Revolving Door Band
This is when a band becomes notable for a constantly changing lineup, with musicians coming, staying for only a few years (or even less than a year), then leaving.
The musicians' time spent with the band is important; just because most (or even all) of a band's lineup has changed doesn't automatically qualify it for this Trope.
Here's a clarifying non-example of this trope
: The original lineup of the Four Tops were Levi Stubbs, Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton. All but one (Fakir) either died or became too ill to stay with the band (and later died) and were replaced (they were even a trio for a while); one of the replacements (Theo Peoples) left in 2011 and was himself replaced. But
these changes happened years
apart: they were Stubbs, Benson, and Fakir from 1997 to 1998 (when Peoples joined); Stubbs, Benson, Fakir and Peoples from 1998 to 2000 (when Stubbs suffered a stroke and was replaced by Ronnie McNeir), McNeir, Benson, Fakir, and Peoples from 2000-2005 (when Benson died and was replaced by Roquel Peyton, Lawrence's son), and McNeir, Peyton Jr., Fakir and Peoples from 2005-2011 (when Peoples left and was replaced by Harold "Spike" Bonhart).
It can be anything from a single position having a different musician from time to time, to the second type of I Am the Band
, to its Logical Extreme
: the group going through entire lineups
on a regular basis. In short, it's a band that makes the phrase Musical Musicians not
redundant. For when this happens to the cast of a Long Runner
series, or a series of films, see Long-Runner Cast Turnover
NOTE: It is not unheard of for a band to fit both this and Long Runner Line Up
- Gorillaz, partly due to the fact that they are an animated band, have taken advantage of this trope for its real life line-up. Damon Albarn is the only permanent musical contributor to this group, due to him being the creator and musical director of the band.
- Wedlock, Apart from Paul Allgood, has featured a different line up on each of its releases. For a band called Wedlock, there's a lot of musical divorce(10 member changes and counting?) going around.
- The Oak Ridge Boys originally played this straight, having consisted of several different men until the most familiar lineup (lead singer Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden and Basso Profundo Richard Sterban) came to be in 1973. Golden was replaced by Steve Sanders from 1987 to 1995, when he returned.
- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Jimmie Fadden and Jeff Hanna are the only remaining original members.
- Asleep at the Wheel. Ray Benson is the only original member.
- Blackhawk was founded by Henry Paul (lead vocal/mandolin), Van Stephenson (guitar) and Dave Robbins (keyboards). After Van Stephenson left due to skin cancer, he was replaced by Randy Threet (who was previously in their backing band), then Anthony Crawford, then Michael Randall. Robbins left and John Coleman replaced him. Threet rejoined. Coleman left. The backing band got assumed into the main lineup. Robbins rejoined. The backing band was made separate again, leaving just the duo of Paul and Robbins. Is your head spinning yet?
- Shenandoah had a hard time keeping its members together after Marty Raybon left. They disbanded for a while, and came back with a couple original members and Brent Lamb as lead vocalist. After him, it was Curtis Wright, Jimmy Yeary, and ultimately Doug Stokes before Raybon rejoined in The New Tens.
- Highway 101 also had a hard time sticking to one lineup. The lead singer post alone went from Paulette Carlson to Nikki Nelson, back to Carlson, then Chrislynn Lee for a short time… and then back to Nelson again.
- Dave & Sugar consisted of lead singer Dave Rowland and a revolving door of female backing vocalists, some of whom sometimes shared the lead vocal.
- Vince Vance & the Valiants. There have been literally dozens of Valiants, including the aforementioned Chrislynn Lee. Amusingly, one of said Valiants (Lisa Layne) got the lead on their most well-known song, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (not to be confused with the Mariah Carey song).
- Exile's shift from pop-rock to country started in 1980, around the time original lead singer Jimmy Stokley was replaced by Les Taylor. Taylor and founding member J.P. Pennington both left for unsuccessful solo careers in 1990, with Mark Jones taking over as lead vocalist, and the group disbanded in 1993. Many of the 1980s members, including Taylor, rejoined in 1996. Meanwhile, many of the backing musicians shifted as well, with a few even breaking out on their own. Most notably, Mark Gray had four Top 10 country hits in the mid-80s, and wrote number-one hits for Alabama, Janie Fricke, and Gary Morris.
- The only consistent members of 1990s country band Ricochet have been lead singer Heath Wright and bassist Greg Cook.
- Steeleye Span has gone through sixteen different lineups since 1970, involving 16 individual musicians, most of whom have left and returned at least once over the course of the group's existence.
- The Blackwood Brothers. While it's no surprise that the entire original lineup has been replaced after 76 years, no single lineup seems to have lasted more than a few years.
- The Oak Ridge Boys (see above) definately fit this during their gospel years.
- This is actually a staple of pretty much any gospel quartet, and most trios. It even affects family groups, though not to the same extent. In fact, it's more surprising to encounter a gospel group that has never changed its line-up (really the Triumphant Quartet was about the only one that has literally never had a member change, and even they lost their pianist) is more noteworthy than the many who have. In fact, it's rather incredible for a long-running group to hold on to any of its founding members, but those who do usually end up being defined by those members to the point that if they leave (or die), fans decide the band has ended its run, even if the other members decide to keep going.
