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They Changed It Now It Sucks / Music

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Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I'm old-fashioned, say I'm over the hill
Today's music ain't got the same soul
I like that old time rock and roll.
Bob Seger, "Old Time Rock & Roll"

Note: This article lists examples which take place within fandoms; not TV Tropes' opinion as to whether a change is for the worse. TV Tropes doesn't have opinions. The focus is on over-reaction about minor changes.


  • This audience reaction can also occur when the image of an artist changes, even if the music is mostly the same. This is common when an innocent teen pop star sexualises their image as they 'mature', which can alienate a lot of fans that liked them for who they were up to that point. This has happened with Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and many others.
  • It also appears to be a general rule that any hard rock band that switches to a lighter, gentler or more pop-oriented sound will inevitably be accused of having "gone soft", or words to that effect. While bands like Status Quo (who incorporated synths into their sound from 1977 onwards) are classic examples, it can still happen today with bands like Biffy Clyro and Paramore, with the former opting for a more pop-oriented spin on the alternative prog they were previously known for, and the latter switching to something resembling new wave or indie rock.
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  • As a general comment, it can be a source of annoyance to fans old enough to remember the original vinyl releases when a band or performer's ouevre is remastered to CD. People expecting to hear a much-loved tune exactly as they heard it on 45rpm 7" vinyl when it was in the charts can frequently be dissappointed to hear a remix for CD that spoils the memory - a classic example is the CD of Kate Bush's Greatest Hits, in which the remaster of Wuthering Heights is a long way off from the single version as originally releasednote . People complained about this.
  • Bob Dylan: The Ur-Example in popular music. Acoustic to Electric with Bringing It All Back Home. As The Other Wiki will tell you, this was Serious Business. Please note: this is They Changed It, Now It Sucks! that warrants a (fairly long and extremely well-sourced) article on The Other Wiki. His 1979 conversion to Christianity and the resulting Slow Train Coming album led to a similar backlash.
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  • In a deleted scene from The Beatles Anthology" documentary, the surviving Beatles (Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) reunite and reminisce about the first time they met their idol Elvis Presley in 1965. George said he met him again backstage at one of his concerts in the early 70s when he was in his full white cape and jumpsuit wearing glory. While he was awestruck again he didn't like the female backup singers and horn section he now performed with on tour. George said he wished he would have told Elvis: "Just get your jeans on, get your guitar and sing 'That's All Right Mama' and bugger all that other crap!" Ironic considering George Harrison was notorious as someone who wanted to leave his past as a Beatle behind and if a Beatles fan told him he should go reunite with the other Beatles, go back to wearing suits and moptop hair and sing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" again Harrison would have responded with a "F—k off!"
  • Ronnie Milsap: A fictional example in his 1979 No. 1 country hit "Nobody Likes Sad Songs." There, Milsap sings about a performer who changes his performing style from uptempo songs to almost exclusively heartbreak ballads. The change in musical style — which comes at the same time he is experiencing a personal crisis with his relationship — results in a huge erosion of his fanbase, so much to the point where he loses all his credibility when, in a desperate move to salvage his act, he reintroduces his uptempo songs in his set list, and fans quit coming to his shows and buying his records en masse. Eventually, his tour is canceled by his manager, who admonishes him: "What happened son, you had it made?/Why'd you change the way you played?" Fans had no problem with the song, however, as "... Sad Songs" became a huge No. 1 hit and one of 1979's biggest country hits note  and is still a staple of Milsap's live shows.
  • Oh boy, what Rush suffered from 1982's Signals to 1991's Roll The Bones is a story of its own. They just released their most successful album a year earlier with 1981's Moving Pictures and Geddy Lee said the band could have simply followed up with "Moving Pictures Part 2" and be happy with it, but they wanted to experiment with a new sound. What did they do? Release Signals and incorporate synth-rock and new wave elements into their music, receiving very mixed reviews from the fans at the time who were expecting their next record to be just as rocking as the last. Their continued to evolve the synth-rock and new wave elements with 1984's Grace Under Pressure, 1985's Power Windows, and 1987's Hold Your Fire, but they also started incorporating pop-rock into their music as well, all while still keeping progressive elements in the mix. Many fans felt Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows were good improvements (finding a balance between guitars and keyboards), but by Hold Your Fire many fans absolutely hated the record at the time for its 1980's pop music sound, having "too much filler", and that Lee was spending way too much time on the keyboards that were drowing out Alex Lifeson's, who was play more background textured parts and later expressed some frustration of having to work around the keyboards. Fans at this point thought Rush was going to be Canada's equivalent to what Genesis and Yes were doing in the at the time (going from writing prog-rock epics in the '70s to MTV pop hits in the '80s), but in their 1989 album Presto, the synths were in the background instead and the guitar was back playing actual riffs. Many fans rejoiced, but still felt the albums didn't have a "hard enough" sound to it and it was still was stuck in a pop-rock style. Roll The Bones in 1991 was worse, mainly due to the infamous "rap" from a pitched-altered Geddy Lee on the title track and the album still having a thin, pop sound. But when 1993's Counterparts came out, Power Windows and Hold Your Fire producer Peter Collins (who was partially responsible for those albums incorporating pop elements and more keyboards) was brought back, now with a experienced resume from working with metal bands such as Queensrÿche and engineer for the record was future Iron Maiden producer Kevin Shirley, who pushed Rush to record the album with a heavier sound to prevent the thin sound Presto and Roll The Bones had. The album was critically acclaimed by critics and fans, many calling it their best record since Moving Pictures. The album was also was smash hit, charting at #2 on Billboard (only behind V by Pearl Jam), tied with 2012's Clockwork Angels for their highest charting album in the US. Rush was finally back to many fans who may have been disappointed with their '80s and '90s output.
