10 Rock Bands That Wrote Songs In Different Genres

Switching Musical Lanes.

David Bowie
© Harald Menk/dpa/Corbis

Most artists can only dream of one day hitting on a sound that is unique to only them. After slogging it out and playing one gig after another, you go from wearing your influences on your sleeve to having your own identity, ready to take on the world with the sound that you know you work best in. It keeps you grounded, it makes sure you have a loyal fanbase behind you…but it can also get incredibly boring after a while.

No one wants to play the same kinds of songs forever, and each of these artists shook off their genre labels by taking a risk on every single one of these tracks. There’s a lot more to play with outside the genres of rock and roll, and these songs were just a small helping of what each of these bands could do outside the confines of their normal setup, with songs that hit you with the same amount of power but with a different musical DNA.

This isn’t just going from nu metal to hard rock either though. For almost all of these songs, you’ll be questioning whether these artists even qualify as rock when they make songs like these. They do all fit though, and having them go against the grain is about as anti establishment as you can get once you’ve hit it big.

10. Exogenesis - Muse

Every stripe of prog rock band has always had a bit of a fascination with the world of classical music. Aside from bands that wrote songs that went on for nearly 7 hours with tons of scale exercises, many prog musicians began to take their talents into the realm of classical music on their own, from Tony Banks from Genesis dipping into the classical world and even Jethro Tull doing a version of Bach's Bouree in E Minor during their early days. It's one thing to remind people of their music classes, but Muse were looking to go for the real deal at the end of The Resistance.

We were already being prepared for the classical turn with Exogenesis earlier on the album though, as Matthew Bellamy sprinkled bits and pieces from classical pieces on the back half of both United States of Eurasia and I Belong To You. Spanning into 3 different parts, each section of this symphony feels like it could work as its own standalone piece, like the strings going down smoothly on Cross-Pollination before closing things down with Redemption.

While this could have easily been a classical itch that Muse needed to get out of their system, they didn't stop at just this album either, with their epic the Globalist off of Drones also having a classical slant, almost like Citizen Erased somehow got co-opted into a grand orchestral track halfway through. Regardless of how over the top something like this could have come across in the wrong hands, Matthew Bellamy knows the importance of ramping things up and keeping it subtle even without a guitar in his hands.

In this post: 
David Bowie
Posted On: 

I'm just a junkie for all things media. Whether it's music, movies, TV, or just other reviews, I absolutely adore this stuff. But music was my first love, and I love having the opportunity to share it with you good people. Follow Me On Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/timcoffman97