Given the significant changes the music business has undergone over the past several decades, it should come as no surprise that the once-monumental event of a new studio album release has become a rarity for many classic rock artists.

For many veteran rockers, live shows are fulfilling — and profitable — enough to keep them going. And compared to the laborious process of writing and recording an album, a successful tour offers much more instant gratification.

For others, writing and releasing new music isn't a top priority. For example, Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor have toured extensively since Adam Lambert joined their ranks in 2011, but they've never sat down to write new music together. "I've got to tell you it hasn’t happened yet, but we do bring the subject up," May told Variety in November 2022. “Generally, when we are together, the live show is all-consuming. There isn’t time to discuss any studio action. We feel as if the live stuff is what the public wants. So, I suppose that the opportunity to make an album together doesn’t come up, but I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen."

Other classic rockers, such as Billy Idol, have found a renewed passion for writing and recording new music, but not necessarily in the long-play format. With just two studio albums to his name since the turn of the century — 2005's Devil's Playground and 2014's Kings and Queens of the Underground — Idol has been comparatively prolific in recent years, releasing a pair of four-song EPs, 2021's The Roadside and 2022's The Cage, in quick succession.

Read on to see which artists have abstained from releasing a full-length studio album for the past five years or more.

34 Rock Stars Who Haven't Released an Album in Over Five Years

For many classic rockers, touring is more enjoyable — and profitable — than making records.

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