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"Ziggy played guitar

Jammin' good with Weird and Gilly

And the Spiders from Mars

He played it left hand

But made it too far

Became the special man, then we were Ziggy's band"
David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust

In most cases, whenever a high-profile band becomes well known, most casual fans can only identify one particular band member by name. Usually it's the lead singer. Sure, there are a few other people playing the drums, guitar and bass, but who cares about them? They're just background noise, so they don't get much of the publicity, if any at all. One possible explanation for this involves the rise of the music video. For the most part, when a band makes a music video, the camera tends to focus on the person singing, thereby giving a lead singer much more camera time than the rest of the band.

This is especially prevalent in bands that are named for one or more of the founding members (Santana, Gladys Knight and the Pips), bands with rotating casts aside from one or two consistent members, or bands with one female member (even in the rare case where she doesn't sing lead, she'll at least be the other Face Of The Band simply by virtue of being The Chick). It's also rather fascinating just how often this tends to be a rare human-specific case of What Measure Is a Non-Cute?. (Not really surprising, but fascinating.)

Depending on the genre, the person linked to the band will inevitably go solo, and the rest of the band will often fade into obscurity afterwards.

The two-person version of this trope, and also its opposite (where one band member is much more forgettable than the others) is Garfunkel. Taken to its Logical Extreme, becomes I Am Not Shazam. See also I Am the Band and Spotlight-Stealing Title. When a group tries to carry on after losing its most prominent member(s), the result is The Band Minus the Face. Can occur even on a Long Runner Lineup. Not to be confused with The Face but the roles can overlap if the one member everyone knows is also the most social.

Also, no points are given out to tropers for knowing the names of all the band members who are NOT the Face Of The Band, so don't list them. This trope refers to the general public, of course you can probably name all the members of your favorite band, but casual fans usually don't. This is not a game of "Hahaha, I can name all the members of The Moody Blues and you can't, so i'm superior!" So don't add that stuff in, please.

Examples of Face of the Band include:


Christian

  • Mark Hall of Casting Crowns
  • Mac Powell of Third Day
  • John Cooper of Skillet


Classical

  • A Seinfeld episode pokes fun at the fact that two of the Three Tenors (Pavarotti and Domingo) are considerably better known than the third one (Jose Carreras).
    • Whose Line Is It Anyway? also made fun of this, during a Greatest Hits game. Colin said to Ryan, "I love the Three Tenors; Pavarotti, Domingo... and the other guy. So I guess I only like two."


Comedy / Parody

  • A lot of people don't even know that "Weird Al" Yankovic has a real, honest-to-God band that he's been recording and touring with for decades.
    • Of which most people can only name the drummer (Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, but only because he's Yankovic's official band historian).
    • Notable in that, with the exception of Ruben Valtierra (who got started doing keyboards for Al during concert), the band has been the exact same since Al's first album.
  • Fans of The Nick Atoms can usually name all three members, but fans of The Nick Atoms tend to be pretty far and few in between...


Country

  • Union Station consists of Allison Krauss and, um...
  • Parodied in Joan Hess's Much Ado In Maggody, in which country singer Matt Montana's band consists of four nearly identical guys with four-letter first names starting with "B". Even their manager only bothers to keep track of who's who because the drummer's the only one who can be trusted to drive the tour bus.


Electronic

  • The Prodigy is that Keith dude who was in the "Firestarter" video... and possibly other people? (It should be noted that Keith Flint started off simply as a dancer and founders Liam Howlett and Maxim are forgotten here).
  • Faithless is that dapper, malnourished looking chap Maxi Jazz and two other people. Probably justifiable in that he's the only one who's in all of their videos.
    • Sister Bliss is occasionally remembered if she wishes really hard (it helps that she's The Chick); the other one makes do with being "Dido's brother".
      • To be fair, Rollo (yes, Dido's brother) has wilfully brought this trope on himself; he acts as the studio wizard but has always shied away from taking part in the performing band.
  • To anyone who is a fan of Space (not the rock band, but a French electronic band), it's Didier Marouani plus some guys in space suits.
  • The quite famous French House band Daft Punk consists of Thomas Bangalter and... the other guy with the helmet (although, in a case of Awesome McCoolname, it's Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo). Obviously the helmets don't help with establishing memorable personas. Interesting case, in that they are both recognized as the face of the band, but only one has a recognized name, or at least a name it's possible to remember all of. It helps that Bangalter himself is a big name independent of the duo.
  • The only members of Kraftwerk who are known at all are co-founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, even after Schneider's 2008 departure. Almost no-one can name the three other guys in the band at the moment, nor the other former members of the band. Somewhat justified due to them being very reclusive, using mannequins and robots during live shows and photoshoots, rarely giving interviews, being almost impossible to contact and so on.
  • Goldfrapp is Alison Goldfrapp. To be fair, the band's named after her and Will doesn't tour, doesn't sing and rarely appears in music videos.
  • Sunstroke Project has Sergei. Either one. Within Europe, it tends to be singer Sergei Yalovitsky, but in America, it's their saxophonist, Sergei "Epic Sax Guy" Stepanov.
  • Natalie Horler is not Cascada, Cascada is the group she fronts with producers Yanou and DJ Manian.
  • Noemi Aurora of Helalyn Flowers.


Hip-hop / Rap

  • The D12 song "My Band" makes light of this trope. As for D12 themselves, there's Eminem and... a bunch of other rappers... all from Detroit...
    • People usually recognize Bizarre because he's the fat one and Proof because he was Eminem's best friend. (who died a tragic death) It's the other 3 people usually don't recognize (Kon Artist, Kuniva and Swifty McVay) funny in that Eminem was never meant to be an official member.
  • Public Enemy is Chuck D and Flava Flav... and about a dozen other people, and that's not even counting S1W, the affiliated group of security guys, who the band considered spiritual members of the band.
    • Terminator X was pretty well known too, although he left the band in 1999.
  • Sometimes happens with entire production crews, such as
    • Busta Rhymes and Flipmode Squad. Busta himself had a Breakup Breakout from Leaders Of The New School. At least he tries to mention Flipmode in nearly every single of his own.
    • Ice Cube and the Lench Mob.
  • The 2 Live Crew are Luke Campbell (aka Luke Skyywalker) and three other guys.
  • Boogie Down Productions consisted of KRS-1 and his bodyguards (There may have been a chick in there, too).
    • Considering KRS-One gave a shout-out to DJ Scott La Rock on basically every single track they ever recorded together, that's hard to believe.
  • How many people can name even half of the nine current Wu-Tang Clan members, even spotting them Method Man? (Ol' Dirty Bastard being deceased and Redman not being an official member)
    • Most mainstream listeners know who RZA, Ghostface Killah and GZA are good luck having them name the rest though. Then there's Method Man. For the record, the others are: U-God and Inspectah Deck (named in a Chappelle Show episode that some non-fans may have seen), Cappadonna and Masta Killa.
      • That's not even getting into the affiliates and associates. Maccabeez, Sunz on Man, West Coast Killa Beez, associates The L.O.X. (starring Jadakiss, for another round at this) and Busta Rhymes (see above)... it makes the Summers Family Tree look tiny.
  • N.W.A. was Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and...?
  • The Roots seem to be Black Thought, ?uestlove, and some other rappers with instruments.
  • To quote Stephen Colbert about the Black Eyed Peas "Or as I like to call them, Fergie and the other guys, featuring the Obama Guy."