- The Sun Ra Arkestra. Sun Ra would fire a musician by gathering the band together—minus the fired musician—and skip town, leaving the offending musician behind. He would even do this on international tours, which made him a major headache for the U.S. State Department—they finally demanded that if he fired a musician, to bring or send said musician back to the United States instead of leaving him stranded in a foreign country.
- Throughout its 15-year history, Weather Report went through 4 bassists and at least 20 drummers and percussionists. The only constants were keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter.
- The Four Freshmen have had 25 musicians in 24 different lineups since their inception in 1948.
- Alcatrazz - lead singer Graham Bonnett has been the only consistent member throughout the band's career, both before and after the band's name was brought back in 2006.
- Cradle of Filth. The longest-lasting lineup lasted only two years. Dani Filth is the only constant member.
- Trope Makers of Grindcore Napalm Death are an extreme example. The founding duo split up before recording their first album; the remaining founder member lasted until the end of side one of the band's debut album before leaving, at which point the entire band had been replaced. The only bandmember who appeared on both sides of the group's debut album was blast-beat drummer Mick Harris, who left two albums later, at which point the entire band had been replaced again. They did eventually stabilize, with the current lineup of Barney Greenway, Mitch Harris, Shane Embury, and Danny Herrera having been around for some time.
- Iron Maiden, as the documentary The Early Days, Part 1 has shown. There were many lineup changes before the first album in a 5-years span. After their first album the lineup mostly stabilized.
- Megadeth - it doesn't get called "Megadave" for nothing. The only original member besides Dave Mustaine is bassist Dave Ellefson, and even he hasn't been in the band constantly.
- Therion consists of Christofer Johnsson and whoever he's convinced to work with him on the latest album. See for yourself.
- Black Metal bands are constantly switching line-ups.
- Controversial group Mayhem went through so many line-up changes in its first almost-decade of existence that by 1993, when Euronymous was stabbed to death by Count Grishnakh during the recording of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, the former was the only founding member still in the band and the latter was the third bassist; Attila Csihar, the fifth vocalist, would only return to the band a decade later. Mayhem's line-ups have been relatively stable since it reformed in 1995, though it has had five different guitarists since Euronymous.
- Gorgoroth are also an example.
- Another Black Metal example: Although Nachtmystium is usually described as a band, the project is in reality just founding member Blake Judd and whatever additional members he has managed to recruit to provide additional instrumentation at any given line. The band's lineup from one album to the next is hardly ever the same. It has been rumored over the years that this is due to Judd being difficult to work with and perhaps a contemptible person in general (as many ex-members of Nachtmystium have indeed claimed; Charlie Fell even stated that the best thing that he ever did in his time with that band was smashing Judd's head through a tour bus window). In light of recent drug, theft and fraud scandals surrounding Judd, this is not difficult to believe.
- Exhumed is up there with Napalm Death and Incantation as far as the sheer amount of former personnel goes; thanks to their hard-touring nature, members come and go often and with little warning, necessitating frequent live fill-ins. It's kind of telling when a band that just got back together a couple years ago has already had a near-total lineup change in just a little over a year.
- No one really know what the glue is that keeps the name Zao going on, but albums keep getting made.
- Warrant, the band that made Cherry Pie, has had around 2 dozen musicians since 1984, and no lineup has lasted more than 2 years. Only guitarist Erik Turner and bassist Jerry Dixon have been around since the beginning.
- Lordy, Lordy, Lordi. The longest-lasting lineup lasted only 3 years.
- Friggan Otep. Otep herself is the only remaining member, and they have not had a consistant lineup that has lasted more than a year.
- The Dillinger Escape Plan usually work as a five piece, and have had three rhythm guitarists, one vocalistnote , one bassist and two drummers leave over 13 years or so. Lead guitarist Ben Weiman is the only current member of the band from the original lineup, and even he very briefly quit once. In two separate cases, members have been forced to leave due to medical injuries rendering them unable to play their instruments: Original bassist Adam Doll was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident, while guitarist Brian Benoit suffered nerve damage in his left hand. Benoit may or may not end up returning to the band - he's able to play guitar again, but can no longer play it at the technically-demanding level required by most of the band's material.
- Anthrax has been like this. Since releasing their first album, the only two members who've been in the band the whole time are guitarist Scott Ian and drummer Charlie Benante. They've had four singers, two bassists (one left, and came back, with the other filling in on live performances while the first was gone), and two lead guitarists, plus several guitarists who recorded in the studio but were never official members of the band.
- Rose Funeral have been a band since 2005. In that time, 18 members have joined and left. Very few have anything good to say about the personalities of the core members.
- Periphery have also been together since 2005. Thanks to a recent shedding of members, the only remaining founding member is Misha Mansoor, and they have particular difficulty retaining singers - they don't even average a new one every two years, having had four in their seven-year life.
- Incantation is basically John McEntee and anyone who shows up; thanks to their incredibly prolific live appearances, they have had a truly staggering amount of former members in the form of live fill-ins and studio session enlistees, ranging from established figures to one-shots who never did anything else. The amount is so large that no one has ever bothered to list them all.
- Aborted is essentially the Sven de Caluwé Band, having 19 former members (24 if you count session members and live fill-ins) and Sven as the only consistent figure.
- Annihilator. Since their beginning they have had a whopping 24 former members, and that's excluding the ones who left and came back. Guitarist Jeff Waters is the only constant member, though they've had Dave Padden as their singer for almost 9 years.
