was one of the biggest hard rock acts of the early 1970’s and they have not quit since. It’s taken several line-up changes to keep the band around but they’ve managed to consistently tour and produce material for roughly 45 years. Towards the end of the 1980’s the band saw a decline in its fan-base but they’ve maintained a cult following and still manage to pack arenas. They most recently toured with the bands Rush and Def Leppard, two other bands some might be surprised are still around and producing new material.
Uriah Heep’s latest album titled Outsider drops in the summer of 2014.
Even though they played and performed their own instruments, this group of brothers were quickly discredited and labeled as a boy band due to their fan-base of screaming pre-teen to teenage girls. For a group of rather talented musicians, this was a bit unfair.
Fortunately, the boys decided to leave the commercial industry so they could begin to play what they want as independent artists. They now record and produce all their own material and make the decisions for their tours. Their sound has changed quite drastically, going from bubble-gum pop-rock to more blues-infused rock music.
The boys boast 8 top 40 albums despite leaving the world of pop music. Their latest album, Anthem, dropped in the summer of 2013.
1. The Village People
Yes, the Village People are still a band. They may have gotten a new cowboy, police officer, and construction worker or two throughout the years, but they are still kicking. In fact, nine members have been filtered out of the band and replaced since 1977.
Most of the bands work these days is limited to special performances and appearances, but in August of 2013 they released a new single called “Let’s Go Back to the Dance Floor”. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we’re given a new full length album…