Bands where a member leaves, and BOTH that member and the band become more successful as a result

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I recently read some article on Genesis that remarked that Peter Gabriel's departure "was absolutely the right move for both him and the band". Hard to argue otherwise considering both Gabriel and Genesis scored a number of hits throughout the 80's, beyond anything the 5-piece Genesis could have accomplished. It did occur to me that such a thing has got to be incredibly rare, to the point where I'm not sure if I can think of another example. Vince Clarke leaving Depeche Mode, perhaps? Anyone?

frogbs, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:24 (two years ago) link

Yeah Vince and Depeche definitely count.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:26 (two years ago) link

John Foxx and Ultravox

Mark G, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:37 (two years ago) link

Both Chicago and Peter Cetera fared very well after his departure.

Gorvernment Stoodge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:42 (two years ago) link

"As a result" sounds like there's some sort of causal relationship there, but is that necessarily the case? Did Gabriel and Genesis become more popular immediately after he left? The popularity increased because they both became more poppy, but IIRC that happened gradually throughout the years, so the causality is unclear. Who's to say it wouldn't have happened if he'd stayed?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:44 (two years ago) link

The Buzzcocks / Howard Devoto and Magazine

Lennon, Elvis, Hendrix etc (dog latin), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:45 (two years ago) link

I mean, becoming more populist as time goes by is a common thing for many musicians, as is the ability to write better songs. So maybe members of group X would have gone through the same process regardless of whether they stayed together, or split into Y and Z. The split just allows them to become popular as two separate units, but it isn't the cause of the popularity.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:49 (two years ago) link

Human League is a classic example of this. At first they were doing artsier music, then they split into two different bands who both eventually started doing poppier music and became more popular than the artsy root band was.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:53 (two years ago) link

Richard Hell and Television

Josefa, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:54 (two years ago) link

"As a result" sounds like there's some sort of causal relationship there, but is that necessarily the case? Did Gabriel and Genesis become more popular immediately after he left? The popularity increased because they both became more poppy, but IIRC that happened gradually throughout the years, so the causality is unclear. Who's to say it wouldn't have happened if he'd stayed?

Hard to know what would've become of Genesis had Gabriel not left but I highly doubt it could have resulted in something like Invisible Touch. Phil was definitely more of a hitmaker than Peter was, and I don't think Peter could've done the things he wanted to within the band.

I mean I agree "as a result" is being a bit reductive since you never know. Maybe Vince Clarke Depeche Mode would've been superstars, but I'm fairly sure they'd be a bit different from DM as we know them today.

frogbs, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:56 (two years ago) link

Does Neon count? That band was basically Naked Eyes.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:57 (two years ago) link

Then you've got Ry Cooder quitting Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band after their first record. Sort of thing seems to happen a lot in certain scenes... Van Dyke Parks was a member of the Mothers of Invention around the same time...

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:02 (two years ago) link

Eric Clapton and The Yardbirds

Josefa, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:02 (two years ago) link

oh wow, I totally forgot about that one

frogbs, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:04 (two years ago) link

Kind of amazed we got more than 2 posts in without Eno/Roxy

illbient microtonal poetry Surbiton (imago), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:07 (two years ago) link

Mustaine and Metallica?

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:11 (two years ago) link

Peter Tosh and The Wailers

Josefa, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:14 (two years ago) link

There might be an argument to be made for The Hollies and Graham Nash.

Gorvernment Stoodge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:15 (two years ago) link

Not talking' platinum sales, but:

A Guy Called Gerald/808 State
Bobby Gillespie/JAMC

henry s, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:23 (two years ago) link

Wrt both of my suggestions (Chicago and Hollies), both bands may have had fewer hits after the member in question left than they did before but the hits they had after were arguably bigger.

Gorvernment Stoodge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:26 (two years ago) link

arguably Suede/Butler who both had a big(ger) success right after the split : Suede with "Coming Up" and Butler with "Yes".
that didn't last a long time, though.

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:46 (two years ago) link

Peter Gabriel and Genesis, and to an extent you could include Phil Collins too.

Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:48 (two years ago) link

Bugger, missed first post.

Dan Worsley, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:49 (two years ago) link

I can think of several examples where a band member quits or gets kicked out and does well on their own while their old band is getting more popular. (Dinosaur Jr. & Lou Barlow, for instance) But it's hard to think of many like Gabriel/Genesis, where the frontman leaves.