- GWAR have had 3 vocalists, 15 guitarists (two at a time), 5 bassists (a couple of whom have been in-and-outs), 5 drummers, 2 keyboardists, plus many miscellaneous performers (though, surprisingly, there hasn't been nearly as much turnover among the Slaves) over the last 29 years.
- Woods Of Ypres tore through 23 different members in their 9 year run, with only late frontman David Gold surviving through each lineup and album. Of their members, only two (David Gold and ex-keyboardist Jessica Rose) even appeared on two of their 5 studio albums.
- Turisas. Only two original members remain (vocalist Mathias 'Warlord' Nygard and guitarist Jussi Wickstrom), and since the band's inception in 1997, they've had eighteen members (that's including Nygard and Wickstrom). In the time period between their last album and their current one, they've managed to go through three bassists. That's a space of about two or two and a half years. Bassists seem to be the main source of the problem - since 1999, they've had no less than six (that's including the current one), three of whom only lasted one year each.
- The Faceless. Only person who has been on all the albums is guitarist and clean vocalist Michael Keene. From their origin in 2004 they are on their third bassist, second rhythm guitarist, second harsh vocalist, and sixth drummer, and they're now looking for their third rhythm guitarist due to Wes Hauch's departure. As of 2014, this reached its logical extreme when everyone save for Keene left within the span of a couple months.
- Static-X's only consistent members were lead vocalist/guitarist Wayne Static and bassist Tony Campos. Pretty much everyone else kept changing throughout the band's career until their breakup in 2013, with Static continuing his solo career, and Campos joining Soulfly. Due to a falling-out with Campos that resulted in his refusal to allow Wayne to use the Static-X name without paying him a massive amount of money, Static-X is almost certainly never coming back; now that Wayne's dead, the only way that it could ever come back is if Tony resurrected it as a case of The Band Minus the Face, and he almost assuredly will not be doing that.
- We Came As Romans had this bad during their early years (circa 2005). The only founding members left are lead guitarist Joshua Moore and now-vocalist then-guitarist David Stephens. They had three singers, two bassists, and two drummers leave in the course of a two year span. However, when clean singer Kyle Pavone joined the band 2008 WCAR's lineup has been consistent.
- Suffokate has, in their eleven-year runtime, had nineteen former members, with drummer Lars Diaz being the only remaining founder. Like the Rose Funeral example, few of those former members have anything nice to say about him.
- Testament became one of these after The Ritual (where after that album was completed, two of the band's lineup for five albums left, and another one left after the following album), with constant switch-ups in guitarists and drummers in the nineties (at one point they had somehow gotten Dave Lombardo, Steve DiGiorgio and James Murphy all on one album) and even to this day have trouble keeping a drummer. Rhythm guitarist Eric Peterson is the only founding member left, and he and vocalist Chuck Billy (actually the third singer) are the only two to appear on all the albums.
- Few bands have been as unstable as the aptly-named death metal band Death. Founder Chuck Schuldiner being the only constant member, the band couldn't keep the same lineup for more than one album. In fact, of every Death member besides Chuck, only bassist Terry Butler, drummer Bill Andrews, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio would feature on two different records. Including members who came and left prior to the recording of the band's debut album, Death had a grand total of 23 members. It became less of a band and more like Schuldiner's solo project.
- Music/L.A.Guns is a case more extreme than most. The band had an extremely unstable lineup from the beginning, and the "classic" lineup (Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis, Kelly Nickels Mick Cripps, and Steve Riley), which lasted during their period of greatest success from 1987-1992, was the eighth incarnation. For several years, there were TWO, COMPETING versions of the L.A. Guns, one fronted by Phil Lewis and the other fronted by Tracii Guns. There's been about three dozen members of one or the other incarnations of L.A. Guns since 1983.
- The Acacia Strain's Vincent Bennett is the only original member left. Since its inception in 2001, they've gone through 3 guitarists, one drummer and no less than 4 bass players, 3 of which in 3 years time.
- The Ocean was this for the first nine years of existence. Over 20 musicians appeared on certain albums, and in the beginning the band lineups were never consistent from one album to the next. Since 2009 they've had a far more stable line up of five members.
- Oceano was down to one original member, vocalist Adam Warren, just 2 years after being formed in 2007, although there had been other vocalists before him. As of 2016, they're on their 6th drummer, 4th lead guitarist, 3rd rhythm guitarist and 4th bassist.
- Doom metal pioneers Pentagram had a fairly stable lineup from 1971 to 1975, but as singer Bobby Liebling's drug and ego problems became difficult for his bandmates to bear, Pentagram would become a Revolving Door Band from 1976 onward, with Liebling being the only constant member. A total of 37 musicians have been part of Pentagram since 1971, and only two of them aside from Liebling (current member Victor Griffin - guitars, 12 years in four stints, and ex-member Joe Hasselvander - multiple instruments, 13 years in three stints) have spent a combined decade or more with the band.
- Thanks to manager, friend, and Last Days Here documentary maker Sean "Pellet" Pelletier, Liebling kicked drugs in the early 2010s, and that may have helped reduce turnover within the band.
- Mild example with Dismember. While the vocals and drum slots remain almost constant throughout the years, the band went through a number of bassists and guitarists.
- Menudo. As a long-running, producer-created boy band, its lineup would change whenever a member grew facial hair, went through a voice change, grew too tall, or turned sixteen, whichever came first.
