The art of rock and roll always comes back to being a performance at the end of the day. No matter how much you might think that you have the most authentic version of yourself being brought to the public, there’s always a few puppet masters behind the scenes making sure everything goes just right in interviews. At that rate, anyone would need a break from themselves, and these artists did just that.
Going into recording a new album, every one of these musicians decided to reinvent themselves from the ground up, taking on new identities and styles and calling it their new vision. Though the musical style may have been the same with some of these acts, the main shift was in tone, with some of the songs either dwelling on the darker side of life or flipping the genre tag entirely to make way for some of the most off the wall ideas they would ever create.
These little side projects weren’t meant to last forever though, and every one of these acts eventually turned back to making their old style that their fans love so much. You can’t blame them for trying it out though, taking some time out of their life as a rock star to just take a few risks and see what sticks. These albums might not be anyone’s go to project, but it’s healthy for a band to succeed.
10. Alice Cooper - Alice Cooper
Before the real macabre shock rocker came out to play, Alice Cooper was a rock band first and foremost. No matter how much Vincent Furnier was meaning to play up the character, the band was still a democracy, notching up hits like School’s Out as a group effort alongside producer Bob Ezrin. The Alice character was starting to consume the live show though, and rock’s favorite anti hero finally came out to play in full on Welcome to My Nightmare.
Though every single album prior to this one did have the Alice Cooper name behind it, Nightmare is where we first saw the authentic Alice in action, taking all of the rock and roll dreams that he had with his band and turning them into something truly horrendous. Although the focus is still on rock and roll this time around, you can hear Alice reaching for something more ambitious, almost going into full on Broadway territory on ballads like Only Women Bleed or the soft shoe number Some Folks.
Alice is all about darkness though, and that scary element comes through on the best moments in this album, like the song Stephen talking about the little boy that’s trapped inside Alice’s mind praying to get out. Alice may have cleaned up his act off the stage, but whenever he dons the horrific makeup these days, you’re looking at the man bred out of the crypt.