monochrome photo of a man playing a guitar - 6 Bands That Successfully Rebranded Over the Years

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1. The Strokes

Almost two decades ago, five New York City friends named themselves The Strokes. Their debut LP Is This It was an immediate success, and it cemented the band’s reputation as style saviors for a generation that had grown up in a time when teen pop ruled and hip hop was making headway in America.

In fact, it’s fair to say that no artist in the era of social media has been more attuned to the primal power of simply looking good than The Strokes. From the banned buttocks on their infamous album cover to the skinny jeans and long, dirty shags of hair, the band exuded a sense of street-smart swagger that is unparalleled to this day.

Their look and sound paved the way for the Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, White Stripes, and many more bands that were inspired to pursue their own version of rock and roll by The Strokes. The band also influenced the way that bands looked on stage, with a more casual approach to wardrobe and an emphasis on stripped-down rock beats. The Strokes embellished on their back-to-basics style over the years, adding elements of synth pop and new wave to albums like 2003’s Room on Fire and 2013’s Comedown Machine.

2. The White Stripes

The White Stripes are one of Detroit’s most fascinating success stories, taking a scruffy two-piece once scoffed at by local garage rock scenesters and catapulting them to international fame. The band’s playfully mythological persona – they used the name after a jar of red and white peppermint candies, adhered to a black-and-white visual theme and even insisted that they were siblings, despite having divorced in 2000 – helped them maintain a sense of mystique that gave them staying power.

They also cleverly used limitations to their advantage, maximizing the potential of the basic drum kit and guitar lineup while maintaining a unique sound and vision. And they were able to tap into a broad range of influences, from the Gories’ primal blast to Son House and Blind Willie McTell’s blues, Led Zeppelin’s riffs to the Gun Club’s unhinged punk.

Jack and Meg White made a name for themselves as fiercely independent musicians. They opted to avoid signing with a major label, and while they eventually partnered with the seminal indie label V2, they remained independent throughout their career and kept control of their own masters. This allowed them to retain a sense of integrity and autonomy that’s rare in today’s music industry.

3. The Killers

Brandon Flowers and his bandmates have risen to be one of the biggest rock bands of the 20th century. The Killers formed in 2001 after Flowers was fired from his previous band Blush Response and had a ‘musical epiphany’ at an Oasis concert, where he realised that fronting a rock band was his true calling. He recruited Dave Keuning on guitar and Mark Stoermer on bass to form the Killers.

The Killers are known for their larger-than-life music and have been influenced by Las Vegas culture, which is reflected in their lyrics and musical style. They are also a huge fan of British music and are a devoted fan of post-punk bands like Joy Division, Oasis and Pet Shop Boys.

Their debut album Hot Fuss was released in 2004 and went on to be a hit in the alternative scene. The band has since released six more albums, including the chart-topping hits Mr Brightside and Caution, and they have won a total of four Grammy Awards.

The Killers have toured the world over, and they are currently working on their seventh studio album, Pressure Machine. They have previously toured with the likes of U2, Depeche Mode and The Rolling Stones.

two people performing on a stage - 6 Bands That Successfully Rebranded Over the Years
4. The Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas are a wildly successful hip-hop group who have embraced reinvention and taken on multiple roles in the music industry over the years. Their first album was a big hit, and they continued to rise in popularity as a result of their infectious dance tracks. Their sophomore album, which included a collaboration with DJ Premier (“BEP Empire”) and Esthero (“Weekends”), was also a big success.

After a few albums that flopped, the band rebranded themselves in 1996, dropping the A.T.B.A.N. Klann name and settling on The Black Eyed Peas. They then began to take on more roles like singers and producers.

By the time they released Masters of the Sun, the Peas had positioned themselves as an artistic alternative to the violent gangsta rap that was popular in the ’90s. They made a point of using their status as one of the most popular groups in the world to spread socially conscious messages.

In addition to promoting their music, the group launched a dance academy, started a clothing line and helped build homes in Asia following a tsunami disaster. They have been one of the most successful rebranded bands to date.

5. The Beatles

The Beatles were a band that had such an impact on popular culture, they are still widely considered as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. Their music, fashion sense, and attitude influenced a generation of young adults. They also helped popularize the concept of a counterculture movement in the 1960s.

The group formed in Liverpool, England in 1960. The members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They started performing in social clubs and dance halls. They were known by various names, including Johnny and the Moon Dogs and the Silver Beetles. John Lennon dreamed up their final name, which was a mix of beat and beetle.

The Beatles became famous worldwide in 1964, when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Their appearance sparked an intense fan frenzy that came to be known as Beatlemania. This was a new phenomenon, as music idols of the 19th century did not evoke such an outpouring of hysteria from their fans. In addition, the Beatles pushed rock and roll into a more sophisticated musical realm, with their use of acoustic instruments and the blending of British folk and American pop styles.

6. The Rolling Stones

After meeting at school in Sidcup, Kent, Jagger and Richards shared a love of the exciting sounds that were beginning to drift across the ocean to British radios. Both had a talent for mimicking and singing, but it wasn’t until they joined forces with guitarist Dick Taylor and drummer Charlie Watts that they began to produce original music.

A regular residency at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond catalyzed their popularity. Their manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, signed them to his management company the day after their first performance, and soon the band was known as The Rolling Stones.

With the exception of the 1970s, when infighting curtailed their output, the Stones were a consistent force in rock and roll until 1989 when they released Steel Wheels and embarked on a massive stadium and arena tour to accompany it.

Today, the Stones continue to tour and release live albums that are a consistent source of income. They’re unrepentant capitalists, and their product consistency, limited exposure and deep support mean that fans are more than willing to pay for it. Their latest go-around includes a new album (one of many), a compilation album and commemorative package, and a massive arena show that’s being sold on pay-per-view.