5 Rock Bands Made Better by Switching Vocalists

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Iron Maiden
Every now and then, switching things up in a band isn't the end of the world. In fact, recruiting a new singer can revitalize and expand the horizons of a band in completely unexpected ways, bringing them out of obscurity or to previously unheard of levels of success.

We've covered this ground before in the realm of metal, but what about rock and pop examples? Here are some of the greatest singer switches of all time in that expanded field, where it much less commonly works but has to great effect in the past.


Deep Purple
Deep Purple had already hit it big among the psych rock loving hippie movement of the late '60s with their fantastic cover of the song "Hush," but the only thing that stopped them from being one hit wonders actually happened to be the loss of original singer Rod Evans.

Recruiting the shrieking banshee of Ian Gillan completely changed the band's direction, reinventing them as a hard rock act alongside bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. They stripped the hippie trappings and started making songs like "Highway Star" and "Child in Time" that propelled them beyond anyone's wildest expectations into a classic rock band for the ages.


King Crimson
King Crimson is a weird example of this, because they made it work more than once. It goes to prove that the real voice of the band was always the instrumentation, not the singing. After striking right out of the gate with their classic album In the Court of the Crimson King with singer and bassist Greg Lake, the band faltered.

Lake quit after a lackluster follow-up and was replaced by lackluster singers Gordon Haskell and Boz Burrell. Then magic happened again when John Wetton took over and brought the band back to prominence once more with amazing albums like Starless and Bible Black and Red.

Amazingly, it happened all over again in the '80s when, after a long hiatus, guitarist Robert Fripp revived the band with Adrian Belew on vocals and rhythm guitar, completely changing the band's sound and bringing them into the future with their next classic album, Discipline.

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8 comments
H Newcomb
H Newcomb

The Moody Blues. Denny Laine left (later ended up in Wings), Justin Haywood and John Lodge came in. Journey's original singer was keyboadist Greg Rolle, who turned that roll over to Steve Perry. Genesis saw Peter Gabriel replaced with Phil Collins. Fleetwood Mac changed styles from British blues to California Pop by bringing in Buckingham and Nicks, etc.

Shafty
Shafty

What, no Faith No More?

Josh Young
Josh Young

Make it 6, you can't forget Journey... yes, I'm calling them a rock band.

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