Wednesday Question: Most Diverse Artist Ever

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Ultimate Guitar
Wednesday Question: Most Diverse Artist Ever

This week's Wednesday Question was brought to you by Chad Kroeger. It goes:

Who is the most diverse artist or band ever?


  • By diverse we mean covering the most musical styles in the course of their career or making major musical shifts from one record to another.
  • Post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).
  • Multiple nominations of one song create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given track to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same tune, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.
  • Vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike.

We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG top list. Show us what you got now!

350 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Frank Zappa the guy did everything.
    Mike patton
    Mike Patton is the most overrated knucklehead and half of you guys sniff his farts.
    Bedside Shred
    Bedside Shred · Jun 21, 2017 09:21 PM
    He might a little bit crazy, but you have to admit he has a great voice. 
    I used to be a really big Faith No More fan for a while (his era, not Chuck Mosely), and his voice in particular never struck me. Most of the stuff he does that I like would compare him to Anthony Keidis, and the best song I can think of where he really sings is Evidence, which is fine, but I wouldn't put him near the top singers ever. I think everything he's done outside of Faith No More is absolute trash, though.
    Patton is the correct answer.   Other artists have a few songs or whatever in different types of music but patton does everything.   Except maybe country... I haven't heard country yet.  But he did an album where he took old native american chants and made them into bad ass songs...  but seriously no one is even close.  
    Queen. For once there is a right answer to the question.  Take a snap shot: Tie your mother down- rock Son and Daughter- riffs that wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Sabbath record Teo Torriatte- love ballad in Japanese '39- folk Stone Cold Crazy- proto-thrash. Anything from Hot Space- dance, funk, disco Innuendo- prog Man On The Prowl- rock n roll They have so many styles, and with 3 excellent singers and huge talent in all 4 members, it's easy to listen to an album and forget that all the songs were recorded by the same band.
    I immediately thought about Queen too You can even add Freddie's side work, opera and stuff. It is in fact impressive to be that excellent at everything.
    You forgot Classical influences and time signatures on March of the Black Queen that many bands don't go near (8/8 and 12/8 is rare in pop music) 
    I didn't really forget, just decided that there had to be a stopping point somewhere, else I'd end up finding something different about every damn song they wrote!
    "Weird Al" Yankovic Sure, it's all comedy, but he still does his original songs in a wide range of genres.
    The Beatles made every kind of music at least once.
    Easily The Beatles. With respect for the other eclectic artists named, the majority of them are diverse within the parameters of a more general, much-encompassing (if you will) genre. The Beatles, by contrast, seemed to defiantly change genres from track to track post-Rubber Soul, excelling at folk, baroque pop, psychedelic rock, children's music, swing, blues, and even freaking proto-metal.
    Miles Davis Player and creator of so many subgenres: bebeop, hard bop, funk, post-bop, jazz fusion, etc etc
    Devin Townsend
    Industrial, prog, pop and extreme metal to space country folk to new age, and even taking a stab at drone, ambient, electronic, and whatever Devlab is Easily one of the most diverse musicians to come out of the metal world for sure 
    Tom Waits. Guy's done everything from piano ballads to beatnik jazz to industrial blues, putting on 10 different singing voices in so.
    Mr. Bungle
    Yeah!  The whole Mike Patton's career is one of the most diverse ever, but Mr. Bungle alone were so different - funk, experimental rock, Italian pop, thrash metal, etc, etc 
    With only a few albums, these guys did it all, seriously who does Balinese kúchek, the human gamelan.
    John Frusciante - Metal, Funk, Rock, Pop, Rap, Acidhouse and what not else
    When you think about it,their evolution is insane - Within 4 years, they went from writing songs like "Creep" to stuff like "Paranoid Android" and "Karma Police", and from there 3 years to stuff like "Everything In Its Right Place" and "Idioteque", followed by less than one year for stuff like "Pyramid Song" and "Life in a Glasshouse". That's from grunge-lite, to prog/alt rock, to electronica, to jazz, in less than a decade.
    and actually everything from Amnesiac was recorded on the same sessions than Kid A, so no even a real year between those songs, they were simultaneous, that's even more crazy. 
