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There can be many reasons why a band or artist needs to reinvent. Maybe the lead singer is a diva and decides to walk out, maybe the music industry has shifted and the band needs to stay relevant, but, whatever the reason, it’s always fun to see what they come up with next. In honor of spring, a time for new life and new beginnings, we have assembled the Top Five Reinventions in Rock and Roll!
With the tragic death of Bon Scott in 1979, many predicted Australian rockers AC/DC would have to call it quits. Instead, the band recruited Brian Johnson as their new frontman, and released Back in Black in 1980 to the greatest record sales they’d ever seen. Several more successful albums and sold-out tours later, the band is still together and currently has new music in the works.
2. Van Halen
Van Halen’s revolving circle of frontmen has certainly caused the band to reinvent over the years, often to the dismay of fans. Original frontman David Lee Roth left VH after his infamous falling out with the band in 1985. Red Rocker Sammy Hagar quickly took his place only to leave (or be fired) before the band released its greatest hits collection. Next, the band brought in an odd choice: one-time lead singer Gary Cherone, for Van Halen III. After that, Hagar reunited with the band for a reunion tour. Now, Roth is back at the helm once more, and the band released the album A Different Kind Of Truth in 2012.
3. Nine Inch Nails
It has been four years since Nine Inch Nails’ farewell tour, but today Trent Reznor and company are back with new members, new music, and new tour dates this summer. The new NIN lineup will feature Telefon Tel Aviv’s Josh Eustis, Jane’s Addiction’s Eric Avery, and King Crimson’s Adrian Belew in addition to Reznor. In a statement to Pitchfork in February, Reznor said, “I was working with Adrian Belew on some musical ideas, which led to some discussion on performing, which led to some beard-scratching, which (many steps later) led to the decision to re-think the idea of what Nine Inch Nails could be.” Definitely an awesome reinvention we can’t wait to see!
4. Guns N’ Roses
GNR rose to fame in the late 80s with the release of Appetite for Destruction, and attempted to change it up in the 90s with albums like Use Your Illusion I and II and The Spaghetti Incident. Tensions in the group eventually became so high that literally every member left the band, sans Axl Rose, who has continuously reworked the lineup since the mid-90s. There have been over 20 members that have rotated in and out of the group, but Guns N’ Roses continues to hold strong, releasing the album Chinese Democracy in 2008 to generally positive reception.
5. Dave Grohl
After the death of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl very well could have faded into obscurity. Instead, Grohl hit the studio and recorded an entire demo of songs by himself, giving his “band” the name, “Foo Fighters.” Eventually, other musicians would join in on the group that would go on to become one of the most successful bands to date. Since then, Grohl has participated in a number of side-projects, and even traded in his instruments for a director’s chair in 2012 to create the now acclaimed documentary Sound City. From drummer, to frontman to filmmaker, we’re pretty confident that no matter what Dave Grohl decides to reinvent himself into next, we’re going to like it.
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