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azlotto's avatar

Which musical groups or artists changed their genre during their career.

Asked by azlotto (2451points) October 15th, 2016
33 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

I’m just wondering.

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SmashTheState's avatar

First one that comes to mind for me is Phil Ochs. Poor fucker got so frustrated being second banana to that reactionary, marble-mouthed hack, Dylan, that he went electric and put out an inexplicable disco album. Then hanged himself in shame.

There’s also Tay Tay, who started out country and became bubblegum pop.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Bob Dylan started acoustic went to electric.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Turtles (Flo & Eddie anyway) started out straight rock in LA California (Westchester), later they went to Frank Zappa joined The Mothers of Invention doing Fusion and Jazz.

Setanta's avatar

The Moody Blues changed their style, i don’t know if that would qualify as genre, but i would say it was a profound change, and very much a change for the better.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The Beatles stretched from covering 3 minute skiffle songs to the White Album.

A lot of old rock/pop singers do lame-ass recordings of American standards. I love the American Songbook, but I’ll put on someone like Ella Fitzgerald when I want to hear it, not Bob Dylan or Rod Stewart.

Joni Mitchell first became known as a 19-year old folkie, though even early on her work was a bit more sophisticated than typical hootenanie stuff. She went on to work with jazz great Charlies Mingus and never has stopped working on new things.

filmfann's avatar

k. d. lang switched from Country to Pop.
Joe Jackson went from punk to pop to big band to AOR.
Linda Ronstadt, of course, has gone from folk to rock to punk to big band to latin to country, and was largely successful everywhere.

Sneki95's avatar

The first thing that comes to mind is the work of Watkin Tudor Jones. He is a South African rapper, started with underground rap, but switched to electronic with his band The Constructus Corporation and their only album The Ziggurat, which he created with Yolandi Visser (stage name). After that one album, they dropped the project and made another band, Max Normal, which was way more inspirational, and kinda ‘oldschool’ . Also, Yolandi got way more screentime than before. He named himself Max Normal.
Several albums later, they created another band, called Die Antwoord, now with Watkin calling himself Ninja. The band is back to electronic, but with a lot more Afrikaans, and the so called zef sound, quite different than Ziggurat. And they changed from Max Normal to kinda gangsta, weird and/or pornographic [NSFW, of course].

Some other examples: Aqua went from this to this.
Abney Park went from this to this.

And let’s not forget the infamous transition of Miley Cyrus.

More examples here and here.

azlotto's avatar

@SmashTheState I didn’t know about Phil Ochs and Tay Tay until now. Thanks for your answer.

azlotto's avatar

@Tropical_Willie…I didn’t know that Frank Zappa joined The Mothers of Invention…Thanks for your answer.

Sneki95's avatar

EDIT: By saying Yolandi got more screentime, I meant this, not the song I linked.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Didn’t Elvis switch from rock to gospel for a bit.

azlotto's avatar

@Setanta…“profound change, and very much a change for the better”.

I agree. Thanks.

azlotto's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Thanks for your reply and link.

azlotto's avatar

@filmfann I didn’t know that about Linda Ronstadt…Thank you.

azlotto's avatar

@Sneki95…Wow…That’s a lot of info…Thanks for your answer and links.

azlotto's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1…I think he started out gospel, but I don’t know if he recorded any gospel after his success.

Thanks for your reply.

ucme's avatar


Presley changed into a fat fucking warbler addicted to cheeseburgers

azlotto's avatar

@ucme “Presley changed into a fat fucking warbler addicted to cheeseburgers”

Come on man, have some respect…I try not to laugh, but your answer is funny as hell.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Kelly Clarkson

Darth_Algar's avatar

The experimental band Coil, who never dwelt in one particular style for very long. Over the course of their 22 years together their music ranged from industrial, noise, to acid house, ambient, synth pop, neofolk, avant-garde…. Even when they did something a bit more conventional there was always something off kilter about it. (Their ‘Theme from ‘Blue’’, for example – a dance track, pretty much, but it sounds like a discotheque on the spectral plane).

Seek's avatar

Opeth. One of my favourite bands, but they’ve sort of left me behind in recent years.

First album: Orchid, 1990.

Sixth album: Deliverance, 2001, released along with Damnation – That’s my favourite era of the band. Still Life, Blackwater Park, Deliverance and Damnation, Ghost Reveries. Heavy, kick-ass death metal mixed with progressive, calm moments to build anticipation and emotion.

Ninth album: Watershed, 2008 – The last of the really good stuff.

Tenth album, Heritage, 2011 – they start losing me. I linked the only song on the album I like.

Eleventh album, Pale Communion, 2014 – This is not Opeth as I know it. It sounds like bad video-game music. I get it, Mikael, you’re artsy and creative and you honestly think you’re old enough to remember 70s acid trip music. You’re not.

Twelfth album, Sorceress, 2016 – I haven’t even given it a fair listen yet. I’m too scared of being further disappointed.

ucme's avatar

The Osmonds, a little known fact that Donny & Marie later broke into Death Metal forming their largely unsuccessful band Goofy Toothed Mormons & the Spunkbubbles from Hell
Gotta give them credit for trying although twas doomed to fail from the start, I mean…c’mon.

Darth_Algar's avatar


I think Mikael’s so caught up on trying to imitate his favorite 70s prog groups that he gives no regard to the actual quality of the music.

(And don’t bother with Sorceress. From what I’ve listened to it’s just as boring as the rest of their music from this past decade.)

Rarebear's avatar

Caravan, Pink Floyd, Opeth, Big Big Train, Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, Jethro Tull, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Camel, Heart, Kansas,

Just off the top of my head.

azlotto's avatar

@Darth_Algar I never heard of Coil…Thanks for the info.

azlotto's avatar

@Seek Thanks for your answer and links.

azlotto's avatar

@ucme The Osmonds and Death Metal in the same sentence, doesn’t seem right…Thanks for your answer.

azlotto's avatar

@Rarebear Impressive list. Thank you.

Buttonstc's avatar

Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) went from pop to Country.

His big hit with Wagon Wheel and duet with Old Crow Medicine Show at the Opry let the cat out of the bag nationwide after months of being just an opening act for Dierks Bentley and others.

Darth_Algar's avatar

To be honest, there isn’t much difference between Hootie and the Blowfish and the shite that passes for country these days to begin with.

azlotto's avatar

@Buttonstc I didn’t know that…Thanks.

azlotto's avatar

@Darth_Algar I see your sentiment about country music…When a song like “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” charts ( ) that makes me wonder about the future of humanity.

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