- UK newspapers actually more or less invoked this trope when the last original Sugababe had a breakdown and "quit", which meant Sugababes replaced all three of its original members over the last 12 years or so. To add to the Sugababes mess, as soon as the last original member (Keisha) left, there was immediately talk of the original three reforming as a new band, which ultimately became a reality three years later.
- The Pussycat Dolls started out as a burlesque dance troupe and didn't really have a stable lineup until they became a recording group and released their first album. All of that lineup left the band over the course of 2010.
- This is a staple of many Japanese idol groups. Morning Musume, for example, has seen over twenty girls join and graduate over the course of its 15-year history.
- Andrew Jackson Jihad, which has only two constant members.
- The Fall are well known for line-up changes, the only constant being Mark E Smith, who once said of the ever-changing line-up "if it's me and your granny on bongos, it's a Fall gig."
- A man wrote a book about trying to find all of the ex-members (there were fifty). That said, the dynamic duo of Craig Scanlon and Steve Hanley held down the fort from 1979 'til 1995, which is damn impressive.
- Social Distortion's lineup has completely gone through a revolving door since 1978. Only lead singer/guitarist Mike Ness has stuck around forever.
- The lineup of Black Flag flip-flopped so much that they'd occasionally have random audience member join the band because someone quit on extremely short notice.
- Horror-punk group The Misfits have had some 17 different members in only about 20 active years. Though many people would consider Glenn Danzig the band's face, he actually never spent that much time with the band.
- Psychobilly / horror punk godfathers The Cramps had twenty-one bassists, rhythm and lead guitarists and drummers between their formation in 1976 and their dissolution in 2009, besides founder members/constants vocalist Lux Interior and his wife, guitarist Poison Ivy.
- Northern Irish Punk band Stiff Little Fingers have gone through four drummers, three bassists (including losing their original bassist just before they got a record deal and replacement Ali McMordie leaving in the early 90s and coming back in the late 2000s) and two guitarists in their time together. Only lead singer, guitarist and lyricist Jake Burns has been a constant member.
- Seattle punk band Fastbacks were famous for their inability to keep a regular drummer, the official count is somewhere between 15 and 20. Among the band's drummers were Duff McKagan (later of Guns N' Roses), John Moen (later of The Decemberists), Dan Peters of Mudhoney and Jason Finn of The Presidents of the United States of America. The band eventually settled on a permanent drummer, Mike Musberger, who stuck with them for a decade until the band's 2002 split.
- The UK Subs, which formed in 1976 have gone through 21 different guitarists, 34 different drummers and 19 different bass guitarists. Lead singer Charlie Harper has been the only constant member, with co-founder and Guitarist Nicky Garrett routinely playing for several years, taking a break for a few years, and then returning.
- Against Me! initially started as an acoustic solo act by Laura Jane Grace, who then recruited Kevin Mahon to play drums. This duo recorded a few demo cassettes together. Then Kevin was fired, and bassist Dustin Fridkin came into the fold. Grace and Fridkin then recorded recorded together before guitarist James Bowman and drummer Warren Oakes were hired. The lineup of Grace, Bowman, Fridkin and Oakes recorded the band's first full-length album, Reinventing Axl Rose. Fridkin then left and was replaced by Andrew Seward. The Grace-Bowman-Seward-Oakes era remained constant until Oakes left (or was fired, depending on whom one talks to) after their major-label debut New Wave. George Rebelo of fellow punk band Hot Water Music recorded their next album White Crosses as drummer before leaving to return to Hot Water Music. He was then replaced by Jay Weinberg, son of Max. The lineup of Grace-Bowman-Seward-Weinberg managed to record a single, "Russian Spies / Occult Enemies" together. This lineup also attempted to record the band's next full-length album Transgender Dysphoria Blues together, but this didn't materialize. Weinberg quit via Twitter, and Seward left amicably. The album was recorded with Atom Willard on drums, with Grace handling bass herself on the album save for two songs, which were recorded by Fat Mike of NOFX. The current lineup is Laura Jane Grace (vocals/guitar), James Bowman (guitar/background vocals), Inge Johansson (bass/background vocals) and Atom Willard (drums).
Rhythm & Blues
- Green Jelly is Bill Manspeaker and a parade of others. The lineup that recorded the band's Top 40 hit "Three Little Pigs" included Maynard James Keenan and Danny Carey, the two of whom later formed Tool.
- There aren't any original members left of Rockapella.
- Sha Na Na has only two original members left, out of 15.
- Camel could be considered as such, as Andrew Latimer has been the only consistant member since its conception. Drummer Andy Ward deserves a prize for at least sticking with him until the early 1980's.
- Collective Soul now qualifies. Ed Roland (lead vocals, songwriting, rhythm guitar, piano), Ross Childress (lead guitar) and Shane Evans (drums) founded the band in 1992, with Ed's younger brother Dean Roland (guitar) and Will Turpin (bass, backing vocals) joining soon after. Since 2001 they've had two new lead guitarists (Joel Kosche and Jesse Triplett) and three drummers (Ryan Hoyle, Cheney Brannon and Johnny Rabb).
