And I’m about to tell you more (see what I did there?)
I was discussing the other day whether there was anyone in the last 50 years who had been more popular or critically acclaimed as a solo artist than they had been as part of their original group.
The only one I could think of for certain off the top of my head was Michael Jackson who, for a while, was the non pareil of all pop performers so clearly better than he was with the Jackson 5.
I got to discussing it because of the recent Morrissey gig I went to and the reaction to the songs he recorded with The Smiths compared to his solo output.
And, equally, the same could apply to Paul Weller who I saw at the Echo Arena in Liverpool almost a decade ago.
I was a massive fan of The Jam although, shamefully, I never saw them live but regard their singles collection as being as close to a perfect greatest hits as you could have.
As a side note I think it was the NME that reviewed the first Pet Shop Boys’ greatest hits album by declaring that it was that rarest of things, a greatest hits collection where they are all hits and they’re all great.
So I probably wasn’t alone in the arena in hoping that a few Jam classics would be sprinkled throughout the set.
But what was hugely disappointing was that a large section of the audience seemed to only want to become engaged when he did a Jam song – and the same thing happened at a festival I saw him at.
Now Weller has a great solo back catalogue. He has never settled for a default mode knowing that his fans might like it. He’s always stretched himself and while I can’t say I’ve liked it all, there’s more than enough to make any Weller gig a solidly entertaining experience.
But all around me there were groups of people chatting away until the familiar opening chords to The Eton Rifles or That’s Entertainment sounded out.
And I wondered whether you would really spend the money just to see if he might do a couple of songs from a band who had split up a quarter of a century ago?
Now, of course, chat at gigs happens all the time so it might not seem so noticeable but then I was really taken aback.