Rock ‘n’ roll has stood the test of time, and these 15 legendary musicians are living proof of its enduring power. In a remarkable feat, these artists released new studio albums both in 1973 and again in 2023, spanning an incredible 50-year career. To put this achievement into perspective, it’s akin to the longevity of LeBron James’ NBA career, which is now entering its 20th year. Let’s delve into the journeys of these rock icons and explore their musical evolution over the past five decades.
Classic Rock Endured Many Changes Between 1973 and 2023
Over the years, the rock landscape underwent significant transformations, and these artists adapted to the changing times while staying true to their musical roots. While some bands saw changes in their lineups, others ventured into solo careers, creating diverse musical legacies.
The Rolling Stones: ‘Goats Head Soup’ / ‘Hackney Diamonds’
The Rolling Stones, iconic for their timeless hits, released “Goats Head Soup” in 1973, marking a significant era in their music. In 2023, motivated by the loss of founding drummer Charlie Watts, the band made a triumphant return with “Hackney Diamonds.” Fans and critics hailed it as their best original-material release since 1981’s “Tattoo You.”
Iggy Pop and the Stooges: ‘Raw Power’ / Iggy Pop: ‘Every Loser’
After the Stooges disbanded in 1971, Iggy Pop, with the help of David Bowie, released the influential “Raw Power.” In 2023, his late-career resurgence continued with “Every Loser,” featuring guest stars and showcasing his enduring talent.
Pink Floyd: ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ / Roger Waters: ‘The Dark Side of the Moon Redux’
“Pink Floyd’s” masterpiece, “The Dark Side of the Moon,” captivated audiences in 1973. In 2023, Roger Waters reimagined the iconic album, infusing his unique style into the timeless classic.
Yes: ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ / ‘Mirror to the Sky’
Yes pushed the boundaries of progressive rock with “Tales from Topographic Oceans” in 1973. In 2023, their musical journey continued with “Mirror to the Sky,” a testament to their enduring creativity.
Alice Cooper: ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ / Alice Cooper: ‘Road’
1973 saw the release of “Billion Dollar Babies” by Alice Cooper’s band. After going solo, Alice Cooper returned with “Road” in 2023, bringing his touring band into the studio for a thematically linked musical experience.
Aerosmith: ‘Aerosmith’ / Joe Perry: ‘Sweetzerland Manifesto MKII’
Aerosmith’s self-titled debut in 1973 showcased their promise and talent. While the band took a hiatus, guitarist Joe Perry remained active, releasing “Sweetzerland Manifesto MKII” in 2023, demonstrating his enduring musical prowess.
Paul Simon: ‘There Goes Rhymin’ Simon’ / ‘Seven Psalms’
Paul Simon’s diverse musical journey led to the creation of “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” in 1973. After a hiatus from touring, he returned in 2023 with the unconventional and acoustic “Seven Psalms,” a testament to his creativity and exploration.
Jethro Tull: ‘A Passion Play’ / ‘RokFlote’
Jethro Tull faced challenges with “A Passion Play” in 1973. In 2023, the band’s return with “RokFlote,” inspired by Norse mythology, showcased their resilience and commitment to their art.
Genesis: ‘Selling England by the Pound’ / Peter Gabriel: ‘I/O’
Genesis explored new musical territory with “Selling England by the Pound” in 1973. Peter Gabriel’s solo career took flight, leading to “I/O” in 2023, a collection of new original material released in a truly unconventional manner.
Cat Stevens: ‘Foreigner’ / Yusef / Cat Stevens: ‘King of a Land’
Cat Stevens’ departure from his folk rock roots resulted in “Foreigner” in 1973. His return as Yusef Islam brought forth “King of a Land” in 2023, merging his past and present musical identities.
Rick Springfield: ‘Comic Book Heroes’ / ‘Automatic’
Rick Springfield’s journey from the 1970s led to “Comic Book Heroes.” In 2023, he embraced his signature sound once again with “Automatic,” featuring solid three-minute tunes with irresistible hooks.
Free: ‘Heartbreaker’ / Paul Rodgers: ‘Midnight Rose’
Free’s final album, “Heartbreaker,” marked the end of an era in 1973. Paul Rodgers, after forming Bad Company, made a triumphant return with “Midnight Rose” in 2023, showcasing his enduring talent and musical prowess.
Jimmy Buffett: ‘A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean’ / ‘Equal Strain on All Parts’
Jimmy Buffett’s timeless songs resonated with audiences in 1973. In his final studio album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” released posthumously in 2023, Buffett’s musical legacy lives on, capturing the essence of his unique style.
Van Morrison: ‘Hard Nose the Highway’ / ‘Moving on Skiffle’ and ‘Accentuate the Positive’
Van Morrison’s musical journey began in 1965, leading to “Hard Nose the Highway” in 1973. In 2023, he continued his prolific career with the release of two double albums, “Moving on Skiffle” and “Accentuate the Positive,” showcasing his versatility and enduring passion for music.
Foghat: ‘Foghat’ / ‘Sonic Mojo’
Foghat’s self-titled album in 1973 marked the beginning of their rise in the rock scene. Fifty years later, “Sonic Mojo” reaffirmed their status as rock legends, featuring their classic sound and timeless energy.