Top Ten Musicians Who Are or Were the Only Constant Member of a Band's Lineup

Throughout history, some bands (Led Zeppelin, U2, ZZ Top, Rush) never really changed lineups, if at all. Other bands have had lots of member changes. Sometimes only one member will stay throughout the entire existence, either holding the rights to the band's name or being the band's creative leader. This list stands as of today's date, August 24, 2018, so some of the entries will eventually be subject to ineligibility. Please feel free to add more musicians to the list- if so, tell me what band they were in and about their experience in the band.

The Top Ten

1 Ian Paice - Deep Purple Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the English rock band Deep Purple. He has been the band's only constant member since its foundation.

Ian Paice has been Deep Purple's drummer throughout its entire 50 year history. Jon Lord was with the band until he retired in 2002, making Ian eligible for this list. - Gg2000

2 Robert Fripp - King Crimson Robert Fripp (born 16 May 1946) is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. As a guitarist for the progressive rock band King Crimson, Fripp has been the only member to have played in all of King Crimson's line-ups from their inception in the late 1960s to the present. He has also worked ...read more.

Oh yes!
Not much else to say. - JoLeKosovo

Robert Fripp has been King Crimson's leader and creative force throughout its off-and-on-again 50 year history. He is, essentially, the band. - Gg2000

3 Angus Young - AC/DC Angus McKinnon Young is an Australian guitarist of Scottish origin, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and sole constant member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. When performing live he does his own version of Chuck Berry's "duck walk" and has also spun on his side while ...read more.

Angus Young became the last original member following Malcolm Young's retirement in 2014 (he died three years later). Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams' departures removed all other ties with classic-era AC/DC. - Gg2000

4 Alex Lifeson - Rush Aleksandar Živojinović, better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush.

As I mentioned in the Geddy Lee entry, Alex (believe it or not) was the only constant member of Rush. - Gg2000

5 Tom Scholz - Boston Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz is an American rock musician, inventor, engineer, and philanthropist, best known as the founder of the band Boston.

This is to be expected- Tom Scholz was the entire creative force of Boston. Brad Delp's tragic suicide in 2007 left Tom Scholz the only original member in the band. - Gg2000

6 Ritchie Blackmore - Rainbow Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ...read more.

Rainbow's first album was called "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" for a reason. Let's just put it that way. - Gg2000

7 Tony Iommi - Black Sabbath Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer. At age 17, he accidentally lost the fingertips of his middle ...read more.

Been in Black Sabbath from beginning to the end - christangrant

8 Dave Mustaine - Megadeth David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own ...read more.
9 Don Henley - Eagles Donald Hugh "Don" Henley is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and drummer, best known as a founding member of the Eagles before launching a successful solo career.

After Glenn Frey died in 2016, Don Henley became the only original member in the band. - Gg2000

10 Nick Mason - Pink Floyd Nicholas Berkeley "Nick" Mason is an English musician and composer, best known as the drummer of legendary rock band Pink Floyd.

He was the only member of the group to have played in all of their albums.

Syd Barrett got kicked out in 1968.
David Gilmour joined at that same time.
Roger Waters left the band in 1983 after the recording of The Final Cut.

Rick Wright got kicked out by Waters in 1979, during the recording of The Wall, and returned in 1987 for A Momentary Lapse of Reason. - MaxPap

The Contenders

11 Roger McGuinn - The Byrds James Roger McGuinn known professionally as Roger McGuinn and previously as Jim McGuinn, is an American musician.

I'm looking at such a creative, fresh and informative music list after a very very LONG time.
Great list, You add new content which is all about creativity and precision, I was really disappointed with extremely biased and repetitive music lists being added again and again. - Ananya

He was the only constant member of The Byrds, even when they completely changed their lineup in 1968. This shows itself in that he was the only band member to sing lead vocals on the album Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde. - Gg2000

12 Chuck Schuldiner - Death Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck ...read more.
13 Scott Ian - Anthrax Scott Ian is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing and additional lead vocalist, and the only remaining original founding member of the thrash metal band Anthrax. He also writes the lyrics on all their albums.

Scott Ian is Anthrax. - ParasN2000

14 Brendon Urie - Panic! at the Disco Brendon Boyd Urie, more commonly known as Brendon Urie, was born April 12, 1987, in St. George, Utah. He is an American singer, songwriter, musician and multi-instrumentalist. He is best own as the lead singer of the American pop-rock band Panic! At The Disco. He is the only original remaining member. ...read more.
15 Gary Rossington - Lynyrd Skynyrd

He is the only original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd in its current lineup- a lineup that is somewhat controversial among fans. - Gg2000

16 Amy Lee - Evanescence Amy Lynn Hartzler, known professionally as Amy Lee, is an American singer-songwriter, classically trained pianist and composer. She is also the lead singer to the Arkansas band Evanescence.
17 Steve Harris - Iron Maiden Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Guitarist Dave Murray has been on every single album and tour with Iron Maiden. Steve started the band but Dave has been by his side since 1976. Their first album came out in 1980

Ah I voted by accident I realised he is not the only constant member - Alkadikce

18 Doug Gray - The Marshall Tucker Band

He is the only original member left in the Marshall Tucker Band. - Gg2000

19 Billy Corgan - Smashing Pumpkins William Patrick "Billy" Corgan Jr. is an American musician, songwriter, producer, television writer, poet, and professional wrestling promoter best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins.
20 Axl Rose - Guns 'n' Roses William Bruce Rose Jr., better known as 'Axl Rose', is an American singer born on February 6, 1962, in Lafayette, Indiana. He Is the founder and lead singer of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses. He is a celebrated but controversial figure in the world of rock.

He is the only original member of Guns 'n' Roses. - PhoenixAura81

21 Lemmy - Motörhead Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.

Motörhead went through nine other musicians throughout its history. Lemmy was pretty much the face of the band. - Gg2000

22 Robert Smith - The Cure Robert James Smith is an English singer, songwriter and musician. He is the lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and principal songwriter of the rock band The Cure. He is the band's only constant member since its formation in 1976.
23 Ian Hill - Judas Priest
24 Steven Wilson - Porcupine Tree Steven John Wilson is an English musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, most closely associated with the progressive rock genre. He is best known for his band Porcupine Tree.
25 Mikael Akerfeldt - Opeth Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. ...read more.
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