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What artist has the biggest music catalog?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by GhostofJohnToad, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. GhostofJohnToad

    GhostofJohnToad Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2006
    Toledo, Ohio
    Me and my wife were talking about Bob Dylan which prompted the question, "Who has the biggest song catalog?" Dylan certainly has a lot of material but I know he can't be the claimant of this prolific title. I did a coouple searches but couldn't find anything.

    You guys have any clues?

  2. Reverend_Cheese

    Reverend_Cheese TDPRI Member

    May 10, 2009
    east coast
    Probably Frank Zappa. I assume you mean official releases only. Not to include
    bootlegs, live recordings, re-releases under different names etc?

    Yeah, probably Zappa.

  3. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 6, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Yeah, probably Zappa.

    Like over 60 albums.

  4. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I would thing that the Glimmer Twins would be in the mix somewhere since they're still adding to their catalogue.

  5. smitty54017

    smitty54017 Tele-Holic

    Apr 9, 2006
    New Richmond, WI
    Prince? I read back in the late 80's that he had over 500 songs in the can that had never been released. I would imagine with his own studio, he's added to that number over the last 20 years.

  6. J-man

    J-man Super Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    North Wales
    Admin Post
    Do session musicians count? Because they can probably trump the lot..

  7. brokenjoe

    brokenjoe Friend of Leo's

    Mar 1, 2009
    John Lee Hooker? he recorded for anybody anytime, sometimes under assumed names!

  8. JCSouthpawtele

    JCSouthpawtele Friend of Leo's

    Apr 28, 2009
    What about songwriters. The list could be in the 800 plus range for several country songwriters.

  9. Jellyroll

    Jellyroll Tele-Holic

    May 23, 2007
    Detroit, MI
    Though they repeated a lot of songs, The Ventures have something like 180 full length albums released in Japan. This website lists the American releases, and they supposedly released twice as many in Japan. Maybe not the most, but quite a few anyway!

  10. Derek S

    Derek S Former Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Klaus Schulze, the electronic musician has released 110 albums.

    I'd also say, The Grateful Dead if you count all their "Dick's Picks," and other live releases must be over 70 albums.

    Lee "Scratch" Perry has a lqrge nuimber of releases , at least 50 albums.

    I've also read that the reggae singer, Dennis Alcapone has released over 200 singles.

  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 28, 2006
    NELA, Ca

  12. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 28, 2003
    Sonoran Desert
    If your talking about songwriters, then it's the late great Harlan Howard. He had over 4000 songs published & recorded.

  13. Targ

    Targ Tele-Meister

    Jan 24, 2007
    I would bet that Elvis Costello is up there too.
    That man can write non stop. Little short tunes that all seem to be different.

  14. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Atlanta/Rome, Georgia, US
    Definitely not a "songwriter", but the guy that has most impressed me over the years as to sheer mind-boggling, prolific output of creative work is Franz Joseph Haydn.

    104 full length symphonies (not to mention a variety of other works) is a tough act to follow. To the best of my knowledge, W.A. Mozart finishes a distant second with a grand total of 41 full length symphonic works. Most guys started getting nervous in approaching the 9th, as it historically signalled the beginning of the end of physical life.

    Sorry for the tangent, carry on.

  15. DAK

    DAK Tele-Holic

    Apr 28, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    In 1979, The Guinness Book of World Records named Paul McCartney "The Most Successful Songwriter of All Time," citing the fact he had written or co-written 43 songs whose recorded versions had sold a million or more. (I did a TV piece about it back then.) Looks like no one's eclipsed it. Don't own the current GB of WR, but did find an online reference that said Sir Paul looks to be on top still with 188 charted records, 91 of which have reached the top ten.

  16. all_identaties_taken

    all_identaties_taken Tele-Holic

    May 16, 2006
    London, UK
    John Lee Hooker released under a lot of names, as did the recently departed Les Paul. Some of the great Jazz players would release lots of improvisations so my guess would be Dizzy Gelespie who was very prolific and if you take into account the stuff he released in France and so on.
    McCartney also holds the Guinness world record for tea slurping. Which he set live on a British TV show back in the 80's. I think this still stands, weather it is still in the book I don't know it is in the 89 book.

  17. olewichita

    olewichita Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    austin, tx
    as artists billy childish and robert pollard from guided by voices are probably up there... at one point childish released one single a week! john lee hooker's motto was you pay, i play... harlan howard 4000 songs, wow... tj

  18. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 21, 2007
    Wisconsin, USA
    I am sure I read that Carole King/Jerry Goffin were among the top writers of hits, Sly & Robbie for recordings, somebody like Burt Bachrach would probably up there.

  19. mr natural

    mr natural Friend of Leo's

    I've heard that Dolly Parton is up there in number of published songs. She's written an awful lot of hits for herself and others over the years.
    -Mr. N.

  20. bfgz

    bfgz Tele-Meister

    May 6, 2009
    Suburban Chicago
    My guess is that Neil Young would have to be right up near the top if you consider his solo work along with the groups he has worked with.

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