With news that King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have finished recording their ninth album, which is set to be one of four the band plan to release in 2017, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the most prolific artists in music to see how the band’s famous work-rate actually stacks up.

King Gizz are currently sitting at a rate of two albums per year since their first album, 12 Bar Bruise, in 2012 – but that’s expected to rise to 2.4 albums per year if their 2017 release schedule goes as planned. That sounds like quite a lot, so we’ve looked at some other bands around the world who have also had a pretty amazing output of albums in their career to see where The Gizz stand in the grand scheme of things, and how many albums we’ll have to see from them if they keep up their current clip.

These comparisons are based on the group’s current two albums per year (starting with when their first studio album was released), but we certainly have no reason to doubt their promise of four new records next year – although we certainly won’t be mad if they decide they need to take a day or two off instead.

Ennio Morricone

Italian composer Ennio Morricone is one of music’s most famous names. A film composer by trade, Morricone is best know for scoring some of film’s best known releases, such as The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, The Thing, and more recently, The Hateful Eight.

Morricone has scored 433 films since 1946 (and is still going strong), giving him a rate of 6.2 releases per year. While the majority of these would’ve been commissioned, rather than Morricone recording his music by his own volition, King Gizz would need to be around for another 216 years to match Morricone if they keep up their current rate, but only 180 if their projected 2017 rate comes into play.


There’s a strong chance you’ve heard of Buckethead if you followed his stint as part of Guns ‘N’ Roses in the 2000’s, or his infamously hard contribution to Guitar Hero 2. Above it all though, his most famous attributes involve his wearing a KFC bucket on his head, a white mask on his face, and releasing an immensely huge stack of albums. After playing in numerous bands in the late 80’s, Buckethead started a solo career in 1992. Following a relatively slow start, which saw him release 6 albums in 9 years, his output exploded in the 2000’s. As of 2016, he has released 264 albums, and has collaborated on a further 181 albums. Needless to say, Buckethead is one of music’s most prolific artists.

With a total of 264 solo albums being released in 24 years, that brings him to a rate of 11 albums per year. If King Gizz stick around until for another 20 years to match his career length, you can expect 48 albums from them, or 58 if next year’s increase comes into play. However, if King Gizz are to match Buckethead’s current output (and keep in mind he shows no intention of stopping soon), they’ll need to stick around for another 128 years (or another 106) to catch up.


Merzbow is a famous Japanese musician who deals within the genre of noise music, that is, music which is effectively experimental, dissonant sounds that wouldn’t have a place in most mainstream types of music. With a career spanning almost 4 decades, Merzbow has had plenty of time to release a respectable amount of albums, though few would expect an output of 246 albums from him.

Having released his first album in 1980, Merzbow has released an average of 6.8 albums per year. For The Gizz to catch up to 246 albums, they’ll need to hang around for another 119 years, or another 98 if next year picks up. If they also managed to match Merzbow’s 36 year career of releasing albums, you could expect 72, or 86, albums by 2048.

YouTube VideoPlay

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa is one of music’s most infamous figures. From his beginnings with The Mothers Of Invention, to his solo years in which he experimented with every style and genre of music possible, Zappa is undoubtedly one of the most notable artists. In fact, Zappa’s testimony to the US supreme court in 198_ is one of the reasons you don’t have to wait until you’re 18 to buy any album with bad language on it. Starting his career with The Mothers Of Invention’s first album Freak Out! in 1968, Zappa recorded 62 albums before his death in 1993. Since then, posthumous studio and live releases have made his discography rise to an impressive 108 releases, giving him an output rate of 1.6 releases per year.

If King Gizzard are able to match his 38 year career, you can expect them to release 76 albums at their current rate, or 91 if 2017 goes as planned. If they are to match Zappa’s output of 62 albums, you can expect them to hang around for either 27 years or 21 years, a surprisingly low number.

The Residents

The Residents have been listed as an oddity in the annals of music for years. They’re hard to categorise, they’re hard to take seriously, and above all, they’re hard to stop. Starting in 1969, The Residents strayed from the norm, bucking the trend of being serious musicians and releasing music that was either comedic, critical of the music industry, or just plain strange. In the 44 years since their debut, they’ve managed to release 49 albums, giving them an average of 1.1 albums per year. However, this doesn’t even beging to account for their countless live albums, singles, and ‘multimedia projects’, which would undoubtedly throw them closer to King Gizzard’s level of output.

Considering their output rate has been pretty low, we’d only need to see King Gizz stick around for another 20 years at their current rate, or 16 years at next year’s rate, to match the output of the band. If they stick around for 44 years with their current output rate, you can see the Melbourne seven-piece releasing 88 albums, or 106 at next year’s rate.

The Verdict?

They may not be crowned the kings based on the figures above but, considering the need to wrangle their huge posse into a studio each and every time they make a new album, we’re still pretty damn impressed. Keep up the good work Gizz, looking forward to 2017.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine