Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A solo album? The heck you say!

Being an 80s music fan, I'm always looking for new/old music to satisfy my music needs.  To me it's easy to have all "the hits" that everyone has.  You can go anywhere that sells music and find the Greatest Hits of the 80s.  The fun part is plucking one of those hits off of your newly purchased compilation and search for that artist's individual cds.  Not so much fun anymore is it??? (it actually is if you like doing research)

It depends on who you are looking for. There are several major stars of the 80s that are still going strong today, having managed to surf through the decades of mainstream music.  I don't want to make it sound like it's completely impossible to find certain bands and their music. But sometimes it is.  And then, sometimes you get lucky.

Recently, while on a quest for new 80s music, I was shopping at a record store..(yes they still make those) Rainy Day Records to be exact in Olympia, Washington.  While I was there, I headed for the bargain bin and started to dig through the 98 cent cds.  Not only do I love shopping for new/old music, I love a bargain even more!

Much to my surprise as I was looking, I happened to find a solo album by Ric Ocasek entitled This Side of Paradise.  I say surprise because I wasn't aware he had a solo career.  How uniformed, right?  No one ever tells me anything.

That kind of got me to thinking about other artists of that time that were still with the bands that made them famous or vice/versa and branched out to make a solo album.  I couldn't think of any so I had to do some research. (there's that word again)  Here's what I came up with:

George Michael-He was with Wham! when he had two solo singles that made people wonder if he was going to leave the group and jump into the solo career waters head first.  As it stands he didn't have to as the group disbanded a year before he decided to.  So it was like he got a really big push! Wham! Push!  play on words?  Let's move on.

Morrissey- Now Morrissey on the other hand, waited until The Smiths broke up to start his solo career (what a gentleman) I mean seriously, what else was he going to do, sell shoes?  Mind you if he did he would be extremely good at it.  He just has that magnet charisma that makes him irresistible to mostly everyone.  But I digress.  My favorite solo album by Morrissey is Bona Drag. Exquisite!

Morten Harket, Pal Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen- The gorgeous men of my favorite band in the entire world a-ha.  They have actually been successful at doing both, band members and also partakers in several outside projects.  Now that they have officially disbanded (I smell a reunion within the next 5 years, mark my words. Don't ask me how I know, I just do) they are free to pursue the many endeavors that keep them majorly busy. 

Belinda Carlisle-Once the familiar voice of that fabulous all girl group The Go-Go's, Belinda went on to lead a very successful solo career in 1985 after the girls went their separate ways 1985.  Who could forget Heaven Is a Place On Earth?  Really try and forget it, I dare you. 

These are just a few of the many.  If you are lucky enough to be able to find any of their albums, good for you! And, you never know, you may actually find a solo album of YOUR favorite band, stranger things have happened. The greatest part of finding a treasure is the searching I always say.  So check out Ric Ocasek's solo stuff if you haven't already.  Happy Hunting!