By: Ray Hidalgo
Spring is officially here, and to many, it represents regrowth, rebirth and overall, nature's yearly comeback. We couldn’t help but think about the bands through the ages that have done the same.
Whether it’s their style of music or their lineup, rock groups have a tendency to be ever-changing. In honor of the season, we’ve compiled a list of the groups that have taken on the challenges, molded themselves into something new, and come out even better than before! Here is our list of the Top 5 Reinventions in Classic Rock.
1. Black Sabbath
As the pioneers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath rose to fame in the early 70s with songs such as “Iron Man” and “War Pigs.” After Ozzy Osbourne was booted from the lineup in 1979, the group went through several transformations, bringing in Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin and others to take on the role as lead singer. Now, over 35 years later, the original lineup (sans drummer Bill Ward) is back, and Sabbath has a brand new album entitled 13 due out this year!
2. Van Halen
As far as lead singers go, this band has had its share. Since 1974, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar have rotated in and out of the lineup so many times it could make your head spin. In 1998, singer Gary Cherone tried his hand at being frontman, but Van Halen III was met with mixed reactions. In February 2012, over a decade since their last album’s release, a reinvigorated Van Halen kicked out A Different Kind of Truth with DLR back on the mic, and the group is planning several tour dates this year.
3. The Beatles
Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr truly knew how to reinvent themselves, so much so that fans don’t just have favorite Beatles’ albums; they have favorite Beatles’ eras. From the early suit and tie days with those famous mop-tops to the trippy transcendental years of Sgt. Pepper’s, the Beatles were constantly changing, all the way up until their breakup in 1969.
KISS has gone through many changes during their time as a band. From shocking the world by removing their makeup in 1983, to ushering members in and out of their lineup, the band, which currently consists of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, is still going strong. Most recently, KISS released their 20th studio album Monster in 2012 to good reviews from both fans and critics alike.
5. David Bowie
Through the decades, David Bowie has taken on several alter egos, most notably the flamboyant Ziggy Stardust and the ever-classy Thin White Duke. Now, after a decade-long hiatus, Bowie is back and better than ever. He has just released his new studio album The Next Day, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts. We’re not sure which character Bowie has transformed himself into these days, but we do know one thing – we like it.