 Tina Fey: Look, there's will.i.am!

Steve Carell: Who?

Fey: The guy from Fergie!

    • Many know will.i.am, who usually starts the songs, makes frequent guest appearances (even in Fergie's solo album), has a memorably silly name and played a mutant in the Wolverine movie.
    • This one is distressing, since the Black Eyed Peas were an established group with hit records years before Fergie came along.
      • Saturday Night Live did a skit spoofing this in which BEP members Taboo and apl.de.ap host a show called "Our Time," in which they lament their perpetually-overshadowed status while constantly reminding the audience in-unison that "we are in the Black Eyed Peas." Fergie and Will.i.am show up uninvited to do an impromptu musical number (while physically obscuring the camera's view of their lesser-known bandmates).
  • How many fans of Sir Mix-a-Lot remember anyone else in his crew, despite the fact that they're all mentioned by name in one of his early hits ("Posse's On Broadway")?
  • City High was Claudette Ortiz and a couple of rather forgettable guys.
  • Junior M.A.F.I.A. was Lil' Kim and eight other friends of The Notorious B.I.G.. Even fans of 90's hiphop might only remember Lil' Cease at best, since he's the only other one to put out a mainstream album.
  • Diddy-Dirty Money most prominently features Puffy Puff Daddy P.Diddy Diddy Sean Combs, but interestingly enough Dawn Richards and Kalenna have a large fanbase.
  • Bad Meets Evil is Eminem and Royce the 5'9' but most people can only recognize one half of the group. Guess who that person is?
    • In fact, according to Autocomplete, "Eminem" is a more popular search term than "Bad Meets Evil" whenever songs like "Lighters."


Metal

  • Believe it or not, Alice Cooper was actually a band. Their lead singer, Vincent Furnier, went on to become, well, you know...
  • Amon Amarth is mostly known only for Johan Hegg, the lead singer with a huge beard.
  • King Crimson is usually described as Robert Fripp (lead guitarist) and a band. It doesn't help that he's the only original member who never left. Since the band has gone through so many vastly different styles of music during its career, there are ELP fans who know the band by Greg Lake, Bad Company fans who know it by Boz Burrel, and Asia fans who know it by John Wetton.
  • Maynard Keenan of Tool has an almost cult-like following, though fans also have a great respect for the musicianship of the other members.
  • Maynard Keenan was already quite famous before joining A Perfect Circle, though fans will know that the band is actually led by Billy Howerdel.
  • Dream Theater is John Petrucci on guitar, Mike Portnoy on drums, a bald guy who makes weird faces playing keyboards, an Asian guy on bass, and some singer that everyone hates. This is pretty common in metal, at least, for the guitarist to be the most well-known member of the band.
    • James LaBrie (the singer) is pretty well-known, though. I mean, since everyone hates him, they're bound to know his name, right?
  • Kamelot consists of Roy Khan, the guitarist who helps write the songs, and I think they got a new keyboardist recently...
  • Machine Head are Robb Flynn the Scary Dude With A Nose Piercing and The Other Three Scary Tattooed Dudes Most of Whom Weren't Even in the Original Line-Up.
  • Dave Mustaine and those other guys from Megadeth. In fact, Dave Mustaine is Megadeth. Several pure Bad Asses have played in Megadeth (Kerry King, Marty Friedman, Nick Menza), but Mustaine does 90% of the composition and 100% of the songwriting, and never even implies that anyone but he is a permanent member of the band. The fact that many call the band MegaDave says a lot.
  • Lemmy Kilmister easily overshadows the other members of Motörhead - and not just because he's the only constant member. That said, most fans recognise former guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke and drummer "Philthy Animal" Taylor, who completed the "classic" trio which produced the band's first five albums.
  • Isis. Aaron Turner and... uh... Aaron Turner?
  • Black Metal band Behemoth is made of Nergal, Inferno who can drum like a machine gun burst, and...two other guys.
  • Type O Negative is "Peter Steele and some other guys" to many because he does most of the songwriting and is significantly physically bigger than the other members.
  • Thanks to The Osbournes, Ozzy is now probably better known than the other Black Sabbath members.
    • You could tell how hardcore a metalhead is by who he cites as the face of Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne = casual fan, Tony Iommi = devoted fan, Ronnie James Dio = hardcore fan (and probably slightly crazy, as even Dio himself probably wouldn't have assigned himself this honor), and if he even knows that Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, and Tony Martin performed with the band, you know you are dealing with a true metal geek.
    • And in Ozzy's own band, apart from Ozzy himself, most fans probably only remember Randy Rhoads, who used to run with Quiet Riot and was a kick-ass guitarist in his day before his death.
      • Most fans know of Zakk Wylde, too, but many may not be aware that he was Ozzy's guitarist before splitting off and going solo?
      • Zakk definitely fits this bill for his own band, Black Label Society, though. Mike Inez, (then) former Alice in Chains bassist counteracted this a litle during his tenure.
      • Maybe younger fans only remember Rhoads, but in the day, any guitarist (Wylde, Brad Gillis, Jake E. Lee) who played with Ozzy received instant stardom. Rhoads' shoes were tough to fill, credit to Ozzy and Sharon for finding players who were up to the task.
    • Anyone interested in metal should be able to name the ex-bassists Robert Trujillo and Jason Newsted. Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that they are the current and former Metallica bassist, respectively...
    • Historically, the role of Ozzy's guitarist has been a very prominent one in the world of metal, but especially for Rhoads (because of his huge influence on shredding and his untimely death) and Wylde (because of the length of his tenure and Black Label Society). Meanwhile, although Ozzy's played with many excellent bassists, drummers and even keyboardists, they're usually only known to other bassists, drummers and keyboardists.
  • Ronnie James Dio was Dio and the other guys knew it..
    • That's not true, there's also that dude from Quiet Riot.
  • On the subject of that, Rainbow was Ronnie James Dio and some other guys. If you're a guitarist, it's Dio, Ritchie Blackmore, and some other guys. (Didn't they release albums as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow?) Some people might know that Roger Glover and Cozy Powell were in the band at various times. A lot of this had to do with the fact that Ritchie Blackmore was an obnoxious prima donna who kept firing people.
    • Perhaps that was not the case when they released "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow" as their debut.
    • Not sure I agree Rainbow was Dio and some other guys however much I like Dio (a lot!) since their chart success came once he left and in fact Joe Lynn Turner sang on as many studio albums as Dio himself. Blackmore was very much the face of that band and in fact he was basically Rainbow.
  • No matter how many can name their songs from the respective riffs, Iron Maiden will forever be Bruce Dickinson. Some people get Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain, but asking them who the guitarist is tends to stump them, even though there's three right answers - which seems to avert the usual Bassist/Drummer anonymity.
    • Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and...some other guy. Good luck trying to get anyone but a very devout fan to name Bruce Dickinson's temporary replacement, though.
    • The other guy is Janick Gers - the "Ugly Duckling" of the three, due to both his style and joining during the least acclaimed phase of the band. Good work getting two out of the three, though.
    • Don't forget Paul Di'Anno, the lead singer on Iron Maiden and Killers - predating Dickinson.
      • Exactly -- Dickinson is DiAnno's replacement, and there's a segment of their fanbase that prefers the earlier material. Dickinson may be a better singer than DiAnno on a technical level; but DiAnno's sound is unique, while Dickinson's is similar to that of several other singers of the time, such as Ronnie James Dio and Gary Barden. Also, Dickinson's arrival coincided with a move to longer-form material that took away from the band's strength of writing short, high-energy songs.
    • Similar to the Black Sabbath example (mentioned above), you can often tell how hardcore a fan is by whether they identify Dickinson (on, off, then on-again lead vocals) or Harris (bass, keyboards, backing vocals, founder, main composer) as the driving force behind Iron Maiden.
    • The most recognisable member of Iron Maiden is skeletal Mascot Eddie the Head. Yes, he is a member - just ask the band.
  • Pantera were that guitarist who was popped off by some loony (just an exaggeration though, most people do know that his name is Dimebag Darrell) and those other guys. Oh, and Phil Anselmo.
    • The drummer, Vinnie Paul Abbott, is actually Dimebag's older brother, but because few people even know Dimebag's last name, he is not familiar to most.
    • Down and Superjoint Ritual are/were both Phil Anselmo and some other guys. Sometimes Down is Phil Anselmo and Pepper Keenan from Corrosion of Conformity, for the less Pantera-informed.
      • ...and because of that, Corrosion of Conformity are Pepper Keenan and those guys.
      • Kirk Windstein, guitarist in both Down and Superjoint, is recognisable to sludge fans. However, Anselmo's presence tends to mean that the audience is rather greater than that of the traditionally small scene.
  • Twisted Sister seem to suffer this. Dee Snider is a very funny talking head on music anthology list shows, and everybody else is anonymous.
  • Slipknot are Corey Taylor, Joey Jordison and... lots of other masked guys.
    • What about Clown, and the guy with the phallic nose who does nothing? Granted, they're not well-known by name, but...
    • Mick the Steel-Faced Giant is known for his sheer mass, if nothing else.
  • The most recognizable member of Mötley Crüe is a position that is hotly debated. Right now it's arguably Tommy Lee, the drummer, due to him marrying someone more famous than him, that marriage producing a sex tape and ugly divorce, making some reality show appearances, and publicised legal troubles. Vince Neil obviously gets a lot of attention as the lead singer (as well as a huge douchebag.) Nikki Sixx also fades in and out of the public eye, often depending on how many successful side projects he's running (currently he's back in there, having released a successful book, recorded an album with Sixx A.M., started dating Kat Von D, and done a fair amount of charity work.) Mick Mars is never, ever the one who gets recognised, ever, despite being the only band member aside from Nikki who hasn't left even once.
  • Only with Yngwie Malmsteen could the former lead singer of Judas #@%#ing Priest be given a background role.
    • Tim Owens isn't actually the most beloved Judas Priest member.
    • Speaking of Judas Priest, most seem to remember Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton. Others might even remember K.K. Downing and Ian Hill. But who played the drums again?
      • Although, to be fair, they've gone through six or seven drummers...
  • Metallica: James Hetfield ("mustached/bearded guy who was an alcoholic"), Lars Ulrich ("the guy that sued Napster"), the guitarist with the curly hair... damn, I only remember the first bassist, the one who died.
    • Cliff Burton was the bassist, and I bet quite a few know who Kirk Hammett is. However, the replacement bassist, Jason Newsted, was purposely pushed to the back and treated like The Other Darrin. But who in the hell is the new bassist...
      • Trujilo is often just referred to as "that bouncer looking guy". Interestingly enough, the rest of the band are extremely fond of him, and openly refer to him as "the man who saved Metallica", even though the fans, by and large, have no idea who he is.
      • Cliff Burton wasn't even the first bassist. The first bassist was a guy named Ron McGovney (who was Hetfield's roommate and son of his landlord), and only diehard Metallica fans will generally be able to name him.
      • We like to forget about Bob Rock.
    • What about Dave Mustaine?
      • Yeah, cus he totally doesn't remind everyone he was part of Metallica (for one demo released more than a quarter century ago) every time Megadeth has a new album...
  • In almost a reversal, Lamb of God consists of guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, and drummer Chris Adler, and a guy who screams. Few can immediately call to mind bassist John Campbell, or screaming guy Randy Blythe. However, almost a justification, ask a non-metal fan who they are and you'll get a "Who?"
  • Bring Me the Horizon: Oliver Sykes. Just...Oliver Sykes.
    • And, before he left because he was going blind and deaf, Curtis Ward.
  • Out of the 6 members, Dani Filth is the only one realy known from Cradle of Filth, a few more will know Sarah Jezabel Deva but the rest are pretty much unknown, recognised by the band themselves as several old members have accused Dani as using the band as Dani plus others
  • Children of Bodom has Alexi Laiho. Most people don't recognize the other members.
    • Actually, Janne Warman is very recognizable dueto his skills on keyboard. Many metalheads also know of Roope, due to him being from Stone and just as talented, even if he doesn't get to play many solos, as Alexi.
  • Rammstein consists of Till Lindemann and five other big sweaty German guys. Some people don't even know who Till is.
    • Richard Z Kruspe, the lead guitarist in Rammstein, is the face of the band Emigrate, a side project he made.
    • YMMV, but if you're familiar enough with the band to know who Till is, you're likely to recognise "band gimp" Christian "Flake" Lorenz too. But maybe not the four other big, sweaty German guys.
  • Kerry King of Slayer is easily one of the most visible people in extreme metal, with his distinctive tattoos, bald head, and honest (if frequently controversial) opinions. However, he's the rhythm guitarist. It was Jeff Hanneman who wrote many of the band's famous songs, including "Angel of Death" and "War Ensemble", and composed "Raining Blood", and it's Tom Araya who sings. A similar phenomenon happens with Anthrax's Scott Ian, who seems to be picked up for nearly every musical documentary ever involving metal for seemingly no other reason than the fact that he's bald.
    • er, Kerry King is not "the rhythm guitarist", both he and Hanneman share lead duties.
  • Arch Enemy has a odd variation on this with at first the face of the band being Michael Amott (formerly of influential grindcore/melodeath band Carcass) who many saw as the band's only important member. However when female vocalist Angela Gossow joined the band, she became the face of the group and Michael became an afterthought.
  • Nightwish used to be Tarja Turunen (the only woman and the lead singer) and maybe Tuomas Holopainen (whose band it actually is and who makes the songs). And some other guys. Then Tarja was fired. It seems that Tuomas is even better known afterwards. Cannot really say about the new singer, Anette Olzon.
    • Yeah, Anette gets this treatment a bit too especially from newer fans.
    • Marco is pretty well known by anyone that owns an album, as he's the male vocalist (and bassist). Some might remember Sam. The other two (guitar and drums), however...
      • Marco is this for his own band, Tarot, which consists of Marco, Marco's brother, whoositss, whatsisface and the other guy.
    • Also, it doesn't hurt Tuomas's recognition that he's taken to looking like Jack Sparrow. And smiling!
  • Death is (sorry, was) Chuck Schuldiner. However, this is also a case of I Am the Band, as he was the only constant member over however many years.
  • Strapping Young Lad are, in ascending order of obscurity: Devin Townsend; that drummer from Death who is sometimes mistaken for being from Fear Factory; that bassist from Fear Factory who is rarely even recognized as such and mostly still "that bassist", 'cause, well, he's a bassist; and this guitarist. Even if one doesn't know Devin's name, it's always that guy with the freaky hair and three other guys. In a few progressive metal circles, Strapping Young Lad even fades in popularity compared to Devin's solo endeavors. This is not an I Am the Band, though, because the albums are still recorded by the entire band.
    • Uh.. If you know that Gene Hoglan was in Death, you probably know his name.
      • You mean... there are other members of Death?
      • Gene only really appeared on two Death albums. Also funny because since the addition of the SYL example here he joined Fear Factory.
  • Shadows Fall sometimes suffer from a particularly cruel version of this trope, in which the shin-length dreadlocks of the singer, Brian Fair are generally remembered before he is, let alone his band-mates.
  • The Agonist has Alissa White-Gluz (although being voted one of Revolver's "hottest chicks in metal" might have had something to do with that). She and/or Danny Marino do most of the band's interviews.
  • Cristina Scabbia for Lacuna Coil.
  • Anthrax was Joey Belladonna, the guy with the funny eyebrows, and a couple of other dudes. Then Joey was fired, and most metalheads like to pretend they no longer exist.
    • I disagree. Anthrax fans have their personal eras (Belladonna VS Bush, for example), but Scott Ian is the face of the band, having been the only member that hasn't left at all.
  • Iced Earth is either John Schaffer, that whiny singer with red hair, and three other guys, or Matt Barlow, that guitarist, and three other guys, depending on whom you ask. A lot of casual fans don't even know who Gene Adam and John Greely (the first two singers of the band) are.
  • Opeth is Mikael Akerfeldt (lead vocalist, lead guitarist and the main songwriter) and 4 other guys.
  • Shai Hulud is Matt Fox and some other guys. possibly justified, the rest of the band has been rotating since 1997
  • In a rare case, lead guitarist Herman Li of Dragon Force is probably the most well known member of the band, due to his over the top guitar solos and his Rapunzel Hair.
  • The Gathering. It's hard to find anyone who can name a single band member besides Anneke van Giersbergen. It certainly doesn't help that she's also performed with a number of other bands, including Moonspell and Napalm Death, has a solo career, and is easily the most attractive current or former member of the band.
  • Epica is Simone Simons, her cleavage, and...I dunno, probably some guys.
    • Guitarist and death vocalist Mark Jansen is well known to some as he's the one who founded the band and the source of the death growls.
  • On the same note as Epica, In This Moment is Maria Brink's cleavage, Maria Brink, and some other dudes.
  • White Zombie consists of Rob Zombie, the blonde chick on bass, and two other guys.
  • Passenger of Shit's pretty much the face of both Odius Embowel and Corpse Penis Eaten By Rectum.
  • Shitting Whore is the only member of Cockupshittingwhore anyonecan name.
  • In a very similar mold, Delain (as demonstrated by the page pic) with Charlotte Wessels. Keyboardist and band founder Martijn Westerholt (brother of Robert above, and also used to play for WT) gets an occasional mention.
    • The case against Delain being part of this trope isn't helped by their increasing reputation for being a Revolving Door Band. The album cover illustrates the trope beautifully but did you know both the guitar player and bassist on that album have since left? In fact, the guitarist they got in for the tour has also just exited the band! Given all that, it may surprise people that it is in fact keyboard player Martijn Westerholt who leads the outfit.
  • Ministry was basically Al Jourgensen when it was still active.
  • The guy who did George Clooney's singing in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
    • That's Dan Tyminski, a member of Alison Krauss & Union Station. Guess who the face of that band is?
    • Nathan, what do you think of that example?