- King Crimson is the King of this trope. In the 41 years they've been around, they've had 19 members (not including recording/touring guest musicians, with which the number would climb to about 30) pass through, around, and back to the band, only one of which being Guitarist Robert Fripp; he's the only member who is still with the band (and he didn't start making major songwriting contributions until the band's fourth album)- it's so complicated that The Other Wiki resorted to using a table. Now he's become the band, but only partly by default, as by his words "King Crimson is a way of doing things" (of course by this point his influence on the band's writing is undisputable).
- Kansas has had a large number of musicians who have joined, left, rejoined, and releft the band. Each tour might have a different set of musicians depending upon who is up for touring at any given time. Most of the departures seem amicable, as those members occasionally help out later tours and/or records. The only stable members are Drummer Phil Ehart(who had a short-term replacement on one tour so he could focus on being the manager) and Guitarist Rich Williams. Lead Vocalist and Keyboardist Steve Walsh has been there nearly the same length of time, only being gone from about 1981 to 1986. His short-term replacement, John Elefante, has never returned. Guitarist/Keyboardist/Songwriter/founder Kerry Livgren frequently reappears at regular intervals. Original Bassist Dave Hope occasionally reappears, but current Bassist Billy Greer has been around since 1986, although at one point they were both bassists at the same time! Touring Keyboardist Greg Robert was officially a member in the early 90's, but permanently retired after 10 years and has not rejoined. Violinists Robby Steinhardt and David Ragsdale have also alternated through the years, each bringing different benefits -Steinhardt contributes original vocals, which don't seem to have deteriorated over the years, unlike Steve Walsh. However, when not singing or playing the violin, he pretty much stands around uselessly on stage, as opposed to David Ragsdale, whose ability to play guitar allows him to contribute to every song all of the time. And as of August 2014, long time singer Steve Walsh has retired after forty one years to be replaced by Ronnie Platts.
- KISS has only had two mainstays; Paul Stanley (lead vocals, guitar) and Gene Simmons (lead vocals, bass). Founding members Peter Criss (drums) and Ace Frehley (lead guitar) both left (or were kicked out) in the early 80's, to be replaced by Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent, respectively. Vincent was fired as well, replaced briefly by Mark St. John and for longer by Bruce Kulick. In 1991, Carr died and Eric Singer replaced him at the drums, but both he and Kulick were fired when the original line-up was reunited. After that it became a confusing mix of either Frehley or Criss leaving, with Tommy Thayer replacing Frehley whenever he was gone, and Eric Singer returning to the drum set whenever Criss left. Stanley, Simmons, Thayer and Singer have been the fairly stable line-up since 2004, but just in case, both Thayer and Singer just use Frehley's and Criss's old make-up just to make it less confusing.
- Canadian rock band Econoline Crush's only consistent member is frontman Trevor Hurst. All other members throughout the band's history (and there have been many, between the band's 4 albums, 2 E.P.s and heavy touring history) have popped in and out of the lineup depending on availability and interest.
- James have had somewhat of a revolving door lineup; Glennie, Gilbertson and Whelan were first up, then Booth came in, Gilbertson left, Gott came in, Whelan left, Baynton-Power came in, Davies, Diagram and Hunter came in, Diagram left, Gott left, Kulas and Oxxal came in, Booth left, Booth came back, Booth left, everyone left, Glennie and Gott restarted the band six years later, Booth came back, then finally Baynton-Power, Davies, Diagram and Hunter all came back (yes, that does make a lineup that already happened at one point). And I'm sure I'm missing somebody. Jim Glennie—the bassist—is the only relatively constant member.
- Yes has had a rotating cast of musicians in all positions, except bass (which had been Chris Squire until he died in 2015). Drummer Alan White has also been a constant since joining in 1972. When Squire died in 2015, former guitarist Billy Sherwood took his place.
- It got so ridiculous, Wikipedia actually has not one, but two charts for tracking the ever-shifting lineup.
- One unique period between 1991-1992 occured when the Los Angeles-based, pop-friendly 1980s official lineup of Yes joined up with the members of splinter group Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (a more progressive rock-based lineup which composed of departing Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and 1970s Yes alumni) to form an eight-man supergroup. The rush-released, botched and heavily doctored 1991 album Union, comprising recordings from each lineup stitched together, and an eight-man "in the round" world tour (described by Bill Bruford as "the cast of Dallas meets the cast of Dynasty") was the result.
- Asia has even had musicians join and leave without ever recording.
- Marillion up until 1984. They also had three different vocalists in 1989, but their line-up has remained stable ever since.
- Puddle of Mudd hasn't had a lineup last longer than five years. Wes Scantlin is the only original member left.
- The Grateful Dead certainly had a revolving door when it came to keyboard players. Bill Kreutzmann was the band's sole drummer until September 1967, when Mickey Hart joined as the band's second drummer for the band's sophomore album, Anthem Of The Sun. Hart left in February 1971, leaving Kreutzmann as sole drummer again. Hart rejoined the band in 1974. Hart and Kreutzmann stayed with the Grateful Dead / The Dead / The Other Ones as dual drummers ever since.
- The Sisters Of Mercy; Andrew Eldritch is notoriously hard to work with, and he's the only original member left.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers. 14 members in 30 years, and only briefly did the band tour with more than 4 members. Although, in all fairness, two of the four members (Anthony Kiedis and Flea) were founding members who never leftnote . And current drummer Chad Smith has played with the band since 1989.
