Written by Michael Oshust

When a band is together, whether they are recording or playing shows, it is all about the chemistry. Many groups have switched key band members and continued as a band.

Here is a list of successful bands that were as good, if not better than the previous formation of members. 


Mick Taylor replaced Brian Jones in 1969. Mick Taylor remained with the band until 1974, and Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Keith Richards. Wood appeared on the song "It's Only Rock 'n Roll" and contributed to the album "Black and Blue." 
Wood was a full-time Rolling Stone member for the "Some Girls"  album in 1978. 
With Wood the Stones have made successful albums "Tattoo You," "Steel Wheels," "Emotional Rescue," and more.

Def Leppard's ​greatest commercial success came between the 1980s with hits like "Photograph", "Foolin'", "Rock of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and many more produced by Mutt Lange.  Following the success of Hysteria, the band quickly set out to work on their fifth album Adrenalize. During this time period, Steve Clark's alcoholism worsened to the point that he went into rehab, and in mid-1990, Clark was granted a six-month leave of absence. Steve Clark passed away in his home from a mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol on January 8, 1991. The remaining band members decided to carry on and recorded the album as a four-piece. In February 1992, Def Leppard announced former Whitesnake/DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell as a new member.

Syd Barrett was the original vocalist for Pink Floyd, but his drug use, erratic behavior, and alcoholism got him kicked out in 1968. 

Syd Barrett did not contribute any material to the band after 1968's "A Saucerful of Secrets."


David Gilmour and Roger Waters started switching off on lead vocals after Barrett was fired.


With David Gilmour and Roger Waters writing and singing, Pink Floyd went on to success with "The Dark Side of the Moon," "Wish You Were Here," and "The Wall."

AC/DC recorded their first album "High Voltage" in 1974 with Bon Scott on lead vocals. With Bon Scott, the band released 4 more studio albums "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Let There Be Rock," "Powerage," and "Highway To Hell." Bon Scott sadly passed away on February 19, 1980, of alcohol poisoning with traces of heroin.

With the tragedy, and the option to disband, AC/DC thought it through and decided to continue on and audition singers. They decided on Brian Johnson. "Back in Black" was an instant success.

AC/DC have shown that they rock with Brian Johnson.

Ozzy Osbourne was the lead singer for Black Sabbath. The band recorded 8 studio albums with Osbourne. In late 1977, while in rehearsal for their next album, and just days before the band was set to enter the studio, Osbourne abruptly quit the band. 


Sharon Osbourne suggested former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio replace Ozzy Osbourne in 1979.

The band recorded "Heaven and Hell," and the album was a success, becoming Black Sabbath's highest-charting album. In 1981, Black Sabbath released "Mob Rules" which was the last album with Ronnie James Dio.

Fleetwood Mac went through more than its fair share of lineup changes throughout the '60s and '70s. In 1974 Bob Welch, Bob Weston and Dave Walkerhad left the band without a vocalist or guitarist.


Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined. With Buckingham and Nicks the band recorded 2 of their landmark songs "Rhiannon" and "Landslide" for the album "Fleetwood Mac."


The followup album "Rumours" was a huge commercial success and became another No.1 record for Fleetwood Mac. The follow-up album "Tusk" was a success.

Paul Di'Anno was the first vocalist for Iron Maiden. In 1981, after the release of their first 2 Di'Anno demonstrated increasingly self-destructive behavior, mainly due to his drug usage. With Di'Anno's live performances waning, the band immediately dismissed him following the Killer Tour. 

Bruce Dickenson auditioned for Iron Maiden in September 1981, and was immediately hired on the spot. Iron Maiden released their debut with Dickenson "The Number of the Beast," followed by "Piece of Mind" and "Powerslave" which were all successful.

Peter Gabrial was the lead singer and songwriter for Genesis from their first album "From Genesis to Revelation" through "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." 


Peter Gabrial left Genesis in 1975 to pursue a solo career.

The most successful & longest-lasting line-up consisted of Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. The trio had success from their first album with the single "Follow You Follow Me."

The trio had success with "Invisible Touch," "Turn It On Again," "Mama," "Abacab," and more.

Whitesnake formed in 1978 after David Coverdale's departure from Deep Purple. In 1983, Whitesnake recorded the album 'Slide It In'. During the UK tour, Coverdale fired Micky Moody and recruited Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes. Starting in 1985, Coverdale and Sykes began writing the material for the 1987 Whitesnake album. Shortly before the album's release, Coverdale dismissed Sykes and brought in both Vivian Campbell and Adrian Vandenberg. Vivian Campbell left Whitesnake due to creative differences in late 1988 and was replaced by Steve Vai. Today, Whitesnake now consists of Coverdale, guitarist Reb Beach, drummer Tommy Aldridge, bassist Michael Devin and Joel Hoekstra.

Van Halen formed in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, Van Halen consisted of Eddie Van Halen; Alex Van Halen; David Lee Roth; and Michael Anthony. The last album with Roth was "1984" with the lead single "Jump." David Lee Roth released his solo album "Crazy From The Heat" with success. 


Eddie & Alex Van Halen auditioned several singers and recruited former Montrose singer Sammy Hagar. 

With Hagar, Van Halen had 4 No.1 albums, a first for Van Halen with successful singles "Why Can't This Be Love," "Dreams," "Finish What Ya Started," "Can't Stop Lovin' You," "Right Now" and more. 

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