And then there are those who refuse to keep doing the same old song. I imagine one of the reasons the Beatles started Apple was to get out from under Capital Records pressure to keep producing songs that make you feel happy (clap, clap) inside.
On the other hand, they were probably so big by then they could have called the shots anyway, like, say, Bob Dylan. The record companies were happy to get whatever Mr. Zimmerman had to offer, but he at now famous times infuriated nearsighted fans by producing radically different sounds. (I must admit I fell into that group when he went on the Jesus binge)
Springstein had his first big selling LP with “Born to Run”—itself a major departure from the style of his earlier albums—but “The Promise,” a video/cd box set I highly recommend, shows him going to great lengths to produce an album that would sound distinctly different from “Born to Run.”
Some others with the gumption to keep changing their sound: Beck, never the same thing twice; Elvis Costello and Paul Simon going from folk to salsa to gospel to Afro-beat.
It’s not coincidence that the artists just listed are or were at some time at the head of the pack.