    • That said, a number of older fans still use this as a rally cry whenever the band does something they don't like or changes something even slightly. Even things the Triumvirate cannot control aren't exempt: playing Tom Sawyer a bit slower live because they can't keep up with its original tempo, Neil Peart going from three drum solos to two, and Geddy Lee losing quite a bit of his higher register due to age are only a few of their complaints. Never mind that attempting full-speed Tom Sawyer, three drum solos, or hitting high notes from 40 years ago all cause them physical pain.
  • Angels & Airwaves was pretty much doomed to this from the beginning. The band was formed by blink-182 frontman Tom Delonge soon after Blink's breakup, and it was meant to be his next big project. Disgruntled Blink fans, still angry about the beloved band breaking up, formed a pretty sizable Hatedom once they realized that Angels & Airwaves wasn't Blink 182 2.0.
  • The Human League began as a very dark synth band whose songs rarely featured any instrumentation but stark synths and vocals. After the band's second album came out, the band's singer Phil Oakey wanted to play pop music but Martyn Ware did not want to, he fired him kicked him out. Ian Craig Marsh followed him and they formed Heaven 17. To replace the members that left, Oakey and Wright got two female students, Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall to replace them. This did not go down well with their fans. Whilst the album Dare, the first to be released with the new line up, was not stylistically very different from their old work with the exception of the singles Love Action and Open Your Heart, the band had built up a huge fanbase from their earlier line up and the backlash towards the girls was quite aggressive. Still, they gained a lot more new fans than they lost, so it worked out pretty well for them. It should be noted that the single I Don't Depend On You, released in 1979 before their first album under the pseudonym "The Men" sounds exactly like the sort of thing the band would go on to produce in their second line up two years later, which means there is no pleasing some people (albeit its different style was a point of contention for fans even at the time — there's a reason why it wasn't issued under the Human League name). And then there were the accusations of Human League's having "sold out" when they released their mid-'80s R&B-flavored album Crash, produced (and partly written) by the American team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Even though the single "Human" achieved major chart success in the U.S., a LOT of Human League fans were dismayed that they seemed to stray so far away from their New Wave base, even though their music was still heavily synthesized pop and not really that different from what their contemporaries were putting out at the time (cf. ABC's singles "Be Near Me" and "When Smokey Sings", the Duran Duran album Notorious, etc.).
  • When Nightwish lead vocalist, Tarja Turunen, left the group, she was replaced by Anette Olzon. While the band remains very successful, their more vocal fans are insisting that that Anette sucks and that Nightwish should get Tarja back. Other fans believe the band's style started to change into a more euro-pop genre since Century Child. Averted since Olzon left the band and Floor Jansen joined in. Virtually all the fanbase squeaked in delight at the news.
  • Theatre of Tragedy changed from a pioneering gothic metal band on their first few albums into full-blown Europop with Musique and Assembly. Many fans were not happy, to say the least. Then they got rid of lead singer Liv Kristine, who went on to form her own band, Leaves Eyes.
  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: Just about every new release gets complaints.
  • David Bowie frequently had to put up with this trope, since he changed his sound so often over the years, but the loudest cries came when 1983's mainstream-radio friendly Let's Dance arrived.
  • Ayumi Hamasaki: Everything after the 2001 magnum opus 'I am...' gets flak from fans, and even when returning to composers/arrangers she used in the 1998-2001 period (as in the case with 2010 single, MOON), her music is still Ruined FOREVER!!!
  • Jewel, many times, but the biggest one would have to be 0304, which was mainstream electropop. Previously, she garnered success with folk music and her debut Pieces of You. It absolutely ALIENATED fans.
  • Kanye West. 808s and Heartbreak. "Why is Kanye West using auto-tune and making R&B music now?"
  • Linkin Park's third and fourth albums, Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns. Interestingly enough, at least one song seems to directly address this, with it being the most obvious at lines like "...'Cause even a blueprint is a gift and a curse, 'cause once you got a theory of how the thing works, everybody wants the next thing to be just like the first." And telling them to "start catching up motherfucker!"