 Nathan Explosion: "That's not metaaaaaallllll!"

  • Within Temptation's face is the singer Sharon den Adel. Their primary guitarist, Robert Westerholt, is only well-known because he's Sharon's boyfriend.
  • Iced Earth is very much Jon Schaeffer's band; other members come and go, but it's his project and he writes all the songs. Though many fans feel Matt Barlow is the one true voice of the band, and the other vocalists don't measure up.
  • Some German mittelalter-bands get this, due to the fact that they have someone doing some speaking between acts. Schelmish has Dextro (of course, Luzi is known for his stripping) and Saltatio Mortis is either Alea (if you're female) or Lasterbalk (if you're male).
  • Otep is Otep Shamaya's band; the only permanant member up until September 2010 was bassist Evil J.
  • Around ten groups are pretty much Christian Älvestam. Also, Scar Symmetry were him and some other guys; now he's gone, SS are the dude who growls, the dude with crappy singing and some other guys.
  • Valery Kipelov was this for probably the most famous Russian metal band Aria. Then he quit and started his own band. Which he creatively called "Kipelov". Some would say that he continues to be that for Aria even now, because on joint events with Aria the fans are calling for him all the time.
    • The other Aria members who left and started their own bands count, too. Sergei Mavrin's band is called "Maverick", Sergei Terentyev's is "Ar TERY". Do the math.
  • For Dokken, this title could either go to the lead singer Don Dokken or the semi-famous guitarist George Lynch.
  • For The Union Underground, it was always vocalist Bryan Scott and guitarist Patrick Kennison who were this in their promotional shoots, since the band was essentially their project with the other two hired later (their musical differences are why the group broke up). Yet today the most famous member would be John Moyer for going on to play in a more famous band.
  • Can anyone name a member of Agalloch that isn't John Haughm?
  • Both Dog Fashion Disco and Polkadot Cadaver are known as being Todd Smith's bands.
  • Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy is an extremely prolific drummer, and, in the absence of previous frontman Lord Worm, pretty much the only iconic musician left in the band (also the only one to really save face with the fan base in light of the decidedly ill-received release The Unspoken King).
  • Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain.
  • Frankie Palmeri of Emmure.
  • Marilyn Manson is pretty much the only member of his band that anybody knows about. Sure, all the guys in the band wear crazy makeup and look like females at times, but Marilyn Manson himself is the only guy anybody even cares about. It doesn't help that his band is named after himself, either.
    • Long-time fans (specially if they like Nine Inch Nails) might know the other guy on the image of our MM page, Twiggy Ramirez.
  • No, King Diamond is not a solo artist.
  • Killswitch Engage is Howard Jones and a bunch of white guys. Hell, some people don't even know who Howard is. He simply stands out because he's a metal singer, he's black, and that's about it. Can you name anybody else in the band? Yeah, I didn't think so.
    • Adam Dutkiewicz might get a pass because he does a lot of backing vocals, loves wearing silly costumes onstage and has a prolific side career as a producer, but otherwise this trope still stands.
  • Try to name a member of Korn besides Jonathan Davis and Brian Welch. Wait, Brian's not in the band anymore! He left years ago. Now you can only think of Jonathan. It doesn't help that he writes all the lyrics and stuff.
  • The best-known members of The Dillinger Escape Plan are guitarist Ben Weinman (arguably justified as he's the only remaining founding member) and vocalist Greg Puciato (the second longest-serving member in the current line-up). Former drummer Chris Pennie is also fairly well-known (see the entry for Coheed and Cambria).
  • Sevendust is pretty much ran by vocalist Lajon Witherspoon and Morgan Rose. And only fans of the band know who the latter is, so Lajon is pretty much this.
  • Chimaira is Mark Hunter, a guy who plays loud drums, and some guitar players.
  • Demon Hunter is Ryan Clark, otherwise known as that bald fat guy with the beard. Not even fans of the band can name many other members.
  • Ill Nino is Cristian Machado and a bunch of other Spanish dudes. Some people may know guitarist Ahrue Luster (especially if they were longtime fans of Machine Head), but not many. As a bonus, despite their very melodic and accessible sound, many non-metal fans don't even know who they are.
  • Peter Steele was this to Type O Negative, until he suddenly died in 2010.


