What band or bands that changed members became better or worse in your opinion?

I definitely agree VH got better with the addition of Sammy. I was a big Sammy Hagar fan well before he joined the band. For me, it was the best of both worlds...😉

Pink Floyd definitely got on the right track by adding David Gilmour too.

Some other observations...
- The Beatles with Ringo.
- The Eagles adding Joe Walsh after Bernie Leadon left.
- Kind of overlooked, but John Mellencamp adding Kenny Aronoff.
- The Black Crowes bringing in Marc Ford to replace Jeff Cease.

- Bad Co with anyone on vocals that wasn't named Paul Rodgers.
- Chicago with anyone on guitar not named Terry Kath.
  • Like
Reactions: Jml
true, true, true....Bark and Ultimate Sin grew on me for sure, but there was a gritty, haunting, soulfull vibe that Blizzard and Diary had...

while I agree with all of the DLR-Hagar evolution, I also feel that Roth era Van Halen had something no other band had, or has had...a (tounge in cheek/schmaltzy) prty vibe, with great, great playing...again, a vibe that has been unachievable since then, like the Rhoads era Ozzy

agreed. I first got into AC/DC when Back In Black came out, and found out about Bon Scott a little after, only after people told me that it was a different singer on the previous albums. I would have not been able to tell the difference at that point as a noob, and a young listener.

I will counter-point, or maybe further explain my stance - by saying that my personal definition of "good music" and "success" has nothing to do with money made or album sales. I know I am in the minority in this mind set, but that never even enters my mind when I am making my personal definitions of success.

gonna say that this is a topic I wish we could all be together live to discuss!! Would be cool to see the interaction live....
I wanted a topic that everyone could be a part of.
"Metallica when Dave Mustaine left and was replaced by Kirk Hammet... I guess we will never know how different their music be but I have a feeling that Mustaine would have basically dictated a lot of the musical direction because for some reason he seems to be the one that has the balls to put Lars in his place when needed."
I don't think they would be nearly as successful. Mustaine has his style, and we've seen that with Megadeth, and it's great, but it's not Metallica. They are two different animals. You can draw a straight light to Metallica's success because of Lars. He's a principle songwriter, and driving force behind the business end of the band. If Dave stayed with them, and smacked Lars's hand outta the cookie jar, it's entirely possible the band might not have ever achieved the level of success it's enjoyed the last 40+ years. Thankfully we'll never know.
1000% agree. Has Mustain stayed in Metallica and stayed a key songwriter over Lars, there is a good chance Master of Puppets and much of the Metallica catalog as we know it doesn't exist, and they remain a mid-level cult band that never quite goes to the next level like they did.

However, I think even if Mustain hadn't been kicked out when he was, he would have still eventually been kicked out or quit. Just look at all the people in and out of Megadeath. One can't look at the revolving door of members of Megadeth and think Mustain would have stayed in a secure lineup of Metallica long term.
I will always love Third Eye Blind, but it got worse after original guitarist Kevin Cadogan left.
and as a side note, I was around for the beginnings of all of the Big # Prog Metal bands (and also for Watchtower), and it is funny that in the end, the least popular one - Fates Warning - lasted the longest as far as writing great music.

AND, they could have a whole essay written on the quality of substance with the entrance and exit of members for sure!! I love Joe DiBiase, and met him a couple of times...super nice guy, but Joey Vera brought a level of baass playing to FW that really kicked them in gear.

Joey Vera really brought a new level to the band.

As much as I like the "classic" Parrelles lineup, I think their best work was the 1st few albums with Joey.
Ozzy's music was never the same after Randy died. And that was a case where "not the same" means worse because of the complete loss of what their sound was.

Yes, but maybe not. It's hard to say anything given how talented Randy was and how tragically he died.

But as much as some of the best Ozzy songs were written with Randy, there are also a bunch of cheesy songs on the 1st album, and one or two on the 2nd.

Good By To Romance, No Bone Movies, Tonight, not exactly Randy or Ozzy's best work.