    • But the backlash those two got was tame compared One More Light. The synthy, pop-oriented singles garnered so much hatred that the lead singer told believers of this to “stab themselves in the face”, and soon after commited suicide. Leading to perhaps the fastest critical 180 in Music history.
  • R.E.M.'s Monster was a New Sound Album which went for raw, simple rock. Given the previous two albums that made them superstars were slow-paced, oft sad, it sold well... and became a mainstay of bargain bins.
  • Pink Floyd: It's not clear when exactly it happened. Perhaps when Roger Waters' departure, leaving the band to become a more bloated version of Daide Gilmour's solo work.
  • Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac got this because they switched to an electronic sound. Nevermind Amnesiac had some Alt Rock songs, Hail to the Thief was mostly tunes that wouldn't be out of place on OK Computer and Kid A and Amnesiac were critically acclaimed. Some vastly prefer their older, guitar-rock based material, and find their post-OK Computer output to be too obtuse and lacking in resonance to find enjoyment in, much to the chagrin of "true fans".
  • The Decemberists: The Crane Wife ("Progressive Rock? Where are the sea shanties?") then again on Hazards of Love ("Power chords? Wait, what?")
  • Tori Amos, especially her recent albums The Beekeeper, American Doll Posse, Abnormally Attracted to Sin and Midwinter Graces. But then came Night of Hunters, which changed her into a full-blown classical music composer and artist.
  • Some people don't like live recordings, because they feel that it "ruins" the songs that they love so much. On the flip side, though, people who do like live recordings generally don't want them to sound too much like the studio versions.
  • Napalm Death: While the Napalm Death fanbase is divided into people who prefer their earlier more hardcore leaning grind albums, people who prefer their more Death Metal influenced albums, and people who liked both eras, neither of them had a positive reaction to their more Industrial/Groove Metal-tinged late 90s albums starting with Diatribes.
  • Neil Young: Trans, to the point that Geffen Records sued Neil Young for not sounding like Neil Young.
  • Many Modest Mouse fans complain that this happened to the band upon the release of Good News for People who Like Bad News, perhaps because it featured radio-friendly material like "Float On".
  • Queen's 1979-1982 period comes to mind. Freddie Mercury grew a moustache (no, he didn't always have one, despite what many fans seem to think), the band released a disco single ("Another One Bites The Dust") followed by an even more disco-influenced album (Hot Space), incorporated synthesizers into the band after a "No Synths!" tradition in the studio, and in many ways alienated their hard rock fanbase, especially in America. Queen stopped touring in North America after 1982 as a result, and would not have a major hit in America again until "Bohemian Rhapsody" was rereleased and used in the movie Wayne's World in 1992 after Freddie's death. It's important to note that the band was never against synthesisers, they just didn't need to use them because they could make their sound effects themselves and wanted to advertise that fact. Brian May said the lack of synths in the 70's had a lot to do with how awful synths sounded at the time. They relaxed the restriction in the 80's because by then synthesizer technology had advanced to where they could actually use them musically instead of just making loud squealy noises. They remained huge in the rest of the world throughout the eighties and up to Freddie's death. The backlash was entirely in the US. "Another One Bites the Dust" is not generally classified as Disco in the rest of the world either.
  • My Chemical Romance when they dropped their post-hardcore vibe and penchant for truly macabre lyrics and favour of a Rock Opera with a more mainstream feel for The Black Parade. The album was a hit, new fans emerged, and the fanbase was divided. Gerard Way's hair is Serious Business. "He cut it/dyed it/bleached it/trimmed it/parted it differently/hasn't dyed his roots, now he SUCKS!".note 
  • Liz Phair: Pretty much every post-Exile in Guyville album, but 2003's blatantly, unapologetically commercial Liz Phair especially alienated her established fanbase.
  • Metallica's self-titled album was a shift from thrash metal to a style reminiscent of more traditional heavy metal with a bit of hard rock influence. Cue the bitching. Some might say the band started derailing from the thrash metal genre on And Justice For All, a relatively over-produced, almost progressive-like album. To this day you'll more than likely run into someone saying "Cliff Burton Died, Now They Suck" just about anywhere you go. Still others say the band began to stray from their thrash metal roots as early as Master of Puppets. Then came Load, Reload and St. Anger, which effectively drowned the band into a Dork Age.
  • Cradle of Filth, when they switched over from black metal to... some other kind of metal.
  • Cryptopsy: The Unspoken King. The less said about that album, the better.
  • Faces of countless fans were red with rage when they heard Morbid Angel's new album Illud Divinum Insanus for the first time. In their eyes, Morbid Angel had gone from being one of the best and most influential Death Metal bands of all time to being a cheap Rob Zombie / Marilyn Manson ripoff.