Pop / Pop Rock

  • Averted hard with The Beatles, as almost everyone know all four members of the band.
  • When anyone mentions The Beach Boys, people automatically think Brian Wilson. A few think of Mike Love (who is still in a band calling itself The Beach Boys, at least). Considering they're two of the last three living members of the original band, it's not surprising -- but still, it's hard to remember any of those other members. They were often called Wilson though.
  • No Doubt. Starring Gwen Stefani on lead vocals, and...
    • Their video for "Don't Speak" lampshades this unfortunate truth. (And check the comments.)
    • A few know the bassist, Tony Kanal... because he had a relationship with Stefani, and their breakup inspired songs such as "Don't Speak".
  • 'Til Tuesday did it in the '80s with "Looking Over My Shoulder". Can anyone name anyone other than Aimee Mann who was in that band?
  • Jamiroquai. Singer/dancer Jay Kay. There might have been one or more guys in there, but we only get to see the dude with the Nice Hat in the music videos.
  • The Police provide a similar example to Queen. Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland are both widely known and respected (the latter especially, being voted the fifth greatest drummer ever by Rolling Stone readers), but Sting went on to a phenomenal career as a solo artist and actor his popularity overshadows theirs in the public consciousness.
  • It was easy for people to assume Blondie was Deborah Harry, but it was the name of the entire band. There used to be T-shirts and buttons saying "Blondie Is A Band." This effect was such a problem for Debbie Harry that "I am not Blondie!" became a Catch Phrase for a while.
    • The band's name was reportedly taken from the fact that men often cat-called Harry with "Hey, Blondie!", and she adopted it as a nickname. The band contributed to the problem themselves by highlighting Harry's looks and crowd appeal for publicity.
      • Final surrender came with the release of Once More Into the Bleach by "Debbie Harry Blondie" - a greatest-hits album with a cover photo of Harry alone, containing a mix of tracks from Blondie and Harry's solo albums, thus completely obscuring any distinction between Harry and "Blondie".
    • Of course, to be fair, it's hard not to notice Debbie Harry. A blonde-haired woman in a band otherwise made up entirely of dark-haired men kinda stands out.
  • Wings was Paul and Linda McCartney and some other people.
    • Many people forget Linda, or try to. Wings albums are usually filed directly under Paul McCartney's name.
    • It didn't help that several of their songs and albums, including some of their most famous ones such as Band on the Run, were credited to "Paul McCartney & Wings" or, more rarely, "McCartney's Wings". (Denny Laine, Wings' co-founder, arguably has a memorable name, although largely because it so closely resembles "Penny Lane", a song written by McCartney, with some input from John Lennon, for The Beatles. Laine was also already famous from The Moody Blues.)
    • Adding insult to injury, most of the currently-available CD versions of Wings' albums come from a 1993 remaster/reissue project called "The Paul McCartney Collection", which lumps them in with Sir Paul's solo albums up to 1989.
  • Beyonce Knowles used to fill this role in Destiny's Child.
    • It's especially bad when songs by Destiny's Child are said to be by Beyonce, even "Bootylicious," the only song where Kelly sings lead.
  • Belinda Carlisle is usually the first name to pop into one's head when one thinks of The Go Go's. Jane Wiedlin and the rest take a little longer.
  • Boy George was the only member of Culture Club who made any impression on the public memory.
  • To the average person, Wham! = George Michael; in some circles, "Andrew Ridgeley" has become shorthand for "historical footnote" – he is very much a Trope Codifier for that trope as "the one relegated to anonymity while the breakout star went massive".
    • "Pop!" from Music and Lyrics was partially based on Wham!, with Hugh Grant in Andrew Ridgeley's position. Of course, this being Hollywood, he reboots his career with Drew Barrymore while all the other members go into retirement with broken hips.
    • In an interview on VH-1, his wife (Keren Woodward of Bananarama, for those keeping score at home) described him as 'the other guy in Wham!'.
  • Bon Jovi is... Jon Bon Jovi. The band is named after him but...
    • Some people might know Richie Sambora.
  • Hootie and the Blowfish is both this and I Am Not Shazam. His name is Darius Rucker, people, not "Hootie"!
    • Then maybe he should have called the band "Darius and the Blowfish"?
      • Michael Ian Black on I Love The 90s: "You're Hootie. You will always be Hootie. Be careful what we wish for, "Hootie and the Blowfish"!
  • Interesting example: ABBA. Back in the day, Agnetha and Frida were the two well-known members. These days people are more likely to name Björn and Benny if they're asked who was in ABBA...
  • Savage Garden consisted of Darren Hayes and his Garfunkel.
  • A lot of people thought Lucy Pearl looked a lot like Dawn Robinson, the former lead singer of En Vogue, before they learned that she is Robinson, but only a third of Lucy Pearl.
  • As far as a lot of people are concerned, Take That are Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and two other blokes.
    • Come now, Mark Owen never got remembered.
    • All that changed after the success of Robbie Williams. Any memories of the others are now eclipsed by his rock star status.
      • You could argue that Robbie's been forgotten since Take That reformed and his last album bombed. Especially funny when you consider some of the, um, Take Thats that he's dished their way in his music. Is there a category for musical hubris?
      • TT are a convoluted example. In their original early-mid 90s heyday they were often roughly three-Faced: Gary "The Talented One" Barlow, who took most of the plaudits as main lead singer and the only significantly musically-talented one of the group who contributed songwriting and musicianship, but there was also Mark "The Cute One" Owen, Robbie "The Cheeky One" Williams (who both took occasional notable lead vocals too) – and The Two Dancers At The Back... notwithstanding the fact that they were so über-famous most people knew Jason Orange and Howard Donald as well then. After Williams left the band soldiered on as a four piece but subsequently split; Williams seemed destined (bailed out early, no known musical talent, weight gain, increasing drug and drink habits) to be the Andrew Ridgeley to Barlow's George Michael, yet the reverse turned out to be true: after a false start or two, his hugely successful solo career so vastly outstripped the others they were largely consigned to history – especially Orange and Donald, but particularly unfortunate on Barlow, who was unable to parlay his established talent into a meaningful solo career. After the group eventually reformed minus Robbie, and initially merely For the Lulz after a near-decade away, there was a conscious decision to share the duties/credit that brought all four of Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard back to public consciousness, averting this trope more thoroughly than they'd ever managed first time around. Ironically, their unexpectedly enormous second wave of success coincided with a downturn in Robbie's solo career, and his eventual rejoining the group (for still greater success) has so far largely averted his taking over as Face in favour of them becoming five more-or-less equals.
  • With the Goo Goo Dolls, you're lucky if people know John Rzeznik and know how to say his name right (for the record, that first z is silent). Only serious fans are likely to know Robby Takac or Mike Malinin's names. Robby, the bassist, started as the lead singer, but the band didn't get popular until John's singles started being released; because of John's image as the lead singer, Robby has been steadily dropping songs as each new album comes out.
  • Ric Ocasek was lead singer and lead songwriter for The Cars, and usually the only one anyone remembers. Naturally, when a few of the remaining members started "The New Cars" and replaced Ocasek with Todd Rundgren (on Ocasek's reccomendation to his old friends, no less), the reaction was... mixed.
    • Particularly interesting because Ocasek was not a founding member. Nor did he sing several of their biggest hits; "Just What I Needed" and "Drive" are performed by the late Ben Orr -- usually the only other guy anyone remembers.
  • Counting Crows features Adam Duritz on vocals and...um......
  • Daughtry is Chris Daughtry.....and his backing band? But when you name your band after the lead singer's last name, you're pretty much asking to fall into this trope.
  • Sugar Ray suffered from I Am Not Shazam when they first became popular. This was not helped by Mark McGrath being the most prominent member in their first video or two.
  • Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy fits this trope to a tee, but he is the bassist. The "official" reason is that Wentz is the band's main songwriter lyricist and something of a publicity hound, while singer Patrick Stump tends to avoid the limelight. Sadly, it's probably because Stump is slightly chubby, which means he's grotesquely overweight by Hollywood standards. (Though those reasons could be related.)
    • Both Patrick (who is cute) and Pete are more recognizable than Andy or Joe. Poor guys.
