Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bands With Super Solo Spin-Offs

The kiss of death for so many bands and recording artists is when the lead singer declares to the rest of the group, "I'm goin' solo, bitches!" Hello, Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac! Hello, Denis Deyoung of Styx! And then there are the successes - let's cite Sting (so successful that there's a greatest hits album for Sting and The Police!). And then there are the few supergroups where multiple members profusely prosper. I'm sure there are other great ones to add to the list, but here are a few that rise to the top.

5. The Jackson 5
Motown's teen-pop sensations, The Jacksons, gave rise to the King of Pop. Achievement enough, some might say. The Jacksons also saw Jermaine reach some modicum of success. Plus, if you want to count her along with her bros, Janet Jackson is a megastar. The Jacksons also reunited for the famed Victory tour in the 80s and had two music videos that didn't even feature Michael or Jermaine at all, even though they sang on the tracks. You could call that Tito's 15 minutes. No one rocks a cowboy hat and an afro like Tito Jackson.

4. Destiny's Child
The Supremes had Diana Ross...and those two other women few people can remember the names of. Destiny's Child, on the other hand, produced Michelle Williams (hot), Kelly Rowland (really hot) and the mega mogul now known simply as Beyonce (smokin' hot). While the other ex-members of the band have faltered into oblivion, these three talented ladies have demonstrated their solo talents can pay the bills, bills, bills. And then some.

3. N'Sync
With the odd exception of Chris Kirkpatrick (because he seems an odd exception to start with), the champion of 90's boy bands N'Sync has yielded three stars and one mogul. Joey Fatone is all over your TV set, dancing with the stars and remembering the lyrics - all after two successful bows on the Broadway stage. Lance Bass is also now a Broadway star and tried to go to space! How many other pop stars become astronauts? JC has had a mildly successful solo album and also all over the TV, most recently on Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew. And lastly, there's JT. The heir apparent to Michael and Prince. As much as it might pain the haters to say it...Justin has proved himself an incredible talent as singer, performer, songwriter, producer, and actor. Mad skills in Alpha Dog. Mad skills.

2. Genesis
Look at those shaggy Brits, my friends, and you'll find not one but two of the very biggest, most successful pop singer/songwriters ever in the very same band: Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. After Peter left the band to move on to his Sledgehammering Big Time solo career (including the anthem "In Your Eyes" and the oddly catchy track "Shock the Monkey"), Phil stepped out from behind the drums to lead Genesis to even greater glory. Then, he too moved on to a huge solo career, including his Oscar-winning score for Disney's Tarzan (which incidentally beat "Blame Canada" for Best Original song. B.S., but still quite an achievement).

1. The Beatles
Together, they're the friggin' Beatles. Solo, they're John, Paul, George and Ringo. No contest. 'Nuff said.

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