Five times musicians gave themselves crazy workloads
Omar Rodriguez Lopez

Being a professional musician must be a pretty sweet gig, right?

Touring the world, playing in front of thousands and writing music is the stuff of dreams for many averse to getting a ‘proper’ job.

But there are those who go above and beyond, putting their workshy brethren to shame.

One such music star is At The Drive-In guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López, who has announced he’s going to release 12 solo albums before the end of this year.

Recorded over a period of five years between 2008-13, The albums will be released via Ipecac Records online, with CDs only available at the guitarist’s solo shows.

Sworn Virgins will be the first released next week (July 15), with other, fortnightly highlights including the albums Blind Worms Pious Swine, Cell Phone Bikini and Umbrella Mistress.

But Rodriguez-Lopez isn’t the first artist to saddle himself with a heavy workload. Here are five others who put in the overtime:

The Wedding Present


Jangle-pop stalwarts The Wedding Present clearly felt they weren’t working hard enough when, in 1992, the Leeds band decided to have a crack at releasing a new, limited edition single every month for a year.

It wasn’t just the one monthly track, each release contained an A-side and a B-side.

The tracks were collected into two compilation albums, Hit Parade 1 and Hit Parade 2, with a box set containing all 24 tracks released in 2003, titled The Hit Parade.


2009 was a busy year for Irish pop-rockers Ash.

Not only did the trio set about hand crafting 178 sleeves each for singles released in the first half of the year, they also announced they’d be releasing fortnightly singles to make an A-Z compendium of tracks.

Unfortunately, the A-Z single series did not feature track titles corresponding to each letter of the alphabet.

But it did give us 27 cracking new Ash tracks.

The Beatles

The Beatles

In fact, for this one you can basically swap out The Beatles for any prolific musical act of the 1960s, when releasing two albums within a calendar year was the norm.

Not only were The Fab Four from Liverpool releasing two albums a year in 1963, ’64, ’65 and ’69 (and they released at least one album every year in between), but they were some of the most influential and classic albums in the grand library of popular music.

Add Bob Dylan to the conversation too, with the folk star releasing both The Times They Are a-Changin’ and Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964, and his first two “electric” albums, Bringing It All Back Home in March, and Highway 61 Revisited in August of 1965.

Eight things you learn working with The Beatles

Hunter Hayes

Not a name familiar to many people’s ears perhaps, 24-year old singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes actually holds the Guinness World Record for the most gigs played in a calendar day.

In 2014, he beat out The Flaming Lips’ poor attempt (eight? Pah!) and played 10 different gigs in 10 different cities, all in the space of 24 hours.

Being the good guy that he is, Hayes’ record breaking attempt was all for charity of course. The musician can also play over 30 instruments.

David Bowie

While nowhere near as impressive at Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’ 12 records in a year attempt, Bowie was really working for time and a half in 1977, when he managed to put out an impressive 4 records within the year.

OK, so only two of them were actually his (Low and Heroes), but we imagine that taking on production duties for two of Iggy Pop‘s (The Idiot and Lust For Life) also puts a strain on the work/life balance.

All four albums were released between January and October of 1977, that’s a period of just 10 months!


15 reasons why we still love At The Drive-In

45 forgotten albums from the 90s to revisit

Bon Jovi gets roped into singing at a wedding and it’s super awkward

[Main image: Getty]