You know Jon Toogood from Shihad, the band he’s fronted for over 25 years, or maybe you know him from his collaborative project, The Adults. Either way, you’re probably familiar with the man who has more New Zealand radio hits than any other artist in the country’s history.
Now, for the first time, Australian fans will have the chance to experience Jon Toogood in a way they never have before when he takes the stage across Australia to perform some of his favourite songs (including his own) solo and acoustic. To celebrate, Jon has selected what he believes to be the best and the worst solo ventures in music history.
“Sometimes when an artist from a famous band decides to go it alone their music really blossoms and becomes something bigger and better than ever before,” he says. “In other words, they end up shining much brighter than they did while they were in their band and the world is all the better for it.”
“At other times, the move can literally destroy the legacy of the act they came from and be excruciatingly painful for all involved – mostly for the fans. Here’s a list of three times it went right and three times it went pair shaped.”
Three Of the Best…
Michael Jackson (Formerly of The Jackson 5)
“Why not start with the best example of when going solo goes right? The Jackson 5 were no chart slouches themselves, having numerous hits to their name by the time Michael decided to do his own thing. It started in the ’70s with four albums recorded for Motown, which had moderate success.
But it was in 1979 when he released the Off The Wall album, which was the first solo album to generate four top-10 hits in the States and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, that he finally became the superstar we know him as today.
His solo career went from strength to strength with the release of his next effort Thriller, which is now the biggest selling album of all time, moving an estimated 65 million copies worldwide and spawning no less than seven top-10 singles in the US.
Now considered the ‘King Of Pop’, Michael Jackson is most definitely the prime example for when things go right with the move to solo artist.”
John Lennon (Formerly of The Beatles)
“A bit of a tough call moving from being in the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music to being a solo artist, right? Wrong. John Lennon’s solo career post-The Beatles contains, in my opinion, some of his sharpest and most brutally honest tunes, which could move from being utterly beautiful (‘Imagine’, ‘Jealous Guy’, ‘Woman’, ‘Love’, ‘God’ etc.) to ball-tearingly heavy (‘Mother’, ‘Working Class Hero’, ‘Instant Karma’).
It didn’t work every time but when it did Lennon’s solo work was epic and timeless and just as powerful as anything he did with The Beatles. Well done, that man!”
Björk (Formerly of The Sugarcubes)
“Initially known for being the singer of Icelandic indie band The Sugarcubes, Björk decided to branch out on her own in 1993 with her album Debut and has never looked back, creating some of the most unique and at-times inspired pop music ever to grace the Earth.
She has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and done so completely on her own terms, constantly reinventing herself and challenging her audience. ‘Hyperballad’, ‘Army Of Me’ and ‘It’s So Quiet’ stand out as highlights, but I’ve stuck a link to one of my favourite tracks of hers called ‘All Is Full Of Love’, featuring probably one of the best pop music videos of all time courtesy of director Chris Cunningham.”
And now for three of the worst…
Chris Cornell (Formerly of Soundgarden and Audioslave) – Scream Album
“Okay, firstly I’m not saying all of Chris’s solo stuff is bad. He’s been involved in some of my favourite sounds from the ’90s and did a pretty amazing job of standing in for Rage Against The Machine’s Zach Del La Rocha when he decided to leave and Rage became Audioslave.
However, in 2009 Cornell decided it would be a good idea to team up with R&B producer Timbaland to write and record a bunch of tunes, the result of which is an album that as a listener leaves you feeling rather uncomfortable to say the least. His voice seems completely out of place in the music and it just leaves you wondering: why?
Fieldy (Formerly of Korn) – Feildy’s Dreams Rock’n Roll Gangsta Album
“Following the release of Korn’s Issues album, bass player Fieldy decided that ‘his contributions to the band did not incorporate his love of hip-hop enough’, so went off and made his own ‘rap’ album. The result is one of the more bizarrely embarrassing solo efforts around.
You can get a complete picture of the disaster that is the Rock’n Roll Gangsta album by checking out the video for the first single, ‘Are You Talking To Me’, which features Fieldy doing his best Cypress Hill impersonation, which just isn’t very good really. Here you go.”
Geoff Tate (Formerly of Queensrÿche)
“Geoff Tate used to be in ’80s hair metal band Queensrÿche who had some major success back in 1988 with what was essentially their Pink Floyd’s The Wall (but metal), Operation: Mindcrime.
Geoff has made two albums outside of Queensrÿche, one I don’t care about and another, which is absurdly awful. But to be completely honest, I just wanted an excuse to repost his personal EPK video that for some reason made it to public viewing a while back (bad idea, Geoff).
It is so preposterously terrible that at first I couldn’t actually believe it was real, but once it was settled in my brain it became compulsory viewing. You have to watch all of it!”
Upcoming Tour Dates
FRI 20/11 – WORKERS CLUB
SAT 21/11 – THE PELLY BAR
SUN 22/11 – CHERRY BAR
FRI 27/11 – 4FIVE9 BAR & LOUNGE
FRI 28/11 – INDI BAR
SUN 29/11 – MOJO’S
FRI 4/12 – STAG & HUNTER
SAT 5/12 – FUCK STEREO, LET’S ROCK @ FOWLERS
SUN 6/12 – THE ROYAL OAK
NORTH ADELAIDE, SA
THURS 10/12 – SOOKI LOUNGE
FRI 11/12 – TRANSIT BAR
Tickets and info at www.jontoogood.nz