  • The only member of Metro Station that most people could name is Trace Cyrus, the lead guitarist and a vocalist. Why? For having a famous sibling, of course! Some might also be able to identify the actual lead vocalist, Mason Musso; even that is probably because of Hannah Montana (Mason's younger brother Mitchel plays Oliver). However, having a more famous relative completely overshadows his top position in the band. Granted, the band does owe something to the show, as the two were introduced to one another by their mothers on the set, but good luck finding anyone who can name the members that aren't directly tied to Disney's cash cow.
  • Justin Hayward is far and away the easiest Moody Blue for people to name.
  • Pussycat Dolls anyone? A lot of people wonder why "those bitches behind Nicole Scherzinger" even bother to hold microphones anymore, besides chanting "Baila Baila!".
  • The Whitlams, to anyone who isn't a fan, is Tim Freedman plus a few other guys. Justified, since Tim's the only original member still alive and so the band's undergone some major lineup changes. Averted also, in the case of the original lineup, but for all the wrong reasons.
  • Tokio Hotel consists of Bill Kaulitz, his twin, and those two other guys.
  • Somewhat understandably, The Alan Parsons Project is often referred to as Alan Parsons's 'solo' career despite the equal contribution of singer/songwriter/keyboardist/bloke who came up with all the ideas for the concept albums Eric Woolfson. A fact somewhat underlined by all of the albums following Woolfson's departure being released under the sole name of Alan Parsons.
  • The Alan Parsons Project. Parsons and Eric Woolfson were the producers of the group (however Woolfson DID sing a couple of their hits). But who was in the actual band? [1]
  • Matchbox Twenty is Rob Thomas and some other guys.
  • Frou Frou: A lot of people know who Imogen Heap is, but...
  • The Postmarks feature Tim Yehezkely and two guys who are so faceless they are sometimes blurred out in the background of their promotional photos. And yes, Tim Yehezkely is a girl.
  • The Kaiser Chiefs consist of Ricky Wilson, the keyboardist who wears the hat, and a few other people.
  • Hello! Project group Morning Musume. It doesn't help that only four of the eight members ever get to sing lead, but most people can only remember two or three names. Fans tend to refer to the group as Sayashi Riho, Tanaka Reina, Michishige Sayumi, and Six Other Girls.
    • You think that Hello! Project group is bad? C-ute's even worse; they have five girls now and only Maimi Yajima, the leader, and Airi Suzuki sing lead. The other three girls are lucky if they even get more than two lines.
      • Turned Up to Eleven with the song Shock, which some fans to which some fans refer as the Airi song.
  • Chocolat's Tia. Mainly in their debut song, Syndrome, but also shown in One More Day. They only have 3 singles at the moment, which intensifies it. Many people who stumble across their videos actually believe that Tia is the singer and the others are her backup dancers. Melanie gets the other 10% of the attention.
  • Phil Collins was definitely this for Genesis back in The Eighties, to the extent that radio DJs would (and still often do) sometimes announce Genesis songs as being by Phil Collins or "Phil Collins and Genesis", as though Genesis were merely Collins's backing band.
    • Before he left the band in 1975, the face was Peter Gabriel, whose eccentric stage costumes, performance style and lyrics gave the band their distinct British fairy tale-esque feel.
    • Mike Rutherford may have gotten some recognition, though many would have trouble coming up with the names of any of the singers in Mike and the Mechanics.
    • Collins' case shows being the Face of the Band can be a Double Edged Sword: Older fans who objected to the band's move away from Progressive Rock have tended to place the full responsibility on Collins, blaming him for single-handedly "ruining" the band by forcing his pop style on it, as though the other two were uninvolved. This despite the fact that band co-founder Mike Rutherford's solo output shows at least as much a commercial leaning as Collins'.
  • Louise Wener was so much the face of Sleeper that the rest of the band were often referred to in the music press as "The Sleeperblokes". The term came to be used to refer to the forgettable male backing musicians of other female-fronted Britpop bands too. Sleeper sold T-shirts with the word on.
  • Berlin is Terri Nunn and ... a bunch of guys.
  • The Spin Doctors are Chris Barron and ... three equally baked guys.
  • La Roux is... wait, it's a duo?
  • The Motels is Martha Davis and ... some more guys.
  • Scandal is Patti Smyth and ... you guessed it - guys.
  • Oingo Boingo was Danny Elfman and... those 11 other guys. The band's predecessor, The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo, was Danny Elfman and... those 20 other guys, even though Danny's brother was the band's founder and leader
  • Name any member of T. Rex whose name isn't Marc Bolan.
  • Cafe Tacuba is a weird example. Its main singer changes his artistic name with each album, as a "protest" to the artistic customs of "fixed and protected names forever" and "eternal persona"... but nobody remembers who the other members are anyway, so the people who doesn't know by which artistic name the singer is going now only recalls the band as "The dude who change his name with each album and those other guys who play with him". That, or "The ones who sang 'Ingrata'."
  • Toyboat is Eric Coleman and...
  • Dave Stewart might be even more anonymous than Andrew Ridgeley. Who's Dave Stewart? The other half of Eurythmics.
  • Casual fans of The Crüxshadows are likely to only know Rogue. It doesn't help that band went through a good deal of restructuring in the last couple of years.
  • Most will know that the lead singer of Cobra Starship is Gabe Saporta and a handful might be able to name Vicky T, the lone woman in the group. The other members? Not so much.
    • Cobra Starship actually seems to be averting this now--Nate Novarro is known for being young, tiny, and publicly disgusting, and Ryland and Alex are also known for being the only members of a separate band, Ivy League.
  • Akuma Daikon is the best known member of grindcore band NHK,[2] synth-pop/rock band Masorock, and improvisational genre conglomerate Funeral Attendants. Justified: He is well-known for his career as a soloist, and Funeral Attendants in question is more of a hive mind than a band.
  • Smile.dk is basically Veronica Almqvist and Random Chick of the Week.
  • The Monkees. Almost every casual fan refers to them as "The zany drummer, the Brit, Woolhat, and the other guy."
    • Most casual fans can identify the Monkees pretty easily by their looks and personalities on the TV show, however a lot of the time, the only name that ever really pops up is "Davy Jones."
  • Jonsu, vocalist and violinist of Indica gets the lion's share of the focus in publicity to the point where in recent videos you'd be hard pressed to tell that there are other members of the band. This in spite of the fact that they're all women and all rather easy on the eyes. That said, she does write the songs and she's a redhead.
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Vocalists Holly Johnson and (to a lesser degree) Paul Rutherford, and three other guys.
  • The Bangles are an example of a band that tried very hard to avert this trope... and failed. The lead vocalist role is shared by all four women, with albums having a roughly equal four-way split on individual songs. The band insisted that all publicity photos feature all four women equally. Nevertheless, the band's label, Columbia Records, mostly released singles on which Susanna Hoffs was the lead singer, which led to a widespread impression that she was the "star" of the band. Related tensions ultimately led to the band's 1989 breakup.
  • Panic! At The Disco is (or used to be) Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, and... uh... uh... uh...
    • For the record, their drummer is Spencer Smith, and the bassist that left with Ross was Jon Walker. Their new bassist is Dallon Weekes.
    • However, Spencer Smith has been getting a lot more attention since the split.
    • Hardly anyone remembers Brent Wilson who played bass on the first album.
  • Mention Catatonia, and the first person who springs to mind is Cerys Matthews, and maybe Mark Roberts as well. (The other three members were Owen Powell on guitar, Paul Jones on bass and Aled Richards on drums, all of whom co-wrote songs - in fact one of Owen's songs, 'Strange Glue', was a single.)
  • Korean Girl Group Girls' Generation has Yoona and the group's leader Taeyeon.
  • Did you guys know that Selena Gomez has never launched a solo career? That's right, she belongs to a band that was supposed to be called simply The Scene, as per request of Selena because she "didn't want to have her name plastered to the name". Due to complications with Hollywood Records that name could not be chosen so it was decided it would be called Selena Gomez & The Scene. Needless to say, everybody drops the "& The Scene" everytime they're mentioned. Most autocompletes for her songs on YouTube don't have the band in it.
  • OK Go plays with this trope. Damien Kulash is the lead singer, but in their famous music videos, Tim Nordwind lip-synchs Kulash's lyrics.


