Five bands turning 50 years old

There is something special about a 50th anniversary. This anniversary is celebrated more unusually than most people. Why not the same for groups?

If a band has made it through the upheavals that come with fame, through internal strife and line-up changes, through the changing musical tastes of the public and – let’s face it – through alcohol and drugs, and survived in some form after a full five decades, that is an achievement worth celebrating.

This not only shows talent and business acumen, but it’s also proof that the musicians in question have managed to build a connection with both their loyal audience and casual listeners. If anyone buys tickets to your concert 50 years after the band was formed, you did something right.

In 2023, several bands that are still active will celebrate their 50th birthday. Here are a few of them for you to celebrate with a few of their pieces each:


A legendary story began in Sydney in 1973 when Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, together with Larry Van Creed, Dave Evans and Colin Burgess formed AC/DC. The name comes from the Youngs’ sister Margaret, who saw the AC/DC (alternating current/direct current) designation on a sewing machine plug. Her brothers decided that the name symbolized the energy of the music they were making.

The very next year, Dave Evans was replaced on vocals by Bon Scott. More line-up changes follow as AC/DC discovers more than just their name and their faces.

The era of Brian Johnson, whose voice many associate with AC/DC’s music, began in the early 1980s. He was brought into the group after Ben Scott died in February 1980. The others even considered disbanding, but were convinced by Scott’s parents to continue. Johnson became the new frontman and decade after decade AC/DC rocked the world, with their latest studio album for the time being in 2020.


The rock band was founded precisely in 1973, and the original line-up was Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.

Before that, Stanley and Simmons were part of another formation called Wicked Lester, but they were looking for a new musical direction, and so a new project began to take shape. First they were joined by Chris, in early 73 and Frehley, and shortly after the name Kiss appeared.

In the following years, Chris and Frehley left twice, while Stanley and Simmons remained at the center of Kiss. The group is one of the most successful in terms of sales of all time, although it is having difficulty adapting to the new realities of the Internet.

After all, 2019 also saw the start of their final tour, which was expected to end in 2023. But it seems with Kiss, even the final isn’t quite final…


“Carry on, my waywaaaaard soooo!” we sing to ourselves as we make sense of this fact. Kansas are to some extent an even older band. Individual members of it have played together in various configurations as early as the late 1960s. The first union was called Kansas, and after its disbandment it remained in history as Kansas I. It went through a second version of the group (Kansas II), but the situation remained “good, but not ready” precisely until 1973.

Then the first official line-up was finally formed and the band signed their first contract. Only then was it decided to use the name Kansas again. A debut album follows next year.

The 70s were strong for Kansas, and to this day you can still hear hits like Dust in the Wind and the aforementioned Carry On Wayward Son. Although the 80’s were troubled, they found a way to survive, to even become popular again.


In 1973, the Golden Gate Rhythm Section appeared in San Francisco, with the idea being to serve as a backing band for other local artists. However, this concept was quickly abandoned and its five members settled on the name Journey to start their journey through the world of music.

The result of 50 years of activity are hits such as Don’t Stop Believin’ and Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), the latter of which was recalled to an older audience and met with a young one through one of the trailers of the Stranger Things series.

In recent years, the group has been going through internal problems and a number of legal disputes between former and current members, but despite them, their 16th studio album appeared in 2022.

Bad Company

Here we are talking about a supergroup, whose composition includes musicians from various other formations. Vocalist Paul Rogers says that the idea for the name came from a book about Victorian morality, where under a drawing of an unpleasant character was the inscription “beware of bad company”.

The first album of the group, which appeared a year after its formation, bears the same name as the hit song of the same name. Over the following decades, Bad Company has broken up, changed frontmen or been inactive several times. However, they are still active as of now, although they haven’t released a studio album since 1996.


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