  • Holy Grail had attracted no small amount of buzz with their debut EP, which created a lot of anticipation for their full-length and had them poised to become a major player in the traditional metal revival scene. Then their full-length hit and instantly attracted a ton of negative attention thanks to decidedly inferior rerecordings of the EP songs, excessive instrumental wank in place of riffs that one could sink their teeth into, and most of all, the fairly frequent presence of poorly-performed harsh vocals that would have been more at home on an All That Remains album. Fans of the EP were NOT happy.
  • the Mountain Goats post-Tallahassee, according to some.
  • Even The Beatles came in for this; their change of style and approach in their later albums (particularly Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band onwards) gradually isolated the fans of their earlier, more traditional 'pop love-ballads' approach. This was pretty Paul McCartney's reaction to the changes Phil Spector make to Let It Be, particularly in the case of "The Long and Winding Road."
  • Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled release has been seen by some as a drastic change in their nature of playing. Some might also consider City Of Evil inferior as well, because it was the first album to not feature M. Shadows' screamish style featured on their previous releases. This often happens whenever the band members change their appearances. The most recent case being with M Shadows having grown out his hair. Largely averted with Zacky Vengeance, though - who is known to change his appearance quite regularly - other then when he decided to remove his snakebite piercings. A good portion of the fanbase is less-than-pleased with Arin Ilejay being their replacement drummer - even though, for obvious reasons, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan is unable to return to the band. Even worse was the fact that Ilejay apparently kept trying to add his own stamp on the material only to be rebuffed by the rest of the band, who more or less forced him to play in the overly simplistic style that was the subject of much criticism on Hail to the King.
  • Coldplay when they changed from the more subdued, guitarry music/piano from Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head to the stadium rock/pop ala U2 or Simple Minds in Viva La Vida.
  • Oasis had this from many people on the release of their album 'Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants', despite the demand for change from much of the music press following their previous album Be Here Now, when Oasis did vary their sound the press hounded them for it. Many Oasis fans see 'Giants' (as well as Be Here Now) as misunderstood and unfairly maligned records, especially with tracks such as 'Go Let It Out' and the fan favourite 'Gas Panic!'.
  • When Weezer released Pinkerton, it was blasted by critics and listeners alike for being darker than The Blue Album. Then after shifting back to more upbeat songs, Pinkerton became a fan favorite and the band was criticized for changing their style back.
  • When the survivng members of Sublime found a new singer/frontman/lead guitarist, a certain portion of their fanbase might as well have made this their rallying cry.
  • Judas Priest: Even though Tim Owens moving from tribute band frontman to actual Judas Priest frontman was exciting enough to lead to a film Very Loosely Based on a True Story, he just couldn't replace Rob Halford, so they finally brought him back. Many fans also revolted at the release of the 1986 "synthpop" album Turbo, even though that's a very enjoyable album and - some would argue - one of Priest's best. More importantly, videos based on the Turbo songs got massive airplay on MTV, and Priest (and heavy metal in general) started to attract a lot of female fans, even to the point where there seemed to be as many girls as there were boys at their concerts. It's when Priest tried to make up for this that they arguably started to go off the rails: they worked hard to establish themselves as a purely "thrash" band like Metallica, in the process sacrificing a lot of the eclecticism that had made them popular among all music fans and not just metal ones.
  • When Matt Chalk quit Psycroptic, fans were quite worried, as his very unique and distinctive brand of harsh vocals were one of the band's trademarks. Surprisingly, however, the first album with Jason Pepiatt, his successor, was actually rather well-received, and Pepiatt was noted for doing a surprisingly good job. Then Ob(Servant) was released, and the shit hit the fan. Not only had Jason Pepiatt's vocals completely changed into something more out of the Jamey Jasta playbook, but Joe Haley's trademark winding riffs had been dialed down in favor of dime-a-dozen standard modern death metal riffing that could have come from a thousand other bands. Psycroptic lost a lot of fans with that album. Their album The Inherited Repression, however, has won back some fans with its groovier, more unique sound. That being said, Jason's vocals still sounded Jasta-like.
  • When Iced Earth's Matt Barlow quit so he could focus on his career as a police officer, band leader and guitarist John Schafer opted not to find a similar baritone vocalist and instead hired the tenor Tim "Ripper" Owens, who was already a replacement scrappy for Judas Priest. The fans were not pleased despite Owens being a very skilled vocalist in his own right simply because he wasn't Matt Barlow. Europeans were especially volatile.
  • Miley Cyrus' Can't Be Tamed. Some didn't enjoy her darker image and the overusage of "electro-pop-ish" technology. Her album Bangerz. Even more so as parents to Hannah Montana fans expressed disgust over her present image, and to top it all off, her performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • Morning Musume: Happens every time a new generation of girls is brought in. Or after every new song released post-"Golden Era".
  • Animal Collective has Merriweather Post Pavilion.
  • MGMT's Congratulations. Well, it's not even necessarily that different from Oracular Spectacular, it just isn't 45 minutes of Electric Feel, which seemed to displease some.
  • Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" single was decidedly more influenced by pop music than her previous punk rock-y efforts. If one visited the official YouTube upload for said video after its release, you would find nothing but a river of flames, most having to do with how she "sold out". Fans were starting to like her "girly punk" image, she releases the extremely mainstream "What The Hell".
  • Flyleaf's second album. The first was vaguely Christian, if not unnoticeably Christian. The newest one, while not confirmed to be, has a more Christian overtone. There's also the calmer tone of it, fitting the theme of the album in sharp contract to the first album which was full of guitars, drums, and screaming.
  • Taylor Swift's first album was surprisingly mature in content, especially given her young age, and had a markedly country influence. The second, however, switched to a "teen country-pop" format with songs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Miley Cyrus or Jonas Brothers album. Needless to say, this has caused quite the Broken Base to form. One half (mostly the younger half) loves the change in tone; for the other half, "Soulless Sell-Out" is one of the nicer things they have to say about her, and made worse in that, because she writes most of her own songs, she can't even blame Executive Meddling for it. It got worse with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble", both straight-up pop songs which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. This marked the point at which she gave up any pretense of being a country artist and dove straight into pop, a shift which has no doubt alienated just as many fans as it has accumulated.
  • A small, but vocal section of Dream Theater's fanbase believes that nothing the band wrote after "Images and Words" has any merit. Not just inferior, but totally worthless. This is a problem because "Images" was their second album...out of eleven. This is probably because, unlike the Progressive Metal sound that comprises the bulk of their career, their first two albums were more along the lines of heavy Progressive Rock, often having an uplifting Yes-like feel as opposed to the Darker and Edgier Metallica worship of later years. This Tone Shift can be traced to original keyboardist Kevin Moore's disillusionment and departure from the band immediately after Awake's recording—another case of "He Left, Now They Suck." They hit this audience reaction trope much harder with Train of Thought: the increased focus on a darker metal feel alienated fans who preferred the aforementioned Yes-like feel.
  • Fans of King Crimson shouted this when the band went from prog rock to new wave in the early 1980s. In fact, this has been a constant problem the band has faced; for example, during the Islands era, someone wrote "Play the old tunes - the new ones are crap" on the band's tour van.
  • Apoptygma Berzerk, when they genre shifted to emotronic/rocktronica.
  • This happened to Jean-Michel Jarre with the release of about half of his albums. The first and hardest time was when he released Magnetic Fields because his early fans complained that it sounded nothing like Oxygène and Equinoxe. Next time was Zoolook which chased away some more early fans with separate tracks with individual titles. For those who got to like Zoolook as much as his earlier albums, Rendez-vous wasn't experimental and spectacular enough anymore. And so forth. He did sort of go back to the roots in the mid-90s, but then came Metamorphoses with none of Jarre's classic sounds, with no part numbers, with separate tracks, and with lyrics. Even die-hard fans became skeptical upon the releases of Sessions 2000 and Geometry of Love and outright disliked Téo & Téa. Some also say his concerts aren't as good anymore as the huge-scale outdoor shows for six-to-seven-digit crowds which he played in the 80s and 90s. Others in turn, mostly the early fans who bought Oxygène as 12" vinyl in 1976 or 1977, feel he shouldn't even have started to play these big shows because they don't do the overall feel of Oxygène and Equinoxe justice.
  • 90s trip-hop group Sneaker Pimps. Any video of theirs on YouTube is invariably seasoned with comments about how much the band sucked after Kelli Ali left and when Chris Corner replaced her, and comments in response will usually defend Chris and claim that fans of Kelli can't "understand" the music now.
  • In a similar vein, fellow British trip hop group Morcheeba faced criticism when they switched to a more pop-oriented sound on Fragments of Freedom, and later on when they reformed without lead singer Skye Edwards. In the latter case, however, Skye wasn't fired from the band, and merely was busy with a solo career. She later re-appeared in the band beginning with Blood and Chocolate.
  • They Might Be Giants, known for a decade as a two-man group with simplistic orchestration (including heavy reliance on drum machines and other fake instruments) blossomed into a full band for 1994's "John Henry." Initially, fans boycotted their shows to protest the change. Obviously this had no effect, as TMBG has been a four or five-man group ever since.
  • Some of Bon Jovi's fans have criticized their more recent country-rock albums because they preferred their older heavy-metal sound.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers have faced this accusation ever since "Under The Bridge" was recorded. Hiring a Heavy Metal-style player in ex-Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro for their One Hot Minute album didn't help, and abandoning their traditional funk-based Hard Rock sound for a Lighter and Softer prog-oriented Alt-Rock one definitely didn't help, either.
  • Kings of Leon post Only By The Night (some say post-Because Of The Times), again, bonus points if there is someone "who loves old and new" and "just wants everyone to calm down".
  • Social Distortion has many fans thinking this as of Hard Times and Nrsery Rhymes. Especially with the more bluesy-sounding songs like Can't Take it With You.
