5 Rock Legends Who Moved On To Other Things
via Stevie Nicks/YouTube
When a band breaks up, members either join another group or they could simply pursue a solo career. The latter is, of course, easier said than done. It takes more than sheer talent to do it and for the following rock acts, they were more than ready to take on the world all as solo artists.
The Godfather of Punk kicked of his music career as the wild frontman of The Stooges. With their brand of raw rock ‘n roll, it wasn’t long before they earned a loyal following. They formed in 1967 but disbanded in 1974. For years, Iggy Pop’s career stalled mostly because of his drug use. It got so bad that he checked himself into rehab. One of those who didn’t leave him when he was at the lowest point of his life was his friend and collaborator David Bowie. In 1976, Bowie brought him along to his Station to Station tour and Pop was blown away. The pair got arrested for marijuana possession and they famously went to Berlin to clean up.
Bowie continued to support Pop as he tried to embark on a solo career. He wrote some of the material and helped produce two of Pop’s most acclaimed solo albums – “The Idiot” and “Lust for Life”. For the next few years, Pop worked on various records and collaborated with fellow rockers like Lou Reed.
Neil Young was a member of two legendary rock groups – Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. His time with CSN&Y honed his songwriting skills and “Ohio” marked a turning point for him because it was the first of many songs with social & political commentary. Although he already released two solo albums before CSN&Y, being with the band helped in his commercial breakthrough as a solo artist. His third solo LP “After the Gold Rush” is one of the greatest releases in the ’70s and it was eventually certified 2x platinum by the RIAA.
Since 1968, he has released more than three dozen albums and is still active in the industry. A prolific songwriter, he continues to dig deep into his vault to compile previously unreleased music.
One of the greatest success stories in rock, Stevie Nicks started as the other half of Buckingham Nicks. Just when she was on the verge of giving up any hope of having a career in music, Mick Fleetwood invited her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham to join Fleetwood Mac. He agreed on the condition that Nicks will join them too.
She proved to be a worthy addition to the band as she didn’t just have hauntingly beautiful vocals and enchanting stage presence, she was also a prolific songwriter – penning some of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest songs.
While they were working on “Tusk”, Nicks began writing and recording her debut solo studio album “Bella Donna”. It was a commercial and critical success. Rolling Stone magazine even dubbed her as “the Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll”. She continues to record and tour – the latest of which was her 24 Karat Gold Tour which ran from October 25, 2016 to November 24, 2017.
One of the best songwriters in history, Paul Simon found success with Art Garfunkel in the ’60s with a series of hits like “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge over Troubled Water”. But by 1970, the duo split and went their separate ways. In the next five years, Simon wrote and recorded three acclaimed albums. His career stalled for a bit before he staged a stunning comeback in the form of “Graceland” which sold over 14 million copies worldwide.
Aside from hit singles, it also gave him the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1987. He continued to tour and work on other projects including a Broadway musical, The Capeman. He was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist.
He initially worked as part of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band before forming The Eagles with Don Henley. With songs like “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Already Gone”, “New Kid in Town”, “Heartache Tonight”, and “Tequila Sunrise”, they became one of the best-selling acts of all time.
They disbanded in 1980 and in the next few years, Frey launched a successful solo career and had two #2 hits. Aside from singing his own songs, he also contributed to the soundtrack of various films like “Beverly Hills Cop II” and “Ghostbusters II”. He even tried his hand at acting.