10 Greatest Follow-up Bands EVER!

Published: 10th Sep, 2009

Absolutely including this lot…

PiL

The big news is that John Lydon is reforming his old group Public Image Ltd to go on some kind of tour. And that got us to thinking. PiL was Lydon’s second successful stab at the big time with a band, but what other artists have been lucky enough to enjoy two days or more in the sunshine? We decided to come up with ten of the best, with the likes of The Last Shadow Puppets, The Raconteurs, Gorillaz and The Foo Fighters all falling at the final hurdle…

1. The Style Council

Style Council

The Jam split up in 1982 and Weller formed The Style Council in 1983. Much to a lot of Jam fan’s disgust. Where were the spikey guitar riffs? Fuck me, is that a PIANO? The Style Council were much silkier and soulful. They wore lovely cardigans. It was picnic-pop, but totally brilliant. Weller’s finest hour?

2. The JB’s

The JB's

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, James Brown ploughed through backing band line ups – mainly because he was a massive soul bastard, and paid everyone in either punches or peanuts. The JB’s provided the sound for his golden period in the early 1970s, succeeding The Famous Flames, The James Brown Band, and The James Brown Orchestra. Bootsy Collins on bass, “Jabo” Starks on drums, Fred Wesley at the back tromboning. So to speak.

3. Public Image Ltd

PiL

Formed in 1978, almost directly after the Sex Pistols had imploded, PiL featured John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten), Keith Levene – once of The Clash – and Jah Wobble. Or, at least, the first line up did. Over the years, almost twenty thousand people could claim to have once been a member of PiL. You were probably in the band without realising it. Lydon’s best band.

4. Humble Pie

Humble Pie

Small Faces were bloody excellent, Humble Pie weren’t too bad either – much rockier, intent on wooing audiences in America. They initially got together after Steve Marriott had failed to convince his Small Faces bandmates to allow Peter Frampton to join the group, so he flounced off and made Humble Pie instead. For the first half of the 1970s, they were a fantastic band, then Marriott went a little bit loco.

5. New Order

New Order

After Ian Curtis decided to dance weirdly into the eternal night in 1980, the Joy Division morphed into New Order – a far more oily band, replacing their office temp outfits for short shorts, and highlights in their hair. All three surviving members– Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris – stayed on board, with the addition of Morris’ girlfriend Gillian Gilbert on keyboard guitar. As anyone who reads massive textbooks about war well knows, the Joy Division was a reference to the prostitution wing of concentration camps during the Second World War, New Order was incorrectly seen to be taken from a quote in Mein Kampf. The band are not fascists.

6. Wings

Wings

Wings, though rather unfashionable to like, were actually a pretty decent band. Not, obviously, as good as The Beatles, but tracks like Maybe I’m Amazed and Live and Let Die would have been great additions to any Beatles back catalogue. In fact, the latter was produced by George Martin. They were also the only permanent band formed by any of The Beatles after the split, with McCartney leading the merry troupe for around ten years. He might even have been a Wing for longer than he was a Beatle. They enjoyed much chart success with Linda on backing vocals.

7. Crosby, Stills and Nash

Crosby Stills & Nash

Crosby was once of The Byrds, Stills was once of Buffalo Springfield, and Nash was once of The Hollies. All very successful, sometimes brilliant, pop groups. Hence, this was seen as something of a supergroup project when the three formed in 1968. And yet, they’re still going. Or, at least, on and off. They were so-named to prevent any of the bandmates stealing the name of the group should any of them decided to leave – a result of bitter experience in the cases of Crosby and Nash – and Neil Young would occasionally join in, making it Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Rather cleverly.

8. Lucy Pearl

Lucy Pearl

Like Crosby, Stills and Nash, Lucy Pearl was made up of three big names from successful R&B and hip hop groups. There was Raphael Saadiq from Tony! Toni! Tone!, Dawn Robinson from En Vogue, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest. Originally D’Angelo was supposed to join in too, but some kind of commitment clash meant that he couldn’t. In the original formation, they only managed to squeeze out one album – in 2000 – but the good news is that it was a corker.

9. Big Audio Dynamite

Big Audio Dynamite

After getting royally booted out of The Clash, Mick Jones shuffled around for a bit, then eventually formed Big Audio Dynamite with reggae/punk legend Don Letts in 1984. With Jones on lead vocals for once, they became known for mixing punk rock with reggae, hip hop, and whatever kind of genre they fancied with an impressive degree of success and innovation. Their biggest hit came with E=MC2 in 1986. Which isn’t featured below.

10. Gnarls Barkley

Gnarls Barkley

Both members of Gnarls Barkley have enjoyed musical success with other groups. Danger Mouse with the Damon Albarn cartoon vanity project Gorillaz, and Cee-Lo Green with the popular US rap group Goodie Mob – who were particularly popular in the 1990s thanks to their affiliation with Outkast, and the rise in popularity of raps from the Deep South. As Gnarls Barkley, everyone knows them for that great song about going bananas.

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

3 Responses to 10 Greatest Follow-up Bands EVER!

  1. Spencer says:

    The Heads, as in, Talking Heads without David Byrne were…. shite.

  2. Topkat says:

    Let’s be clear here. The James Brown Band were NOT The Famous Flames, and the Famous Flames were NOT A “BAND” at all !!! They were a SINGING GROUP,or, if you will , a VOCAL GROUP. No matter WHAT musicians James Brown had, or WHAT their name was, the name of his VOCAL GROUP was always the same. It was always JAMES BROWN & THE FAMOUS FLAMES…featuring WHATEVER “BAND” The Famous Flames were : James Brown (yes, he was a member too), BOBBY BYRD, BOBBY BENNETT, LLOYD STALLWORTH (and, occasionally) , JOHNNY TERRY. That’s it. The Famous Flames were definitely NOT 15 guys with instruments in their hands. That was the James Brown Band.

    The FAMOUS FLAMES were just inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 2012, after James Brown’s induction in 1986. The James Brown Band HAS never been collectively inducted. They are (albeit very talented ) just background musicians. The stars of the show were James Brown & The Famous Flames.

  3. Topkat says:

    The FAMOUS FLAMES were NOT a “BAND” . They were a SINGING GROUP. James Brown began his career as a member of The Flames , too.

    Brown’s “BAND” was a SEPARATE ENTITY as the JAMES BROWN ORCHESTRA

    THE FAMOUS FLAMES were: JAMES BROWN, BOBBY BYRD (group founder) , BOBBY BENNETT, and LLOYD STALLWORTH

    JOHNNY TERRY also served as a member earlier.

    JB ORCHESTRA MEMBERS such as MACEO PARKER, ST.CLAIR PINCKNEY, JABO STARKS, JIMMY NOLEN, BOOTSY COLLINS , MELVIN PARKER, ETC. were NOT the FAMOUS FLAMES.

    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2012 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES, THE FAMOUS FLAMES , PLEASE VISIT THEIR OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE…

    https://www.facebook.com/thefamousflamesbysandibennett

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