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The Pete Best / Music

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Examples of The Pete Best in music:

  • Pete Best, the Trope Namer. While John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison had been friends and bandmates together since 1957, Pete had only been added to the group in 1960 when they got their gig playing in Hamburg and needed to find a drummer. By 1962 when the band was auditioning for their EMI contract, there was a feeling that Best wasn't a good enough drummer; after EMI signed them, George Martin told the band that he was going to use a session drummer on their recordings. (Wikipedia has a lot more about this.) And worse luck for Pete, highly regarded Liverpool drummer Ringo Starr was a free agent at this time, having left his previous group. So the other three canned him.note  Best suffered from depression, leaving show business a few years later. He eventually married and raised a family, and he received several million pounds in the 1990s when the Anthology 1 record was released with several tracks featuring Best on drums.
    • Best was eventually able to capitalize on The Beatles' fame when he released an album of original music titled Best of The Beatles. The album title is not strictly a lie — it was, after all, music by Pete Best of The Beatles — even though many of its sales reportedly came from Beatles fans who misunderstood its deliberate ambiguity (despite the fact that the sleeve artwork clearly circled him).
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    • The Beatles also had a minor case in Stuart Sutcliffe. He was John's classmate at the Liverpool College of Art, and in 1960 agreed to play bass, but he left in 1961 to stay in Hamburg with his girlfriend (turning them into a quartet) and progress with his dreams of being a painter; he wasn't replaced by a new member, but Paul McCartney who switched from rhythm guitar (with Lennon) to take over his duties as bassist and became known for that role in the band. Sadly, Sutcliffe died less than a year later from a brain haemorrhage before he could become a successful painter; the rest of the Fab Four paid tribute to him by putting his face on the front cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • The Rutles mocked this with Leppo, who parodied Stuart Sutcliffe, but they also played it straight — when they first appeared on television Dirk mocked George and Stig lampooned Paul. Dirk was portrayed by Eric Idle, but Stig was portrayed by David Battley before the two swapped their parodies and Ricky Fataar stepped in.
  • Two examples with the progressive power metal band Kamelot, the first being their original bassist, Sean Tibbets (who originally used the stage name Sean Christians and rejoined the band) who left shortly after the band formed, replaced by Glenn Barry, the only member besides Thomas Youngblood to play on all of the band's albums up to Ghost Opera. Less commonly, this happens with vocalist Roy Khan who was preceded for 7 years (and two albums) by Mark Vanderbilt.
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    • Tibbets being a founding member is less likely to be forgotten now that he has rejoined the band due to Glenn's personal issues forcing him to leave.
  • Queen was originally called Smile, and the bassist, Tim Staffell, was the singer before he left to join the band Humpy Bong, and Freddie Mercury (who was Smile's biggest fan) joined Smile and they changed the name to Queen. Staffell ironically did get some fame, but not as a musician, rather as a model maker, designing sets and costumes for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and, more famously, Thomas the Tank Engine.
    • A straighter example would be the three bassists they had before settling on John Deacon. The one that stayed around the longest was called Barry Mitchell, and that was for about 5 gigs.
  • Miles 'Flicker' Woodward was originally the bassist in the Manic Street Preachers, but left in 1988 as he felt the band were moving away from their punk roots. Nicky Wire changed from rhythm guitar to bass, and Richey Edwards joined the band as rhythm guitarist/lyricist. Apparently, after the band made it big with their Britpop hit 'A Design For Life', Woodward's friends would play it on the jukebox in his local pub as a joke.
  • Any lead guitarist of X Japan before hide. There were a few including Jun and Hally, but...
  • Many don't realize that Alex Lifeson is the only remaining founding member of Rush. Neil Peart was preceded by John Rutsey (who played on their self-titled debut album) for 6 years. Geddy Lee was preceded by Jeff Jones (later of "Lunatic Fringe" rockers Red Rider). For a month.
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    • Rutsey is notably a different case than a lot of the other examples here since he left in large part due to irritating health problems (struggles with diabetes that would eventually take his life) and maintained connections with the other band members. The group has a nice tribute to him in their 2010 documentary film Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.
  • The Moody Blues both exemplified and subverted this trope; Denny Laine was in their first (unsuccessful) professional incarnation, as were Clint Warwick and, later, Rod Clark (who replaced Warwick), but when Laine and Clark left and the band held auditions for replacements, John Lodge (an ex-member from their amateur days) turned up for an audition and was accepted back without one.
  • Fleetwood Mac has this trope in spades. Better to read the entry on The Other Wiki than explain it here.
    • The person who most fits the "Pete Best" mantle in their history was bass guitarist Bob Brunning. Founding member Peter Green had named his new band after his former Bluesbreakers bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie to intice them to join him. Fleetwood accepted, but McVie opted to stay on with the Bluesbreakers. Brunning was hired instead, and joined the band with full understanding that he was out if McVie changed his mind...which he did. Two weeks later.
  • Nirvana went through a bevy of drummers before finally hitting it big with Dave Grohl behind the kit. Chad Channing, who played drums on Nirvana's first album, Bleach, is probably the most well-known of these, although the book Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana actually uses the phrase "The Pete Best of Nirvana" in reference to Aaron Burckhard, their very first drummer.
    • Guitarist Jason Everman was only a member of Nirvana for six months in 1989; He's credited and appears on the cover of Bleach, but does not play on it; He was only credited as a gesture of gratitude from Kurt Cobain because he forked over the $600 to record the album. After leaving Nirvana, Everman played bass for Soundgarden for about a year before being kicked out. Having washed out of two of the fastest rising bands in Seattle - in the words of The New York Times, he was "Pete Best twice" - Everman decided to focus his attention on something else: He joined the Army, and became a decorated member of the U.S. Special Forces.
  • Grohl's band has weird cases, as the band had already been successful when they joined. After doing the Foo Fighters first album by himself, Grohl recruited a full band for the tour. The drummer, William Goldsmith (of Sunny Day Real Estate fame), quit during production of the second album as Grohl didn't like his drum tracks and redid them himself (only one and a half of Goldsmith's contributions remained). Then the new guitarist for that album's tour, Franz Stahl (who played with Grohl in Scream), quit before the third album's production, with his only studio recordings being soundtrack contributions "A320" and "Walking After You".
  • Metallica:
    • Lloyd Grant only played on the first demo of "Hit the Lights", which is by far slower than the one on the album. Lars said in a video, that they were so close to a record deal, but that's debatable.
    • Similarly, Ron McGovney, who was replaced by Cliff Burton.
    • Dave Mustaine (who helped McGovney leave through constant mistreatment), after being replaced by Kirk Hammett, made an entire career out of making sure he would never be a Pete Best.
  • Within Megadeth itself, there is Greg Handevidt, Lee Rauch, and Dijon Carruthers. The former went on to form Kublai Khan, which released a full-length and toured a few times in the mid-80s before falling off the map; he later went to law school and wound up becoming a licensed attorney. Rauch, meanwhile, was very briefly part of Dark Angel and Wargod (thereby doubling as a Pete Best for the former; while not as big as Megadeth by any means, Dark Angel was not a small-time band then and is not a small-time band now), while Carruthers left music altogether. To a degree, Kerry King of Slayer also counts, as he performed with Megadeth during some of its earlier shows but left to commit to Slayer.
  • The original lineup of the group that would become Spice Girls included a singer named Michelle Stephenson. She was fired a few months after they formed was replaced by Emma Bunton. It was only after Bunton joined the group (at the time called "Touch") that member Geri Halliwell coined the name Spice Girls.
  • Saliva's original drummer, Todd Poole, left the band soon before their album "Every Six Seconds" was released. He was replaced by Paul Crosby, who has remained on the drumkit ever since.
  • Social Distortion is an extreme case. The band started in 1978 with lead singer Tom Corvin, guitarists Frank and Rikk Agnew, and Mike Ness, bassist Mark Garrett, and drummer Casey Royer. Garrett left and was replaced by Dennis Dannell, who later switched to guitar until his untimely death in 2000. Then Corvin left, leaving Ness to take over as lead singer (while still playing guitar). The Agnew brothers soon left with Royer to join the Adolescents, and the rest is history.
