The idea of changing your sound to suit your artistic needs is nothing all that new at this point. Whenever you've been in the fold for a while, you're bound to want to explore something beyond the same riff that you've played over and over again. Then again, it might help to give fans a bit of a warning first.
As opposed to just easing us into a new sound, most of these rockers just dove head first into their new sound regardless of whether or not their audience was ready for it, and the results really show. That doesn't mean that the end result has to necessarily be horrible though. In fact, some of these albums hold up as modern classics that deserve to be celebrated among the best in their genre. However, when you do pull a bait and switch like that, you're going to be left with some really disgruntled diehards in the mix.
For as many fans as you might win over with the new sound, you're bound to get just as many calling it the worst thing you ever made. Hell, in the most egregious cases, it ends up killing your career in the long run. Rock is about taking risks at the end of the day though, and these acts sure did give us something to talk about.
10. Deep Purple In Rock - Deep Purple
The Deep Purple that we know and love today has become synonymous with the genesis of heavy metal. Long before Black Sabbath had really started to gain traction, the straight ahead riffs coming from Ritchie Blackmore helped set the stage for what the more metallic side of the rock spectrum could be. Then again, if you saw Purple's beginnings, you were probably thrown for a loop with In Rock.
Up until this point, the work of Blackmore and Jon Lord had been firmly in the jam band scene, alongside acts like Vanilla Fudge. For every decent song like Hush, there were a handful of songs that just amounted to flirting with the more eclectic sides of rock like jazz and classical. Once you heard the opening strain of Speed King thing though, Deep Purple's real face started to rear its head.
Operating like a more professional version of Led Zeppelin, In Rock is a little bit of everything for a rock fan, from making a fierce rocker like Speed King to one of the most operatic performances Ian Gillan has ever pulled off in the middle section of Child In Time. Given that most artists take a big risk when changing it up, songs like these are proof that sometimes searching for different styles does end up paying off in the long run.