R & B / Funk / Soul / Jazz

  • Particularly bad with 70s funk bands - who usually numbered anywhere between 7 and 15 members.
    • Seriously - how many people think The Commodores were Lionel Richie's back up band?
    • Or can name a member of Parliment/Funkadelic besides George Clinton or Bootsy Collins?
      • You can name Bernie Worrell, Billie "Bass" Nelson, and especially Eddie Hazel, it's still not naming a significant percentage of the band.
    • Don't forget Rufus.
  • Sun Ra...and a band (usually called the Arkestra) that could qualify as a stateless nation under certain international human rights treaties. It didn't help that he was so nonconfrontational that he would abandon band members he wasn't satisfied with without notice. Even in foreign countries.
  • Even at their peak, Chic was Nile Rodgers and umm...
    • THE NARD. (Real name Bernard... er... something.)
  • "I love that new Gnarls Barkley song, I think he's so original." THEY'RE A DUO!!
    • Also a case of I Am Not Shazam, as the frontman is Cee-Lo, not Gnarls Barkley.
  • The only really known member from the British R&B band Sade is... Sade.
  • Pink Martini has the beautiful China Forbes, who is their lead singer and co-songwriter. Their band's second face, if they have one, is Thomas Lauderdale.
  • Little Charlie And the Nightcats consists of guitarist Little Charlie Baty, harp-blower/vocalist Rick Estrin, and revolving doors at bass and drums.
  • The vocal group The Impressions was Curtis Mayfield and those other guys - even after Mayfield left for a solo career. To the point that their greatest hits compilation is credited to "Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions." The only Impression most can name is better known for his solo career as well. ("Jerry Butler was in The Impressions?")
  • The Isley Brothers: Front man Ronald, guitar deity Ernie and...?
  • And of course, the Jackson 5 might as well be called "The Adventures of Michael Jackson When he Was a Boy!" Most people seem to know that he was in a band with his brothers, one of whom was named Tito (because that's a funny name) and probably assume they broke up at some point in the mid-seventies before MJ released his "first solo album" Off The Wall in 1979.
  • This seems to be happening with the internet darling The Weeknd, a project of newcomer Abel Tesfaye, singer/songwriter and possibly pianist, and moderately famous Canadian producers Doc Mc Kinney and Illangelo. Even though the producers contribute greatly to the unique sounds of the albums, Abel has an impressive voice and some very personal lyrics, leading the general public to refer to him as The Weeknd.
    • To be fair, at the time of his debut, no one knew who the guy was and all they had to go on was the name. It's gone on even as his name was revealed and will possibly continue in the future. Hell, even he refers to himself as The Weeknd on his Twitter account which he runs himself (Doc and Illangelo have their own Twitters).


