10 Best Image Changes In Music History

Out with the old, in with the new.

Katy Perry

One of the best things about the world of music is its ability to unleash anyone's creativity, and let them express themselves in some truly breathtaking ways that nothing else can replicate. There's an argument that an artist's very first work is the truest reflection of their most natural sound, however that isn't always enough of a recipe for success.

As brilliant as it is for potential creativity, the music industry is also ruthlessly cutthroat. Whether it be through harsh criticisms or poor sales from audiences, being natural and talented means very little when an artist can't get their name out there.

It takes a keen eye and a huge amount of skill to navigate through a change of image, but, for some artists, it can be the difference between making it to the big time and falling by the wayside.

From dramatic makeovers to more innovative sounds, the industry is littered with stories and examples of musicians who have been able to move on from old images that haven't yielded the success they deserve, to a newer approach that has proven to be a hit.

10. Smash Mouth Went From Ska To Pop Rock

Before they were known for introducing the world to the its most infamous meme tune, Smash Mouth were another band trying their luck out in San Jose, California. Formed back in 1994 by Steve Harwell, Kevin Coleman, Greg Camp and Paul De Lisle and initially called 'Smashmouth', the group pulled in roots from their rap and punk backgrounds to create their take on the rejuvenated rock sound sweeping across the States at the time.

Kitted out in long baggy jeans, loose fitting shirts and their heavily gelled hair, they looked like the proper kind of Californian rockers. Their first album, Fush Yu Mang, featured the hit singles Why Can't We Be Friends and Walkin' On The Sun, but the group were launched into the stratosphere on the turn of the 2000s with the release of All Star.

The ska elements from the band's earlier works were trimmed back in favour of a more pop-focused commercial sound, and the song has become one of the most famous following its use in Shrek. It completed a remarkable image change from California surfer boys to cartoon commercial kings.

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Katy Perry
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Horror fan, gamer, all round subpar content creator. Strongly believes that Toad is the real hero of the Mario universe, and that we've probably had enough Batman origin stories.