  • Pink Floyd has some shining examples, often unfamiliar even to ardent fans of their early work. Accomplished guitarist Bob Klose was pressured into leaving by his father and college tutors less than a year before they got their record deal. Vocalists Keith Noble and Clive Metcalfe left to form their own band two years before that. And their replacement, Chris Dennis, was also an RAF technician and got posted overseas.
    • Meanwhile, Syd Barrett has been granted an aversion of this. Although he was fired during the making of their second album due to Creator Breakdown, they had some decent success with their first album and their singles, and after he left the band, he recorded two well received solo records. The fact that the band wouldn't stop writing songs about him probably helped as well.
  • Quick, name any member of Iron Maiden's pre-Number Of The Beast line up (excluding Steve Harris, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith). If you're a big fan, you might remember Paul Di'Anno, but the rest are downright obscure. There's also Clive Burr, who recorded that album, but is not as remembered as his replacement Nicko McBrain.
    • In fact, Iron Maiden had quite a few different lineups before finally getting a record deal and bringing out an album. Paul Di'Anno? He's their third singer. It does help that Maiden brought out "The Early Days" DVD, which chronicles the first eight years of their career and all the different musicians that were in the band until they settled on their most "Classic" lineup with Piece of Mind.
    • There are many who prefer the earlier versions of the band. Especially with Clive Burr, who may actually be the single best musician to pass through that band.
  • Visual Kei band Malice Mizer recorded one album with their original lead singer, Tetsu (which is farther than they got with their original drummer, Gaz, who was replaced after one SONG); however, they had their biggest successes when Gackt was brought in, and modern fans are more likely to remember him or HIS replacement, Klaha, before they remember the original.
  • Buck Tick had a vocalist named Araki at the beginning. No one really knows or cares about him, because then-drummer Atsushi Sakurai took over as singer, was far better, and the rest was history...
  • Guns N' Roses' name comes from Axl Rose and Tracii Guns, and the names of their previous bands, Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns, respectively. But the latter didn't last long in the band, being replaced by Slash after missing a rehearsal (Guns eventually reformed L.A. Guns and had minor success later in the 1980's). As well, the other two members of L. A. Guns who founded the band, Ole Beich and Rob Gardner (also Pete Bests for L.A. Guns, with Ole also being one for Mercyful Fate), were replaced by Duff McKagan and Steven Adler, respectively. The only founding members of G'n'R that remained by the time the band hit the big time were Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin, which gives a touch of irony to the fans' upset about Axl's firing the "original" band members between 1994 and 1997.
    • It does lend a fair bit of insight into Axl's stance on the matter. In his eyes all the band members besides Izzy were hired hands in his band while from the perspective of the other members it was a five-way equal partnership until Axl started taking over.
  • The original bassist of Sex Pistols, Glen Matlock, was replaced by Sid Vicious after the release of their first two singles. Matlock did write their third single "Pretty Vacant", but it only got into the charts after he had been chucked out of the band. When the band reunited in 1996, however, Vicious had been dead for 17 years, and so Matlock returned to the fold and has remained with the band ever since.
    Johnny Rotten: "He wanted us to be more fun...like the Beatles"
  • George Johnston was the original drummer for April Wine. He and the band parted ways shortly before they hit it big.
  • The Dixie Chicks originally consisted of Martie Maguire, Emily Irwin Robison, Robin Lynn Macy, and Laura Lynch, the latter two of whom split lead vocal duties until Macy left in 1993 over Creative Differences. By the time they signed with Sony's Monument Records, Lynch left on good terms (she wanted to raise her daughter) and was replaced by Natalie Maines. With Maines on lead vocals, the band went from obscurity to mainstream success.
  • Black metal band Mayhem has Manheim, their original drummer who is only heard on their first EP, Deathcrush, after which he was replaced with the much-better-known Hellhammer.
    • Someone named Messiah did vocals on a few tracks of that EP.
  • Slipknot had a few members leave/get fired before they hit it big but two fit the trope more than others, Anders Colsefni, original vocalist who sang on the Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. demo/first album (depending on who you ask) and guitar player Josh Brainard who played guitar on all songs for the Self Titled album save for two tracks before leaving the band and being replaced with current guitar player James Root.
  • Progressive Metal band Dream Theater has Charlie Dominici, the singer on their debut album. He was dropped from the band because he wanted to pursue a hair metal style while the rest of the band wanted to pursue a progressive metal style and was replaced with James LaBrie (who ironically started his career with a hair band), and the band promptly recorded Images and Words, their most successful album ever.
    • Dominici himself was preceded by Chris Collins, who sang only on a few of the band's early demos.
  • John Kiffmeyer, a.k.a. "Al Sobrante", played drums on the first Green Day album 39/Smooth. He then left for college and was replaced by Tré Cool, and the band was on the way to stardom soon after. The only song Kiffmeyer ever wrote was "I Was There". The original lineup of Green Day has only reunited once since, to play a gig under their original name Sweet Children in 2015.
  • blink-182's first drummer was Scott Raynor, who played on most of their early releases, including their first two albums and their early hit single "Dammit (Growing Up)". Raynor left before recording Enema of the State and was replaced by former Aquabats drummer Travis Barker. Enema of the State wound up being the album where Blink-182 went from being another 90's pop-punk also-ran into one of the most popular rock bands in the United States.
    • Since Raynor left just as the band was getting very famous, the timing led to some confusion: Travis Barker appeared alongside his new bandmates in 1999's American Pie, but his appearance was credited to Scott Raynor.
  • Steve Peregrin Took left Tyrannosaurus Rex about one album before Marc Bolan renamed the band T.Rex and found massive commercial success. Took outlived Bolan by a few years, but he's best remembered in rock lore for his death certificate listing his C.O.D. as "asphyxiation from choking on a cocktail cherry".
  • Mark Wakefield used to be the lead singer of an obscure, LA-based rap-rock band named Xero. He got fed up with their lack of success and left in 1998 to become the manager for Taproot. A couple of years later, with a new lead singer and two name changes later, "lack of success" would not be something you'd describe the band with.
    • Speaking of Linkin Park, the bassist for the debut album Hybrid Theory actually wasn't Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, who had left around the same time Mark Wakefield did due to live touring commitments for another band before returning after the album's release. Only the most diehard fans could tell you that it was actually Brad Delson, the band's lead guitarist (with Scott Koziol and Ian Hornbeck as secondary bassists on several songs) who performed bass on the album. Delson himself isn't really an example (since he's still famous for being the lead guitarist), but Koziol and Hornbeck definitely count. Worth noting is that while the initial US press for the album had actually credited Koziol as the band's touring bass player during the band's earliest tours, this mention is removed on later editions and is replaced by Phoenix's name as a band member. Koziol's credit for playing bass in "One Step Closer" is kept, however.
  • Lee Keczmarek was the founding member and original bassist of what would eventually become Cold Chisel (but was at the time called "Orange"). He left over a dispute about transitioning from being a cover band to playing original songs (Keczmarek was against it) and was replaced by Phil Small — Cold Chisel later went on to be arguably the biggest rock band in Australia ever.
  • Signe Anderson sang for Jefferson Airplane on their first album, but was replaced by Grace Slick for Surrealistic Pillow. The album has Skip Spence on drums, but in the middle of it he left to form Moby Grape.
  • David Ruffin replaced Al Bryant of The Temptations. Ruffin ended up singing some of the group's most memorable hits, "My Girl" included.
  • Eric Gaffney was a founding member of Sebadoh, and co-fronted the band with Lou Barlow for a while. He left in 1993 over a dispute about what direction the band should go next. That direction was 1994's Bakesale, an indie rock classic.
  • Destiny's Child. The original members were Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Robertson, and LeToya Luckett. Around 2000, the video for "Say My Name" premiered, without Robertson or Luckett. They had been replaced by Farrah Franklin (who left the group shortly afterward) and Michelle Williams. Luckett and Robertson sued the manager and the other group members. The majority of people remember Destiny's Child as having Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, in descending order.
  • Most fans of the Melodic Death Metal band Arch-Enemy are unfamiliar with the band's original vocalist, Johan Liiva, who was fired by the band for his lack of energy during live performances. They hired Angela Gossow and went on to achieve international success.
