What artist left a band and went on to have a more successful solo career?

  1. Absolutely. Her comeback and eventual rise to superstardom was against the odds for an aged artist who was labeled “some old broad,” by the music executives who passed on her.

  2. This one could be a little muddled since he released a song that was a generation x songs on his solo album. Dancing with Myself was a Gen x song and Billy re-released it as an Idol song.

  3. The first band that came to my mind regarding OP's question lol. Imagine spawning Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike + The Mechanics, Steve Hackett, and Tony Banks out of that band.

  4. Fame wise, yes, they had their biggest days after Peter left. However, the musical qualities of Genesis during the original band era was, and still is, out of this world for prog fans. Selling England by the Pound is a masterpiece.

  5. If we're throwing Danny Elfman's hat in the ring, I'm going to give Mark Mothersbaugh a shout out. Even if you haven't heard Devo, you've heard something from Mark Mothersbaugh somewhere, sometime. Rugrats, Pee Wee's playhouse,the Royal Tennenbaums, Thor: Ragnarok, all scored by the lead singer/keyboardist from Devo.

  6. Yeah I feel like most people have heard something by Danny even if they don't know his name, whereas Oingo Boingo isn't particularly well known outside of hard-core Danny fans and JoJo fans these days.

  7. Her brother Eric is also absurdly talented; he founded No Doubt with John Spence and Gwen, and wrote a ton of their work from the start through Tragic Kingdom, including a Song of the Year Grammy nom for Dont Speak. He then left to be an animator on The Simpsons and The Ren & Stimpy Show

  8. All of Stefani's solo records haven't sold as many records combined as Tragic Kingdom (and I think you can argue that is an era thing, not a fame thing), BUT I think you are correct that she has gone on to be a bigger star after going solo. Being on TV certainly has helped.

  9. Gwen had a bigger cultural imprint with No Doubt than she did as a solo artist. She was like the Debbie Harry of the 90's, probably bigger honestly. Tragic Kingdom was a massive hit mainly due to mega hit "Don't Speak" which was about Gwen's relationship with bass player Tony Kanal. This sparked even more interest in No Doubt leading to a VH1 "Behind the Music" episode. Gwen eventually started dating Bush front man Gavin Rossdale getting her even more attention. Then she started her solo career, her music was being played in clubs and millions of records were sold. Gwen was probably more financially successful as a solo artist but she was a cultural icon as No Doubt's front woman. It's kinda like comparing Avatar to the first 2 Terminator movies.

  10. Not so much here in the US, but didn't Robbie Williams, the "bad boy" of UK's Take That (think 90's version of One Direction) become massive after going solo?

  11. Robbie Williams went pretty astronomical after a little time out from Take That in the late 90's. Bern on top since and has been back performing with Take That here and there since.

  12. This US citizen actually knows who Robbie Williams is. I had a close friend from Germany who couldn’t believe I’d never heard of him, so I checked out his music and actually became a fan. Great examples.

  13. Phil Collins. In 1985, No Jacket Required went 6x platinum, sold 12 million copies in the US that year, and earned him 3 grammy awards.

  14. Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds. But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist. This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite.

  15. I'd never heard of Genesis before that year, but saw Phil Collins on tour and was an immediate fan of his. Then found Peter Gabriel and was also a fan. I remember both of their songs and videos, but none of Genesis. I'd have to Google right now to see if I know any of their songs.

  16. Bjork didn't quit. The Sugarcubes broke up because - wait for it - they were hugely successful. They didn't want all the aggravation that comes with that kind of fame.

  17. Michael Jackson is THE answer and somehow I had to scroll past a bunch of other comments and even here he's mentioned at the end.

  18. I'm surprised I had to scroll this far down to find Michael Jackson because I think he's definitely one of the best examples out there.

  19. *NSYNC sold 70 million albums, and JT sold around 32 million albums solo. While that’s a massively successful solo career, it’s not more successful than the group.

  20. I met them backstage once, I was on a photo shoot. Anyhow, there was a line for Beyoncé and the other two were basically just sitting there with one or two folks.

  21. If you consider Gorillaz a solo career, since Damon Albarn is the sole musical arbiter of the group, then you could say they were bigger than Blur.

  22. I think this is a really good suggestion! Britpop in the 1990's was absolutely MASSIVE, but I think you might be right, Gorillaz is likely going to prove to be more influential in the grand scheme of things. It's kind of weird to think that honestly with the number of albums Blur sold, especially in the UK, but yeah, I think you're right.

  23. My sister did a year as a foreign exchange student in Germany sometime in the middle 90's and when she came back home she brought a bunch music with her. Out of that stack my favorite was Parklife from Blur. Fucking fantastic stuff that I barely understood as a 15 year old American (hell, I'm still not entirely certain that I really know what a bank holiday is.) I listened to it nonstop for awhile. When I put it on now, I'm taken right back there: fire in the fireplace, cookies in the oven, doom on my dx2 66.

  24. They are also the best live show you'll ever get to see. I've seen them live 3 times and I will continue to every chance I get. I have every intention to see Damon Albarn live in every way shape or form. He's the best musician out there with about 4 different music groups, a couple plays and dozens of other projects he's worked on. He's literally the busiest man in music and doesn't really get the recognition he deserves. I love everything Damon pretty much.

