Most rock acts these days tend to be looked at as a complete democracy. No matter how much clout some lead singers may claim to have in their time, it always comes down to teamwork if you really want to make the magic happen. Then again, sometimes it's just as good to have a revolving door of band members.
Across each of these acts, there is only one person who has remained in the trenches from day one. Oftentimes, this caters to the 'mastermind' theory of rock group, with one person looking at the big picture and basically using their other musicians as just colors in their masterpiece. However, not all rock bands work out that smoothly. Other times, many artists will be so dysfunctional that it normally just comes down to one guy left to steer the ship.
Hell, on the rarest occasion, the lone OG musician in question wasn't even the main song contributor, leaving them to rely on the hired guns they have to try and replicate the sound of the old days. That's not to say it's bad, mind you...it's just not the same as it used to be. Even though rock can be thought of as a band of brothers, you really need to just look in one direction in these acts.
10. Steely Dan
The longevity of Steely Dan has always come from their willingness to experiment. Throughout their career, songs like Do It Again, Kid Charlemagne, and even Peg have played with the boundaries of what constitutes real rock and roll. In fact, most of the music was so good that no one really bothered to keep track of the actual people playing the instruments.
From day one, most of Steely Dan's "members" were made up of session musicians under the watchful eye of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen. Though giants like Jim Keltner and Larry Carlton would come in and out of the lineup on more than one occasion, it was pretty much anyone's guess as to who would be playing on the record every time it came out. Hell, just for recording the song Aja, Fagen and Becker went through tons of different session players and actually used two different drummers before settling with the take they were happy with.
While these records still hold up as some of the cleanest productions of the '70s, Fagen is now the lone survivor for Steely Dan after Becker passed away just a few years ago. Then again, Fagen's unique vocal stylings have always been the personality of the group's music since its inception, with just the right amount of sarcasm and wit to keep you listening for more. For as much as they might be called dad music nowadays, Fagen has proven that the smoother side of rock can take you a long way.