  • Ian Stewart was fired about a year before The Rolling Stones released their debut album at the behest of their manager because he apparently disliked the fact that the band had a keyboardist (or the fact that Ian's big, burly frame contrasted with the image he was trying to form for the band). Stewart gracefully accepted a demotion to the band's driver and later The Sixth Ranger, playing keyboards on all their albums (except Beggars Banquet) and most of their tours until his death in 1985. When the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, the members successfully lobbied for Stewart to be inducted too.
    • For more straightforward examples that didn't even record anything with the Stones, there were six of them, and in fact two of them did become famous with different bands. Guitarist Geoff Bradford and vocalist Brian Knight were on the band's first rehearsal but declined to join, bassist Dick Taylor played for a few months before he left to finish college, and drummer Tony Chapman, whom had preceded previous drummer Mick Avory, left just after bringing along a new bassist, Bill Wyman (who remained with the Stones for 30 years), and drummer, Carlo Little. Little left not that long later and thus came Charlie Watts (who is still with the band to this day).
  • Sad/extremely inconvenient example: Right after the release of Crossfade's debut album, Brian Geiger left the band due to a persistent shoulder injury. To add insult to said injury, their first single "Cold" was starting to get a lot of national radio play, which led to their mainstream success... and to this day, many fans believe that his replacement and the current drummer, James Branham was the one who laid the drum tracks on the album.
  • Ask anyone who the original members of Stratovarius were, and they'll probably say Timo Kotipelto, Timo Tolkki, Jens Johansson, Jari Kainulainen and Jörg Michael. (If they're particularly big fans they'll know that Timo Kotipelto didn't join until four albums in). Virtually no one will say Tuomo Lassila, Staffan Stråhlman and John Vihervä, who were the founding members of Black Water, the original name for the band. Additionally, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who remembers Jyrki Lentonen (second bass guitarist, replaced John Vihervä in 1984), Jari Behm (third bass guitarist, replaced Jyrki Lentonen in 1989), Antti Ikonen (original keyboardist, joined in 1988) or Sami Kuoppamäki (replaced Tuomo Lassila on drums and played for one year before being replaced by Jörg Michael). Katriina "Miss K" Wiiala (temporary vocalist, replaced Timo Kotipelto in 2004 before being replaced by Kotipelto again) and Anders Johansson (replaced Jörg Michael on drums in 2004 before being replaced by Jörg again) are usually not remembered for quite different reasons.
  • The Who had a drummer before Keith Moon came along named Doug Sandom, who himself had replaced Harry Wilson. Before that they had Colin Dawson, the lead singer whose departure led rhythm guitarist Roger Daltrey to take up the vocals himself.
  • Prog-rock band Yes subverts, inverts, and generally twists this trope around in mind-warping ways. Bassist Chris Squire was the only consistent member until his death in 2015, and no more than 2 consecutive albums have ever had exactly the same lineup. This resulted in several "eras" in Yes's output, each one gaining and losing fans with its changes in style and sound; with the second keyboardist, Rick Wakeman (who replaced Tony Kaye), both credited with catapulting Yes to superstardom, and blamed for later dragging the band down with his overblown electronic noodling. note  After his hiatus, Wakeman returns to revive a band sliding into cult status after losing popularity to the burgeoning Grunge movement; once again replacing original keyboardist Tony Kaye. In the meantime, side project Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe was credited as a return to Yes's original and popular sound; although it remained a bit more obscure.
    Yes does have some straight examples in guitarist Pete Banks, who left after the second album and was replaced by Steve Howe, and in drummer Bob "Tub Thumper" Hagger (replaced by Bill Bruford) and secondary guitarist Clive Bayley (not replaced) who left while the group was still called Mabel Greer’s Toy Shop. Bruford attempted to become a prime example himself, leaving to go to university just as the renamed group’s star was starting to ascend. However, replacement drummer Tony O’Reily became their most obscure example, struggling in the role until the rest of the band successfully petitioned Bruford to return.
    • An interesting example is Trevor Horn, who was already well known as the singer for The Buggles and was brought in to replace vocalist Jon Anderson for the 1980 album Drama. Despite feeling more at home behind the mixing desk, Horn managed a convincing imitation of Anderson's countertenor vocal style. Nonetheless when the band toured the album audiences were confused by the new line-up. Eventually Horn found that his voice couldn't take the rigours of constant live performance - he had a deeper vocal tone than Anderson, but the group was unwilling to pitch their instruments to suit him - and he retired from the band, with Anderson coming back. Horn remained as the band's producer, in which capacity he was far more successful. He's an odd example of a Pete Best who overshadowed himself - although Drama is mostly written-off as a weak attempt to copy New Wave, Horn's production work helped 90125 become one of the band's most popular albums, and hit single "Owner of a Lonely Heart" has Horn's signature sound all over it.
  • No Doubt was founded in 1986 by lead vocalist John Spence and keyboardist Eric Stefani, who filled out their lineup with Eric's younger sister Gwen (backing vocals), Jerry McMahon (guitar), Chris Leal (bass), Gabe Gonzalez (trumpet), Chris Webb (drums), Kevin Wells (trombone), and Alan and Tony Meade (backing vocals/trumpet and saxophone, respectively). By the time they made their first album, Spence had killed himself, Gwen was the lead singer and the familiar lineup of bassist Tony Kanal, guitarist Tom Dumont, and drummer Adrian Young were already in place...as were Eric Stefani, saxophonist Eric Carpenter, trumpeter Don Hammerstedt, and trombonist Alex Henderson (actually the third trombonist, with Paul Caseley bridging the gap between Wells and Henderson). If none of these guys sounds familiar to you, it's because their first album was considered a flop by the record company, and their second album had current touring members Gabrial McNair and Stephen Bradley replacing Hammerstedt and Henderson; Eric Stefani was still a member at the time but left shortly after the group made it big — he's on the cover of Tragic Kingdom at the behest of his sister (he's the one facing away from the camera).
  • Most people know Brian Johnson is not the original singer of AC/DC, but fewer know that it is NOT Bon Scott either, but Dave Evans.
  • Similarly, Judas Priest's original singer is NOT Rob Halford but Al Atkins.
  • There's a ton of members of Anthrax just about no one knows, for example: Joey Belladonna is the band's FOURTH singer.
  • Restless Heart's original lead singer was Verlon Thompson, but he was replaced by Larry Stewart before they released their first single. Stewart left in 1991 and the band carried on for a few years without him, disbanded, and reunited with him. Verlon later had a deal with Capitol Records that went nowhere, but nabbed some songwriting and guitar-playing credits.
  • Buffy Lawson, lead vocalist of the duo Bomshel (fiddler/backing vocalist Kristy Osmunson being the other member), split over Creative Differences. At the time, the duo had little to show for themselves: three cuts from an EP had all chartednote , plus a soundtrack cut from Evan Almightynote , but they still didn't have a full album. Kelly Sheppard took over on lead vocals, and after two false starts, the duo finally got two Top 40 hits and a full album with Sheppard singing. The four songs that Buffy sang lead on were not included, and except for "Bomshel Stomp", those songs quickly became Canon Discontinuity. After a few years of the Osmonson/Sheppard lineup, the duo split in 2013 and Osmonson founded a second duo called American Young with record producer Jon Stone.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys: Fans of country music may recall only the lineup of Joe Bonsall (tenor), Duane Allen (lead), William Lee Golden (baritone), and Richard Sterban (Basso Profundo). The group actually dated back to the 1940s, when it consisted of Wally Fowler, Lon Freeman, Curley Kinsey, and Johnny New. Fowler split from the other three members and chose a Revolving Door Band lineup for the next several years, then passed the Oak Ridge Boys name onto new lead singer Smitty Gatlin in 1957. The lineup continued to fluctuate until Golden joined in 1964. Allen took over on lead vocals in 1966 after Gatlin retired, with Noel Fox as bass and Willie Wynn as tenor at the time. The latter two were finally replaced by Sterban and Bonsall in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Golden was replaced with Steve Sanders between 1987 and 1995 due to Executive Meddling, when Golden came back.
