Top 10 Musicians Who Wrote and Recorded an Album Alone

Musicians who solely wrote the music and lyrics, played all the instruments and sang.

The Top Ten

1 Quorthon Quorthon Tomas Börje Forsberg, known by the stage name Quorthon (1966-2004), was a Swedish musician. He was the founder, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist of the band Bathory, which pioneered the black metal genre and is credited with creating the Viking metal style. A multi-instrumentalist, Quorthon wrote more.

Albums (at least 6 albums):

Bathory - Destroyer of Worlds, Nordland I, Nordland II

Quorthon - Album, When Our Day Is Through, Purity of Essence - Metal_Treasure

2 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

Album: McCartney (1970).
All songs written by him. He provided vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, drums, piano, organ, percussion, mellotron, xylophone.

Minor help:
Linda McCartney - backing vocals - Metal_Treasure

3 Dave Grohl Dave Grohl David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and film director. He is best known as the former drummer of the hugely popular 90s grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters. He has sat behind the more.

Album: Foo Fighters' self-titled debut album, 1995.

Dave Grohl provided vocals, guitars, bass guitar, drums, production.
Minor help:
Greg Dulli - played guitar on "X-Static"
Krist Novoselic - played bass on "Big Me" - Metal_Treasure

4 John Fogerty John Fogerty

Album: Centerfield (1985)
Fogerty played all the instruments. All songs were written by him, except for the last track, #9 (probably). - Metal_Treasure

Yes, but there were some problems with this song, some controversy, and at least 2 lawsuits. The songs was altered and re-titled a few months after the release, etc. Too complicated to say who was wrong and who was right. - Metal_Treasure

Fogerty was sued by his former [crooked] CCR manager for "Sounding too much like himself".

5 Jean-Michel Jarre Jean-Michel Jarre Jean-Michel André Jarre is a French composer, performer and record producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and new-age genres, and known for organising outdoor spectacles featuring his music, vast laser displays and fireworks.
6 Prince Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

This guy was a badass at doing stuff on his own


That picture’s hilarious - NightmareCinema

Album: Dirty Mind (1980)
Prince wrote everything and provided all vocals and instruments.

Minor help:
Lisa Coleman - backing vocals on "Head"
Doctor Fink - synthesizer on "Dirty Mind" and "Head" - Metal_Treasure

7 Todd Rundgren Todd Rundgren

Album: Something/Anything? (1972)
Todd Rundgren performs all instruments and vocals, except for some tracks on side four. - Metal_Treasure

8 Muhammed Suiçmez Muhammed Suiçmez Muhammed Suiçmez was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, to Turkish immigrants. He is the frontman and guitarist of the German technical death metal band Necrophagist.

Album: Onset of Putrefaction (1999).
He wrote the music and lyrics for the Necrophagist debut album and recorded it alone. - Metal_Treasure

9 Varg Vikernes Varg Vikernes Louis Cachet, (born Kristian Vikernes) more popularly known as Varg Vikernes, is a Norwegian musician, writer, and a convicted murderer and arsonist. He is known as the frontman of the one-man band Burzum (named after a word in the Black Speech, which is a fictional language in J.R.R. Tolkien's The more.

He did all of the instruments and vocals on all of his albums. - christangrant

One man beast of Burzum - gravy

10 Matt Smith Matt Smith

Album: Theocracy's self-titled debut album (2003).

He wrote the music and lyrics, and provided vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drum programming - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Devin Townsend Devin Townsend Devin Garret Townsend is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He was the founder, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist in extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad from 1994 to 2007 and has an extensive career as a solo artist.

Devin did all the instruments on the albums: Devlab, and Ziltoid the Omniscient. - christangrant

12 Steve Winwood Steve Winwood Stephen Lawrence Winwood is an English rock musician whose genres include progressive rock, blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock, and jazz.

Album: Arc of a Diver (1980) - Metal_Treasure

13 Jon Anderson

Album: Olias of Sunhillow. 1976. Jon, the lead vocalist of Yes, did this to create a "pure solo album." - Crwth

14 Brendon Urie Brendon Urie Brendon Boyd Urie, more commonly known as Brendon Urie, was born April 12, 1987, in St. George, Utah. He is an American singer, songwriter, musician and multi-instrumentalist. He is best own as the lead singer of the American pop-rock band Panic! At The Disco. He is the only original remaining member. more.
15 Kerim Lechner Kerim Lechner
16 Sufjan Stevens

Illinois - JoLeKosovo

17 Kevin Parker Kevin Parker

All 3 Tame Impala albums. - JoLeKosovo

18 Mike Oldfield Mike Oldfield Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English musician and composer. His work blends progressive rock with world, folk, classical, electronic, ambient, and new-age music.

Played 15 intruments, but had a few guest during some parts, like an extra guitarist on side 2. So I don't know if it counts. - JoLeKosovo

19 Beck Beck Beck Hansen, known by stage name Beck, is an American singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He is mostly known for his musical composition, as well as a palette of sonic genres.

I think he did almost all of his albums completely by himself. At least his three first albums that's for sure. - JoLeKosovo

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