It is a true musical rarity when a band can withstand the pressures of touring, internal struggles and outside pressures and stay an entity for an extended period of time. Only a handful of bands can say that they are still as tight of a unit many years after their humble beginnings until today. Many have replaced members but find that their sound just can't be replicated with anyone else, and so back to their original lineup they go.
1. ZZ Top
It was way back in 1969 when the bearded front men of Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill burst onto the music scene as ZZ Top, along with beardless drummer Frank Beard (yes that's his real name!) One of the few major label recording groups to have held the same lineup for more than forty years, ZZ Top has been praised by critics and fellow musicians alike for their technical mastery and interplay. Since the release of the band's debut album in 1971, ZZ Top has become known for its strong blues roots and fun attitude towards celebrity. They hit a career high with "Sharp Dressed Man" in 1983. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Boston hard rock band is still going strong with their original lineup, first formed in 1970. Known for their abuse of many substances during their tumultuous history, there was a brief period where internal conflict took its toll on the band. This resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively. The two were replaced briefly by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records and has remained together, albeit still with internal struggles, ever since.
3. Motley Crue
Motley Crue came together during an era of glam/metal rock and hit a high note in the mid-80s with their good looks, great tunes and wild, party attitude. Still, that wasn't enough to keep them together. All the band members dealt with different types of drug addiction. Vince Neil lived through the tragedy of his daughter's death and Tommy Lee did jail time after several domestic disputes with then-wife Pamela Anderson. Neil left the band in February 1992 and in 1999, Lee quit the band to pursue a solo career. Lee was replaced by former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Randy Castillo. In December 2004, the four original members announced a reunion/final tour, which lasted until 2014, when the band announced the full details of their retirement tour.