  • A song about this: "Van Halen" by Nerf Herder, where the narrator gives up on his favorite band after Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth. This references how a lot of former Van Halen fans very vocally did not like what they referred to as "Van Hagar".
  • The Beach Boys with Pet Sounds. Despite its critical acclaim, a good chunk of the band's main audience, who were mainly exposed to the sun, surf and girls imagery of their earlier work, didn't know what to make of the orchestrations and introspective lyrics when it was first released. By the same token, the concept could just as easily apply to fans who did not take to the Beach Boys' music regardless of quality without Brian Wilson's involvement or his studio experimentations.
  • Muse doesn't suffer too much from its fans, but when the trailer for their upcoming album The Second Law was released, it immediately got this treatment from people who didn't appreciate the Dubstep in its second half.
  • Given that the band spent the first half of their career in a perpetual state of We're Still Relevant, Dammit!, Christian rockers Skillet were bound to get this, starting out as a Grunge band with their Self Titled debut, then adopting a Lighter and Softer Electronica sound (Hey You, I Love Your Soul, Invincible), only to then go in a Darker and Edgier Heavy Metal direction (Alien Youth, Collide). Ironically enough, it was after the band found a stable sound with said Collide album that they received the most "It Sucks" furor, due to 1) sacrificing their gospelicious, openly Christian lyrics and image with vague, secular crossover allegories and macho rock star personas, and 2) having their sound and songwriting become increasingly commercialized and formulaic on their follow-ups Comatose and Awake. Both of these, of course, coinciding with their switch from Ardent to Atlantic Records. Selling Out? Executive Meddling? Take your pick.
  • Silverchair, like Skillet, also began as a Grunge band, then, after their first two albums, turned to more baroque and art rock-based music with Neon Ballroom. Not helping, frontman Daniel Johns also started an R&B solo career after the band went on hiatus.
  • Cobra Starship's Night Shades. It is absolutely more poppy than While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets, Viva la Cobra! and Hot Mess.
  • Owl City is getting this from any of his material released after Shooting Star, which have less thought-provoking lyrics that Owl City always had and the fact it is mostly pop instead of his signature electropop. However, they often forget that Adam Young, who is Owl City, has experimented with lots of other genres.
    • Years later, Owl City later put out the song "All My Friends", which is influenced heavily by country pop instead of synthpop and viewed as a weak attempt at making a nostalgic "feel-good" arena-pop song. Unsurprisingly, fans were not pleased.
  • No Doubt had Rock Steady, which ditched their previous ska punk sound for a more commercial pop sound. Needless to say, it didn't fare well with fans.
  • Many fans of GWAR complained about Blothar joining the band.
  • Jethro Tull had to put up with it starting with their second album. The band's first album, This Was, was almost entirely blues-rock with a couple tracks being straight-up blues. Stand Up, their second album, had only a couple blues-rock tracks with the rest being closer to the prog-rock sound that most people are familiar with. TCINIS was avoided with Songs from the Wood, which added folk elements to their music. No such luck with A, where not only was the entire band replaced (save frontman Ian Anderson and guitarist Martin Barre), but they changed to an electronic sound. Fans returned to the band with The Broadsword and The Beast (in fact it is the band's highest-grossing album in Germany), but the shit really hit the fan with Under Wraps, which was even more electronic than A and even utilized a drum machine. Tull never fully recovered and has never come close to their success from the 70's.
  • One Way Trigger by The Strokes, which has dropped the garage band sound in favour of a driving '80's synthesiser riff and a falsetto vocal is dividing their fanbase like nobody's business.
  • Happens a lot in heavy metal. Metallica is the most famous example, starting with The Black Album. However, it is far more common in the underground genres, especially black metal, which often seems to have a fanbase full of "Stop Having Fun" Guys.
  • Sade's last 2 album are a significant Tone Shift from the previous records. In the beginning they had a sophistipop, quiet storm, contemporary jazz, and adult contemporary soul tone and style with a little bit of Caribbean rhythm thrown in. But their last 2 albums were more of a morose dreary sounding R&B sound which put a few fans off from them who misses the more organic sound they had. Some even complain about the lack of smooth mellow saxophone solos from Mathewman.
  • Referenced and parodied by Spinal Tap. They're also involved in a truly shining example: Spinal Tap is actually composed of actors Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer. In-universe it's made clear that the band has changed rather a lot over the years (excerpts from their earlier songs "The Flower People" and "Cups and Cakes" played during the movie are very different from the music they're playing on their current tour), but that in itself isn't what qualifies them for the trope. The movie they appeared in, mocking both the "rockumentary" and metal bands in general, was popular enough (and the actors musically talented enough) that they defictionalized the band and performed live as "Spinal Tap" on tour. So far so good. Guest, McKean and Shearer reunited as folk music group The Folksmen for the movie A Mighty Wind. And, during one tour, as a cute little joke, The Folksmen opened for Spinal Tap. Enough Tap fans in New York didn't get the joke that Guest, McKean and Shearer are possibly the only people ever to have been booed off stage in favor of themselves.
