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Old 08-15-2019, 07:13 PM
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Biggest Band IMPROVEMENT After One Quits/Fired


The antithesis to this thread.

I think the best example is Rush after drummer John Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart.

While I liked Iron Maiden with Paul Di'Anno, Bruce Dickinson gave the band a major boost IMO.

Others?

Last edited by Crafter_Man; 08-15-2019 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:22 PM
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Well, Matt Sorum replacing Steve Adler in GnR certainly brought more drumming chops to the mix.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 08-15-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:42 PM
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I came to say the Iron Maiden thing. Though I don't think it was so much that Paul quit as that he got canned.

Also, Faith No More is waaaaaaay better with Mike Patton. But again, I think what's his face got axed, or went to jail? Or something. I forget the whole story.


Edit, now I see quits/FIRED is in the title.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:03 PM
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Although I disagree, many think Michael McDonald made the Doobie Brothers better than they were with Tom Johnston.

I think Steve Perry was an addition rather than a replacement, but he sure improved Journey.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:21 PM
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I think all the examples so far have been where it was the new member, not the loss of the old one, that made the band better. IMHO that's too easy and should be disqualified—examples are a dime a dozen.

I'd be interested to see examples where it was actually the quitting/firing of a member that made the band better. (i.e. either the member wasn't replaced, or the reason for the improvement wasn't the new player but just that the band didn't have the old one any more.)
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:27 PM
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Brian Jones was a talented member of the stones but once he left they could tour again.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:46 PM
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I'd be interested to see examples where it was actually the quitting/firing of a member that made the band better.
And, come to think of it, I think the Beatles losing Stu Sutcliffe counts.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:49 PM
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Alice in Chains isn't quite the band they were with Layne Staley, but the improvement is that no one is on drugs and they can tour and make new music.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:45 PM
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These don’t necessarily reflect my opinion, but some might say:

Genesis improved after Peter Gabriel left (disagree)

Simon and Garfunkel improved after Garfunkel left (ambivalent)

I mention these only because they are examples where you’re not also judging the impact of the replacement, because there was none.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I'd be interested to see examples where it was actually the quitting/firing of a member that made the band better. (i.e. either the member wasn't replaced, or the reason for the improvement wasn't the new player but just that the band didn't have the old one any more.)
Metallica is the first one that comes to mind there--firing Dave Mustaine got rid of, by all accounts, a great deal of friction within the band. Had they tried to tour with him, it probably would not have ended well.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:59 PM
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Bob Welch and Bob Weston leaving/getting canned from Fleetwood Mac. Without Lindsey and Stevie, they never would have been anything but a mid-level touring band.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:04 PM
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Dixie Chicks had a recording career with Laura Lynch. She quit and was replaced by Natalie Maines, at which point the band became huge.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:06 PM
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I think the best example is Rush after drummer John Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart.
This is absolutely the winner. From warmed over Zeppelin/Sabbath clone to a 40+ year career with 24 gold, 14 platinum and 3 multi-platinum albums as well as countless millions of concert attendees and awards.

I agree that Stu Sutcliffe would be up there, but in the end the Beatles lasted only about 10 years and Pete Best needed to leave, too, so there's an argument it wasn't just one guy leaving who made the difference.

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 08-15-2019 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:14 AM
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Destiny's Child after Farrah Franklin left...
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:03 AM
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Pink Floyd after Sid left.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:24 AM
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In the Eagles, Bearnie Leadon was replaced by Joe Walsh.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:41 AM
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AC/DC Dave Evans leaves - replaced by Jon Bon Scott.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:55 AM
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Jefferson Airplane: Grace Slick replaces Signe Anderson. Slick wrote "White Rabbit" and her husband wrote "Somebody to Love," the group's biggest hits. Anderson was not a songwriter.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I think all the examples so far have been where it was the new member, not the loss of the old one, that made the band better. IMHO that's too easy and should be disqualified—examples are a dime a dozen.

I'd be interested to see examples where it was actually the quitting/firing of a member that made the band better. (i.e. either the member wasn't replaced, or the reason for the improvement wasn't the new player but just that the band didn't have the old one any more.)
Good point. Yea, most bands that have made it big had frequent "lineup changes" when they were getting started. This thread would be more interesting if we narrow it to a band member who "established" themselves in the band before quiting/getting fired. (Not sure how best to define "established," though.)
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:39 AM
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Jefferson Airplane: Grace Slick replaces Signe Anderson. Slick wrote "White Rabbit" and her husband wrote "Somebody to Love," the group's biggest hits. Anderson was not a songwriter.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:58 AM
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Pink Floyd after Sid left.
Syd. And diametrically opposed, BTW.

But what I was intending to say was, even Brian Eno thinks that Roxy Music were better after he left, or at least made their best album (Stranded; #3 - Eno was on the first two. Source: TV documentary interview). And I think this truly meets the criteria of the OP - Eno leaving reduced the number of leaders down to one and tightened the focus of the band under Bryan Ferry. We can argue the toss about whether this beneficial effect persisted (I would say no) but hey, that's a whole other debate.

