There have been few bands who have replaced well-known lead singers and had continued success. The problem becomes that the vocalist was part of the original artistic process and inviting someone new into the fold makes it difficult to keep that same artistic vision. New Order did the perfect bit after singer Ian Curtis died because what had been Joy Division became New Order.
Joy Division had a pact where if one of the founding members left for whatever reason, the rest of the members would not use the band's name. The reason is simple and correct: The band is not the same group if an important member is no longer with the band.
The following three bands went a different route than Peter Hook and the guys. That isn't a good thing. These bands should have just shut down after their original singer was no longer involved.
Let's be real here. While INXS produced some nice ditties, their only true draw was the excellence of singer Michael Hutchence. Once Hutchence unfortunately committed (potentially) accidental suicide in 1997, the band should have said, "We've had a good run, but now it's over. Thanks, Michael, for everything!"
Instead, the 400 Farriss brothers took an entire year off after Hutchence's death (please note the sarcasm) before going through a few guest singers. The band lowered themselves so much that they ended up hosting a reality TV show called Rock Star: INXS to look for a new singer. They found one and he stuck around for a few years. Thankfully, the band stopped trying to insult Hutchence's memory with more greed and has not played a full concert in a decade.
Queen used to have the greatest front man in the history of the earth. Freddie Mercury could not only sing like an angel, he knew how to whip up a crowd. The band had excellent musicians, but a lot of groups have that and never reach the heights that Queen did artistically. The biggest difference was Mercury.
But after Mercury sadly passed away from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS in 1991, the band went on hiatus. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor decided to reunite to record a song called, "No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)," and dedicated it to the memory of Mercury. That was a well-conceived effort, at least.
But May and Taylor decided they want to keep making money under the name Queen and toured with former Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers for a bit and then made former American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert to vocalist for the band. No offense to Lambert who can sing pretty well, but Queen is now nothing more than a karaoke band without any of the charisma of Freddie Mercury that made the group special to begin with.
What a mess of a band the Sex Pistols always were. That was kind of the point when the group formed in the mid-1970s and then laid their mark bare on the punk scene. Raw, emotive, and angry, the Sex Pistols should be what punk truly is, not those scallywag Ramones.
But a 1979 American tour saw the band go insane and Johnny Rotten (nee Lydon) left the group. Instead of disbanding, especially with the issues Sid Vicious was having - drug and violence, the band made another record and used broken parts of other tracks to create it. While the Sex Pistols began to make a statement about society, they basically turned into Bon Jovi and just made music for the money grab.