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7 Artists Who Recruited Old Bandmates For Solo Albums: Peter Gabriel, Iggy Pop, and more

by Joey DeGroot   May 23, 2014 09:19 AM EDT

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When musicians leave their bands and go on to record solo albums, it seems like their former bandmates would be the last people they'd want to help out. However, these seven musicians actually recruited their old bandmates to perform on their solo albums.

1. Peter Gabriel

Many people who are only familiar with Phil Collin's solo work or his tenure as lead vocalist for Genesis might not be aware of his remarkable talents as a drummer, which he ably demonstrates on Genesis' earliest tracks, with Peter Gabriel on vocals. Gabriel would eventually bring Collins into the studio in 1980 to record drums for his third solo album, supposedly the first instance of the signature "gated drum" sound that would continue throughout '80s pop music.

2. Brian Eno

In the early '70s, Roxy Music practically invented the glam rock movement in England, but by 1973, synth player Brian Eno left the band due to mounting creative differences with frontman and lead songwriter Bryan Ferry. For his debut solo album Here Come the Warm Jets in 1974, Eno would recruit every member of Roxy Music to perform with him, with the very notable exception of Bryan Ferry.

3. Frank Black

Frank Black of the Pixies is a notoriously difficult person to work with. In 1993, he announced the disintegration of the Pixies during a BBC interview, without even notifying the band first (bassist Kim Deal received a fax from Black confirming the split afterwards). Though it would seem like no member of the band would want to work with Black again, lead guitarist Joey Santiago contributed to his first two solo albums, Frank Black and Teenager of the Year.

4. Nico

The title of The Velvet Underground & Nico should indicate that Nico was never really considered a true member of the band. After the Velvet Underground parted ways with mentor Andy Warhol in 1968, Nico left the group, though she would later collaborate with the band's bassist/violist John Cale, who would produce and perform most of the instruments on her solo albums Desertshore and The End...

5. Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett's departure from Pink Floyd in 1968 devastated the members of the band, who mourned not only the loss of their songwriter, but also their close friend. Barrett would reunite with bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour for his debut solo album The Madcap Laughs, with his former bandmates helping out with production and, in Gilmour's case, some guitar, bass, and drum tracks.

6. Iggy Pop

For his first two solo albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life, Iggy Pop worked closely with David Bowie and his band, essentially making them David Bowie albums with Iggy Pop on vocals. The first solo album Pop made without Bowie was 1979's New Values, featuring former Stooges member James Williamson as producer and guitarist.

7. The Beatles

After their break-up in 1970, all four members would go on to release solo albums. Despite the acrimony of their split, both George Harrison and John Lennon sought Ringo Starr to play drums for them on their 1970 solo albums, while Starr would collaborate with all three of his former bandmates on his 1973 album Ringo.

What other artists brought in old bandmates for their solo albums? Let us know in the comments section!

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