Reinvention. It’s part of an artist’s nature. Start out sounding and looking one way, get bored, evolve into something different. But for a lot of artists, this evolution is pretty subtle from album to album.
In fact, for some bands (*ahem* AC/DC), there’s almost no change in style throughout their entire catalogue. But what about the artists who experienced a complete metamorphosis? Bands who overhauled their initial sound in favor of something a little more…defining? Whether based on a desire to experiment, to change with the times, or simply to make a bigger impact, this type of thing happened a lot more than you think. Was it a good thing for these artists? Well, that’s all a matter of opinion. It certainly propelled them into a different league and helped them sustain a career, placing them among the most popular bands of all time. From The Bee Gees to Genesis, David Bowie to T. Rex, they all started with one specific sound and morphed into something different. Here’s a list of 10 Classic Artists Who Transformed Their Sound. And we’re (for the most part) happy they did.
10. Bee Gees
“Turn of the Century” (1967)
The group started off as a psychedelic rock/folk band in the late 60s before moving into their signature disco, R&B and pop-influenced sound starting with 1975’s Main Course.
“Jive Talkin'” (1975)
9. David Bowie
“Silly Blue Boy” (1967)
Perhaps more than any other artist on the list, Bowie evolved the most over time. His debut album contained a mix of folk and pop music, but starting with 1969’s David Bowie he began to introduce elements of prog rock and psychedelia, and later glam rock, funk, dance and many other styles.
“Suffragette City” (1972)
8. Deep Purple
“One More Rainy Day” (1968)
Though they displayed some elements of hard rock on early albums, the band actually formed as a progressive/psychedelic rock group. They officially changed direction into hard rock/heavy metal territory starting with the release of 1970’s Deep Purple in Rock.