There are over 23,000 songs in my iTunes library. Hundreds of artists across numerous genres. But which artists have contributed the most to my music collection? I’ve reviewed all of them and compiled a list of which artists I have the most songs by. Some may surprise you.
The list below comprises the twenty artists with the most number of songs in my music collection at the moment. The list grows all the time. I should point out that this isn’t a list of my favourite artists in order, just a list of who’s music I have the most of.
All duplicate tracks (for example, a hit single appearing on an album and a Greatest Hits compilation) have been removed. Also extended versions, remixes and so on are usually not in my library anyway – with a few exceptions. And I generally don’t collect live albums – again with one or two exceptions – so duplicates of this type don’t generally figure in this list, unless there’s a particular reason for them to be here. In many cases, there are more tracks to be added for these Top 20 artists.
Here they are:
Top 20 Bands with the Most Songs in my Collection
20. Clutch – 128 songs
A massive contribution from this fine Maryland band, with only one track duplicated (an alternative, acoustic version of “Motherless Child”). This doesn’t include their great new album “Earth Rocker”, which isn’t added yet.
19. Danzig – 130 songs
The mighty Danzig makes a respectable appearance at number 19, thanks to a complete collection of studio albums and a helping hand from the “Lost Tracks of Danzig” compilation. This figure does not include any Misfits or Samhain tracks either, as I’ve classed them in this case as separate entities. Otherwise Glenn would be even higher up the list.
18. David Bowie – 133 songs
Spanning most of Dave’s career, but still with quite a few albums missing from my collection – so this number could increase.
17. Hawkwind – 148 songs
Admittedly, this figure does include live tracks – but then “Space Ritual” is such an integral part of the bands persona it has to be included. Still many, many more albums to collect though.
16. The Beach Boys – 149 songs
What a band. I’ve loved the Beach Boys for so long. There are so many great album tracks beside the obvious hits, everyone should investigate them further. I still have at least three albums to add here though, so a Top Ten position could be on the way in future updates.
15. AC/DC – 153 songs
All the albums, no live tracks – surprising though that there isn’t more from the mighty AC/DC. Several of their albums also appear in my “Greatest of All Time” list, no doubt coming soon…
14. Red Hot Chili Peppers – 154 songs
One of the best bands ever. Not just one of the best alternative bands, or one of the best funk rock (ugghh) bands – one of THE best bands ever. I’m surprised they don’t come in higher on this list, however, given the massive amount of work they’ve produced. Their best album? A debate for another time. But it’s “Mother’s Milk”. No, “BloodSugarSexMagic”. No, “Mother’s…”, ah, we’ll see.
13. Metallica – 159 songs
Now this number does include the live album “S & M”, though as those tracks are accompanied by an orchestra (and therefore sufficiently different) I decided to include them. Also includes their totally mental collaboration with Lou Reed – which everyone hates except me.
12. The Damned – 163 songs
Ah, The Damned. Probably my most favourite band ever, this number includes all the albums, plus compilations of B-sides etc, from “Damned Damned Damned” to “So Who’s Paranoid”. But remember, no duplicates – so for example “New Rose” only appears once (on the original album) – reappearances on the (many) compilations have been discounted.
11. The Rolling Stones – 165 songs
Only 165 songs? Clearly, I have some work to do here. There must be another 30 or so albums to get. This includes all the greats though. And the debate over their best songs and albums will be tackled in a future post.
And now the Top Ten…
10. Iggy Pop – 177 songs
A fantastic, under rated musician. Not nearly well known or respected enough these days. This number includes all the Stooges albums, as I decided that to exclude them would deprive a historical view of Iggy of some important milestones. Iggy rocks.
9. Beastie Boys – 183 songs
You’re surprised that the Beasties have recorded so much? Don’t be. And the quality is excellent throughout. Includes all of their forays into different musical genres, such as the fantastic “In Sound From Way Out” album.
8. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – 185 songs
I still have a few albums to collect from Nick Cave. The 185 songs includes the three disc “B-sides and Rarities” album, but no Birthday Party, Grinderman or film soundtracks. Maybe I’ll add those to a future update. Amazing music.
7. Queen – 191 songs
“Greatest Hits I and II” is not enough. You need the studio albums for some of the outstanding lesser known compositions. More on this in a later post. No live tracks included.
6. Ramones – 199 songs
There are just a couple of bonus tracks from “End of the Century” I don’t have. No live tracks included. I’ve loved this band ever since my English teacher played “Go Mental” in class.
5. Alice Cooper – 204 songs
Often maligned as a cock-rock Metal caricature, many miss the impact that Alice has had on rock, punk and alternative music. Pay this man some respect. NOW. Still loads of albums I don’t own, but I’m working on it.
4. The Beatles – 207 songs
I was surprised I had this many tunes by The Beatles, but what a band. Beyond compare, and I’m happy to see them up near the top of the list. This number doesn’t include my Mum’s original 7 inch singles, of course.
3. Motorhead – 221 songs
How many albums have Motorhead made now? Not enough. Recent output has been just as great as the early years. Still got two or three albums I need to get though, unbelievably.
2. Melvins – 282 songs
I love this band. 282 songs, including collaborations with Jello Biafra and others. Doesn’t include the new record “Everybody Loves Sausages” (yet), and still quite a few albums (not just single tracks!) I need to track down.
So which recording artist has the most songs that I own? Who could possibly top that list? Only one man…
1. Johnny Cash – 330 songs
That number doesn’t include the Christmas album or a new three disc set I picked up recently. A duets album with June Carter Cash is in there, however. And the two live albums “At Folsom Prison” and “At San Quentin” – as they’re both indispensable. I am a huge fan of Johnny Cash, and thankfully there’s still loads of his music out there for me to discover.
Johnny Cash is my hero.
Any thoughts? Disagree with any of the above criteria? Leave a comment.
Good, good list Al!
Get some of Captain Sensible’s psych / pop material in there is my advice…..
I couldn’t be arsed sifting out duplicates, suffice to say, there’s probably lots. Especially Anthrax.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: 213
Green Day: 164
Johnny Cash: 162
Paradise Lost: 144
Killing Joke: 123
Fu Manchu: 122
Black Sabbath: 121
Naked City: 121
John, I have a few of the Captain’s albums, not enough to rank in the above list though. I’ll get on it.
Matt, thanks very much for adding to this post. Some interesting stats there. Funnily enough, I have 122 Fu Manchu tracks as well. How strange.
al- after much counting and scribbling and deliberation, i got the following, which does include lots of live shit cos that is my bag, so some of them are a bit high, i would take the live tracks an mixes out but there’s only so many hours in a day. so from 25726 songs:
696 – r.e.m
593 – springsteen
519 – u2
326 – catatonia & cerys
323 – linkin park
320 – bowie
302 – nirvana
282 – the smiths & morrissey
273 – the stones
252 – oasis
242 – beatles
220 – queen
220 – manics
218 – green day
213 – guns n roses
202 – jay z
202 – johnny cash
194 – beastie boys
191 – garbage
190 – barenaked ladies
(certain obsessions are genetic and i can accept no blame for them)
Excellent work, Greeny. Some good numbers. That’s a hell of a REM collection!
thanks al, she is my pride an joy, if r.e.m did it then i have it!