So Arcade Fire took a trip to Haiti, bought some ornate suits, hooked up with punk-funk producer/oracle James Murphy, and decided they wanted to make something real. The result, the Canadian arena-rockers’ frequently quite excellent new Reflektor, is a somewhat awkward but grandiosely sincere dance-floor hijacking that joins a long, distinguished, only occasionally disastrous lineage.
From the ’70s (Eagles, Grateful Dead) to the ’80s (Yes, the Boss) to the ’90s (U2, White Zombie) to the unsettled present (Korn!), long-established but bored/intrigued/desperate rock bands have threatened to sell their guitars and buy, if not turntables, then synths, cowbells, Yaz records, and ridiculous outfits. True, they often didn’t have enough cash left over to buy back their credibility, or a clue. But from the good to the bad to the ugly to KISS, here are 40 such crossover attempts that might actually still get you on the floor, if only to roll on it, laughing. ROB HARVILLA