    If he ain't on the list,I am gonna push my fingers into my eyes (see what i did there )
    Dir en Grey So many subgenres of metal music - from prog, death and symphonic to alternative, avant-garde and nu-metal
    I love them. It's fucking crazy when you listen to Cage, then something like Agitated Screams of Maggots or Different Sense, and it's the same 5 guys.
    Igorrr! I thought of these guys because the music is so all over the place but the musics as a whole does get a bit homogeneous and static. Truly insane and wonderfully frightening music though.
    Twelve Foot Ninja Inspired by Mike Patton, these guys can change their style ten times - and only during one song!
    Carnival in Coal Unfortunately lesser known genial band from France - almost all subgenres of metal (from black and death to heavy) fused with pop, music, funk, disco, jaz, etc, etc Just listen to this song
    Boris Doom metal, stoner rock, sludge, noise, j-pop, etc, etc
    Definitely Toto, they are a band created by some of the greatest american studio musicians. They have everything in their discography: classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, neoclassical rock, funk, soul, R&B, jazz, pop, fusion, AOR... You get the point, certainly one of the most diverse bands genre wise.
    Every single time I read their name I immediately have the opening of the Dune theme in my head. 
    Serj Tankian, the guy has covered a lot of ground in the metal spectrum, his solo work is experimental with orchestras and symphonies (plus Serart) and he has collaborated with artists like Tech N9ne
    Tech N9ne alone has covered a lot of genres and incorporated a lot of big stars into his albums from John Five and Jonathan Davis to Eminem and Busta Rhymes
    Pink Floyd I think they deserve to be mentioned
    I wouldn't call them diverse as in covering a huge range of styles...sure, they were innovators, but in reality they evolved [a lot] within their own style.  
    I agree, there are many examples of different genres, sometimes within the same album. 60's Brit rock - Arnold layne, most of patgod actually Acoustic - wish you were here, fat old sun Avant garde - several small species, careful with that axe, umma gumma pretty much Proggressive - echoes, the embryo Jazz influence - soycd, us and them Disco - young lust, Another brick in the wall pt 2 Hard rock - the Nile song Sound scape - endless river in its entirety Spoken word - the final cut mostly Rap - not now John Djent- one of these days
    Think about their works what you want but Linkin Park
    I agree, I mean their former guitarist, Brad Delson, now plays the Triangle in the band, and Chester Bennington does a fine Jamaican accent instead of singing. Avant Garde.
    The Prodigy One of the most diverse electronic groups - from early rave to techno to their own fusion of genres - from punk and metal to hip-hop
    Bob Dylan Folk,rock,country western, christian,disco,reggie,big band, jazz, sinatra,crooner, and everything in between.
    Naked City Led by John Zorn, they did almost all - from jazz and avant-garde to grindcore, noise and no wave
    Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Absolutely mad fusion of sooo many genres
    Shining (NOR) Avant-garde metal, electronic, jazz, black metal, industrial...
    Steven Wilson. He probably won't top, but he deserves to be on that list.
    Almost undeniably not, he has done everything between progressive rock and progressive metal. I love the guy and most of his music, but diverse is not a good way to describe him, he's released the same album four times this decade and is looking to release it again this year.
    He has actually spanned from prog/psychedelic of the early PT works to prog metal, to electronic and drone music (Bass Communion) to pop music (Lightbulb Sun, HCE), to ambient rock (Storm Corrosion), to trip hop (Index, Perfect Life) to post rock and so on and on...
    Yeah, that's why I said he probably won't top. But he has done a lot of stuff including kraut rock, experimental pop, prog rock, prog metal. He produced Black water park, one of the greatest albums ever IMO. He even sang on one of the songs, bleak. He's been involved with a lot of people, like Mikael Akerfeldt, Guthrie govan, Aviv Geffen etc. The guy deserves a mention at the very least.
    Insurgenies had a krautrock vibe, whilst Grace for drowning was pretty jazzy. Raven was certainly in that direction again, but HCE lost a great deal of the jazziness. I really wouldn't say he's at all released the same album four times this decade - all those albums are pretty different. Plus your ignoring all his side projects.
    Dave Grohl. Before you downvote the shit out of me, the dude has written, produced and performed a wide range of genres across rock and metal and beyond. Gotta deserve a mention
    to name just a few examples. 
    Moby Between the techno beginings ("Moby", "Everything is wrong"), the "Ambient" one , the punk "Animal Rights", The electro "Play", pop, and so on...
    Secret Chiefs 3 So many genres mixed in their crazy cocktail