Top 10 Bands that Survived Losing Their Leader

Whether the original band leader died, left, or was kicked out, here's some bands which survived the loss of their original leader from the line up; survived, or may have even thrived. Let's begin!
The Top Ten
1 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), and Richard Wright (Vocals and Keyboard). Barrett was replaced by Gilmour in 1968... read more

These guys are number one, not just for being a great band, but also because they did not lose one band leader, they lost two band leaders and survived losing both. The first time was when they lost Syd Barrett in 1968, because he was kicked out, because he was acting to neurotic. After Syd's departure, they experimented with their sound a lot, and really did not have any leader, until 1973, when Roger Waters started taking over leadership, and made them the political Prog Rock band that a lot of people know them for being now. However Roger Waters left the band in 1985, because he could no longer get along with the other members of the band, and David Gilmour took over leadership of the band for the rest of their recording career.

2 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums).

Their best works include songs like Paint it Black, Sympathy for the Devil, Satisfication (Which ranked no. 2 in The Rolling... read more

Brian Jones formed the band in the early 60s, while not writing many songs for the stones, he did come up with a lot of the interesting music ideas that now make the stone's 60s music iconic. However he was kicked out in 1969, and died shortly afterwards, the replaced him Mc Taylor in the 70s, and the rest is history.

3 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City.

The band kinda survived after Lou Reed left the band in 1970, while sure their last album they did without him was not good, they still survived losing him.

4 The Byrds The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member, until the group disbanded in 1973. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of contemporaries like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones for a short period, the Byrds are today considered by critics to be one of the most influential bands of the 1960s.

Gene Clark Left the band in 1966, during the production of their third album "Fifth Dimension", he did later return to the band, but that was not until the 70s, and the band continued to make music without him through the rest of the 60s.

5 Moby Grape Moby Grape is an American rock group from the 1960s, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting, which collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz with rock and psychedelic music.

Skip Spence formed Moby Grape in 1966, after leaving Jefferson Airplane. And with Skip, the band mostly made Folky/Bluesy Psychedelic Rock for their first four Studio albums, until Skip, just like Syd Barrett, started becoming more neurotic, and left the band in 1969. Skip recorded a now legendary Psychedelic Folk album "Oar" after leaving the band, and Moby Grape became a Country Rock band after he left.

6 AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson to front the band. Commonly referred to as a hard rock or blues rock band.
7 The Soft Machine

Kevin Ayers left the band after their first album, and was a huge influence on that album, and after he left the band started shifting away from Psych, and started becoming more Jazz, and Prog influenced,

8 Genesis Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey in 1967. The most commercially successful and long-lasting line-up includes keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.

Peter Gabriel left the band in the mid 70s, and after he left they shifted more towards Pop, rather than Prog.

Their best album, Trick of the Tail, hasn't Peter Gabriel on it.

9 The Doors The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore.

Jim Morrison died in 1971, and the band tried to continue as a trio for awhile.

10 Big Brother and the Holding Company Big Brother and the Holding Company is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1965 as part of the same psychedelic music scene that produced the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Blue Cheer, and Jefferson Airplane.

In 1968 Janis Joplin left the band to start a solo career, and died two years later in 1970, however despite that the band continued to make music, sure in was never as legendary as their first two albums with her ever again, but they still made music way after Janis death.

The Contenders
11 Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band formed in July 1967, in London. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.

With Peter Green, the band was a Blues Rock band, which occasionally experimented with Psychedelic Rock, however when he left around 1970, they slowly shifted away from that sound, and started becoming more of a soft rock band, which most people know them for doing today.

They're still awesome.

12 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.

The band became mainstream after improving after their debut album got panned. In 1978, Osbourne was fired and replaced with former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Who went to release... read more

Their leader has always been Tony Iommi. And he has always been with the band. I mean, Black Sabbath shouldn't be on the list.
If somebody thought Ozzy was their leader, s/he was certainly wrong. Ozzy can't be a leader. He hasn't even been the leader of his family. His wife has been.

13 Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band that formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are often referred to as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are even commonly called “The Metal Gods”, after one of the songs on their 1980 album “British Steel”.

They are known for several of their hit songs, which include “Painkiller”, “Breaking The Law”, You’ve Got... read more
14 Journey Journey is an American arena rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch.

But their replacement singer sucked...

15 Van Halen Van Halen was an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.
16 Alice In Chains Alice in Chains is an American grunge/alternative metal band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Their original singer Layne Staley died... but they continued to make music after his death.

17 Three Days Grace Three Days Grace is a Canadian post-grunge/alternative rock band formed in Norwood, Ontario in 1992 with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst. Their original name was Groundswell until they changed it to their current name in 1997. In 2003, the band's current guitarist Barry Stock was recruited to the... read more
18 Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American alternative rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The current members include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ), and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park is associated with a mixture of alternative rock, hip hop, and techno. Some of their influences include Nine Inch Nails, Deftones,... read more

I don't think they survived... seems like they might up break up after Chester's suicide.

19 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), and John Deacon (bass guitar, vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate... read more

They are still around without Freddie.

20 Lostprophets Lostprophets were a Welsh rock band from Pontypridd, Wales formed in 1997. Founded by lead vocalist and lyricist Ian Watkins, bassist Mike Lewis, drummer Mike Chiplin and guitarist Lee Gaze, they were originally a side-project to hardcore punk band Public Disturbance.
21 Escape the Fate Escape the Fate is an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2005 and originally from Pahrump, Nevada. They are signed to Eleven Seven Music.
22 Blind Melon Blind Melon is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California by two musicians from Mississippi and one from Indiana.
23 Sepultura Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Their first album, Morbid Visions presented a proto-black metal sound with Wagner Lamounier of Sarcófago. Sepultura's sound varies by the album, from thrash metal, groove metal, and even death metal.
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