  • Go to any drum & bugle corps discussion group. You'll see endless threads on how the activity has been ruined by everything from unfamiliar music, asymmetrical drills, and sideline percussion (all commonplace since The '80s) to B-flat/F brass (as opposed to the traditional G bugles, happened in 2000), amplification of pit instruments, synthesizers, and live narration during performances (more recent developments). As a matter of fact, in 1971, t-shirts were made showing a tombstone engraved with the words "The Day Drum Corps Died" to protest concept shows by the Cavaliers (circus), Madison Scouts ("Alice in Wonderland"), and the Garfield Cadets (The American Revolution).
  • Maroon 5's Overexposed, which is much more pop-oriented than their previous albums. V (which was touted as [supposedly] having a sound similar to Songs About Jane) has not been received any better.
  • O.A.R. fans dislike the band's releases post-Stories of a Stranger for adopting a mainstream pop rock sound, although it keeps hints of the band's signature reggae-jam-rock. It wasn't really until The Rockville LP that those hints of the band's past were truly stripped away.
  • Finnish metal band Turisas' fourth album, Turisas 2013, was met with...mixed reactions. A number of fans have been complaining about how it 'doesn't sound the same', with one guy sending a Tweet to violinist Olli Vänskä about how Turisas are no longer a folk metal band, prompting Vänskä to respond with a fantastically bitchy Tweet of his own: "How can we be folk metal when we weren't folk metal to begin with?"
  • When Cassadee Pope left pop punk band Hey Monday and later went on to do country music after winning on The Voice, many fans were absolutely outraged.
  • In 1999, The Aquabats! abruptly transitioned from the predominant brass-heavy ska sound of their first two albums into a Devo-influenced keyboard-driven rock/New Wave sound. During the early 2000s, the band's trumpet players departed the group, completely removing their once characteristic horn section from their music. This ultimately sharply divided The Aquabats' fanbase; although there are many fans who prefer the band's newer sound, especially following the popularity of The Aquabats! Super Show!, many older fans continue to voice a vehement dislike of their newer synthpop-influenced albums, even going so far as to start petitions urging the band to bring back their horn section.
  • Both fans and critics of Garbage have used this argument to justify why they don't like the band's third LP Beautifulgarbage with its more eclectic and pop influences, as opposed to their usual alt-rock post-grunge sound.
  • A band identified (however loosely) with Progressive Rock like Yes, Genesis, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd (at least in the David Gilmour-led period), Emerson, Lake & Palmer and their offshoots or Supertramp, who switches or veers more towards a "pop" style, or a Supergroup of "prog" musicians who choose to create commercial material like Asia or GTR at some point can get bad press (especially in prog-rock circles) simply for adopting a more mainstream style, no matter how good or consistent the band's works are or how much heart, soul or effort they put into it. Evidently the music has no validity unless a little Epic Rocking or Concept Albums are involved (or at least some Mellotron).
    • Modern prog idol Steven Wilson faced the wrath of a certain section of his fanbase in 2017 after he announced his decision to make To the Bone — an album inspired by '80s progressive pop, featuring an upbeat disco-inspired single that contrasted heavily with his characteristically gloomy output. The album, despite not straying too far from Wilson's usual prog territory and being surprisingly Porcupine Tree-esque, prompted discussion amongst the fans about about what "progressive rock" actually is, and how much change and experimentation it allows for before it becomes something else entirely.
  • Then there's The Doors after the death of Jim Morrison. Other Voices was not very successful, and the band itself denies that it and Full Circle even exist.
  • Cat Stevens followed up four albums of folk-rock and pop-rock with the classic rock influenced Foreigner, an album vastly different from the others in sound and omitting producer Paul Samwell-Smith, whom Stevens replaced, and Alun Davies, his backup guitarist. Critics and listeners were not pleased, even though it peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, and his style came back with Buddha and the Chocolate Box, which brought back both Davies and Samwell-Smith, the latter assisting Stevens in that album's production, and most of his fanbase. Not many of the fans stayed, however, for the synth-pop-based Numbers. He managed to regain the fanbase again with Izitso, an album that, while it peaked at #7 and therefore lower than Foreigner, was quite successful in its own right, but Back to Earth brought the end of his career because of this (although why he quit the rock scene was coupled more with his conversion to Islam).
  • Captain Beefheart alienated his Avant-garde Music fans by making two pathetic and desperate attempts at commercializing his sound: Unconditionally Guaranteed and Bluejeans & Moonbeams. It even failed to attract the mainstream crowd and he later regarded them as an Old Shame.
  • At about the same time their TV show was cancelled, The Monkees released a vaudevillian cover of "D.W. Washburn," sounding vastly unlike most of their familiar bubblegum-pop and psychedelic material. While the song made the Top 20, albeit very narrowly, listeners didn't care for it, and nowadays it is seen as a major factor in the decline of the group's popularity.
