Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Game Changers"

One of my favorite games to play with friends is something we call "Roll the Bones." To play, one distributes ten fair dice (ten-sided dragon dice are optimal, but not required) amongst all players (as equally as possible), and the players roll all ten dice simultaneously. Each player creates their own distinct ten-digit number sequence (not starting with "0" or "1") using the digits randomly generated by the dice, and then enters their unique sequence into their cellular phone. The players depress their "call" buttons at the same time, and upon connection with a receiving party begin screaming at maximum volume into their phones. The player that keeps their target receiver on the phone the longest wins that particular round.

Another fun game is to create specific musical criteria for bands, albums, musicians, etc., and name as many examples as possible that satisfy or exemplify the conditions. Example: Bands whose second album was generally considered to be their finest, or Bands named after a member other than the lead singer, or "Good" bands whose album catalogs contain a majority of releases that are "not good."

Of course the answers are highly subjective, which is why the game is so fun. Anyway, here's a new one I thought of a few nights ago... It expands on an earlier topic I came up with: Bands that were successful in two different incarnations, each featuring a different lead singer.

[note: You might have some better ideas than the ones I'm suggesting-- please share/discuss via comments! It's really fun!]

"Game Changers"
Bands that replaced or added a member(s) and reached new levels of success.
The band must have a minimum of two proper full-length releases before the addition/replacement, and the new member must be an integral part of the newfound success. So, no Peart for Rutsey.

Fleetwood Mac - Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham replace Bob Welch (1975)
Tough to beat this one. Bob Welch was a major Mac member, but the Buckingham/Nicks upgrade was like getting Ruth/Gehrig for Jimmy Dykes. Or like getting Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton for Bob Welch...

Journey - Steve Perry replaces Robert Fleischman (1977)
Perry really was recruited to augment the existing vocalists Neil Schon and Gregg Rolie-- a job Fleischman apparently couldn't hack. Have you ever heard Gregg Rolie sing "Open Arms?" Me neither.

AC/DC - Brian Johnson replaces Bon Scott (1980)
Before you accuse me of blasphemy, I love Bon Scott. It's just that Back In Black is one of the biggest selling albums in the history of mankind, so I think this qualifies.

Doobie Brothers - Michael McDonald replaces Tom Johnston (1975)
That's gotta suck... "Hey bro, sorry about your ulcer. Listen, Mike's just gonna fill in for a while."

Faith No More - Mike Patton replaces Chuck Mosley (1988)
I owned records by these guys both before and after the above switch, and I can attest to the fact that Faith No More became a better and more popular band as a result.

Genesis - Phil Collins replaces John Mayhew (1970)
'Nuff said.

More Drummers:
Sleater-Kinney - Janet Weiss replaces Laura Macfarlane (1996)
Completed the new definition of power trrrio with vocals, style, and kick-ass drums.

Flaming Lips - Steven Drozd replaces Nathan Roberts (1991)
They just happened to start selling lots of records when this guy starts playing drums? Hmm...

Simple Minds
- Mel Gaynor replaces Mike Ogletree (1982)
Listen to "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and report back to me. Don't forget.

Sort of:
Red Hot Chili Peppers - John Frusciante replaces DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight (1988)
Tough one. They've gotten so big it doesn't seem to matter who plays guitar at this point.

Survivor - Jimi Jamison replaces Dave Bickler (1984)
Most people think "Eye of the Tiger" when Survivor comes up, and that's Bickler. On the other hand, I think of "High On You," "The Search Is Over," "I Can't Hold Back," and other hit singles featuring vocalist Jimi Jamison.


Left Field said...

Yes - Steve Howe replaces Peter Banks (1971)
The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge immediately follow.
Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye replace Trevor Horn, Steve Howe and Geoff Downes (1983)
Tough to consider Rabin an upgrade over Howe, but the other two are pretty obvious. Plus, 90125 ushered in a new and briefly successful era.

Left Field said...

King Crimson - John Wetton, Bill Bruford and David Cross replace Boz Burrell, Ian Wallace and Mel Collins (1973)
Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, Red > Islands, Lizard

Lee said...

I was waiting for the Crimson stuff from you. No arguments, except that I didn't consider them because it's kind of just Fripp and whoever he feels like playing with. But, I also think that changed a bit from Larks onward, so OK.

I like the Steve Howe one, but I don't like the Anderson for Horn-- JA was already the voice of the band. Kaye was already in the band as well, but at least Rabin is new AND was a big part of the new sound. However, {Yes Album, Fragile}>{90125, Big Generator} by a mile, so forget it.

Left Field said...

Maybe Yes 1983 was a stretch because of the band member revolving door issue, but the point was 90125 was more successful than Drama, not better than their earlier work.

Left Field said...

Deep Purple - Ian Gillan and Roger Glover replace Rod Evans and Nick Simper (1970)

Lee said...

Nice work on the DP. If 90125 outsold their other records, Rabin is in... I don't have the stomach to look up the numbers.

Left Field said...

Iron Maiden - Bruce Dickinson replaces Paul Di'anno (1982)

Small Faces/Faces - Rod Stewart and Ron Wood replace Steve Marriott (1969)

Lee said...

Absolutely. Yep.

griff said...

Mick Taylor replaces Brian Jones?

griff said...

Henry Rollins replaces Keith Morris

Donna Dresch replaces Lou Barlow

Dave Grohl replaces Chad Channing

Lee said...

I thought it would be more interesting if we only included bands with at least two albums before the new member... otherwise there's too many Peart-for-Rutseys and other no-brainers.

I thought about the Mick Taylor one, but something doesn't seem right about it.

Here's one I just thought of: Blackie Onassis for "Jaguar." Can't believe I missed that one.