Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Band longevity records

Here’s an interesting question: which band has been together the longest with their original line-up? I’m talking zero changes, substitutions or omissions.

(1) Kings of Leon are on the list. The band we see today is the same band that was formed in 1999, so that’s 25 years.

(2) There have been no changes in Coldplay since they first started up in 1996, which is 28 years ago.

(3) It’s been the same three guys in Muse for 31 years. No changes in Sloan for 33 years.

(4) The core of Radiohead has been intact from the very beginning in 1985. That’s 39 years. (Granted, some earlier On a Friday members were jettisoned…)

(5) But the longevity champions of all time is U2. Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, and Adam Clayton played their first gig as “U2” in March 1, 1978—and 46 years later, they’re still together with exactly the same line-up.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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