The 10 Best Albums by Artists Going Solo

Albums by Artists going Solo

Editor’s Note: This list was originally released in 2012. With the release of new David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), and Chris Baio (Vampire Weekend) records, we thought we would revisit one of our favorite lists: our 10 favorite albums by artists that go solo.

In honor of one of our absolute favorites, Jack White, announcing the release of his first solo album Blunderbuss, we thought it might be fun to do a list of the finest solo records from people who reigned from well-known groups/bands. We decided on a couple guidelines for this category: the artist could not have had a solo career before the band (i.e. Panda Bear of Animal Collective), and it had to be a recognizable band (and not just some college garage band). We also decided it had to be a true solo project and not just a side project (i.e. McCartney in Wings, Jack White in fifty other bands not named the White Stripes).

10. Q-Tip-Amplified

Q-Tip Amplified album cover art

Jazz rap trio A Tribe Called Quest was unmistakably one-of-a-kind in the early 90s, and Q-Tip no doubt led that charge. His debut solo album, Amplified is fast, calm, and nearly flawless, if it wasn’t for that horrendous Korn guestspot on “End of Times” (it was the late 90s after all).
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The 10 Best Summer Albums

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Beach Boys Summer Fun

Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2012, but works for any hot day, regardless of year.

So here we are, deep into this relentlessly hot and sticky summer of 2012, and hopefully you are enjoying it as much as we are. It’s the time of the year for swimming pools and popsicles, baseball and biking, and sweating your ass off not matter what, no matter where. Thus we bring you our favorite albums to accompany such occasions. What makes a summer album you ask? In our opinion it is somewhat upbeat, but not overly so. Something that you can groove too whether you’re too hot to do so or not. Since I was a young lad, Austin was only knee high to a grasshopper, and Wes was just a Pooh-cub scrounging for honey, there have always been these certain songs, artist, and albums that have always left their impression on our young summers. So we decided to list out some of our favorites. Making a particularly strong appearance are some favorites from the nineties. We aren’t really sure why, but I suppose some nineties artist just really know how to set the tone for a particular summer mood. Please feel free to tell us what does it for you …
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The 10 Best Musical Trios

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Editor’s note: This originally published in 2014. Thanks to Nirvana being back in the spotlight with the new HBO documentary, Montage of Heck, we thought we would bring back our list that celebrates Nirvana and many other trios.

The best things in life come in threes. Primary colors, three-piece suits, movie trilogies, and creators of this here blog all come in threes. Schoolhouse Rock, the bedrock from which we have built our collective cultural knowledge and fortitude, even went as far as saying “3 is a Magic Number”.  We at Little by Listen, just hit our three year anniversary, and are happy to still have this format to talk music with each other and you the reader. So in honor and thanks for three wonderful years, we give you our favorite musical trios of all time.

10. Rush

rush

Beyond the quality of the music, an important criteria for this list was strong contribution from all three members, rather than it being more of a one-man show. Rush certainly fits this criteria to a T, even if I don’t think their music is of the highest quality.
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The 10 Best Band Names

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Editor’s note: It’s a slow week in music, so we figured we would revisit one of our favorite lists we have done, our very favorite band names.

Band names are a highly subjective topic for a top ten list.  Some people are more partial to goofy names (Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. anybody).  Some people dig simplicity (Cream).  And some people even have a penchant for alliteration (Modest Mouse).  We try to give every type of name its due on our list, but alas, a list of ten is far too short to honor all of the creative, funny, and bold names the creative geniuses throughout time have come up with.  Enjoy our list for what it is, and we’d love to hear your favorites in the comments.  Godspeed.
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LxL Fest: 3 Days, 33 Acts, 1 Stage

lxl fest, little by listen festival, music festival, lineup
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Top Ten Thursday: Sounds of Summer

Beach Boys Summer Fun

So here we are, deep into this relentlessly hot and sticky summer of 2012, and hopefully you are enjoying it as much as we are. It’s the time of the year for swimming pools and popsicles, baseball and biking, and sweating your ass off not matter what, no matter where. Thus we bring you our favorite albums to accompany such occasions. What makes a summer album you ask? In our opinion it is somewhat upbeat, but not overly so. Something that you can groove too whether you’re too hot to do so or not. Since I was a young lad, Austin was only knee high to a grasshopper, and Wes was just a Pooh-cub scrounging for honey, there have always been these certain songs, artist, and albums that have always left their impression on our young summers. So we decided to list out some of our favorites. Making a particularly strong appearance are some favorites from the nineties. We aren’t really sure why, but I suppose some nineties artist just really know how to set the tone for a particular summer mood. Please feel free to tell us what does it for you …
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1999: A Small Grammy Miracle

1999:  A Small Grammy Miracle

grammy rap nominees, 1999, album, cover, art

In the past week, a lot of venom has been aimed at the Grammy’s, and I am generally in full agreement of Todd and Wes’ remarks.  But, I must give credit where credit is due and recognize that The Grammy’s supplied me with what was a fantastic primer in hip-hop at a pretty young age.  Here is a little background.

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