We’ve wanted to run this for a while, and were going to do so to tie in with the new Nick Jonas song, but with the Earth-shattering news Jason Orange has left Take That, we’re bringing you The Best and The Worst Solo Boyband Ventures. This is when a member of a boyband flies the nest to pursue a solo musical career, and we’re going to – mostly – limit it to one song per artist. Also, we know Jason Orange probably won’t have a solo music career, we thought it was just clever to tie it in.
Best: Robbie Williams – No Regrets
We could have picked so many Robbie tracks here; Angels, Feel, Supreme, Tripping, Something Beautiful, She’s The One, You Know Me. In the end, we went for this early Robbie track that you can just tell the lyrics are about him leaving Take That, even if its not specific, just listen to the anger in his voice. Fun facts: Joe McElderry covered this on X Factor and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys provides backing vocals.
Worst: Gary Barlow – Stronger
A big old slice of nineties cheese, this sounds like something Simply Red would record. And Simply Red aren’t cool. At least this song is bad in an interesting way, Gary’s newer stuff sounds like Mumford and Sons but more boring. We still love you though Gary!
BEST: Justin Timberlake – Rock Your Body
Any of Justin’s singles off his first two albums could be here too, we were going to go with Cry Me a River but we figured you all needed a pick-me-up after that last song. Rock Your Body is a timeless classic, but oh Justin, those ear studs and white best under a white jumper combo is just SO 2003.
Worst: Duncan James (feat. Keedie) – I Believe My Heart
What even is this? This musical ballad is so gooey you probably shouldn’t touch it, even with marigolds on. And who even is Keedie? Oh Duncan, you’re the most fit member from Blue but this is just embarrassing. Not as embarrassing as the time Anthony weed on an ATM but not too far off!
Best: Abs – 7 Ways
This is actually surprisingly good, since most of Abs’ solo songs were pretty rubbish. Then again, this is produced by Xenomania – the production team behind Girls Aloud – so maybe not that surprising. We’ve got rapping, surfy guitar and squiggly electronics all thrown in together, but everything’s quite restrained and chilled – the super soft vocals from Evie Bicker (never heard of her either) make it even better.
Worst: Paul McCartney – Ever Present Past
Look, we know that Sir Paul was part of one of the most influential bands of all time (The Beatles were one of the first boybands) and has written some of the best songs ever but we needed something to go in the worst column. Ever Present Past doesn’t come together as a song at all, and even if the vocals and mixing were all good, it’d still be a massive dollop of Dad Music.
Best: Ronan Keating – Lovin’ Each Day
If we’re being honest, Ronan’s solo career was better than anything Boyzone put out. Harsh, but true. A pop-rock number from 2000 with an irresistible chorus, this narrowly missed out on the number one spot way back when, but it was beaten by Destiny’s Child Survivor so we can’t really argue there.
Worst: James Bourne (with Son of Dork) – Ticket Outta Loserville
No James, just no.
It is impossible to dislike this song. Going from boyband to King Of Pop is a pretty mean feat, and as good as Nick Jonas’ new song is, we don’t think anyone will be taking Jacko’s throne anytime soon.
Worst: Robbie Williams – Rudebox
When we said we were mainly sticking to the one song per artist rule, this is the exception. Probably the worst solo boyband song ever, and probably one of the worst songs ever. It’s a shame because most of the Rudebox album is really really good, but Robbie killed the whole thing before it really started.
So there you go, a quick run through some of the best and worst solo boyband songs. It’s always a sad day when one boybander decides to spread his solo wings, but as we think we’ve proved here the results can be amazing. Or they can be Rudebox. So if you’re boyband member reading this because you’re thinking of going solo, use this as a set of guidelines.
Anything we’ve missed, let us know in the comments or on the Twitter, we may even make a Spotify playlist.