And the production on those two albums, I'm always surprised how weak the production is compared to other albums made at the same time period. But I do understand they were made on a shoestring budget for the time period.
Fleet Foxes appears to have ditched the entire band - then made the exquisite Helplesness Blues: vastly better than the debut album.
Chicago after Terry Kath died. Sold out hard.
Genesis after Gabriel and Hackett left. Sold out harder that Chicago
Spocks Beard after Neal Morse left
Maiden keeping Janick Gers after Adrian Smith came back/anything post 7th Son
Gillan Sabbath
Rolling Stones after Brian Jones left/drowned
Incubus after Dirk Lance left
Gary Cherone Van Halen
AC/DC without Bon Scott
Pearl Jam post Dave Abruzzesse

Fleetwood Mac after Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined....that sound was born
Rush after the professor arrived
Maiden when Bruce arrived up until 7th Son
Doobies when Michael McDonald joined
Steely Dan after they became a duo made way better music and they added Michael McDonald onloads of things.
Deep Purple when Gillan and Glover joined & even Coverdale & Hughes

I like to think original/classic line ups have the magic and it's very rare that a line up change makes it better. The chemistry just isn't there.
Last edited:
Rolling Stones after Taylor , Wyman and now Charlie .

After their second album, Steely Dan became sterile , trading excellence for perfection .

Hendrix Redding Mitchell - as good as it got

Dire Straits without Pick Withers ,Dave Knopfler ... I dunno .
Last edited:
Examples of band lineups Son of Vistalite Black has seen in recent years. Apologies that these examples aren’t 50 years old:

The Drive-By Truckers + Jason Isbell = Greatly Improved.

The Scorpions + Mickey Dee = A hugely positive kick in the behind.

In Flames + Ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick = Great energy for this band.

Testament + Dave Lombardo = A strong equal to the Atomic Clock.

Here’s one SoVB missed out on:

Ginger Baker joins Masters of Reality (1992).
I feel that once Butch Norton left the Eels, they never really sounded the same. Quite awful really.

I could apply the same sentiment when Tommy the bass player left. Their Beautiful Freak album was an absolute masterpiece.
There are always strong opinions about it, but I far prefer the DLR version of Van Halen. Sammy is a far better singer and musician, but the recorded material with DLR was better, to me.

Someone mentioned Styx... they're favorites of mine... so far as recorded material, it isn't close, the DeYoung period is so much better. But the continuing live performances, I think they've only gotten better. Tommy Shaw and JY are still killing it, the keyboard player is a passable replacement for DeYoung for live shows, and Todd Sucherman is sooooo good
Depending on your point of view, I could see people arguing both ways about Miles’ first & second “great quintets”.

Yeah, jazz has a strong tradition of player rotation. They were robbing players left and right, key players. It’s strange that I’m annoyed by Journey continuing without Steve Perry, but would never have wanted Miles to stop playing because the lineup changed. 🤷🏻‍♂️
Journey hasn't had a hit since Steve Perry left. They became a tribute band with some original members. Im going with worse.
By far.

Journey was a great band before Steve Perry, even better with him, and just a shadow since he left.
Worse: Paul Kantner leaves the Jefferson Starship, and takes the Jefferson name with him, which leads to the band turning to outside songwriters and transforming into a smooth rock pop band instead of the commercial rock band they had been.

Paul may not have been writing many of the songs, or being the strongest band leader toward the end, but at least as a leader, he kept a certain amount of record company influence in check. Once he left, the band turned into just a delivery system of record company-influenced pop songwriters. Even Grace Slick would later write that the era of late 80s music was largely terrible and not her favorite moments. Even though some of those songs were technically her biggest hits, even she's openly bashed them.

Scott Travis joined Judas Priest. Wow, it gave the band a major kick in the rear. Scott brought so much talent and energy to the band. I don't think Priest's career would have continued to be as prolific as it has been if he hadn't taken over the drum spot.