11 Albums That Signaled A Band’s New Beginning

The New Year is nearly upon us, and for many, New Year’s is synonymous with a new beginning. But a fresh start can come in many shapes and sizes. For these bands, it came in the form of a new album.

  1. Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967): Sgt. Pepper’s wasn’t just a turning point for The Beatles, it was a turning point for music. Not only did it mark The Beatles full embrace of psychedelia, it also ushered in the concept album.
  2. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973): Founding member Sid Barrett was ousted from the band in 1968, and Pink Floyd spent a few albums—and years—trying to figure out their new sound. 1971’s Meddle was the transitional album that would eventually lead to Dark Side and the Pink Floyd we know today.
  3. AC/DC – Back in Black (1980): Not many bands can find the type of success AC/DC has, and even fewer can do it after losing their lead singer. But after Bon Scott succumbed to alcoholism, Brian Johnson took over singing duties on Back in Black, and promptly led the band to new heights.
  4. Van Halen – 5150 (1986): In 1984 Van Halen hit their commercial peak with the album, 1984, behind songs like “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot For Teacher.” It also marked the end of lead singer David Lee Roth’s first stint with the band. For the next 11 years, Sammy Hagar would be the frontman for Van Halen.
  5. Ministry – The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989): It’s hard to believe that the band who wrote this song ended up also writing this song.
  6. Metallica – Metallica AKA The Black Album (1991): Metallica’s fifth studio album, popularly known as The Black Album, was in many ways their breakout album. Their previous four albums had already established Metallica firmly in the thrash and speed metal genre. But in 1991, Lars Ulrich abandoned the double bass drum and Metallica slowed waaaayyyy down, paving the way for the mainstream heavy metal band we know today.
  7. U2 – Zooropa (1993): U2 made a name for themselves in the 80’s as a serious/political band. But after becoming the biggest act in the world with 1987’s The Joshua Tree and 1988’s Rattle and Hum, U2 began to shy away from musical activism and more towards, well, weirdness. Achtung Baby had hints of the new U2, but it wasn’t until Zooropa that they went all in.
  8. Radiohead – Kid A (2000): The biggest question about Kid A was “where are the guitars?”
  9. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak (2008): An auto-tuned singing Kanye West. ‘Nuff said.
  10. Kid Rock – Born Free (2010): Kid Rock has redefined himself a few times during his career, but his transition to what many have called country in 2010 with Born Free may have been his biggest shift.
  11. Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind (2015): Gone are the banjos of Sigh No More and Babel, replaced with *gasp* electric guitars and *gasp* an actual drum set. Wilder Mind is more like Folk No More.



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