For a future post, I’m crowdsourcing a topic: performers, bands, or other musical units whose work received a significant artistic or commercial boost by reinventing themselves.  What examples come to mind for you?

Sure, lots of musicians adopt new approaches with virtually each album.  Others have pursued new styles or found greater success through a different band (Joy Division —> New Order, for instance).  But with this question I have in mind groups or musicians who opened a significant or surprising “second chapter” within the context of a single career.  Some examples:

  • changing the line-up: Fleetwood Mac changed from a respected British blues/folk band into a Southern California soft-rock monster by adding new members Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham.
  • abandoning a signature sound: Everything But The Girl plied a jazz pop sound for 12 years, then morphed into a confident house music unit.
  • outside collaborators: a producer or outsider collaborator reorients a musician’s trajectory. Think of Brian Eno’s influence on Talking Heads, or Rick Rubin’s revitalization of Johnny Cash’s legacy.

I’ll leave it as open-ended and suggestive as this.  Please submit your examples in the comment section below, or reply to the related tweet or Facebook post.  I’ll give credit to you when this whole thing is done!