  25. Lita Ford could probably make the claim too. I’m not sure how huge the Runaways were in their day but from scanning Wikipedia, looks like her big solo album from 1988 went platinum, and none of the Runaways albums came close.

  26. The Eagles greatest hits and Thriller go back and forth as the top selling album of all time. Joe Walsh never got anywhere near that level of success before or after.

  27. You and me are the only fuckin people on earth who remember Heatmiser homie. You are correct, so much so I think most people would be surprised he was ever in a band.

  28. Lou Reed! While the Velvet Underground is arguably better in terms of sound, it never really got any success, whereas Transformer made Lou Reed famous

  29. Velvet Underground is undoubtedly what Made Reed famous and what makes him a legend still today, it just had a delayed effect. People didn't really realize the genius and influence of those first few albums until after VU broke up

  30. I find it interesting that you listed Peter Gabriel rather than Phil Collins. You aren't wrong, as he was indeed very successful, just intriguing.

  31. I remember reading a story about Neil recording with Buffalo Springfield and a producer said something along the lines of “you’re a great guitar player but you’ll never be a singer” lol

  32. The first 2 FJM albums are solid gold. The perfect soundtrack for being hungover on a cold grey Sunday morning.

  33. When I was a particularly weird middle schooler, I saw a Sugarcubes video in the middle of the night on MTV and absolutely loved it. Next chance I got I tracked down all the stuff I could (I still have my Stick Around For Joy cassette for some reason). That said, I definitely did not anticipate how massive Bjork would get after they split.

  34. Sexorcisto is such a groovy, amazing album and he's never done anything that sounds remotely similar since lol I love Astro Creep and his first few solo albums were cool, but for about the last 15 years he has really stuck to a lame (imo) formula

  35. Good answer imo. He had great songs in Drive-By Truckers (Decoration Day, Goddamn Lonely Love) but he was never going to be featured with Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood being the main songwriters. I don't think Isbell would have ended up writing Southeastern if he had stayed.

  36. Anyone in Dallas with musical talent and a willingness to dress in weird robes was in Polyphonic Spree. Except for maybe Erykah Badu, but she collabed with them so it sorta counts

  37. Sonny Moore! Fucking hell a name I haven't thought about in a while. Yeah, he made it so much bigger as Skrillex than he did in FFTL.

  38. I was blissfully unaware that Boz Scaggs played in Steve Miller Band. That's awesome! You're the first to mention him.

  39. Wouldn't Cream be seen as after he got big as Cream was literally because they were the cream of the crop of British blues musicians?

  40. Eric Clapton basically had a pattern of starting a music career, becoming hugely successful, then starting over.

  41. Came here to say this! Frampton must have been shitting himself when he left Humble Pie and the band finally had huge success with the live Rockin the Fillmore album. Turned out well for him in the end, as he did much better with his solo career.

  42. George being successful after Wham! was not surprising considering he wrote, produced, and sang all of the Wham! songs anyway lol

  43. He may have contributed shit all to the group creatively, but Wham absolutely would not have had any of their early success without Andrew Ridgely’s efforts. Apparently George Michael was a bit on the nerdier, introverted side at first and Ridgely was the one who figured out how to market themselves and get press.

  44. Similarly, Danny Elfman. Oingo Boingo did ok in the early 80s, but his solo career scores are everywhere.

  45. Wasn't D12 formed after his solo career though? I thought he just got some friends together to make a record after he recorded Infinite.

  46. The funny part about this is Ronnie didn't consider Dio to be a solo act. It is a band named Dio, like the bands Bon Jovi, Van Halen, etc.

  47. Graduates of the boy bands..Justin Timberlake , Harry Styles... even Michael Jackson, and he had a lot to accomplish since the J5's first four singles all went to #1 , in the days when people actually bought singles

  48. Jenny Lewis, formerly of Rilo Kiley! I’d say her solo career has been more successful, but maybe that’s just my bias because I love her new work

  49. I saw Fifth Harmony perform "Worth It" on the Today Show. I saw Camila Cabello and said to my wife, "She sings the hook and she's the hot one? She'll go solo by the end of the year."

  50. While he didn't leave by choice, I'd say Dave Grohl is bigger now with the Foo Fighters then he was with Nirvana. It's hard to say how that would have played out over the long run if Kurt were still alive.

  51. It was just last week I was in the car with my teenage son listening to Nirvana. Started talking about it and he recognized one or two songs. I told him Dave Grohl was the drummer. He definitely knew full Foo Fighters albums.

  52. You can also make the case that the Foo Fighters first album was basically a solo project given that he did the majority all by himself.

  53. Back in the 60s there was a band called The Yardbirds that at different points contained Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Helped launch all of their careers.

  54. Brian Cox went from keyboard player in D:ream to being the biggest-selling astrophysicist of his generation. Brian May might have dabbled in astrophysics but he's got nothing on Coxy.

  55. Glenn Danzig. Pre-internet most people heard of him though "Mother" which was huge at the time, but that eventually leads you back to the Misfits.

  56. Maybe it's just the people I talk to but people tend to agree the Misfits with Danzig were better than Danzig solo and the Misfits without Danzig

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