  • Alabama had three different drummers: Bennett Vartanian until 1976, then Jackie Owen for a few months, then Rick Scott until 1979, when their most famous drummer, Mark Herndon, took over. Then only a year later, the band broke through with their big hit "Tennessee River". Interestingly, Herndon rarely played the drum tracks in-studio, and he split from the group in the 2000s, leaving lead vocalist Randy Owen, bassist Teddy Gentry, and guitarist/fiddler Jeff Cook.
  • David Hodges, former keyboardist for Evanescence, left the band four months before Fallen, the album that brought it into the mainstream, was released.
  • If you ask most people to name the members of Deep Purple, they'll call Ian Gillan the singer and Roger Glover the bassist, because they filled those positions during the most popular incarnation of the band. The original lead singer was Rod Evans and the bassist was Nick Simper. Evans was lucky enough to get inducted along with better remembered members into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (largely because he sang on their first big hit "Hush"). Simper? Not as much.
    • In the 1980s, Rod Evans was sued for continuing to perform under the Deep Purple name. This is at a time when the "Mark II lineup" reunion was still in the rumor stage.
  • Sigur Rós's original drummer, Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson, left the band after creating two albums and was replaced by Orri Páll Dýrason — it was only with the next two albums that they made it big outside of their native Iceland.
  • Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran wasn't the band's first frontman. He wasn't even the second or third. The band went through numerous personnel changes between 1978 and 1980, the year the "fab five" lineup gelled. The band's first ever lineup was Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy on main vocals, Simon Colley on bass and occasional clarinet, John Taylor (as Nigel John Taylor) on lead guitar, Nick Rhodes (as Nick Bates) on keyboard, and a drum machine. Then Stephen and Simon left because they wanted to be in a more rock & roll band, and were replaced with Andy Wickett and then Jeff Thomas on lead vocals, John switched over to bass after Simon left and got Alan Curtis to be on lead guitar (at which point Roger Taylor joined the band), then Jeff and Alan left, they put out an ad in the Melody Maker (a British music magazine) for a "high wire guitarist", got Andy Taylor that way, and only after that did Le Bon (a drama student) join the band. The band even recorded a demo which included an early version of "Girls on Film" in 1979 when Andy Wickett was lead vocalist. Of all the former members, only Stephen Duffy had a notable career after leaving Duran Duran, first embarking on a short-lived but successful solo career before forming the folk rock band The Lilac Time.
  • Sepultura started with Max Cavalera on guitar and another singer, Wagner Lamounier, who left before their first release and formed Sarcófago, leaving Max to take over vocals. Then they hired a second guitarist, Jairo Guedes, who played in their debut album, but quit after getting tired of Death Metal. Andreas Kisser arrived, and a few years later they were really popular outside their native Brazil.
  • For Red Hot Chili Peppers, it's anyone who played in the band other than the four originals (Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons - though this formation only played for their first demo tape and was eventually reformed for their third album, with Slovak appearing in another album) and the most well-known formation] (Kiedis, Flea, John Frusciante and Chad Smith). Dave Navarro doesn't count.
    • Jack Sherman (who played on the first album) made more money in royalties when the band got big than he ever did whilst a member of the group. This is not the case with Jack Irons or Dave Navarro who were both successful in other bands. Another pre-fame drummer, Cliff Martinez, became a much respected film composer, particularly for his work with Steven Soderbergh and Nicolas Winding Refn.
  • Genesis had a whole series of these. Taken in reverse order, the completion of their first "real" album, Trespass, saw the departure of drummer John Mayhew, so they put an ad in Melody Maker and Phil Collins responded. Co-founding guitarist Anthony Phillips also left at this juncture to pursue a prolific but obscure solo career, and was replaced by Mick Barnard (with whom no albums were recorded) for a couple of months, until Barnard himself was replaced by Steve Hackett. Mayhew note  replaced his predecessor, John Silver, a few months after their actual debut album was released (the largely disregarded From Genesis to Revelation), and about a month after they went pro. And Silver was himself the replacement for their founding drummer, Chris Stewart, who had performed on their first two singles and all the early demos. Plus, while hardly obscure, Peter Gabriel deserves honorary mention: far more fans will have experienced the group with Phil Collins in the lead vocal spot, and many have noted how Collins sounds more like Gabriel than Gabriel did.
  • Matt Pelissier was My Chemical Romance's drummer for two albums until 2004, when the lead singer's drinking and discord within the band (such as the guitarist's opinion of his skills) led him to quit. This was literally days before the band was scheduled to film the music video for "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)". An old friend of the band and manager, who worked as a sound guy for The Used during a previous joint tour, agreed to join and flew out overnight. Bob Bryar is the viking guy in all of their videos and promos up until Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.
  • Panic! at the Disco went from four teenagers in a garage to touring without playing a single live show. The original bassist, Brent Wilson, left the group after realizing that it wasn't right for him. A guitar tech and friend of the band, Jon Walker, was the much-loved replacement.
  • The wilfully genre-defying Australian group Crime And The City Solution is subject to a particularly extreme and bizarre version of this trope in that their original line-up was most likely never even recorded, while their second only released one song ("Moments") on a cassette magazine in 1980. Five years later, the group was reconstituted with a line-up including several ex-members of The Birthday Party (with only founding vocalist Simon Bonney returning from the original lineups), after which they went on to release six albums and tour relentlessly before disbanding in 1993. Most fans do not even know that there was a version of the band prior to 1985, let alone who was in it.
  • The Fall subverted and perverted this trope even more than Yes, having gone through at least fifty different members, many of whom only held their positions for a single album or tour. Played straight or almost straight on several occasions, however, most notably with the replacement of original drummer "Dave"note  with multi-instrumentalist Karl Burns in early 1977. Burns remained with the group in various capacities until the late 1990s, and is generally regarded as the group's best drummer.
  • Wire, a band later renowned for their "anorexic" post-punk sound, initially had a wildly self-indulgent lead guitarist in one George Gill. He even wrote most of their material for a while. This didn't last. After breaking his arm in an accident, he took a month-long leave from the band; on returning, their sound had changed radically, eliminating any need for lead guitar parts. Feeling out of place, Gill left in February 1977. To add further insult to injury, by the end of their first gig without him, they were on record. Specifically, the epochal punk compilation Live At The Roxy WC2. Ouch.
  • Annette Zilinskas played the bass and harmonica on The Bangles' eponymous 1982 EP, but left the band before they signed with Columbia Records.
  • Erich Awalt, a singer who could be best described as a cross between Phil Anselmo, Lajon Witherspoon and Burton Bell was a singer of a little metal band from Chicago called Brawl (a temporary name in every respect). In the band's words, "He bailed on us" which would lead to them hiring the mic-slinger who would give them their true name, David Draiman. The rest is history.
  • Swans, a band notorious for its line-up changes, generally held over at least a few members from the previous incarnation, with older ones popping in perennially. Now look at their first release... No, not Filth. The self-titled EP they released in 1982. Now ask yourself: Who is Daniel Galliduani, the one on the sax? Or Bob Pezzola, the guitarist? Answers have slowly surfaced: Galliduani played with drummer Jonathan Kane as Transmission in the 1970s, later becoming a respected photographer; Pezzola was a teenage tagalong, recruited from an obscure NYC outfit called Phosphorus. And he wasn't the first; Glenn Branca acolyte Sue Hanel was. And more interesting yet, the bass playing, prior to the arrival of Harry Crosby, was a shared effort between the band's leader Michael Gira and a then little-known guitarist named Thurston Moore.
  • For a brief period in the early 1970's, Aerosmith featured guitarists Joe Perry and Ray Tabano. Tabano, a childhood friend of Steven Tyler's, was soon replaced by Brad Whitford. Tabano however continued to be associated with the band throughout the seventies, working in their office and recording studio, running their fan club, designing and selling merchandise and writing the fan club newsletter until 1979 when he was fired by the band's current management.
    • Joey Kramer would have been this if Aerosmith had not been successful, because the band he left to join Aerosmith eventually had a couple of gold records as Tavares. Likewise, that band's keyboardist was eventual P-Funk member Bernie Worrell.
  • In the band Black Eyed Peas, Kim Hill was the female vocalist when they released their debut album in 1998. By 2000, however, she left and in 2001 she was replaced by Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson. Very few people remember Kim Hill.
