When you think of rock music, your mind’s eye usually conjures up an image of a four or five-piece band, rocking out at a huge stadium somewhere around the world. While this is the case for many of rock music’s biggest stars, some of the best known rock musicians are solo artist, plying their trade on their own and become stars in their own right.
Nicknamed “The Boss,” Bruce Springsteen is known for his poetic lyrics and energy-filled liver performances which often span up to four hours in length, even to this day despite Springsteen being almost 70 years of age. Springsteen bought his first guitar for $18 in 1964, which was an important year because he first saw The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show and he started playing with a band called the Rogues. A year later, Springsteen’s mother took out a loan for $60 to purchase Springsteen a Kent guitar, something he mentions in his song “The Wish.” It took until 1975 for Springsteen to really break through into the music world. His song “Born to Run” came out in 1975 and almost every track on the album bearing the same name earned airplay on classic rock stations. In 1984, Springsteen released Born in the U.S.A and sold 30 million copies worldwide. Seven of the singles from the album hit the top 10 and Springsteen became a global superstar.
Elton John used to play the piano in public houses in the early 1960s before meeting his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, in 1967. The pair wrote songs for other artists, but in 1969, Elton released Empty Sky and a year later the second album entitled Elton John was released. From this album, the single “Your Song” was released and it reached the top 10 in the UK and U.S.A to put his name on the map. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is perhaps Elton’s best work and the album gained critical acclaim in 1973 thanks to hits such as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting and Candle in the Wind. These days, Elton is still writing music but seems to have taken a backseat from performing, as you would when you reach 70-years-old, but he does make the occasional appearance at award ceremonies.
Eric Clapton, also known as “Slowhand,” is ranked as the second best guitarist of all-time (by the Rolling Stone magazine) with only Jimi Hendrix above him. Now 72-year-old, Clapton will go down in history as one of the most influential rock artists in the world. Two of Clapton’s biggest hits were “Layla” and “Tears in Heaven.” Layla was recorded with Derek and the Dominos while Tears in heaven was with Will Jennings. Tears in Heaven was written by Clapton after the tragic death of his four-year-old son, Conor, who fell from a 53rd-floor window in New York in 1991. Some of Clapton’s other works include Wonderful Tonight, Cocaine, Forever Man, I Shot the Sheriff and Bell Bottom Blues.