Monday, January 10, 2011

Laws of music 1: Sting Theory

One of the incontrovertible rules of music is Sting Theory. The theory is that an individual can only be great with the right combination of individuals in a band. Sting is a prime example of this. Sting in the Police - pure awesomeness. Sting solo - pure shite (for the record, Sting has made one amazing solo record - The Soul Cages which is a record about his father's death). Has there ever been a good solo album by one of the Rolling Stones? Was John Lennon's solo career a few peaks surrounding by very low valleys? Has anyone ever listened to a Stephen Malkmus solo album more than once? Led Zeppelin? Puh-lease.

However, this works both ways. For example, Elliott Smith was in the mildly passable Heatmiser but crafted insanely beautiful solo albums. Sure, this doesn't work for every band or singer but I find more times than not, someone works brilliantly in one form but not in another. Oh, and don't mention Frank Black.


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