  • Back when KISS was still called Wicked Lester, the band actually consisted of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss (in its final lineup) and Ron Leejack as a lead guitarist. The latter resigned for undisclosed reasons and the group went to hire Ace Frehley, went through a name change, and the rest is history... a history that, unfortunately, doesn't involve Ron Leejack at all.
  • Sugarland originally consisted of lead vocalist Jennifer Nettles, and guitarists/backing vocalists Kristian Bush and Kristen Hall. Hall quit after the first album, leaving the two-person lineup of Nettles and Bush, with which Sugarland had its greatest commercial success. Hall's departure also resulted in a Lighter and Softer acoustic pop-influenced sound than the more sensitive folk singer-songwriter material of the first album.
  • Original Def Leppard second guitarist Pete Willis was replaced by Phil Collen for their breakthrough Pyromania album after his heavy drinking problems started interfering with the band, however Willis later said that getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to him.
    • Tony Kenning was a member of the band very early on, and he was the one who suggested the band modify its spelling from "Deaf Leopard" to what it is today. However, he left before the band's debut album was recorded.
  • Nigel Olsson left Uriah Heep before they hit major success, but catching on with Elton John's band and having two solo hit singles of his own was probably more than consolation.
  • Supertramp recorded two poorly-selling albums in their native England. Then the two songwriters relocated to Los Angeles, formed a new band under the Supertramp name, and met with huge success in the late 1970s. One of their abandoned British former members later resurfaced as King Crimson's lyricist in their Larks' Tongues in Aspic era.
  • Don't you forget about the many of these that passed through Simple Minds in their early years.
  • Henry Padovani, replaced by Andy Summers before the recording of The Police's first album.
    • According to most accounts, he took getting fired better than Sting and Stewart Copeland took having to fire him. He was more of a "punk" guitarist (i.e., he couldn't play), and went on to several other bands. He even joined the band onstage at one show during their reunion tour.
  • John Curulewski was the lead guitarist on the first several Styx albums, which were moderately successful. When he could no longer tour, Tommy Shaw was recruited as a replacement. Shaw's presence led to a series of platinum-selling albums that made the band a household name.
  • Who really remembers Spinal Tap's first 18 or so drummers? Or those of Hawkwind, who have burned through more?
    • Hawkwind could be viewed from one perspective, as a Pete Best band. When autocratic band leader Dave Brock sacked his bass player for not fitting in, the spurned bassist took a track he had written for Hawkwind with him, named his new band after it, recorded the ex-Hawkwind track, and had a monster hit with it. Motörhead then proceeded to eclipse their parent group by very many orders of magnitude.
  • Dennis Travis was part of a band called Trojan Rubber Company (or The Space Brothers), and was replaced with Mark Stone when they renamed themselves Mammooth. Stone was kicked out because of being too comitted to school and was replaced with Michael Anthony around the same time Mammooth was rechristened Van Halen...
    • And that's not even getting into the whole David Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar controversy...
  • Marillion were gigging for a year under the name Silmarillion with Doug Irvine on vocals (and bass) before they hired Fish and shortened the name. Or, if you prefer, Marillion had a Scottish frontman for eight years before Steve Hogarth joined the band in 1989...
  • For reasons that are still undisclosed, Weezer's original rhythm guitarist, Jason Cropper, left the band in 1993, just as they were recording their self-titled debut. He was quickly replaced by Brian Bell, who's been with the band ever since. In fact, the turnover happened so quickly that Brian Bell isn't on the first album either (though he's credited in the liner notes and he's pictured alongside the rest of the band on the front cover) - Rivers Cuomo had to play all the guitar parts himself in order to get the album finished on time. Cropper is credited with co-writing "My Name Is Jonas" (he came up with its signature acoustic guitar riff), and demos he played on can be heard on the deluxe edition of the first album. He's had sporadic involvement with music since, and is apparently still friends with the band.
  • The drummer for the proto-Steely Dan band The Leather Canary was Chevy Chase. Chase presents an interesting variation of this trope: he didn't become famous as the drummer for Steely Dan, but as an actor and comedian, he became just as famous as the band he left.
  • Likewise, Richard Edson was the original drummer for Sonic Youth, and played on their self titled 1982 EP. He then quit to pursue an acting career. It worked out pretty darn well for Edson, who went on to a very successful career as a character actor in films like Stranger Than Paradise, Platoon, Do the Right Thing, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (he's the creepy parking garage attendant who accepts Cameron's car).
  • The Birthday Massacre had a keyboard player called Dank who left quite early on in the band's career. Owen, the current keyboard player, is much more well-known.
  • Drummer Simon Wolstencroft is one of these twice over. He was the drummer for The Patrol, a group which became The Stone Roses after he left it. He then joined another Manchester band called Freak Party, which he later left because he thought their new singer was awful. The singer was Steven Morrissey and Freak Party soon became The Smiths. Wolstencroft eventually found a steady job as one of The Fall's two drummers, a gig which lasted almost a decade.
  • Wayne Coyne wasn't the first frontman of The Flaming Lips - originally Wayne's brother Mark Coyne handled vocals. Before their first full-length album, Mark got married and left the band, and he hasn't been involved with music since. The only thing they released while he was part of the band was a self-titled EP, but their box set Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid included several demos and live tracks featuring his singing (mainly cover songs and early versions of songs that would end up on the first album).
  • Da Yoopers' first bassist was Jim Pennell, who left shortly after their second album. Joe DeLongchamp took over for the next two, followed by Dave "Doc" Bradbury for the next two after that. From that point onward, guitarist Jim Bellmore (who took over from Joe Potila in 1995) typically played both guitar and bass in-studio, although Reggie Lusardi became their touring bassist at the end of the 90s.
  • Marilyn Manson has their fair share. When Antichrist Superstar was released in 1996, the band was on their third bassist, second guitarist, second keyboardist, and second drummer.
  • Andy Creeggan was only on a couple albums for Barenaked Ladies, but apparently is fine with his obscure status, as he was uncomfortable with fame.
  • In the 1960s, Billy Gibbons was part of The Moving Sidewalks, along with three other guys. Once two of them were drafted for the US Army, he brought a different bassist to a new project, which he called ZZ Top and recorded a single in 1970, "Salt Lick". The bassist was replaced, and then in 1971 both the bassist (Bill Ethridge) and the drummer (Dan Mitchell) were replaced by Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, which have been in the band ever since.
  • Bruce Slesinger [a.k.a. "Ted"] on Drums and Carlos Cadona [a.k.a. "6024"] on Rhythm Guitar for Dead Kennedys.
  • Carcass was originally a trio composed of Bill Steer on guitar, Ken Owen on drums, and Sanjiv on vocals. After Sanjiv left the band, Bill Steer and the newly-hired bassist, Jeff Walker, split vocal duties.
  • Opeth was originally a straight-up Death Metal band founded by vocalist David Isberg. Isberg quit the band in 1992—two years before the debut album, Orchid, was released. Mikael Akerfeldt, who was the bassist at the time, took over Isberg's vocal duties and moved the band in a more prog-oriented direction.
  • Jimmy Stokley was the lead vocalist of Kentucky-based band Exile only during their somewhat brief and not-too-fruitful pop career ("Kiss You All Over"). They were far more successful as a country-rock band fronted by Les Taylor and J. P. Pennington. An early member, Mark Gray, parted before the switch to country, and became a somewhat successful solo singer with five Top 10 country hits and a couple co-writer's credits.
  • Nickelback was originally Chad Kroeger, Mike Kroeger, Ryan Peake, and Brandon Kroeger (the brothers' cousin). Brandon was later replaced by Ryan Vikedal, who was replaced by Daniel Adair before the release of All the Right Reasons.
  • Ian van Dahl's signature debut "Castles in the Sky" was originally sung by Martine Theeuwen (Marsha), but for the album version and all subsequent songs, Annemie Coenen took over vocals.