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:52 (two years ago) link

yeah definitely more interesting if it's a prominent member of the band. and geez can't believe I missed Eno/Roxy

to some extent I think Squeeze/Jools Holland counts here. "Tempted" was released right after he left and IIRC it was their biggest hit. meanwhile we all know what happened to Jools.

frogbs, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:58 (two years ago) link

Cube/NWA

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:59 (two years ago) link

Straight Outta Compton only went to no. 4, after Cube left and blew up they went to no. 1 w Efil4zaggin

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:01 (two years ago) link

Adam And the Ants begat Bow Wow Wow thanks to Malcolm McClaren. Adam gets a new band together with the guitarist who'd been in the initial 100 Club version of Siouxsie and the Banshees then becomes popular for several lps as a teenybopper. Do still like the first of those lps though.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:01 (two years ago) link

xpost!!! If we'll allow for a group of band members, then Adam's original Ants moving to Bow Wow Wow would certainly count.

Gorvernment Stoodge (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:04 (two years ago) link

Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne. Their last two albums with him were significantly less successful than their peaks with him, only going gold, and when Ronnie James Dio took over as frontman, Heaven and Hell went platinum in the US.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:07 (two years ago) link

The Human League / Heaven 17

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:08 (two years ago) link

Buffalo Springfield.

Neil Young and Stephen Stills. Richie Furay and Jim Messina too, actually.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:10 (two years ago) link

Oh wait, never mind on Buffalo Springfield. Read the thread title wrong.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:10 (two years ago) link

Jason Isbell and Drive-By Truckers maybe?

nomar, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:22 (two years ago) link

kind of cheating but wayne hussey / sisters of mercy

NickB, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:35 (two years ago) link

Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs?

MarkoP, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:41 (two years ago) link

Vince Clarke (again) and Alison Moyet with Yaz(oo)

by the light of the burning Citroën, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:55 (two years ago) link

robbie williams / take that

hunk of poo, big fart, girlfriend, and Dove soap (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:18 (two years ago) link

crosby & the byrds? or were byrds more popular w/ crosby

marcos, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:20 (two years ago) link

Tanya Donelly / Throwing Muses

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:22 (two years ago) link

I don't think Take That were more popular post-Robbie than when he was still in?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:22 (two years ago) link

the byrds did not become more successful than they had been before crosby left.

new noise, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:23 (two years ago) link

yeah, take that split up not long after williams left.

new noise, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:25 (two years ago) link

In fact, didn't they break up pretty soon after he left?

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:25 (two years ago) link

Xpost

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:25 (two years ago) link

they got back together in 2006 and have been at least as big if not bigger than before - comeback album sold nearly 3m in the UK alone, iirc, and they enjoyed a level of critical success they didn't have before

hunk of poo, big fart, girlfriend, and Dove soap (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:28 (two years ago) link

i am by no means an authority on take that studies but the tax-dodging tory cunts have been inescapable in the uk since the comeback

hunk of poo, big fart, girlfriend, and Dove soap (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:30 (two years ago) link

Yeah, but Everything Changes alone sold over 3 million, and they've hardly had any hit songs (at least outside the UK), compared to the steady stream of hits in the early '90s.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:33 (two years ago) link

Also, their reunion and second success was hardly a "result" of Robbie leaving them 10 years earlier, it's a totally different phenomenon.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:35 (two years ago) link

Tuomas, thread-lawyer

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 18:37 (two years ago) link

He was massive in smash hits for a whole month in 198~

NickB, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 20:50 (two years ago) link

Fleetwood Mac / Bob Welch (his leaving the band led to Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining).

2017, how bad could it be? (snoball), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 21:33 (two years ago) link

Did Welch become more successful after leaving the Mac, though?

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 21:56 (two years ago) link

he had a successful jelly line iirc

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:00 (two years ago) link

I'd say yeah. Mac with Welch had some medium selling albums and a bunch of non-charting singles; French Kiss went #12 on the Billboard chart and spawned 3 hit singles.

Snorting and all (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:03 (two years ago) link

Jam & Lewis/The Time

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:17 (two years ago) link

When did they quit The Time? They play on "Pandemonium", the band's most popular album, so it doesn't seem like they'd fit this thread's premise.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:33 (two years ago) link

I mean, Jam & Lewis are certainly now better known outside The Time, but The Time didn't become more popular without them.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:35 (two years ago) link

Klaus schulze / tangerine dream ?