- Jethro Tull has had bandleader Ian Anderson from the beginning, and guitarist Martin Barre since 1969. Much of the band's history has revolved around Anderson, Barre, and various keyboardists, bassists and drummers (and recently occasional female violinists for live work) ever since.
- In its nearly 40-year history, Journey has chewed up and spit out six lead vocalists, six drummers, three keyboardists, and three bassists, with several of those revolving door personnel lasting less than a year. The only person who has been ever-present since the band's founding in 1973 is lead guitarist Neal Schon, although keyboardist Jonathan Cain has also been a constant since 1980.
- The Little River Band has replaced all of its members multiple times. In fact, the original lineup got in legal trouble in the mid-2000s when they wanted to tour under the name "Little River Band" and the current lineup wouldn't let them.
- Thin Lizzy. The only constant members were Phil Lynott (vocals, bass and songwriting) and Brian Downey (drums). After Phil Lynott died in 1986, who will be touring under the name next time it appears is anyone's guess, but if you're lucky it'll at least have one of the members that were in the band whilst Phil was alive (since 1991 that's usually Scott Gorham). Ex-members include Gary Moore, Snowy White and Midge Ure. Their door revolved so much the issue has its own page on The Other Wiki.
- It's been, mostly, stable since 2010, having only lost two guitarists, and containing three members from the 1969-'83 incarnations.
- Sloan subverts this: they regularly change who plays which instruments—even during concerts. However, the members have always been Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson, and Andrew Scott.
- The Melvins have had a serious problem with keeping a bassist. While the two founding members have been around since the band's inception they have gone through six official bassists and multiple stand-ins/auditions. Kurt Cobain even auditioned but was rejected because he got so nervous he forgot all of their songs.
- Hawkwind. They've had at least 8 bassists, 8 keyboardists and at the last count 13 drummers, and they've gone from 7 members to 3 back up to 5 again, but always revolving around co-founder Dave Brock.note
- Rainbow were notorious for frequent changes during their lifetime; founder and only constant member Ritchie Blackmore never retained the same line-up for two successive studio albums. On one occasion he hired and then fired a bassist before he even got the chance to record on the album they were working on!
- The Alan Parsons Project, centering around songwriters Parsons (also producer/engineer) and Eric Woolfson while the musicians rotated regularly. Woolfson sang and played piano from time to time; Parsons almost never sang (he talked through a digital vocoder on their first album).
- Seminal death-rock group Christian Death has had 49 different members in the past 30 years; they're not a big band, mind you, they only ever have 4-5 people in the band at a time. They just rotate in and out like mad. They sort of have a Face of the Band, but it's changed hands several times: Rozz Williams, Valor Kand, Rozz Williams again, Valor Kand again.
- Industrial rock group, Pigface, has had a total of 72 different members since its founding.
- The only member of Queens of the Stone Age that has appeared on all their albums is its founder, Josh Homme. Homme's side project, Desert Sessions, is the same way.
- Whitesnake were infamous for their constant personnel changes during the mid-80s. Infamously, David Coverdale fired all his band members who played on their best-selling album Whitesnake after the album's sessions finished, even though they had only played on that album. The current post-2003 lineup enjoyed relative stability for a while but in 2010 not one, not two, but THREE members left. The Other Wiki has a page dedicated to the various Whitesnake line-ups over the years.
- Fairport Convention has had almost 30 members. None have been with the band for its entire 40-year career, and only a couple have been members for more than half of its existence. Several people were members for less than a year. Even the band's only more-or-less constant member, guitarist Simon Nicol, left the band for a period (1971 to 1976) before returning.
- After drummer/singer Aaron Gillespie left in 2010, there are now no original members left in the Christian metalcore band Underoath. Between 1999 and 2003, every original member except for Gillespie quit the band.
- AC/DC was founded in 1973. Five years later, they were on their second vocalist, seventh bassist, and eighth drummer. However, the lineup has stabilized since, with only a few personnel changes.
- Wings, Paul McCartney's second band, lasted for about eight years. During this time, they had five or six line-ups, three lead guitarists, four drummers (five if you count Paul when there were only three members), and two periods when only the core trio was present.
- Guns N' Roses took its name partially from lead guitarist Tracii Guns, who was replaced in its first few months. The revolving door of guitarists, bassists and drummers accelerated after Axl took complete control. However, both of the band's keyboardists have remained ever since joining.
- Black Sabbath had a pretty stable lineup (Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, and Bill Ward on drums) until Ozzy Osbourne left the band in 1979. Since then, they have gone through nine vocalists (Dave Walker in 1977, Ronnie James Dio from 1979-1982, Ian Gillan in 1983, Ron Keel and David Donato in 1984, Jeff Fenholt in 1985, Glenn Hughes from 1985-1986, Ray Gillen in 1986, Tony Martin from 1987-1991, Dio again from 1991-1992, Rob Halford for a brief period in 1992, Tony Martin again from 1993-1997, Ozzy again from 1997-2006, Dio for a third time from 2006 until his death in 2010, and Osbourne again since) seven bassists (Craig Gruber in 1979, Butler again through 1985, Dave Spitz from 1985-1986, Bob Daisley in 1986, then Spitz again, Jo Burt in 1987, Lawrence Cottle from 1988-1989, Neil Murray from 1989-1991, Geezer again from 1991-1994, Murray again from 1994-1997, and Butler since 1997) and nine drummers (Vinny Appice from 1980-1982, Bill Ward again from 1982-1983, Bev Bevan from 1983-1984, Ward for a third time from 1984-1985, Eric Singer from 1985-1987, Bevan again in 1987, with Terry Chimes the same year, Cozy Powell from 1988-1991, Vinny Appice again from 1991-1993, Bobby Rondinelli from 1993-1997, Appice yet again in 1998, Ward for a fourth time from 1998-2006, Appice for a fourth time from 2006-2010, Ward for a fifth time from 2011-2012, and Tommy Clufetos since).