  • While Jethro Tull has had so many members come and go it would be pointless to name them all, special mention goes to the guitarist. Tull fans recognize Martin Barre as the lead guitarist, but on the group's first album it was blues guitarist Mick Abrahams in the role. Abrahams wanted the band to remain blues-rock but Anderson wanted to write in other styles. Abrahams decided to quit the band, Barre was hired, and has been with the band every since. Fun fact: Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi toured with the band in the time between Abrahams' departure and Barre's hiring.
  • In the late eighties, Niall Quinn sang lead for a four-piece band called The Cranberry Saw Us (say it quickly) in Ireland. He left within a year and the other band members started looking for a replacement. They found one with Dolores O'Riordan. Shortly after she joined, the band's name was shortened to The Cranberries.
  • Rare case of the one who started the band becoming The Pete Best: In 1990–1991, Atlanta teenager Crystal Jones put out a call for two more girls to join her in a trio to be called 2nd Nature. Then came singer Tionne Watkins and rapper Lisa Lopes. After getting a manager, who renamed them TLC, they had an audition to get a record deal. They passed on the condition of replacing Jones - and with Rozonda Thomas (nicknamed "Chili" so the acronym would still work) they sold millions worldwide. Jones's dismissal was because she refused to sign Reid's major label contract - a suspiciousness that wound up prescient: following the success of their hit album CrazySexyCool, TLC declared bankruptcy because they were almost no money off of album sales.
  • Damon Albarn joined a band called Circus in 1988 with his college friends Tom Aitkenhead and Eddie Deedigan. Both quit the band, and with the three members that joined, the band evolved into Seymour, which later changed its name to Blur, one of the spearheading groups of Brit Pop.
  • Country Music band The Mavericks' first guitarist was Ben Peeler, who was fired because the other band members felt that he didn't fit their intended style. He was replaced by David Lee Holt, and then by their longest-tenured guitarist, Nick Kane. (While Kane is pictured on their 1994 breakthrough album What a Crying Shame, that disc featured session guitarists in the role instead.) Kane was replaced by Eddie Perez for their 2003 Self-Titled Album, and Perez returned to that role when the band reunited in 2011.
  • Pantera was Dimebag Darrell, Phil Anselmo, Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown right? Well, not many people know about their Old Shame as a glam metal band in the 1980s. Terry Glaze was originally on lead vocals and rhythm guitar during this glam era, fronting the band's first three albums (Metal Magic, Projects in the Jungle, and I Am the Night). note  In a Washington Post article, he even described himself as "The Pete Best of Pantera" in his own words. Similarly, it's been made clear that Terry is at peace with that status, being very content to stick to his smaller musical projects and being a family man as well.
    • Early on in 2004, Vinnie Paul attended one of Terry's shows with Lord Tracy, and they briefly tossed around the idea of a one-off reunion show where the glam-era Pantera songs could be played live again. Had it worked out, Terry might've actually made a bit of a comeback from being a Pete Best anymore. Of course, later that year, the idea was scrapped for obvious reasons...
    • Terry and Rex Brown eventually did briefly regroup in 2010, with Rex's new band called Arms of the Sun. For one show, they played two 80s Pantera songs (All Over Tonite and Come-On Eyes) live again.
    • Tommy Bradford (original bassist) and Donnie Hart (the very first singer) both left very early in the band's life.
    • If you want to get to the REAL obscure Pete Bests of the group, Matt Amour, David Peacock, and Rick Mythaisin were Pantera's temporary replacement singers after Terry Glaze left, and before Phil Anselmo joined. They're almost completely unknown, although Mythaisin has since been in the power metal act Steel Prophet. He was also a live vocalist for Agent Steel; while nowhere near as big as Pantera, isn't exactly an unknown.
  • John Rich was Lonestar's bassist on their first two albums, but he was fired in 1998 (a year before the release of their Signature Song "Amazed") and has not been officially replaced. Rich later became famous as one-half of Big & Rich, in addition to holding several songwriting and production credits, to the point that many people may be surprised that he was previously in another band.
  • Faith No More had a number of lead singers before they found Face of the Band Mike Patton. Original lead singer Mike Morris was ousted after a couple years. Then they went through a bunch of temporary singers, including a young Courtney Love, before hiring Chuck Mosley. Mosley sang lead on their first two albums, making it onto the band's first landmark single "We Care A Lot", then got fired. After Patton took over they had their commercial breakthrough with "Epic" and The Real Thing.
  • Any Dead or Alive member, that played with the band before the classic line-up (Pete Burns, Steve Coy, Mike Percy and Tim Lever) was established in 1984. Partial exception could probably be guitarist Wayne Hussey, who joined The Sisters of Mercy and then formed his own band The Mission.
  • Lostprophets had a member named DJ Stepzak. He played on the first album Thefakesoundofprogress and then was replaced by Jamie Oliver. Stepzak then fell of the face of the earth (no one knows his real name).
  • Country music duo Love and Theft consists of Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, both of whom share the lead vocal. Brian Bandas was their third vocalist, but he left after the first album.
  • Fairport Convention had a female vocalist before Sandy Denny, Judy Dyble. Ian Matthews, the male co-lead vocalist, also counts, though he went on to a moderately successful solo career.
  • TNT had their first singer and rhythm guitarist Dag Ingebrigstein, who was fired from the band in the middle of recording demos for the second album. This is seen by most fans as a good thing, as Dag is not nearly up to par with either of TNT's subsequent vocalists.
  • While KMFDM has always been a Revolving Door Band, there are a few members who fell by the wayside before the band's debut album, What Do You Know Deutschland? Udo Sturm (who co-founded the group with Sascha Konietzko) was only involved with the group for a very short time while they were still called Kein Mitleid Fur Die Mehrheit. There was also drummer Ton Geist, who only appeared on their demo cassette Opium (before En Esch was involved with the band).
  • Country group Gloriana originally consisted of former teen pop singer Cheyenne Kimball, along with Rachel Reinert and brothers Tom and Mike Gossin. Kimball, who sang part of the group's debut single "Wild at Heart", departed after the first single from the group's second album. The failure of said single ("Wanna Take You Home") allowed the other three time to refine what would eventually become their second album, essentially making Kimball an Un-person — a song she wrote was cut from the track list, while "Wanna Take You Home" and a few other already-finished songs were re-recorded without her. Their first release after Kimball's departure, "(Kissed You) Good Night", was their only big hit.
  • The Tractors, a mid-1990s One-Hit Wonder country band, essentially consisted of Ron Getman (guitar, tenor vocals), Jamie Oldaker (drums), Walt Richmond (keyboards, bass vocals), Steve Ripley (guitar, lead vocals), and Casey van Beek (bass guitar, baritone vocals). Even though their debut had literally dozens of guest musicians, the lineup on later albums has basically been Steve Ripley and whoever else is in the studio that day, and may or may not include the other four.
  • U2's original lineup consisted of Bono (vocals/guitar), The Edge (lead guitar/vocals), Dik Evans (rhythm guitar), Adam Clayton (bass) and Larry Mullen (drums). Dik Evans, The Edge's brother, would leave the lineup to join art rockers Virgin Prunes, who were led by Bono's friend Gavin Friday. U2, of course, would later achieve super-stardom.
  • OK Go's original lead guitarist, Andy Duncan, left the band in 2005. Shortly afterwards the band shot to fame with their inventive music videos (to songs Duncan had still recorded), featuring his replacement Andy Ross.
  • Doug Hopkins of the Gin Blossoms is a rather tragic case. He played with the band as a guitarist and wrote several of the band's songs until he was fired for alcoholism. When the band started to chart without him, he committed suicide.
  • Bon Jovi has a curious example: original bass player Hugh McDonald. An experienced session hand, who looked more like the band's dad than the garden-variety glam metal bassist, Hugh was replaced with Alec Jon Such shortly after the release of first single "Runaway". Kind of. When Such was turfed from the band in 1994, it was revealed that McDonald had continued to play all the band's bass tracks in the studio. Since 1994, as an employee of the band, he has also played with them live.
    • And in a lesser case, Jon Bon Jovi would initially hire his neighbor Dave Sabo to play guitar, but he went on to form Skid Row instead.
  • Jars of Clay's original rhythm guitarist, Matt Bronleewe. He played on Jars' obscure, limited-print-run debut EP, then decided to focus on his education and left the band. The others found another guy named Matt to replace him, then scored a record contract and wrote a bunch of hits. Bronleewe has still done okay for himself, though.
