7 Bands That Spawned Multiple Prominent Solo Careers: Genesis, Wu-Tang Clan, And More

By Joey DeGroot | Jul 13, 2014 01:46 PM EDT

Many bands would be lucky enough to have just one immensely talented artist to carry them to success, but these seven bands had two (or sometimes more) musicians in their ranks who would go on to achieve success on their own.

1. Genesis

When Peter Gabriel left his position as lead vocalist of Genesis in 1974 in pursuit of a solo career, he took his experimental, theatrical approach to music and applied it to more radio-friendly songs, resulting in far more mainstream success than he ever achieved with his old band. However, Gabriel's solo career was commercially outshined by his old bandmate Phil Collins, who began his solo career in 1981 while still serving as Genesis' drummer and vocalist, becoming one of the world's biggest pop stars.

2. Buffalo Springfield

Before they went on to form Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Stephen Stills and Neil Young rose to prominence as the guitarists for folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield, best known for its 1966 single "For What It's Worth." The two would begin successful solo careers in the late '60s and early '70s after Buffalo Springfield split in 1968.

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3. The Yardbirds

Perhaps more famous than the Yardbirds actual music are its members, which consisted of future guitar legends Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. Though Page never pursued a high-profile solo career, instead sticking with Led Zeppelin during the '70s, Beck and Clapton would go on to be acclaimed as two of the top British blues guitarists of their generation with their solo work.

4. Roxy Music

Along with King Crimson, Roxy Music was perhaps the greatest gathering of artists in England's early '70s art rock scene, with members such as the legendary Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno. Though Ferry, the band's chief songwriter, would achieve great commercial success with his solo career (which ran simultaneously to Roxy Music), it was Eno who ultimately had more influence, pioneering both ambient music and mainstream record production.

5. The Byrds

Though the Byrds were often seen as Roger McGuinn's band, two of the band's rhythm guitarists are arguably even more legendary and influential. David Crosby would of course go on to form Crosby, Stills & Nash and release his debut solo album in 1971, while his replacement Gram Parsons would form cult country-rock band the Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as pursue a brief yet highly acclaimed solo career before his death in 1973.

6. The Wu-Tang Clan

Like most hip-hop collectives, the Wu-Tang Clan is more of a launching pad for the solo careers of its members than an actual group. Many of Wu-Tang's members went on to achieve considerable success as solo artists, including Raekwon, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah, who have all released albums that are considered to be among the greatest hip-hop albums ever made.

7. The Beatles

This one should be obvious, right? The Beatles were so incredibly pervasive that there was no way the individual members wouldn't achieve at least moderate success on their own. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison all achieved critical and commercial successes on their own, and even Ringo Starr released some hit songs on his own, including "Photograph," co-written by George Harrison.

What other bands spawned multiple prominent solo careers? Let us know in the comments section!

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