On this date 30 years ago, Freddie Mercury of Queen released his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy...and it failed drastically, at least from a commercial standpoint. It seems odd now—when a solo album from Brandon Flowers or other vocalists attached to a big-name band can release an album by themselves and land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 without breaking a sweat—that one of the liveliest frontmen in rock history couldn't get into the Top 150 of the album sales charts with his first solo release. That said (and despite the cheesy image of Mercury in shades on the album cover), Mr. Bad Guy ain't a bad record. That can't be said about the solo debuts of these other famous vocalists, from The Beatles' members to David Lee Roth.

Just about everyone in The Beatles

Everyone from The Beatles had glorious successes as a solo performer after leaving the band, including John Lennon's Imagine, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass and many more. These, however, were not the first attempts from their respective artists. Critics might have had good reason to believe that the members of world's most influential band would be doomed after the collapse of the group, based on how poorly they seemed to perform on their own. Harrison led things off during 1968, releasing Wonderwall Music during 1968 as a soundtrack to the film Wonderwall. Harrison beat all of the Indian music influence out of himself on the record and although critics were amazed at the time, that attitude has since been disregarded as fanboy-ism. Lennon followed up with his avant garde attempt Unfinished Music Vol. 1: Two Virgins, an album less well known for its music than its famous full-frontal image featuring the songwriter and wife Yoko Ono. It tried a little too hard to be an alternative to The Beatles...suggesting that maybe John really did need Paul. Ringo Starr tried his solo as a solo performer during 1970, resulting in the opposite of Lennon's debut: a collection of standards that his bandmate referred to as "embarrassing." McCartney was the last Beatle to release a solo album, which he did during 1970 with McCartney, which is considered a classic and features hits such as "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "That Would Be Something."

Paul Stanley by Paul Stanley/KISS (1978)

No one really emerged a winner from the KISS solo album experiment of 1978. The band had four iconic members—Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss—so they figured why not release four solo albums as four KISS albums? The results were disastrous. Stanley's was bad and yet it wasn't the worst—that un-award goes to drummer Criss—and only guitarist Frehley's solo release got a modest nod of approval from critics. Are they really KISS records if only one member of the band performs? Isn't that like Scott Weiland recording an album and calling it Stone Temple Pilots? There is a little bit of good news to come from the debacle however: Most of the members of KISS realized that they'd never be able to live their current lifestyle if they weren't actively involved in the band, which has kept at least Stanley and Simmons together for 40-plus years.

KooKoo by Debbie Harry (1981)

Pop vocalists leaving their original groups tends to go one way or another: Some, such as Beyoncé, become superstars away from Destiny's Child. Others, like Gwen Stefani, became weak facsimiles of their former selves (No...your correspondent didn't appreciate her work away from No Doubt). Five albums into a critically acclaimed career, Debbie Harry finally decided to try her hand as a solo performer away from Blondie. Her first band was the among the peak performers in the CBGB new wave movement...and her album KooKoo was, uh, a landmark failure of the post-disco movement? Somewhat like "Heart of Glass"...except everyone likes "Heart of Glass." The only cool thing to take from this release was the album cover, another stellar entry from H.R. Giger, featuring the vocalist with a number of ice picks going through her face.

Eat 'Em and Smile by David Lee Roth (1986)

David Lee Roth is the consummate rock frontman, skilled at his position within the group and clever enough to come up with the lyrics for hit singles such as "Panama" and "Hot For Teacher" without overthinking his band, Van Halen. When the other members of the group, notably Eddie Van Halen himself, wanted to take the group in a more progressive direction post-1984, they left Roth curbside to come up with his own meal ticket. Roth decided to keep doing what he had been doing already, except as a solo act. He may have realized that Van Halen was a winning formula, so he tried to mimic it as much as possible. He hired Steve Vai, essentially a less recognizable Eddie Van Halen, as his guitarist and went to town. We're just glad that in the end, Van Halen saw the fault in Sammy Hagar and got back with Roth.

Euphoria Morning by Chris Cornell (1999)

Your correspondent might be slightly biased here, as Soundgarden is his all-time favorite band...but Chris Cornell's solo sets are just lame. Granted, that band had broken up by the time its vocalist released Euphoria Morning (meant to be titled Euphoria Mourning, but a mistake was made during the marketing campaign). There's nothing wrong with trying to take a new road from your main act, but Cornell seems to water himself down to pop Dad-rock whenever he sets out along, even hiring Timbaland to produce one of his albums. At least when he joins other bands, such as Temple of The Dog and Audioslave, there seems to be sincerity involved. Euphoria Morning was just the first in an 0-for-4 streak for Cornell as a solo artist.