  • The Kentucky Headhunters was founded in 1968 as Itchy Brother, consisting of brothers Richard and Fred Young, along with Greg Martin and Anthony Kenney. This lineup held until 1980, except for a short time when James Harrison temporarily replaced Martin. When they reunited in The '80s as The Kentucky Headhunters, the Youngs and Martin recruited brothers Ricky Lee and Doug Phelps as lead singer and bassist respectively. This lineup lasted only two albums before the Phelpses quit to form Brother Phelps. As a result, Kenney returned and Mark S. Orr became the new lead singer. Orr quit only one album later over Creative Differences, so Doug returned to take his brother's former post as lead singer (and, after Kenney quit in 2008, Doug once again became bassist). These membership changes are unusual in that the band's biggest success came during the short period of time (1989-1992) when Ricky Lee Phelps was lead vocalist, even though Doug has held that role far longer.
  • Kerry Katona was with Atomic Kitten for four underperforming singles and one flopped album; literally the week she left the band they shot to No. 1 in the UK with their single "Whole Again", a last-ditch attempt at success as they were about to be dropped by their record label. The band marched on with her replacement Jenny Frost, re-recording their debut album (which also went to #1), and releasing two more successful ones. Subverted later when Katona became (in)famous as a reality TV and tabloid "star", but she never released any music of her own.
  • Bites was the only Skinny Puppy album to feature Bill Leeb (under the alias Wilhelm Schroeder, not listed in the liner notes), although he went on to found Front Line Assembly the following year.
  • The Backstreet Boys had two members who dropped out before the group made it big: Sam Licata and Charles Edwards. Charles eventually formed — and subsequently dropped out of — another group with one Chris Kirkpatrick, leading to the creation of what would become *NSYNC.
  • Early on in the group's history, *NSYNC's bass vocalist was a guy named Jason Galasso. He ended up dropping out right before a live showcase that was to be recorded and sent out to record labels alongside their demo tape, apparently unhappy with the direction the group was heading (read: Boy Band). After some scrambling, they recruited Lance Bass and the rest is history.
  • S Club 7 rescued two people from this trope. Tina Barrett was originally slated to be part of what would later become Mis Teeq, a popular girl group in the early 2000s, but abandoned the lineup after successfully auditioning for S Club 7. Jo O’Meara, interestingly, was part of two separate projects before S Club 7. First, she was in an early lineup for the girl group Solid HarmoniE, who were later briefly successful across Europe in the late ‘90s. She left before they put out their official debut single “Got 2 Have Ya” but did record vocals for the track “7 Seconds”, which never got a proper release. After being dropped, she joined the German-based pop-rap group 2-4 Family but promptly left after being accepted into S Club 7. Of Jo’s two cases, only the former would have been a straight example of this trope, as she appeared on the latter’s debut single “Stay”, which was a top 10 hit in Germany. Of course, S Club 7 proved to be much bigger than any of the aforementioned groups.
  • Early lineups of what would later became The Statler Brothers included Joe McDorman, who was replaced by Lew DeWitt by the time the group got going.
  • Perfume was originally founded by Ayaka Nishiwaki (A~chan), Yuka Kashino (Kashiyuka), and Yuka Kawashima (Kawayuka). In fact, their namesake was based on the fact that the "ka" in their first names was written with the character for "perfume." Before they were recorded their first single, Kawashima dropped out to focus on school, and Nishiwaki recruited Ayano Oomoto (Nocchi) as her replacement.
  • Korean Pop Music Girl Group Wonder Girls went through line-up changes twice. Before they reached mainstream popularity with "Tell Me", Hyuna was pulled out of the group because of health issues. She was subsequently replaced by Yubin. To their American fans, (or, the ones who weren't already familiar with them prior to their overseas debut), this was the case with Lee Sunmi, who left the group in 2010, with Woo Hyelim taking her spot. Fans who knew the Wonder Girls from their Made-for-TV Movie on TeenNick often are unaware that Hyuna and Sunmi were originally in the group, especially after both girls went to pursue successful solo careers that are Hotter and Sexier than any of the content they produced while in the Wonder Girls.
  • Though he was there for FT Island's very successful debut "Lovesick", rapper/guitarist/sub-vocalist Oh Wonbin left after being a member for about a year and a half. Thus his replacement Song Seunghyun has been with the band much longer and been a part of their vital musical development, making him more well-known than Wonbin especially to newer fans.
  • Before CN Blue made their official and successful Korean debut, bassist Kwon Kwangjin left to continue training and was replaced by Lee Jungshin. Thus only those who are/were fans of the band in their indie days in Japan know Kwangjin quite well - the general public and casual fans not so much. Kwangjin would go on to debut in another band called N.Flying.
  • Everyone knows about Soundgarden's prolific and outspoken Token Asian guitarist Kim Thayil, but far fewer people are aware that, prior to their commercial breakthrough Badmotorfinger in 1991, they had another member of similar ethnicity in bassist Hiro Yamamoto, later replaced by the more proactive Ben Shepherd. Despite his final appearance being on 1989's Louder than Love—the band's major label debut and partial Beard Growing (several of the songs went on to become major fan favorites)—he still fails to be recognized, partly due to his tokenness being overshadowed by Thayil, and partly due to the fact that Chris Cornell was responsible for almost all of the songwriting up to that point. (Hiro did offer occasional writing contributions, but the songs that received the most listener acclaim were almost exclusively Cornell-penned.)
  • Inverted with Trick Pony. The group existed from 1996-2008 with Heidi Newfield (lead vocals), Keith Burns (guitar), and Ira Dean (bass). Newfield departed in 2008 and was replaced with Aubrey Collins for six months before Creative Differences led to their breakup.
  • Dave Richmond was Manfred Mann's original bassist, but he doesn't appear on a single recording, and Tom McGuinness played bass on both their first album and "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy."
  • Early on, Country Music band Diamond Rio was known as the Tennessee River Boys. The founding members were Vocal Tag Team Matt Davenport (Lead Bassist), Danny Gregg (brother of Restless Heart bassist Paul Gregg), and Ty Herndon, along with Larry Beard, Mel Deal, Al Deleonibus, and Ed Mummert. Herndon quit early on to compete on Star Search, with Marty Roe taking his place. Deleonibus, Mummert, and Beard were replaced by Dan Truman, Jimmy "J.J." Whiteside, and Jimmy Olander in short succession; Brian Prout replaced Whiteside, and Gene Johnson replaced both Deal and Gregg. While recording some demos, a producer persuaded them to let Roe sing lead instead of Davenport; as a result, Davenport quit and was hastily replaced by Dana Williams. The lineup of Roe, Truman, Williams, Johnson, Olander, and Prout has remained exactly the same since 1989. Among the former members, Herndon was the most successful after leaving the band, as he recorded for Epic Records between 1995 and 2002, and had three #1 hits in the process.
  • Japanese pop-rock band Silent Siren originally had Yana (Ayana Sogawa) as the keyboardist during their indies period. Yana left after their second indies mini album released in 2012, and was replaced by Yukarun (Yukako Kurosaka) two months later.
  • Information Society's first single, "Running", was sung by Murat Konar, who left the group shortly after its release, though he would later reunite with them for live performances of the song.
  • The initial line-up of O-Zone consisted of Dan Balan and Petru Jelihovschi, both former members of a band called Inferialis. After their first album hit it big in home Moldova, Jelihovschi decided to leave the project since music was a hobby for him, and he did not plan to perform professionally. Balan ended up bringing in Arsenie Todiraş and Radu Sîrbu, and the band recorded their biggest hit, "Dragostea din tei", as a trio.
  • Canadian Country Music band Emerson Drive was originally known as 12 Gauge, and was founded in 1995 with Brad Mates (lead vocals), Pat Allingham (fiddle), Remi Barre (drums), Dan Binns (guitar), Chris Hartman (keyboards), Jeff Loberg (bass), and David Switzer (guitars). In 1998, both Switzer and Binns were replaced by just Dan Bauman, reducing the group to a sextet. Derrick Kuzemchuk took over on drums briefly before Mike Melancon replaced him, Danick Dupelle took over on guitar, and Patrick Bourque became bassist in 2002. Dale Wallace then replaced Hartman, creating the lineup that the band had on its first album as Emerson Drive in 2002. For the second album in 2004, David Pichette took over on fiddle, creating the lineup that held until Bourque committed suicide in 2007 and Pichette quit in 2013.