Nice thread, BTW - challenging question.

j
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:00 AM
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Brian Jones was a talented member of the stones but once he left they could tour again.
Absolutely. And the case can be made that Mick Taylor was better, in that band, in that spot, than Brian Jones. Certainly what many would say was their best work was done after Jones' departure.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:26 AM
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Blood, Sweat and Tears improved after Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz revolted against Al Kooper's dictatorial control. Their second album is their peak, with better arrangements, better musicianship, better production, better song choice, and a better singer. They didn't maintain that high, unfortunately, but for one album they were transcendent.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:59 AM
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Absolutely. And the case can be made that Mick Taylor was better, in that band, in that spot, than Brian Jones. Certainly what many would say was their best work was done after Jones' departure.
Many others would say the opposite, but in matters of taste there isn't a right or wrong opinion. What can't be argued is that Brian's self-destruction made his firing unavoidable, although he probably wouldn't have lived much longer anyway.
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:16 PM
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Steve Hackett replacing Anthony Phillips in Genesis. Although maybe that doesn't count because when Ant left the band, Tony Banks decided they might as well get a new drummer too.
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:59 PM
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Pink Floyd after Sid left.
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Syd. And diametrically opposed, BTW.
Nah. Syd had to go. The Floyd would have imploded had the stayed. The world would never have been treated to Dark Side or Wish.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:17 AM
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even Brian Eno thinks that Roxy Music were better after he left, or at least made their best album (Stranded; #3 - Eno was on the first two. Source: TV documentary interview). And I think this truly meets the criteria of the OP - Eno leaving reduced the number of leaders down to one and tightened the focus of the band under Bryan Ferry.
we disagree on Syd but I'm in violent agreement with the above. Brian Eno is huge musical hero of mine but I think your analysis is spot-on.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:34 AM
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we disagree on Syd but I'm in violent agreement with the above. Brian Eno is huge musical hero of mine........
Yes - I should have emphasised the excellence of Eno. The point is that he didn't improve them by being replaced by someone better, he improved them simply by being gone. The band wasn't big enough for both Eno and Ferry.

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Old 08-17-2019, 07:35 AM
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Yes - I should have emphasised the excellence of Eno. The point is that he didn't improve them by being replaced by someone better, he improved them simply by being gone. The band wasn't big enough for both Eno and Ferry.
I agree, Whatever the reverse of "more than the sum of their parts" is, that's what Roxy Music were. I suspect that premise could be the subject of a whole other thread.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:12 AM
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Def Leppard after Pete Willis was shown the door.

Speaking of which, how much do you have to drink that Def Leppard fires you for being a drunk?
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:29 AM
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Depeche Mode after Vince Clarke left. He was the primary song writer and left the band in quite a lurch. Martin Gore took over song writing and then they exploded.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:02 PM
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I'm thinking Yes qualifies. Now, they have had around 873 people come and go over the last 50 years, but the particular transition I'm thinking of is Tony Kaye's first departure. The band wanted to go in a more experimental/progressive direction after The Yes Album, which meant they needed a more versatile keyboard player. But Kaye was only interested in playing the Hammond organ, so the band let him go.

Of course, he was replaced with Rick Wakeman, who is 100 times the player Kaye is. But I think the key here is that if Kaye had stayed, Fragile and Close to the Edge would not have been the albums they are.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:05 PM
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Blood, Sweat and Tears improved after Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz revolted against Al Kooper's dictatorial control. Their second album is their peak, with better arrangements, better musicianship, better production, better song choice, and a better singer. They didn't maintain that high, unfortunately, but for one album they were transcendent.
I'm one of those seemingly rare people who likes both the Al Kooper and David Clayton-Thomas versions of BS&T, but I still must disagree with you here. The first DC-T album was a very good album. But Child Is Father To The Man was the transcendent work.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:49 PM
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Yeah, we need a thread on "Debut albums (and hence, bands) that should've been huge". I have no idea why that first BS&T album didn't immediately change the music scene.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:42 AM
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Steve Gaines being brought into Lynyrd Skynyrd just before the beginning of the One More From the Road double album, after Ed King left. But here's the thing: Skynyrd was fucking awesome even before this, and of course Ed King was terrific. Gaines just made them all that much better, by equaling King, and then exceeding him.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 08-20-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:13 PM
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And, come to think of it, I think the Beatles losing Stu Sutcliffe counts.
And we'll never know if replacing Pete Best with Ringo Starr was an improvement.
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:38 PM
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I'm one of those seemingly rare people who likes both the Al Kooper and David Clayton-Thomas versions of BS&T, but I still must disagree with you here. The first DC-T album was a very good album. But Child Is Father To The Man was the transcendent work.
Yeah, I realize I'm in the minority on this. And I certainly like Kooper, having been a fan of Blues Project. But there's no question in my mind that BST is the better album.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:00 PM
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Two guys instead of one. Rod Clark and Denny Laine quit the Moody Blues in 1966 and were replaced by John Lodge and Justin Hayward, who went on to write and sing most of their hits.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:01 PM
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And we'll never know if replacing Pete Best with Ringo Starr was an improvement.
Oh, good God, it absolutely was. I love Ringo’s drumming, but listening to some of the Pete Best recordings ... man, they did the right thing.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:14 PM
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Styx went to superstardom when John Curulewski left and was replaced by Tommy Shaw.

Jethro Tull improved when Clive Bunker left and replaced by Barrimore Barlow.

And Spinal Tap got better when the drummer died. Not the second one, but the third one.
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:50 PM
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Alt-J started out as a quartet, but turned into a trio when bassist Gwil Sainsbury left after their first album and have gotten better and sold a lot more records. The band played NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts in with both lineups, so you can see the difference: Old and New.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:55 PM
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When Barry Andrews left XTC, it opened the door for superb guitar craftsman Dave Gregory to join the band — but it also rid them of a relatively unformed writer intent on recording his own material, which the two established writers (Colin and especially Andy) didn't care for. Not to mention his keyboard style, while a perfect fit for an energetic New Wave band, would have stuck out like a sore thumb as the band's songwriting matured.

It worked out fine for Barry though. Shriekback were pretty great.
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