Which artist has the biggest gap between studio albums?
11 November 2023, 10:00
Which artists have spent the most time sitting idle between releases? Radio X does “the math”.
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When ABBA dropped their new album Voyage on 5th November 2021, it was 39 years, 11 months and 7 days since they released The Visitors on Monday 30 November 1981.
Was it a world record? Which other artists have taken their time in delivering a follow-up album? Let's look at some of the most famous examples...
The Stone Roses: 5 years, 7 months, 4 days
One of the most keenly-awaited second albums in history, the actual time elapsed between the release of the classic The Stone Roses in 1989 and its follow-up, The Second Coming was 5 years, 7 months, 4 days. Mind you, it was another 21 years, 5 months and 8 days between The Second Coming and the release of the next new material, All For One.
David Bowie: 9 years, 5 months and 22 days
The king of the comeback, the time elapsed between Reality in 2003 and his next album The Next Day felt like a lifetime, but was in fact 9 years, 5 months and 22 days.
Portishead : 10 years, 6 months and 13 days
The Bristol trip-hop collective’s second album in 1997 was followed up by their third LP in 2008: 10 years, 6 months and 13 days later, to be exact.
Kate Bush: 12 years and 5 days
Kate fans had all but given up on ever hearing their hero produce new material after 1993’s The Red Shoes. However she returned 12 years and 5 days later with the well-received follow-up Aerial. Mind you, it was 35 years between her last tour and the Before The Dawn residency at Hammersmith Apollo in the summer of 2014.
Guns N'Roses: 15 years
Probably the most famous wait for a follow-up was the delay between their album of punk covers The Spaghetti Incident? in 1993 and its almost-mythical follow-up Chinese Democracy which finally arrived in 2008: 15 years after everyone had hung their bandanas up.
The Avalanches: 15 years, 7 months and 5 days
Another infamous case of a creative blockage, the Aussie sampling collective issued their classic album Since I Left You in 2000, but it took 15 years, 7 months and 5 days for the follow-up Wildflower to hit the shops. What kept you!
Pink Floyd: 20 years, 7 months, 14 days
Two decades passed between 1994's The Division Bell and 2014's The Endless River, recorded after the death of founder member Rick Wright. David Gilmour reckons this is the final Floyd album, so that's your lot, sorry.
My Bloody Valentine: 21 years, 2 months and 30 days
Kevin Shields is rock music’s most famous procrastinator, having spent an impressive 21 years, 2 months and 30 days between the release of Loveless in November 1991 and its follow-up, mbv in 2013. Shields is still talking about a follow-up. *sets alarm*
Pixies: 22 years, 6 months and 28 days
Grunge was at its height when the Boston legends issued their fourth full-length album. Trompe Le Monde They reunited in 2004 and issued a couple of EPs and tracks, but it was a while before they released a full length album …in fact it was 22 years, 6 months and 28 days until Indie Cindy made a splash on Record Store Day 2014.
The Who: 24 years, 1 month, 26 days
The Kenney Jones line-up of the legendary British band released It's Hard on 4 September 1982, but by the time the follow-up, Endless Wire, appeared on 30 October 2006, Jones had left, bassist John Entwistle had died and the band was down to the core of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.
The Psychedelic Furs: 29 years, 1 day
Richard Butler's post-punk pioneers were just a day shy of three decades between their seventh album World Outside (30 July 1991) and their eighth, Made Of Rain (29 July 2020).
The Stooges: 34 years and 1 month
Iggy Pop and his band of veteran garage rockers managed to notch up over three decades between their last studio album and its successor. They were produced by Bowie when they recorded Raw Power in 1973 and Iggy had forged a remarkable solo career before they reconvened for The Weirdness in 2007: 34 years and 1 month later.