  • Don't even ask about The Ramones' End of the Century. These punk-rockers were not made for pop.
  • Certainly there must have been cries of "Bring back Graham Nash!" when Terry Sylvester replaced him in The Hollies.
  • Transfer of music first released on vinyl to the CD format causes strife too. Either little compromises have to be made in transfer between formats, or else it is taken as an opportunity to radically remix the original tapes. It has been the case that people originally buying the single in the 1970's on vinyl have been less than enchanted thirty years later when updating to CD. When they discover the CD version of a hit single they bought as a kid is nothing like the vinyl version they remember and wanted to reacquire. note 
  • This was a major reaction of many a blues fan to both Electric Mud and The Howlin' Wolf Album.
  • The Ocean had this happen when they released Heliocentric and Anthropocentric, two much lighter progressive metal albums compared to their older music that was far more sludge, hardcore, and doom influenced.
  • Kreator got hit with this big time when they started to deviate away from Thrash Metal. Even when they returned to it, a lot of it viewed it as much softer than Pleasure to Kill. Phantom Antichrist, on the other hand, seems to be getting a lot of positive remarks.
  • If you asked a fan of The Rolling Stones what their worst move was, chances are the answer would be when they embraced psychedelia in 1967 with Between The Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request. While this period has it fans, many felt that the band was out of its element. Even the band themselves thought it was a mistake and, as a result, very few songs from this era are looked back on fondly, let alone played on stage.
  • All Time Low attempted a more Pop album experiment when they signed to Interscope for their fourth album, Dirty Work. This lead to divisive reactions from their fanbase that still persist to this day that's lead to massive Broken Base between fans of their more Punk/Emo-leaning brand of Pop Punk/Emo Pop and the fans who like their more Pop-leaning works. Reactions range from "It's their best album yet" to "It's their worst album yet," to "It's a So Okay, It's Average experiment that's more disappointing than anything." Basically, the album's over reliance on Pop lead to many wrong decisions made during the production of it. These being: too many producers, some the band had worked with before, some they would go on to work with afterwards, and some they shouldn't have ever worked with, too many cowriters on each song, some worked, others really didn't, weak production on most of the songs leading to low-fidelity and bad music mixing, and just a tumultuous experience for All Time Low, which lead them to resign to Hopeless and hate the whole experience. Even some reviews didn't like it, some saying stuff along the lines of most of the songs were weak, there was too much autotune, the band lost their way after having good previous albums, and other things. After Dirty Work, they focused all of their energies to recording Don't Panic, which has undone most of the damage as it's a far more focused, consistent, and better-written album. Unfortunately, though, they seemed eager to try again, as when they went in to record Future Hearts, they ironed out the Emo that's been noticeable in their sound since their third album to try to get back to a more general Pop Punk sound like on their first few. However, while it's generally agreed to be better than Dirty Work, it's still far from a perfect album and has several songs just as bad, if not worse, as some of that one's got. Hopefully they'll iron out the kinks on future albums.
    • Unfortunately, not. After releasing Future Hearts and their second live album on Hopeless, they signed to Fueled By Ramen and did the exact same things again on Last Young Renegade, only it somehow came out more disappointing than Dirty Work like they'd forgotten why that album failed and has caused further riffs in their fanbase on both sides of the spectrum from the people who love their Pop side to the ones who feel they can't produce good Pop music and wish they'd stick to working off their previously-established Pop Punk sound. It's definitely a more consistent album in sound than Dirty Work, or Future Hearts, but it's nowhere near as good as their other past releases.
  • Tangerine Dream, poster children of the Berlin School of Electronic Music, were accused of betraying their own genre when they started to actually compose their music in 1978 instead of just improvising and experimenting and tinkering with running sequencers.
  • In contrast, Kraftwerk were frowned upon around the same time for the extensive use of sequencing on The Man-Machine. Until then, their music was almost fully electronic, but still hand-made with no technical aids. The Man-Machine's ultra-tight timing and precisely repetitive style made it sound like Kraftwerk actually were robots instead of human beings.
  • Yet another Electronic Music example lies in Zedd. His material from his earlier days was Electro House with some dubstep touches, and his first official album Clarity featured more pop-oriented tracks, but was still recognizably electro. But as his material continued taking a more pop radio friendly sound (complete with collaborations with the biggest names in pop music like Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber), a massive Broken Base ensued between those that miss his earlier sound and those that embrace his later sound starting from the release of his second full length album True Colors.
  • Many fans of Culture Club were displeased when Boy George abruptly dropped his Dude Looks Like a Lady fashion to become a generic 80's pop star Pretty Boy for their last album From Luxury to Heartache. Just compare this to this. In fact, more fans were annoyed by this than the fact that the band changed their sound from New Wave to Synth-Pop!


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