Category Archives: Top 10 Countdown

Going Solo – #8

The countdown continues for the top 80’s solo artists who had been in successful 80’s bands:

8. Stevie Nicks – Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is mostly known for their huge 1977 album Rumours. But they did have some success in the early 80’s with their 1982 album Mirage. The hits from that album included “Hold Me“, “Love in Store“, and “Gypsy“.
After that album, the band went on hiatus for a little while. So some members pursued solo albums.

The most successful was Stevie Nicks.

Before Mirage was released, Nicks released the album Bella Donna, which produced the hits “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (#3), which was a duet with Tom Petty, “Leather and Lace” (#26), which was another duet with Don Henley, and “Edge of Seventeen” (#11).
After Mirage, Stevie continued her success with “Stand Back” (#5), which was followed by her next hit “If Anyone Falls” (#14), which came off the album The Wild Heart. Stevie’s next album, Rock a Little, was also a hit. It had the songs “Talk to Me” (#16), and “I Can’t Wait” (#4).

Going Solo – #9

The countdown continues for the top 80’s solo artists who had been in successful 80’s bands:

9. Dennis DeYoung – Styx
Styx started releasing albums in the 70’s, and achieved moderate success. When guitarist Tommy Shaw joined the band in 1976, Styx became more well known. But, with the release of Paradise Theater in 1981, Styx shot to super stardom. It went to number one on the Billboard pop albums chart and contained five hit singles, including “The Best of Times” (#3) and “Too Much Time on My Hands“(#9). This was followed by the album Kilroy Was Here , which contained the hits “Mr. Roboto” (#3) and power ballad “Don’t Let It End” (#6).

Even though Kilroy Was Here was successful, it caused creative tension in the group. Tommy Shaw went on to a solo career, and the band went on hiatus until 1990. In the meantime, Dennis DeYoung also started a solo career.

Dennis DeYoung had a huge hit with the album and single Desert Moon. It reached to #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and was on heavy rotation on MTV. He then followed that with the song “Don’t Wait for Heroes“, which did not get much radio play, but was played heavily on MTV. DeYoung also released the single “This Is the Time” for The Karate Kid, Part II soundtrack.

Styx started back up without Tommy Shaw with the album Edge of the Century. This album produced the hits “Show Me the Way“, “Love at First Sight“, and “Love is the Ritual“.

In 1995, Tommy Shaw rejoined the group. But the tensions rose again, and this time Dennis DeYoung was left behind by the group, and went solo again.

Going Solo

Artistic differences. Wear and tear from touring. Party lifestyle getting to be too much. Egos. Yoko Ono.

Those are some of the reason bands go their separate ways – sometimes permanently, sometimes temporarily (or until they need more money). Sometimes members move on to a solo career with great success. I have compiled a list of successful 80’s solo artists that came from a band that had success in the 80’s.
I have compiled a top 10 list. I have ranked these in order of how successful the artist and the band were, in my humble opinion. The qualifications are that they have had to have had a hit album or song that was released in the 80’s. Although The Jacksons had the Album Victory with the hit “State of Shock”, I left Michael Jackson off the list because his solo career had already started in the 80’s before the brothers got back together. Besides Michael is in a category all by himself.

We will begin with:

10. Bobby Brown – New Edition
New Edition released their first album, Candy Girl, in 1983, and had a hit with the title track. The band’s self-titled second album was also a big hit, which had the top-5 hit song “Cool It Now“. New Edition’s third album, All For Love, was released in 1985. It was not as big as the previous albums, but it did contain the hit “Count Me Out“.
Then in December 1985, as shocking as it may sound, the group was forced to vote Bobby Brown out of the band, due to behavioral problems.

In 1986, Bobby Brown released his first solo album, King of Stage. He had a small hit with the song “Girlfriend”. Then Brown skyrocketed to super stardom in 1988 with his album Don’t Be Cruel. The album sold 8 million copies, and produced 5 top ten hits: “Don’t Be Cruel” (#8), “Every Little Step” (#3), “Rock Wit’ Cha” (#7), “My Prerogative” (#1), and “Roni” (#3).

He has had his problems, but in the late 80’s Bobby Brown was on top of the world.

To be continued…