Were or are they better as front men or solo artists?

Most bands start with the best intentions of staying together and making great music but for many different reasons band members go their separate ways.

Paul_Weller_liam-luskIt can be pressure from management, in-band creative disagreements or unwanted pressures from fame are some of the reasons.

On occasion a few members of a band will go on to form other bands but usually it is the lead singer who will succeed if any one.

In this post we are going to look at some solo artists who started in bands and later had commercially successful solo careers.

When some lead singers leave a band it can sometimes lead to a fan backlash as they feel betrayed which in turn leads to failure.

I wanted to see whether you thought the singers on this list were or are better as solo artists not in the commercial sense but your personal thoughts.

To watch a video of the artist just click on the links below;

Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Over the Mountain’ – 1982

Sting – ‘If You Love Somebody Set Them Free’ – 1985

Phil Collins – ‘Sussudio’ – 1985

Paul Weller – ‘Into Tomorrow’ – 1992

Morrissey – ‘Suedehead’ – 1988

George Michael – ‘Monkey’ – 1988

Below you can find out some more information about the artists and songs.

  1. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘Over the Mountain’ – 1982
  • Better known as just ‘Ozzy’ was the front man for ‘Black Sabbath’ who many consider the pioneers of heavy metal.
  • Ozzy is also known as the “Prince of Darkness” and the “Godfather of Heavy Metal”.
  • Taken from his second solo album Diary of a Madman the single was released in 1982.
  • It reached number 38 on the U.S. Billboard Top Tracks chart.
  • Guitarist Randy Rhoads, who played on this single sadly perished in an airplane crash in early 1982.
  • Ozzy is still active today and currently touring with Black Sabbath.
  1. Sting – ‘If You Love Somebody Set Them Free’ – 1985
  • Sting was the front man for The Police who were together between 1978 and 1983 and recorded five chart topping albums. Four of their five studio albums appeared on Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
  • Released in 1985 ‘If You Love Somebody Set Them’ reached number 3 in the U.S. and 26 in the U.K.
  • Taken from ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’ which was Stings first solo album.
  • His last album The Last Ship was released in 2013.
  • Sting still active as a performer today.
  1. Phil Collins – ‘Sussudio’ – 1985
  • Released in 1985 reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard chart.
  • Taken from the album No Jacket Required.
  • Collins started life as a child actor – he was an extra in the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, one of hundreds of screaming teenagers.
  • He began his music career in 1969 with Flaming Youth.
  • Also known as the front man for Genesis who he joined in 1970 after answering a Melody Maker classified ad for a drummer sensitive to acoustic music, and acoustic twelve-string guitarist.
  • Although Collins retired in 2011 he returned in 2015 to the music scene.
  1. Paul Weller – ‘Into Tomorrow’ – 1992
  • Weller began his music career in 1972 with the first incarnation of The Jam managed by his father.
  • Paul Weller is often referred to as the Modfather due to his part in the Mod revival of the 70’s and 80’s.
  • Weller announced that The Jam would disband at the end of 1982 to shock of the other band members.
  • He would go on to form The Style Council which had a more soulful sound.
  • With The Style Council Weller achieved his first North American success.
  • Weller continues to perform as a solo act – his latest album Saturns Pattern from 2015 reached number two in the U.K. chart.
  • Weller continues to perform.
  1. Morrissey – ‘Suedehead’ – 1988
  • His music career started in 1978 with The Nosebleeds who were a punk rock band but failed to have commercial success.
  • After a failed record deal audition with Slaughter & the Dogs he decided to pursue a writing career.
  • He published two works with Babylon Books: The New York Dolls (1981), about his favourite band; and James Dean is Not Dead (1983), about actor James Dean’s brief career.
  • In 1982 The Smiths were formed and were commercially successful until 1987 releasing 20 singles and 4 albums.
  • NME named the Smiths the “most influential artist ever” in a 2002 poll, even topping the Beatles.
  • He continues to perform today.
  1. George Michael – ‘Monkey’ – 1988
  • Reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard Chart.
  • Taken from the Diamond (over 10,000,000) selling album Faith.
  • In 1981 he formed the band Wham with his friend Andrew Ridgeley.
  • He began his solo career in 1987 although he had released the singles “Careless Whisper” in 1984 and “A Different Corner” in 1986 both reaching number one in the U.K.
  • He continues to perform today.

Got an opinion? Why not leave it in the comments area and if you enjoyed this post please share.

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