- Lynyrd Skynyrd are down to just one original member, lead guitarist Gary Rossington, due to the deaths, retirements and/or departures of various original and classic lineup members in the 1990's and 2000's. Not only that, but Rossington is the only member of the current lineup that played with the band before their 1977 disbanding.
- Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship. Just look at this list. Dear god.
- The Smashing Pumpkins, both incarnations (the original and the reunited).
- The same goes for The Yardbirds. In both the original band and the current reformation, drummer Jim McCarty has been the only consistent member.
- Nine Inch Nails, at least as a touring band. Trent Reznor employed 19 different musicians across eight major touring cycles, often as a four-piece band. (In the studio, Reznor goes it entirely alone.)
- Faith No More went through a flurry of lineup changes in the early to mid 80s, then replaced the lead singer with a skinny kid from another band and stayed constant for a few years. Cue a quick series of guitarists before the breakup. Since the reformation in 2009, they've kept the same lineup from their last studio album in 1997.
- The Doobie Brothers are so notorious for this, they inspired this pun; "She's had more members in her than the Doobie Brothers!"
- There are two categories of Sound Horizon band members: Revo and people who aren't Revo.
- Prog/Pomp rock band The Enid have had numerous changes of lineup since their formation in 1975, with only keyboardist/composer Robert John Godfrey being common to all.
- Dave Grohl admits that he was afraid the Foo Fighters were becoming this. (all the first four albums have different line-ups and two bandmembers didn't even play in any of those - William Goldsmith had his drum tracks on The Colour and the Shape replaced with Grohl's ones, and guitarist Franz Stahl left after the tour for that album was finished) But since then, the only change has been an extra member.
- Christian Rock band Petra, founded in 1972, was like this throughout its career, in particular during the 80's. Rarely did two consecutive albums have the same lineup. The longest running member is founder and lead guitarist Bob Hartman who retired from touring in 1994 but still wrote music and played in the studio until he returned to touring in 2001 with the release of Revival. He remains active with the band to this day. The second longst running member is lead singer John Schlitt who has actively toured with the band since 1986.
- The Cure has had 12 members since 1976, but the only consistent member has been lead singer Robert Smith.
- This might not sound a lot, but pretty much all of their thirteen albums have an entirely different mix of members, past and present, performing on it.
- The only member of Fleetwood Mac's to remain in the band for its entire history was drummer Mick Fleetwood. The band was named after him and bassist John McVie, the latter of whom declined initially declined membership and Bob Brunning became the band's original bass player...for a few weeks before McVie changed his mind. This doesn't even enter into the other lineup changes...
- John Mayall's Bluesbreakers have featured 32 musicians from 1963-1970 and 1982-2008, and have been a farm system of sorts for some of England's most influential rock and blues musicians. Bluebreakers alumni include, but are not limited to Eric Clapton, three-fifths of the original Fleetwood Mac (the aforementioned Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, and Peter Green), and ex-The Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.
- The Byrds from 1966 to 1969. Roger McGuinn was all that remained of the founding line-up throughout its tenure.
- The Strawbs: 32 musicians so far, in 25 lineups. Not even frontman Dave Cousins was immune, having taken a break at the start of the '80s.
- Nirvana went through several drummers (including Chad Channing) in the span of only a few years before Dave Grohl joined the band.
- Chicago went through flurries of musicians from about the time Terry Kath died to about 1990. They've since stabilized, but have had a total of 16 different "permanent" members, along with several guests and subs. Still, the band has had 4 members remain for its entire history: Robert Lamm, James Pankow, Walter Parazaider, and Lee Loughane.
- Taking Back Sunday started off with Antonio Longo (vocals) John Nolan (vocals/guitar) Eddie Reyes (guitar) Jesse Lacey (bass) and Stephen De Joseph (Drums) By their first album, Lacey, Longo and De Joseph had left and were replaced by Adam Lazzara (vocals), Shaun Cooper (bass) and Mark O'Connell (drums). After Tell All Your Friends (2002) Nolan and Cooper departed and were replaced by Fred Mascherino (vocals/guitar) and Matt Rubano (bass) this line up lasted a lengthy (by TBS standards) two albums before Mascherino left after Louder Now, eventually being replaced by Matt Fazzi for New Again. Following New Again Fazzi and Rubano departed and Nolan and Cooper rejoined, restoring the band to it's breakthrough line up.
- Iron Butterfly went through 59 lineups (Arguably 60, but the Doug Ingle/Ron Bushy/Erik Braunn/Lee Dorman happened twice) in 46 years—including hiatuses.
- Wilco has gone through a dozen members in its two-decade-long history, with singer/guitarist/Face of the Band Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt the only constants.
- Power Pop band Jellyfish have only retained vocalist/drummer/guitarist/keyboardist Andy Sturmer and keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Roger Joseph Manning Jr., probably not coincidentally the sole creative forces in the band.
