Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 fantastic first solo albums recorded by artists who departed—or simply took a temporary hiatus from—their respective groups, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
SARAH CRACKNELL | Lipslide
Selected by Justin Chadwick
Nearly four years elapsed between the release of Saint Etienne’s third album Tiger Bay in the spring of 1994 and its follow-up effort, Good Humor, which arrived in May of 1998. In the intervening period, the band’s beloved frontwoman Sarah Cracknell tried her hand at recording without her two comrades, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs.
The radiant result was Lipslide, yet another shining testament to its creator’s penchant for infusing the UK dance-pop paradigm with the utmost grace and sophistication. Highlights are plentiful throughout the whole affair, but the most resonant moments arrive in the form of the propulsive, sparkling dancefloor-catered fare like lead single “Anymore,” “Desert Baby,” and “Taxi.”
Though a U.S. release of Lipslide with a modified track listing and the complementary Kelly’s Locker EP emerged three years later in 2000, Cracknell’s faithful fans would then wait fifteen years for her next proper album. But when Red Kite did finally arrive in 2015, her loyal devotees’ time-tested patience was handsomely rewarded.