NickB, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:56 (two years ago) link

Jay Farrar / Uncle Tupelo (which became Wilco after he left)

alpine static, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:58 (two years ago) link

Michael Rother / kraftwerk

NickB, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 22:59 (two years ago) link

When did they quit The Time? They play on "Pandemonium", the band's most popular album, so it doesn't seem like they'd fit this thread's premise.

they quit prior to Purple Rain & Ice Cream Castle. Ice Cream Castle has the band's biggest hits on it.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 23:26 (two years ago) link

Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev) / Flaming Lips

"I must believe that my charm was not in my ass." (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 00:40 (two years ago) link

Jerry Butler / The Impressions

"I must believe that my charm was not in my ass." (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 00:43 (two years ago) link

Ben E. King / Drifters

"I must believe that my charm was not in my ass." (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 01:22 (two years ago) link

^ That's the one I was trying to think of, but I got sidetracked thinking of Clyde McPhatter, who had pop hits post-Drifters while The Drifters were having pop hits as well (1960s) but it's not the same because the '60s Drifters were a completely different group from the '50s Drifters

Josefa, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 02:01 (two years ago) link

Syd Barrett + Pink Floyd

it me, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 02:02 (two years ago) link

Yeah, Syd's astonishing run of platinum solo albums was something no one could have predicted.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 02:14 (two years ago) link

Chevy Chase leaving the band he had with Fagen/Becker

Vinnie, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 03:05 (two years ago) link

Strawbs / Sandy Denny, sort of

Lee626, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 05:35 (two years ago) link

Madonna / The Breakfast Club

LeRooLeRoo, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 05:46 (two years ago) link

rod stewart / ron wood / jeff beck group (maybe)

mookieproof, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 06:12 (two years ago) link

Then you've got Ry Cooder quitting Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band after their first record. Sort of thing seems to happen a lot in certain scenes... Van Dyke Parks was a member of the Mothers of Invention around the same time...

Somehow I'd gotten this far in life without ever knowing either of these things. Wow.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 06:15 (two years ago) link

Humble Pie/Peter Frampton?
Frampton went solo and had success with Show Me the Way, Comes Alive etc but were Humble Pie passing their peak or was that their greatest success point?
I like the Frampton era stuff anyway and think Clempson was pretty good elsewhere too.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 10:41 (two years ago) link

Buffalo Springfield.
Neil Young and Stephen Stills. Richie Furay and Jim Messina too, actually.
― kornrulez6969, Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:10 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Oh wait, never mind on Buffalo Springfield. Read the thread title wrong.
- kornrulez6969, Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:10 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

You could make a case for Poco and Jim Messina though

Lee626, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 11:17 (two years ago) link

Somehow I'd gotten this far in life without ever knowing either of these things. Wow.

― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever)

vdp's involvement in the mothers is not very well-known - he's not on any of their recordings - but cooder plays guitar on the first magic band album _safe as milk_ and that record is fabulous.

increasingly bonkers (rushomancy), Thursday, 12 January 2017 00:01 (two years ago) link

D.J. Bonebrake was apparently in the Germs in 1978, before X. Depends how you define "successful."

clemenza, Thursday, 12 January 2017 00:26 (two years ago) link

How about Skip Spence starting a bunch of bands then leaving them to, well, make it? Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape and The Doobie Brothers..

Mark G, Thursday, 12 January 2017 21:39 (two years ago) link

Didn't Moby Grape fall off the map after their first three (Spence) albums, though? I know they made more albums.

clemenza, Thursday, 12 January 2017 22:35 (two years ago) link

I don't think this one really fits, but how about Michael Steele leaving The Runaways in 1976 before they recorded their first album, then joining the Bangles 8 years later.

(Random Wikipedia fact: Michael Steele briefly played bass for Snakefinger.)

Hideous Lump, Friday, 13 January 2017 03:50 (two years ago) link

Hard to know what would've become of Genesis had Gabriel not left but I highly doubt it could have resulted in something like Invisible Touch. Phil was definitely more of a hitmaker than Peter was, and I don't think Peter could've done the things he wanted to within the band.

In an alternative universe, "In Your Eyes" would have probably sounded almost same and just been called a Genesis song. And stuff like "In Too Deep" would have been saved for solo Phil Collins because it sounds way more like his solo stuff than full band.

billstevejim, Saturday, 14 January 2017 09:37 (two years ago) link

maybe not but Kim Deal/Pixies of the 90s? she left and within 2 years the Breeders had a bigger hit than the Pixies ever did.

might be hard to make the case for now financially but imo creatively the Breeders are still way more successful whereas Pixies have kind of lost their magic and turned into a generic bar band.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 14 January 2017 15:00 (two years ago) link

Eh? That is almost completely wrong afaik. Kim didn't leave, the band broke up, the same year as the Breeders had their big hit. I suppose the same year is within 2 years, so not quite completely wrong.