- Fuel has an interesting version of this. The original singer, Brett Scallions, left in 2005 and was replaced by Toryn Green. Around 2008 or so, the band became inactive. In 2010, Brett started touring with his band under the Fuel name, however none of the other original members were in this version of the band. This means that not a single member of the band has appeared on both of their last 2 albums.
- The 2010 formation probably counts on its own, having gone through 3 guitarists and 4 drummers.
- The Christian Rock group Whiteheart had a large number of band changes during its 15 year existence; including Steve Green (better known as an inspirational singer) on the debut album. After Green left, a vocalist named Scott Douglas joined for a pair of albums only to be kicked out following an arrest in 1985 for aggravated sexual battery before Rick Florian took over main vocals for the remainder of the band's existence. By the time the last album was released in 1997; only 2 original members (Billy Smiley and Mark Gersmehl) remained in the band.
- While most bands tend to become more like revolving doors over time, the Beatles did the reverse. The original Quarrymen was a frequently-shifting lineup of teenagers: formed in 1956, Paul McCartney didn't join until 1957 and George Harrison until 1958, and it wasn't until 1959 that the group was reduced to just John Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. In 1960-61 they took on, then lost, Stu Sutcliffe and went through a number of drummers before settling on Pete Best. Best was fired in favour of Ringo Starr in 1962, a few months after they got their original big recording contract, and the lineup was almost completely stable from then until the band dissolved once and for all in 1970. (Apart from the Quarrymen reunion that didn't include any of the Fab Four...)
- Parliament-Funkadelic, led by George Clinton. Clinton's TV Tropes page lists the musicians involved. It is a very long list. Suffice it to say that sixteen musicians were inducted when P-Funk got in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And that doesn't cover everyone who's played in Parliament-Funkadelic or its present incarnation, the P-Funk All-Stars.
- Tower Of Power. They've been together for 43 years, and have had at least 60 members.
- Few groups can top the achievement of The Drifters. They first formed as the backing group for Clyde McPhatter after he left Billy Ward & The Dominoes. Then after a year McPhatter was drafted into the military and elected to go solo after his discharge. Jazz trumpeter George Treadwell took over as manager and oversaw various personnel shifts over the next few years. In 1958 he fired the entire lineup and hired another vocal group, The Five Crowns, to become The Drifters. After a few years lead singer Ben E. King went solo, there were more changes, a couple previous members returned, and numerous competing Drifters groups flooded the oldies touring circuit. The Other Wiki sorts it all out.
- The Supremes in The '70s iteration, with sole original member Mary Wilson becoming the Face of the Band as a result.
- Rotary Connection: Each of their six albums had lineup changes, with only Minnie Riperton and Charles Stepney involved in all of them. This was one reason the final album was billed as performed by The New Rotary Connection, although it is still considered part of the RC canon.
- The Temptations. Only tenor Otis Williams has remained since the band formed in 1960.
- The Cruxshadows. Except for lead singer/front man Rogue, nobody's been around since the beginning.
- Da Yoopers were founded in 1975 and only percussionist Jim DeCaire and keyboardist Lynn Bellmore (née Anderson) are original. The bassist alone changed three times between 1986 and the mid-90s. What's more, almost all of their albums from the second onward have included large numbers of guest musicians. (At least two of these, "Cowboy" Dan Collins and Dick "Dick-E-Bird" Bunce, were former guests that were later assumed into the lineup.)
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor started out as a trio, then ballooned to about 15 members before settling down to 8 or 9 from then on.
- The Hit Crew, a "band" used for all the Drew's Famous CDs that are ubiquitous at party supply and drug stores. They cover every musical genre, and some of the CDs are quite good (and others are terrible). Every single one is attributed to "The Hit Crew" - from New Age to Disco to Metal to Country. The lineup is different from album to album and even song to song.
- Rasputina - after going through innumerable lineup changes, some of which lasted for several years at a time, founder Melora Creager is the only original member left and the only member to appear on every album.
- Lords Of Acid has turned into this as of its most recent (2012) lineup — Praga Khan is the only member of the original left (he's credited as "Head Perv"), and DJ Mea is something like the band's fifth female lead singer.
- Kraftwerk started out as this, with various musicians joining as required, before settling into a fairly established lineup.
- Over its 28+ years of activity, Ronny Moorings has been Clan of Xymox's only constant member.
- Front Line Assembly: Bill Leeb has been the centerpiece of the band since the beginning, while Rhys Fulber has left and returned a few times, and other musicians have only stayed for a year or two.
- The only original members of Steam Powered Giraffe to still remain are two of the main robots, The Spine (David Michael Bennett) and Rabbit (Isabella "Bunny" Bennett). Other than that, the band has seen two robots leave and another join, replaced both of its original "Walter Girls", and gone through several drummers and a guitarist. Even Rabbit's design has changed to the point where she could be mistaken for a new robot at first glance!
- Swans' only true constant is frontman Michael Gira, with vocalist/keyboardist Jarboe and guitarist Norman Westberg both clocking in well over a decade each with the band and numerous others cycling in and out of the group over the years. In recent years, however, things seem to have settled down: The latest touring incarnation of the group, which includes Westberg, is the longest running in the band's history, having formed in 2010 and not experienced a single lineup change since.