10 Bands Whose Lineup Changes Made Them Superstars (Starting With John Frusciante and the Red Hot Chili Peppers)

When the 32-city tour for Unlimited Love comes to a close, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will have been together for 40 years. (How insane is that?) No wonder RHCP’s latest number one album feels like a culmination of their life’s work. But many people don’t realize that the band behind such megahits as “Under the Bridge” and “Californication” has a tumultuous history of lineup changes and personnel swaps.

Even four decades after their formation, it’s easy to hear how the original lineup helped define the band’s sound: A bold fusion of punk, funk, rock, hip hop, and jazz. But as groundbreaking as that first seed was, it wasn’t until guitarist John Frusciante and drummer Chad Smith joined up that RHCP rose to the ranks of legend.

It begs the question: Were these mofos destined for stardom no matter what or did it all hinge on the perfect recipe of players?

In honor of Magic Fingers Frusciante’s triumphant return, let’s take a look at the biggest bands of all time who only became superstars after a major lineup change. You might be surprised to find your favorite band on the list.

Cover Photo: Jeff Kravitz (Getty Images)