1. Dr. Dre
Most Recent Studio Album: 2001 (1999)
Likelihood of a New Album: Good, but only if you’re very, very patient. He’s been working on a record called Detox since 2001, and though it’s been given many release dates over the years, it still hasn’t been completed. In fairness, Dre has been a little busy building his enormously popular Beats By Dre headphones brand.
2. Lauryn Hill
Most Recent Studio Album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, though a live album of original songs, MTV Unplugged 2.0, came out in 2002.
Likelihood of a New Album: Pretty good! Hill has been dealing with various legal issues over the past decade, but she just recently signed a new deal with Sony, and says she will hit the studio soon. The only thing in the way right now is that she will need to serve a three month jail sentence for tax evasion.
3. Garth Brooks
Most Recent Studio Album: Scarecrow (2001)
Likelihood of a New Album: Eh, it could happen, maybe. Brooks officially retired from music in 2001, but returned to performing in 2009. He’s about to finish a five-year residency at the Encore Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and after that who knows. Garth is a wild card.
Most Recent Studio Album: The Argument (2001)
Likelihood of a New Album: Not so great. Fugazi never broke up, but haven’t played together since 2002, and though the members of the band have said in interviews over the years that they would like to get back together someday, they’re all busy with their families and other projects for the foreseeable future.
Most Recent Studio Album: The soundtrack to Idlewild (2006)
Likelihood of a New Album: Poor. Big Boi and Andre 3000 have collaborated on various songs over the past decade, but have mostly operated independently since releasing Speakerboxx/The Love Below – basically two solo albums packaged together – in 2003. Andre hasn’t done anything besides guest spots on other people’s songs over the past decade, so it’s a fair assumption that an Andre 3000 solo album would happen before an Outkast reunion, but who knows.
Most Recent Studio Album: Modern Guilt (2008)
Likelihood of a New Album: Pretty good. Beck has been extremely busy with all sorts of projects over the past six years, but he’s said in some recent interviews that he has a proper full-length album in the works.
8. Billy Joel
Most Recent Studio Album: River of Dreams (1993)
Likelihood of a New Album: Very low. Though Joel still occasionally performs in concert and released a collection of original classical compositions called Fantasies and Delusions in 2001, he has more or less retired as a pop star. There’s always a chance that he’ll feel inspired and write some new songs, but he doesn’t appear to be very interested in making new music.
Most Recent Studio Album: Voodoo (2000)
Likelihood of a New Album: Excellent. The formerly reclusive R&B star’s third album has been in the works since 2009, but has been pushed back mainly due to label issues. Questlove, who worked on the album, told Billboard that it was “99% done” back in January.
10. The Avalanches
Most Recent Studio Album: Since I Left You (2000)
Likelihood of a New Album: Maybe someday soon? The Australian dance music crew have been working on a follow up to their classic debut since around 2005. Back around 2007, they wrote a message to fans on their website that while they have no idea when a new record would be complete, it “so fuckin’ party you will die,” and that they’re “sure you’re gonna love it when it arrives.” Danny Brown, Ariel Pink, David Berman of The Silver Jews, and Jennifer Herrema from Royal Trux have all recorded vocals for the album over the past two years.
11. Aphex Twin
Most Recent Studio Album: Drukqs in 2001, though he put out a series of 11 EPs in the Analord series in 2005.
Likelihood of a New Album: Very high. Richard D. James recorded a huge amount of music through the ’90s under the name Aphex Twin, and many other releases under several other aliases, but has been almost completely silent since 2005. (That said, there is very good reason to believe that a few releases by The Tuss in 2007 were written by him, though he denies it.) James told El Pais, a Spanish magazine, that he has completed more than 10 albums, but will not release anything until his divorce is finalized.
12. Modest Mouse
Most Recent Studio Album: We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007)
Likelihood of a New Album: Probably sometime in the next couple years. Modest Mouse have been touring constantly over the past six years, so it’s easy to not even notice it’s been a while since they put out a proper record. They’ve been playing some new songs here or there in recent gigs, so that could be a sign that they’re about ready to hit the studio.
13. Shania Twain
Most Recent Studio Album: Up! (2002)
Likelihood of a New Album: Somewhat good, maybe? Twain walked away from the spotlight for nearly a decade after selling a bazillion copies of her first four albums, but she’s been easing back into her music career in recent years. She premiered a new song, “Today Is Your Day,” after the finale of her tv show Why Not? in 2011, and is right now in the middle of a residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. An actual new album seems possible sometime in the next couple years.
14. The Wrens
Most Recent Studio Album: The Meadowlands (2003)
Likelihood of a New Album: It’ll happen someday. The indie rock band have been slowly writing and recording a followup to their breakthrough album, and occasionally promise reporters that it’s just around the corner. Eventually they’ll get it together. (In fairness, they all have day jobs.)
15. Rage Against the Machine
Most Recent Studio Album: Renegades (2000)
Likelihood of a New Album: Not too good. Rage broke up in 2000, but have been playing together very frequently since their first reunion gig at Coachella in 2007. Tom Morello has said that he’s open to making a new album, but told Blabbermouth that’s “not on the table right now” in 2012.
16. Neutral Milk Hotel
Most Recent Studio Album: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
Likelihood of a New Album: It’s not impossible. Songwriter Jeff Mangum basically disappeared for over a decade after releasing the cult favorite In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, but has been performing concerts on his own over the past two years. He’s about to go on tour under the name Neutral Milk Hotel again, so this could lead to actual new music from the group. Or not. Who knows with this guy.