But how do you figure Kim "leaving" the Pixies made them more successful when the Pixies were then defunct for 10 years?

Transform All Suffering Into Poo (Colonel Poo), Saturday, 14 January 2017 15:33 (two years ago) link

can't believe we're this deep in with no mention of van halen

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Thursday, 19 January 2017 19:50 (two years ago) link

Van Halen's apex was 1984, no? so they wouldn't qualify

flappy bird, Thursday, 19 January 2017 19:56 (two years ago) link

No way, Van Hagar sold waaaaaaay more records.

. Also the rare instance, along with Genesis, of both the original singer and the replacement singer having successful solo careers of their own. Though I don't know if Hagar counts, because he was successful pre-VH.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 January 2017 19:57 (two years ago) link

Well, actually it's complicated, re: VH.

http://www.guitarplayer.com/news/1024/roths-van-halen-sales-trounce-sammy-hagars-hold-on-there-dave/52326

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 January 2017 19:59 (two years ago) link

solo Roth was big, but did he ever equal 1984 sales?

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Thursday, 19 January 2017 20:03 (two years ago) link

Yeah I don't buy that re: Van Hagar. The whole thing about Roth taking seven records to sell what Hagar did in four... well, yeah. Hagar joined after VH's best-selling album ever. the thing about the Hagar albums hitting #1 is useless imo, only sales matter.

flappy bird, Thursday, 19 January 2017 20:11 (two years ago) link

I thiiiiiiink Van Hagar made more $$$, if I recall Hagar's memoir "Red" correctly, but yeah, established brand.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 January 2017 20:21 (two years ago) link

There were a lot of factors at work re: Van Halen vs Van Hagar. Van Hagar were building on Van Halen's established rep, and the industry around them was changing, too - they'd started out a bar band, served a couple of years as an opening act, and only in their last few years (say, 1981-84) headlined. Meanwhile, rock shows were themselves getting bigger, so VH circa '85 was able to play stadiums rather than arenas, which wasn't an option for Roth-era VH until close to the end of their run.

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 19 January 2017 20:32 (two years ago) link

On the flip side, think how much Hagar lost paying speeding tickets.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 January 2017 20:52 (two years ago) link

I guess Fairport Convention shedding members in 69 to begat solo Sandy Denny and Steeleye Span and a little later solo Richard Thompson doesn't count? Not sure how popular Fairport Convention remained at the time. Maybe it does though, could be when they were closest to being a popular band. Certainly meant a lot of great music came out. The Albion Band or whatever variation thereon was also great.

Stevolende, Thursday, 19 January 2017 23:09 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

The Commodores only Grammy winning single "Nightshift" was released after the departure of Lionel Richie.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 5 September 2019 15:50 (one week ago) link

hard to argue that they were more successful overall after he left, considering that was their last hit and lionel became one of the biggest stars of the 80s

normal fucking rockman (voodoo chili), Thursday, 5 September 2019 15:52 (one week ago) link

I know but I was listening to that song this morning and was like wow that was the only Grammy they won (& not for "Easy" nor "3x a Lady" nor "Lady" nor lol "Brick House" etc.)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 5 September 2019 16:16 (one week ago) link

it's a good song

normal fucking rockman (voodoo chili), Thursday, 5 September 2019 16:19 (one week ago) link

Did we mention Massive Attack and Tricky?

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Thursday, 5 September 2019 16:24 (one week ago) link

A rare situation where two members of a band leave and both the original band, now a solo act, and the new one do better:

Black Dog / Plaid

octobeard, Friday, 6 September 2019 08:12 (one week ago) link

Okkervil River and Shearwater are an interesting case. Shearwater was originally an Okkervil River side project for songs which didn't fit on their albums, and for which writing credits were more or less split between Will Sheff and Jonathan Meiburg. I think Meiburg became dissatisfied with this arrangement so he left OR and after that SW became more or less a Meiburg solo project. Since then Shearwater have become much more successful than they were before the split, although it's a moot point whether OR have also become more successful.

van dyke parks generator (anagram), Friday, 6 September 2019 09:13 (one week ago) link


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