Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. is set to play the Basement on Friday, Nov. 6, in support of his surprisingly excellent new solo album 'Momentary Masters.' With that in mind, we thought we'd take look at some of the best albums released by some other artists who initially made a splash as part of a band.
Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. is set to play the Basement on Friday, Nov. 6, in support of his surprisingly excellent new solo album Momentary Masters (read our interview with the musician). With that in mind, we thought we'd take look at some of the best albums released by some other artists who initially made a splash as part of a band. Here, in chronological order, are 11 of our favorites.
George Harrison, All Things Must Pass (1970)
This list could be filled with solo albums courtesy of the Lennon/McCartney combo, but don't sleep on the triple LP from "the quiet Beatle," which centers on "My Sweet Lord," a pop prayer as good as anything in his onetime band's catalog.
Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)
Though is doesn't have the accumulated legend of Smile, the abandoned Beach Boys masterwork that Brian Wilson finally released as a solo album in 2004, it has the songs - gorgeous, melancholic, introspective songs miles removed from the band's playful surfer fare.
Michael Jackson, Off the Wall (1979)
Even as a child, Jackson had the power to decimate (spin the Jackson 5's take on Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" with a hanky at the ready). It's a skillset that surfaces on "She's Out of My Life," which hits like an emotional wrecking ball amid the stream of R&B and disco-tinged burners.
Morrissey, Viva Hate (1988)
The Smiths founder's solo debut includes the song with the most Morrissey title possible: "I Don't Mind If You Forget Me." Albums like this ensure we won't.
GZA, Liquid Swords (1995)
Like the Beatles, Wu-Tang Clan could've dominated this list, but we'll stick with the debut from the GZA, aka the Genius, who lived up to the heady moniker on this Ginsu-sharp effort.
Bjork, Homogenic (1997)
The onetime Sugarcube remains one of the most compelling, inventive figures in music, and this release, which includes the pulse-quickening "Hunter," is among her best.
Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
Hill's post-Fugees debut, which netted the singer/rapper an armload of Grammy awards (five, including Album of the Year) made such a cultural and critical impact that she never really recovered from the ensuing crush and instead retreated almost fully from the public spotlight.
Beyonce, Dangerously in Love (2003)
The Destiny's Child singer roared into womanhood on the title track off her solo debut, a funky, horn-fueled banger that can draw even the rhythmically challenged to the dance floor.
Thom Yorke, The Eraser (2006)
The most surprisingly pleasant Radiohead spinoff might be drummer Phil Selway's lived-in Weatherhouse, from 2014, but I've still spent more time with The Eraser, a sad, heartfelt album that trumps Radiohead's 2011 studio effort The King of Limbs by a wide margin.
Pusha T, My Name Is My Name (2013)
True, the subject matter isn't far removed from the Clipse's trafficking tales (the title is a reference to emerging "Wire" kingpin Marlo Stanfield), but the songs are as ferocious as anything Pusha recorded alongside his onetime running mate.
Jeff Tweedy, Sukierae (2014)
While not technically a solo record - the Wilco singer is joined for the ride by his drummer son Spencer - the double-album is intensely personal, centering on Tweedy's attempts to keep his chin up in the wake of his wife's cancer diagnosis.