Music challenge time!

Whilst I was driving to last Friday’s gig, I had a CD on – a Creedence Clearwater Revival greatest hits album.

On the way back I played a Police greatest hits album.

When I put the CDs back on the shelf at home I was struck by something they both had in common – both bands’ frontmen went on to become successful solo artists.

I was also struck by something else – their solo work wasn’t a patch on their earlier band work.

I thought a bit more and came up with several more solo acts like this:

  • Phil Collins – Genesis/Brand X
  • Dave Gilmour – Pink Floyd
  • Paul Rodgers – Free/Bad Co.
  • Robbie Robertson – The Band
  • Eric Clapton – Cream
  • Paul Weller – The Jam
  • Ian Hunter – Mott the Hoople
  • Leslie West – Mountain
  • Roy Wood – The Move
  • Annie Lennox – Eurythmics
  • Ozzy Osborne – Black Sabbath
  • John, Paul George & Ringo – The Beatles

In fact, I’m finding it a struggle to think of any solo act whose previous band work wasn’t better than their solo work.

So, is the whole always greater than the sum of its parts?

I think it must be.

Got any suggestions that say otherwise?

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9 Responses

  1. These things are inevitably subjective, but I’d propose Richard Hawley as the exception to this rule. I think his solo stuff, especially his last album “Lady’s Bridge” outshines the work he did with the Longpigs.

  2. I never connected the guy with the band!

    A mate of mine introduced me to RH.

    Didn’t realise he’d been in the Longpigs.

    So, good call, Jamie – even though wilfully obscure 😉

  3. Wilfully Obscure? Weren’t they a three piece folk band from the West Country 😉

  4. Nah…that was Thomas Hardy’s great ‘lost’ novel.

  5. Good point – some escapees from partnerships do better, such as Tina Turner and Cher………how about Jeff Beck, cos he could never stay with other people long enough….?

  6. How about Neil Young?

    His early solo work is easily the equal of anything he’s done in a band.

  7. Ooh…Neil…good call!
    CSN&Y were OK’ish – not a patch on Bufflao Springfield, but yes, he’s definitely better solo and still capable of coming up with the goods.
    Dynamite guitarist too.

  8. The only other exception I can think of at the moment is Björk – the Sugarcubes were fun and quirky, but patchy, whereas Björk has never really put a foot wrong.

  9. Another good call – although, perversely, I preferred the Sugarcubes!

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