Success after the split: 4 rock stars who excelled beyond their original bands


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The world of music is often marked by memorable band line-ups that capture our imaginations and dominate the airwaves. However, some musicians manage to transcend their initial fame by forging successful paths after leaving their original bands. Here’s a look at four rock stars who did just that.

Phil Collins: From Genesis to Solo Prowess

The drummer takes center stage

Phil Collins began his career as the drummer for the progressive rock band Genesis. He joined the group in 1970, initially staying behind the kit and contributing backing vocals. It wasn’t until the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel in 1975 that Collins stepped up to the microphone and took on dual duties as both drummer and frontman.

A solo sensation

Collins’ first solo album, “Face Value,” released in 1981, marked the beginning of his phenomenal solo career. The album featured the iconic track “In the Air Tonight,” which showcased his distinctive voice and dynamic range as a songwriter. His subsequent albums, such as “No Jacket Required” (1985) and “…But Seriously” (1989), solidified his status as a pop-rock legend and demonstrated his ability to craft hit songs across multiple genres.

Multiple talents acknowledged

Beyond music, Collins also ventured into acting and writing, further extending his influence in the entertainment industry. His autobiographical work, “Not Dead Yet,” provides a deep dive into his extraordinary life and career. Phil Collins managed to achieve a level of success that not only matched his time with Genesis but also earned him respect as a versatile artist in his own right.

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Sting: Shaping Sound and Leadership Post-The Police

The rise and fall of The Police

The Police were a staple of new wave rock throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s, combining punk energy with reggae influences. As the band’s frontman and bassist, Sting was instrumental in creating hits like “Roxanne,” “Every Breath You Take,” and “Message in a Bottle.” Despite their immense success, internal tensions led to the band’s disbandment in 1986.

A new era begins

Sting wasted no time carving out a niche for himself as a solo artist. His debut solo album, “The Dream of the Blue Turtles” (1985), was released before The Police officially split, indicating his readiness to explore new musical avenues. The record received critical acclaim and featured jazz musicians, underscoring Sting’s desire to experiment and innovate.

Continued innovation and activism

His subsequent albums, such as “Nothing Like the Sun” (1987) and “Brand New Day” (1999), continued his streak of artistic excellence. Known for his socially conscious lyrics, Sting has used his platform to advocate for human rights and environmental issues. Whether working within a band framework or as a solo act, Sting’s influence remains profound.

Eric Clapton: Master Guitarist Beyond Cream

The formation of supergroups

Eric Clapton gained prominence with the formation of the power trio Cream in 1966. Alongside Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, Clapton helped define the sound of blues rock, crafting classics like “Sunshine of Your Love” and “White Room.” The band enjoyed immense success but lasted only a few years due to internal strife and creative differences.

Solo achievements and collaborations

After Cream, Clapton’s solo career flourished, approaching legendary status with records such as “Slowhand” (1977) and “Journeyman” (1989). Hits like “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” showcased his virtuosic guitar skills and emotional depth. Additionally, Clapton collaborated with numerous artists, including B.B. King and J.J. Cale, proving his versatility and broad appeal.

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Enduring legacy

Clapton has continually reinvented himself while remaining true to his blues roots. With countless awards, including several Grammy wins and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, Eric Clapton’s career serves as a benchmark for any guitarist striving to make an impact on the global stage.

Tina Turner: A Dynamo Independent of Ike

The tumultuous start

Tina Turner’s early career was tightly intertwined with her then-husband Ike Turner. As part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, she delivered electrifying performances and chart-topping hits like “Proud Mary” and “River Deep – Mountain High.” Their partnership, however, was marred by personal struggles and abusive dynamics.

A triumphant solo resurgence

Turner’s decisive break from Ike in the mid-’70s signaled the beginning of a stunning solo comeback. Her 1984 album, “Private Dancer,” catapulted her back into the limelight with smash hits like “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” This album marked Turner’s rebranding from an R&B talent to a rock-and-roll icon.

Empowering presence

Tina Turner didn’t just stop at musical milestones. She became a symbol of resilience and empowerment, releasing a string of successful albums throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Hits such as “Simply the Best” and “We Don’t Need Another Hero” highlighted her powerful, unmistakable voice and charisma, ensuring her lasting imprint on the music industry.

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