  • Very early in Zac Brown Band's history, Marcus Petruska and Tim Ussery were the drummer and lead guitarist, with Joel Williams later replacing Ussery. Petruska and Williams are credited on their major-label debut The Foundation, but promotional material around the release of their major-label debut single "Chicken Fried" was already crediting Chris Fryar and Coy Bowles in those respective roles. They are also an inverse example, as three other members were added to the lineup without anyone else leaving: Clay Cook (keyboards) joined shortly after the release of "Chicken Fried", Daniel de los Reyes (percussion) just before their third major-label album Uncaged in 2012, and Matt Mangano (bass guitar) right after the same, causing existing bassist John Driskell Hopkins to move over to guitar and banjo.
  • The Insane Clown Posse originally appeared in promotional photographs with a third member, John Kickjazz. (This is how Violent J spells his name in "Behind The Paint" - fan sites call him 'Kickchass'.) By the time the first Joker's Card (album) Carnival of Carnage was completed, John was nowhere to be found. He did get mentioned in the song "The Juggla," though.
    • Likewise, though Shaggy 2 Dope was already a member of the gang/group, Violent J initially shared lyrical duties on the Inner City Posse's album Intelligence and Violence with an otherwise unknown individual named D-Lyrical. J admits in his book that he could've cared less about D-Lyrical, who happened to be a kid with a tape recorder. As one would suspect, J used him for the sake of that one album and never spoke to him again.
  • Petra was always something of a Revolving Door Band, but their most well-known eras were between 1980 and 1985 (when Greg X. Volz was the lead singer and everyone else save founding member Bob Hartman left) and 1986 to 1993 (when Head East vet John Schlitt took over). Everyone who left in 1980 could be considered a Pete Best. Special mention, however, goes to keyboardist John Slick, who performed on three of the four studio albums recorded during the Volz era but has been largely forgotten in favor of his replacement John Lawry. To the point where, when Hartman reunited the "classic Petra" lineup for a 2010 tour, the lineup featured Lawry rather than Slick.
  • Can one be a Pete Best if their replacement happens while their band is one of the biggest in the country? Just ask Andy Nicholson, the original bassist for Arctic Monkeys. The band had already had two #1 UK singles and the fastest selling debut album in British history when he was fired before they started their first American tour. His replacement Nick O'Malley has gone onto see much success with Arctic Monkeys over the next decade, while Nicholson has kept a low profile, only popping up again in Arctics drummer Matt Helders' short-lived side-project Mongrel.
  • Very early on, the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish was Brantley Smith. He was replaced by Jim Sonefeld before the band began recording.
  • Canadian Country Music duo High Valley consists of brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel. A third brother, Bryan, was a member on their first two albums, but he left before their first major Canadian hit "Rescue You" in 2013. American audiences will also know them only as a duo, as their third Canadian top 10 hit "Make You Mine" was released in the States in 2016.
  • Randy Rhoads was one of the founding members of Quiet Riot, but grew frustrated with their early lack of success (their first two albums were only released in Japan), and jumped at the offer to become Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist.
  • Rhoads' replacement Greg Leon arguably has three cases of this, with that band (he was gone when they broke out with Metal Health), along with Mötley Crüe (he played with Tommy Lee, and rehearsed with him and Nikki Six), and Dokken (he toured Europe with Don Dokken before the band started recording). Leon still made a name for himself in the Los Angeles rock scene, mostly as a guitar teacher.
  • In a rare example of this happening within a band that had already been signed and released several albums, cofounder John Foxx left Ultravox after three albums to start a solo career, having helped steer the band from its punk roots to early synthpop pioneers. Despite being praised and cited as an influence by Gary Numan, then at the peak of his success, among others, his first solo record MetaMatic flopped as it was derided as unoriginal and excessively derivative and imitative of Numan and other more recent synthpop stars who had cited Foxx as an influence. Ultravox, on the other hand, replaced him as lead singer with Midge Ure ... and had the first-ever Top Forty singles, including Signature Song "Vienna", as the beginning of a run of success that would last into the mid-80s.
  • Creed had a second guitarist, who left two years before they recorded their first album.
  • Velvet Underground had their original drummer Angus MacLise, who departed because the other band members were fed up with his unreliability, and because he thought that getting paid to play music was selling out. He subsequently became an artist and avant-garde musician in his own right.
  • R&B cover band The Soul Giants was led by Saxophonist David Coronado, but when Guitarist Roy Collins quit over creative differences with Coronado, he was replaced with Frank Zappa. Zappa then convinced the other members to play his original material, which Coronado thought would ruin the band, and also quit. Zappa assumed leadership and brought back Collins (who would permanently quit in '68). He also changed the name soon after to 'The Mothers', then The Mothers Of Invention.
  • Apoptygma Berzerk co-founder Jon-Erik Martinsen split with the band after their first single, "Ashes to Ashes", due to feeling uncomfortable with the musical direction they were taking.
  • Madness was co-founded by drummer John Hasler, who dropped out of performing to become their manager instead. They had several other short-lived members before settling on the classic line-up, including replacement drummer Gary Dovey, and vocalist Dikran Tulaine, who went on to some success as an actor. Both Graham "Suggs" McPherson and Cathal "Chas Smash" Smyth averted this by being fired early on, only to subsequently return.
  • When Phish formed in 1983, keyboardist Page McConnell was not part of the lineup, but second guitarist Jeff Holdsworth was. Holdsworth quit three years later, about six months after McConnell joined the band, and well before they released their debut album or became a hugely successful touring act.
  • The Human League's co-founders, Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh, quit the band in 1979 due to internal tensions with singer Philip Oakey. The band were already an underground favorite in the late 70s British electronic scene, and many of their early fans considered the group to be over and done with when Ware and Marsh left, because they were the only members that actually played instruments: Apart from Oakey, the only remaining member was visual artist Adrian Wright. Oakey and Wright replaced Ware and Marsh with singers Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley and went on to have major international success. However, Ware and Marsh teamed up with singer Glenn Gregory in 1983 to form Heaven 17, who were also successful in the UK.
  • ABBA had an interesting variation of this. Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid were all the original members of the band, but just shortly after properly establishing as a band (and still going by the name "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid"), Agnetha became pregnant with her first child, and she was replaced for a short period of time by a friend of Anni-Frid, a gospel singer named Inger Brundin, on a trip to West Germany before Agnetha came back.
  • The original lineup of Country Music band Sons of the Desert was Doug Virden, Jim Beavers, Troy von Haefen, Kyle Mathis, and Curtis Beck. The lineup on their first major-label album, however, was Virden, brothers Drew and Tim Womack, Brian Westrum, and Scott Saunders. Jim Beavers went on to follow his brother Brett into songwriting, while von Haefen became a financial advisor.
  • While Trout Fishing In America has always had guitarist Ezra Idlet and bassist Keith Grimwood, there was a time in The '80s when their membership also included keyboardist Rom Rosenblum and drummer Orville Strickland.
  • To most people, Chuck Schuldiner is the face of the band Death. However, what many non-fans don't know is that he was not the band's original vocalist. Back when the band was known as Mantas, Chuck was actually the bass player, while the other two founding members were guitarist Rick Rozz and vocalist/drummer Kam Lee. Kam performed the vocals on the band's early demos, and also contributed to the design of their original logo and songwriting for some of the tracks that ended up on Scream Bloody Gore, but due to having a falling out with the other members, he left the band in 1986 before they released any completed material. While Lee would go on to have a successful career on his own, becoming a well-known name as the frontman for Massacre and continuing to perform with numerous underground bands today, most people who aren't into death metal don't tend to remember him.
  • Don Kirshner's other telegenic transatlantic prefab bubblegum group, the Olivia Newton-John-fronted Toomorrow, replaced its drummer about five minutes before filming began on the Val Guest-helmed, Ray Dotrice-costarring sci-fi epic Toomorrow (1970).
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