The Curious Case of Paul Rodgers

At least, it’s curious to me. It occurred to me recently that I can’t think of another vocalist in the history of rock music that has had such a long and successful career as part of so many groups and without a hugely successful solo career. I suspect that the average classic rock listener wouldn’t know who Paul Rodgers was by name, yet would know virtually all of his hits.

To hit the high points for those not terribly familiar with him, he was part of:
[li]Free, who had a hit with “All Right Now”,[/li][li]Bad Company - “Bad Company”, “Shooting Star”, “Feel Like Making Love”, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” [/li][li]The Firm - “Radioactive”, “Satisfaction Guaranteed”[/li][/ul]
In addition, he worked with Queen for about 5 years beginning in 2004, and has had numerous one-off projects with people like Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Buddy Guy, Slash, and on and on. Rumor has it that Aerosmith has been talking to him about taking over vocals while Steven Tyler is on hiatus.

Has anyone else in the rock world bounced around that much as a vocalist, had that much respect and success, yet not have much of a solo career, or for that matter notoriety among the public at large?

Ian Gillan?

What about Paul Carrack? He sang with Ace (“How Long”), Squeeze (“Tempted”), and Mike and the Mechanics. His Wikipedia page shows a number of solo albums but I don’t know how successful his solo career was.
Also maybe John Wetton?

Ron Dante. He had hit singles with The Detergents (“Leader of the Landromat”), the Cuff Links (“Tracy”), and The Archies {“Sugar, Sugar”). The latter two were in the top ten at the same time. Dante also backed up Barry Manilow for “Mandy.”

Jeff Lynne? He’s sung and performed with The Move, ELO, and Traveling Wilburys, and has produced many others. But as far as I know, he’s only had one solo album, and also as far as I know, I’m the only person who ever bought it…TRM

Joe Lynn Turner.

I bought it, too. Great album! (And, allegedly, he has another one in the works…)

I actually just recently bought a song of his (“Don’t Shed a Tear”) on iTunes…I was in a store, heard it on the radio, thought, “hey, I remember that song!” Used the Soundhound app on my iPhone to identify it, and bought it on the spot. :slight_smile:

Back to Paul Rodgers, one of my favorite bluesy albums is his Muddy Waters Blues. He does an electric and an acoustic version of the title track (the latter is what’s comin’ through my new Sony high-end earbuds right now … ahh, tasty …). It’s a “solo” album (his tribute to Muddy Waters), but he gets a lot of help from modern guitarists like Buddy Guy, David Gilmour, and Jeff Beck.

Jimmy Barneshas been around the block a few times.

Is it still in print? Major Jeff Lynne/ELO/etc fan here!

But he has had a successful solo career since his first solo album debuted at number one (as did the next 5) in 1980.

Tony Burrows famously appeared on Top of the Pops three times in one episode, because he was simultaneously playing anonymous frontman with Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, and Brotherhood of Man – not bad for a guy who also likewise scored hits with the Pipkins and the First Class.

You might recognize any of these:

  • Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes.
  • My Baby Loves Lovin’.
  • United We Stand.
  • Gimme Dat Ding.
  • Beach Baby.

They call him the five-time one-hit wonder.

See, I’d watch a TV show about that. Fucking incredible.

I recognized all but Gimme Dat Ding. After looking it up on YouTube I vaguely recall it.

Unfortunately, it’s not. Sending you a PM to keep from further derailing this thread. :slight_smile:

Paul Rodgers only released one solo album (Cut Loose (1983)) before releasing a few tribute sets in the 90s. It doesn’t seem like he ever really sought out a solo career.

As to why he does not have more notoriety? I think he has about the same notoriety as other artists who achieved a similar level of success.

I think the cases of Scott Weiland and Chris Cornell are curious as well. Both had big hits with two different projects (Weiland-Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver/Cornell-Soundgarden and Audioslave) and yet have tried to launch their solo careers multiple times and failed.

-Richie Incognito