Moments that changed EVERYTHING
Andrew Trendell
13:51 13th February 2014

Most bands and artists stride along modestly thoughout their careers, being consistently brilliant but never really bothering the mainstream. Others have a flicker of fame and then fade into obscurity. Then there are some that have Eureka moments and completely explode - these are the turning points of those brilliant acts that suddenly become absolute huge. 

Remember when Muse were just three weirdos from Devon? They still are, but now they're the supermassive. There was also a time when Biffy were just hairy lads destroying toilet venues and a time when 'Lana Del Rey' didn't even exist. But something happened where everything changed. 

Here are 15 epic turning points in the careers of today's biggest and best artists. 

  • Muse - 'Time Is Running Out': Before 2003, Muse were just three eccentric madmen with a terrifying sound from outer space. As soon as 'Time Is Running Out' dropped, they became three eccentric madmen with a terrifying sound from outer space with mainstream appeal who could sell out arenas and headline Glastonbury.

  • Arctic Monkeys - headlining Glastonbury 2007: Well, Alex Turner and co were huge from the off really - but it wasn't until they headlined the biggest festival in the world after their second album that they proved that they were here to stay.

  • The Killers - 'When You Were Young': Hot Fuss saw Brandon Flowers and co become global synthpop posterboys, but it the pomp and bravado of the surprising Americana of 'When You Were Young' that made them MASSIVE and first proved that they were much more than a one-trick pony.

  • Queens Of The Stone Age - 'No One Knows': Rated R may have gone down in history as one of the best rock albums of the decade but it was Songs For The Deaf that made QOTSA properly huge - launched by this modern classic featuring Mr Dave Grohl on drums.

  • Lana Del Rey - 'Video Games': Elizabeth Woolridge Grant flirted with fame as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen, Lizzy Grant and May Jailer but only became the world-dominating pop-noir Queen we recognise today when she transformed into the cinematic sensual sensation of Lana Del Rey in 2010 - DOMINATING the internet when 'Video Games' became a global sensation.

  • The 1975 - 'Chocolate': They spent a decade trying to get signed and getting rejected. Then, this one track (and a typically dark and broody video) launched Matt Healy and co into becoming one of the biggest guitar bands in history today. Lads.

  • Bastille - 'Pompeii': Catapulting Dan Smith from a wannabe with big hair into a potential future festival headliner.

  • Disclosure - 'White Noise': No longer two brothers making house from their bedroom, but the Kings of modern dance music.

  • Foals - headlining Latitude 2013: Once just some squawking awkward math-rockers from Oxford, this was the set that lined them up as bill-topping rock stars.

  • Lady Gaga - 'Poker Face': After spending years honing her craft and persona in the backstreets of Brooklyn and LA, this monolithic single transformed transformed Stefani Germanotta into the Fame Monster she is today.

  • Beyonce - 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)': Yeah, Queen Bey was doing alright with her solo career, but it was until 'Single Ladies' came along that she became a bonafide supermegastar icon lady.

  • Jay Z - The Blueprint: You know, that album that made The Hov not only the biggest name in hip-hop but one of the most powerful men on the planet. Yeah, that one.

  • Kanye West - 'Gold Digger': He may be more interested in shouting about leather jogging pants and screaming at Jesus on a mountain these days, but this was the track that made our Yeezy a household name.

  • Arcade Fire - Neon Bible: Win Butler and co wouldn't have been the first band to explode off the back of internet hype around their debut and then disappear. Fortunately, their sophomore album was as epic and world-conquering as the future that awaited them.

  • Biffy Clyro - Puzzle: Seemingly forever destined to bother the mid-afternoon slot at Reading festival, no one ever foresaw The Biff becoming such a massive deal. Their third album Infinity Land charted at No.47. Their fourth Puzzle at No.2. They headlined Reading last year. 'Mon The Biff.

  • David Bowie - 'Space Oddity': Rush-released to cash in on the moon landing, this remarkable classic about an astronaut leaving the planet would win an Ivor Novello and mark his first real breakthrough into the mainstream. Everything that followed was just Bowie making music history.

  • It's 24 years to the day that Nirvana shot the music video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. The face of music would never be the same again. It was perfectly in time to grab the hearts and minds of the MTV generation, and turned them from Seattle slackers into rock icons. To celebrate, click through to see the huge, career-making turning points of some of today's biggest artists.


Photo: WENN/PRESS/Justine Trickett