Some first gained fame as members of a band. A few started and stayed on their own. All share an extraordinary degree of success in a genre that is dominated by groups. Based on longevity, album sales, radio airplay, and their musical influence, here is the About.com list of the Top 25 Classic Rock Solo Artists.
11. David Bowie
Essential Album: Heroes
His record of success over a career of more than 35 years is attributable to his unique ability to constantly adapt his musical style and stage persona in response to changing cultural trends.
12. Peter Gabriel
Essential Album: So
After a successful career with Genesis, he carved out an equally successful solo career, and has been at the forefront of promoting the digital delivery of music.
13. Alice Cooper
Essential Album: Greatest Hits
He was influenced musically by the British Invasion in the ‘60s, but added his own unique live performance antics, costumes, and makeup, creating the Shock Rock genre in the process.
14. Pat Benatar
Essential Album: Crimes Of Passion
Her “tough girl” persona and opera-trained voice resulted in GRAMMYs for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for four consecutive years.
15. Eddie Money
Essential Album: The Best Of Eddie Money
He set out to become a police officer, but ended up as a rock star. He had chart success with his first album in 1977 and went on to become a successful large venue live performer.
17. Robert Plant
Essential Album: No Quarter
He defined the musical style of Led Zeppelin as its lead vocalist, and has pursued a successful solo career for the quarter century since the group disbanded.
18. Frank Zappa
Essential Album: Over-Nite Sensation
His work reflected a wide range of musical styles, but he is best known for his unique ability to weave humor and satire into his music. His discography includes nearly 100 albums, including a dozen that have been released since his death in 1993.
19. Ted Nugent
Essential Album: Ultimate Ted Nugent
After establishing a solid fan base with the Amboy Dukes in the late 60s, he embarked on a solo career that resulted in sales of more than 35-million albums, while his personal life and politics have been a frequent source of controversy.
20. Peter Frampton
Essential Album: Very Best Of Peter Frampton
He was a teen idol as a member of The Herd and Humble Pie, but Frampton's greatest success came as a solo artist. He broke through in 1976 with one of the most successful live albums ever, Frampton Comes Alive!.
21. John Mellencamp
Essential Album: Words and Music
He’s used four different stage names during his career, but has been a consistent performer since the release of his first album (as Johnny Cougar) in 1976.
22. Tom Petty
Essential Album: Damn The Torpedoes
An immediate hit in Britain in 1976, this 10-time GRAMMY nominee caught on in the U.S. in 1977 and, both alone and with his band, the Heartbreakers, he has had chart success with every one of his albums.
24. Joe Cocker
Essential Album: Mad Dogs And Englishmen
He scored his first hit and performed at Woodstock in 1969. After 25 albums and a battle with drugs and alcohol, he continues to actively tour and record.