When Lead Vocalists Go Solo (Part IV/ Letters P-W)

This is the last part of this MyTake series. Here are the other three parts:

Part I

Part II

Part III

(In alphabetical order)

1) Steve Perry (Journey)

When Lead Vocalists Go Solo (Part IV/ Letters P-W)

Steve Perry released the highly successful Street Talk in 1984, which contained the Top 10 hit Oh Sherrie. One of the greatest solo efforts in music history, even though it never reached the success of Escape and Frontiers. Unfortunately, his solo works didn't do well outside of America.

2) Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)

Another successful solo artist as well. Releasing a series of successful solo albums, and hitting the #1 spot in the US Mainstream Rock charts, five times in total. His best album would be The Principle Of Moments, containing his biggest hit in the UK, Big Log, and also his best song in his solo career, in my opinion.

3) Iggy Pop (The Stooges)

Although his albums and songs lacked chart success, he's considered a highly influential artist. His biggest commercial hits are considered Real Wild Child (Wild One) (and Blah Blah Blah, his most commercially successful album as well) and Candy, a duet with Kate Pierson from B-52's.

4) Gerry Rafferty (Stealers Wheel)

Mostly famous for his song Baker Street (one of the best saxophone solos ever!), which was a #3 hit for UK, #2 for US and #1 for AUS. Also known was his song Right Down The Line, which was a Top 20 US hit. Both from his biggest selling album, City To City.

5) Lou Reed (The Velvet Underground)

Both highly influential with his band and as a solo artist as well. Transformer is definitely considered his masterpiece, featuring Walk On The Wild Side, which was his biggest hit. The B-Side of the single, Perfect Day, although not originally a hit it's considered one of his most recognizable songs as well.

6) Stan Ridgway (Wall Of Voodoo)

One of the few American artists that involved with the Post-Punk genre, both with his band and as a solo artist. His best album is The Big Heat, which contained the Top 10 UK hit Camouflage. His album Mosquitoes, was an equally good follow-up.

7) Paul Rodgers (Free)

And later also known with his work with Bad Company. As a solo artist, he had success with his Muddy Rodgers tribute album in 1993 by some degree, especially in the UK charts.

8. Feargal Sharkey (Undertones)

Feargal Sharkey had one #1 hit as a solo artist, called A Good Heart. Although it was a massive hit in UK, in Europe and in Australia it was only a minor hit in the US. Another known hit of his was Never Never which was a Top 10 UK hit. A collaboration with Vince Clark from Depech Mode, Yazoo and Erasure.

9) Patty Smyth (Scandal)

Not to be confused with Patti Smith (both written with "I"). Patty Smyth from the band Scandal had a minor solo career in late 80s and early 90s, with her most famous song being Sometimes Love Ain't Just Enough, a duet with Don Henley. The song reached #2 in the US charts, and it was a #1 hit in Canada.

10) Jimmy Somerville (Bronski Beat)

And also singer for The Communards. Popular in Europe as a Solo Artist and with Bronski Beat or The Communards as well, he made it thrice on the top of the US Dance Charts. Once with Bronski Beat (Smalltown Boy), once with The Communards (Don't Leave Me This Way) and once as a Solo Artist (Heartbeat).

11) Sting (The Police)

Since the breakup of The Police he continued as a Solo Artist, dominating the charts in multiple countries around the world. But to be honest I never understood his songs' appeal and why they were so much loved, since they contained this jazzy instrumentation. His biggest solo hit perhaps is All For Love, a collaboration with Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams for the movie The Three Musketeers.

12) Joey Tempest (Europe)

Surprisingly enough, as a solo artist he chose to move away from the famous Glam Metal/Hard Rock sound of Europe. Pretty disappointing if you ask me. His solo works never met any commercial success though.

13) Joe Lynn Turner (Fandango)

Although he didn't met commercial success with Fandango, he was the singer of Rainbow's most successful period, commercially. After Rainbow disbanded he lost into obscurity again. His best solo album is Rescue You, which continued the AOR tradition with Rainbow's early period.

14) Alan Vega (Suicide)

Just noticed this guy passed away only three days ago, while I was posting this MyTake, at the age of 78. RIP. He was a member of the influential, yet unknown Post-Punk Suicide. Their 1977 Self-Titled album is a cult classic. His biggest solo hit was Jukebox Baby, particularly in France. A song blending Rockabilly with Post-Punk elements.

15) Steve Walsh (Kansas)

There's one album that stands out among his solo work. And this album is called Schemer-Dreamer. An underrated Progressive-Rock album which failed to make any commercial impact.

16) John Waite (The Babys)

Also notable as a vocalist of the supergroup Bad English, where they had a #1 hit song with When I See You Smile. Before he had another #1 hit with his most famous solo hit, Missing You. His best album in my opinion, would be Ignition, even though it wasn't a commercial success.

17) John Watts (Fischer-Z)

As a solo artist he followed the New-Wave/Punk/Reggae style, of his band Fischer-Z, and then again under the name The Cry, and after a few years later, he was back with his band Fischer-Z. In all cases he never found commercial success neither in the US nor in the UK, but he had moderate success in continental Europe, during the 80s.

18. Paul Weller (Jam)

And of course singer in The Style Council, after Jam and before starting a solo career. Whilst he is considered a legend in British music, this man never had any success im the US, neither with Jam and Style Council nor as a Solo Artist. Peacock Suit is his most successful solo hit, reaching at #5.

19) Steve Winwood (The Spencer Davis Group)

Also involved with Traffic and Blind Faith. But his biggest success would come as a solo artist, especially during the 80s. He reached the US #1 spot twice, with Higher Love and Roll With It in 1986 and in 1988 respectively.

20) Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band)

As a solo artist he had a good amount of success by some degree. He released the very good album Lights Out in 1984, and then in 1987 he reached the #1 spot in the US Mainstream Rock charts with his song Come As You Are.


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