Rock

  • Semi-averted with The Rolling Stones. While Mick Jagger is certainly the band's frontman and the first one you think of, Keith Richards is pretty well-known even to the most casual Stones fans. Both wrested Face Of The Band status away from original leader Brian Jones early in the band's career.
    • The other two, however, suffer from this (even though the drummer is the same since the band started).
      • Drummer Charlie Watts has practically hung a lampshade on this trope in interview: he's pointed out that, for all that Mick 'n' Keef may still occasionally war over prominence and the direction each feels 'his' band should go in, at the end of the day Charlie isn't worried since he knows the truth of the situation. It's his band.
  • Henry Rollins is perhaps the most recognizable member of Black Flag, despite being the fourth person to sing in the band.
    • The second most recognizable is Kira Roessler, mostly because she's a chick. Rarely do people remember Greg Ginn, who wrote all their songs.
    • Rollins has answered the question of the fluid lineup of Rollins Band, as each new album seemed to bring a change of personnel. His answer was basically "I am Rollins. These are the band. Rollins Band."
  • Similarly, Queens of the Stone Age = Josh Homme. Occasionally, someone will mention Nick Oliveri, usually in the context of They Changed It, Now It Sucks.
    • Or in the context of "bassist who ocasionally plays naked".
    • In the same way, Kyuss is "Josh Homme before he was famous", even though he didn't sing in that band.
    • Some people see QOTSA as "that band Dave Grohl drums in occasionally".
      • Others see them as "that band Mark Lanegan was in for a time."
  • The Who averts this for the most part, as all the members are legendary, but ironically, the person who is forgotten the most is Roger Daltrey (The singer!)
  • Ian Anderson in Jethro Tull -- so much so that many people think that Anderson's name is Jethro Tull.
  • Jim Morrison was The Doors, but deeply resented this implication; the one time his band was introduced as "Jim Morrison and The Doors", he refused to go on stage. Unfortunately, the rest of the band didn't know he was The Doors and tried to continue after he died...
  • The Wallflowers is Bob Dylan's son, Jakob Dylan, and a bunch of guys that played other instruments. Jakob got so much attention, that it eventually led to many of the band members dropping out due to wanting to get fame somewhere else. Jakob has also become a Reclusive Artist in hopes of dodging the comparisons to his father.
    • Which is ironic, considering that's exactly what dad did after his famous motorcycle crash in 1966.
  • Evanescence is Amy Lee and some other people who nobody else bothers to notice. Ben Moody only got known after he legged it.
    • Maria Brink of In This Moment once referred to Amy Lee as "Evanescence" in an interview. As a band Face herself, you'd think she would have known better.
  • Eric Clapton actively tried to avoid this trope at one point with the group Derek and the Dominoes. It didn't work; about five seconds into "Layla," people said, "Hey, that sounds like Eric Clapton!" and the sought-after anonymity disintegrated.
    • Cream is known to most people as "Eric Clapton and some other guys." Clapton wasn't even the singer.
      • I heard it referred to among the crew of a radio station as "Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and that other guy". In case you're wondering, Jack Bruce.
  • The Stooges minus Iggy Pop (and maybe Mike Watt too).
    • It does not exactly help either that Iggy's solo material has become more popular than The Stooges.
  • The other two who weren't Frank Black and Kim Deal in The Pixies.
  • The Cure is Robert Smith and a bunch of other people.
    • Longtime fans can spot bassist Simon Gallup (who's been in the band since 1979 with the exception of a small period in the mid-80's) and founding member Porl Thompson (who's been in and out of the band about a half dozen times since the band formed); but anyone else - much less anyone who drummed for the band - draws a complete blank.
      • Lol Tolhurst and Boris... What was his last name again?
  • Depending on who you ask, Pink Floyd is: Syd Barrett and three other guys; David Gilmour, Roger Waters, and two other guys; or David Gilmour and two other guys, following Waters' departure in 1985. Nobody ever seems to remember Richard Wright or Nick Mason. (Nick Mason is the only member of the band to be in the group continuously since its founding and played on every album. His songwriting contribution has always been minimal, though many of the band's trademark sound effects have been his ideas.)
    • Assuming they don't resort to asking "which one's Pink?", of course.
      • The later answer to that question is the notional subject of The Wall, portrayed on film by Bob Geldof.
    • Roger Waters increasingly regarded himself very much as the Face. The Final Cut even has "By Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd: David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters" on the back cover of the album – Wright was fired from the band at this point. After Waters left, so (he thought) bringing an end to the band, he was a little shocked when the others fought him for the name in the courts. And won. And carried on quite blithely without him, hardly missing their former 'leader' at all as it turned out.
  • Nobody remembers who was in Alice in Chains besides Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley.
  • INXS was Michael Hutchence and some other guys. Now they're that guy who won on that reality show and the same other guys, until the other guys dropped him. And most of them are brothers!
  • Don't know the rest of the members of Papa Roach? Don't worry. If you know just Jacoby Shaddix, you're fine.
  • Bodycount is Ice T and his band, though he gives shout-outs to them.
    • The band's guitarist, Ernie C, gets slightly more recognition than the other unknown members of the band.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins are Billy Corgan and... some dudes. Also, sometimes a chick.
    • Sadly, it took a tragic heroin overdose (of a guy who wasn't even a permanent member of the band) for many non-fans to learn who the individual members were.
    • Don't forget the Asian guy who often looked like a chick!
    • The dudes-and-sometimes-a-chick claim that the drummer is the only other important member. Now, if only we could remember his name...
      • ...Jimmy Chamberlin! He just announced that he's leaving the group again -- amicably this time -- meaning Corgan is now the band's only permanent member.
        • Even Chamberlin forfeited "permanent member" status from 1996-1999.
  • Several bands in The Fifties and The Sixties were practically named based on this trope following a formulaic "Lead Singer and The Band" (or more the egotistical "Lead Singer and His Band") setup. One of the more famous examples would be Bill Haley and His Comets.
  • Kiss = Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. (The other two are only known for their makeup: Cat Man and Space Ace)
    • This has a lot to do with Simmons and Stanley having a boss-employee relationship with the other band members. And Big Gene is not shy about firing people.
      • You mean, they aren't always the same other two?!
      • Legally, KISS is just Simmons & Stanley - Peter Criss went broke years ago and had to sell his share of the band (to Gene & Paul, of course). Ace Frehley followed in Peter's footsteps years later. The end result is that KISS is Gene & Paul plus whoever they decide to use on an album and put in the makeup made famous by Ace & Peter.
    • Objection. Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are familiar to anyone who has heard Weezer's "In The Garage" or have seen the several episodes of Family Guy that feature KISS.

 Peter Griffin: "I should've known you weren't a KISS fan when you wanted to dress up as Peter Criss! No one wants to be Peter Criss, Lois, not even Peter Criss!"

  • U2 consists of Bono, The Edge, and two guys who clearly aren't important because they don't have nicknames. (Even though the drummer started the band...)
    • The band did (I think) lampshade it in one of their older concert programs I had. There were several pages of Bono and Edge, followed by a picture of Larry Mullen Jr. (The drummer) with the caption "Larry likes to play the drums."
    • It got better.
  • Dire Straits is... um... um... Mark Knopfler. And some guys.
    • And sometimes one of 'em was his brother.
    • Understandable, given that only one other person was a member for its whole existence. Dire Straits is best described as "Mark Knopfler and whoever he hired to work on the current album"
  • HIM is Ville Valo and... some guys. Even most of the fanbase can only name the other four members by their nickname. This may be because if you're not Finnish, well, good luck.
    • The other members of HIM have gone on record saying they prefer Valo getting all the attention as this leaves them free to concentrate on the music.
  • Once averted by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, somewhat. However, this is often played straight nowadays by people who only recognize "All Along the Watchtower" and "Purple Haze".
  • Bush is Gavin Rossdale and some guys.
  • Santana. Wait, it was the name of a band?!
    • They had no permanent lead singer. Considering how Carlos spent a couple of albums trying to get everyone he could to sing for him...
  • Name one guy from Styx that isn't Dennis DeYoung. We'll wait.
    • Tommy Shaw sang lead on a number of their hits ("Blue Collar Man", "Renegade", "Too Much Time On My Hands"). And seeing as he is the only remaining member from the band's salad days, Shaw has become the Face of the Band.
  • Good Charlotte is Joel and Benji Madden. Even the TRL finale referred to them as Good Charlotte. Never mind that their other guitarist/keyboardist and bassist have been with the band since the beginning, and they have been through no less than three drummers.
  • Try and name a Velvet Underground member other than Lou Reed...just try. Also Andy Warhol was not a member despite what people will tell you.
    • Y'know the first album was called "The Velvet Underground and Nico", right? She wasn't around long, but...
      • Nico wasn't a member per se; she just sang with them on occasion. Hence the "and".
    • John Cale. Maureen... something.
    • Maureen Tucker, who's a notable exception to the usually-ironclad rule that the sole female member of an otherwise male band will invariably be its Face.
      • A fun litmus test: if someone says "Sterling Morrison" or "Doug Yule", they're probably a hardcore fan. (And if they can name Angus Maclise they have a real life Crowning Moment of Awesome.)
  • The Clash was Joe Strummer and Mick Jones... and the bassist and drummer.
    • Paul Simonon was the one the groupies always went to first, much to Mick's irritation...and the drummer Topper Headon deserves some credit, he could drum anything and do it incredibly fast without breaking a sweat. They didn't call him 'the Human Drum Machine' for nothing.
      • And Simonon is the one on the London Calling cover.
  • Rage Against the Machine was Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello and a couple of other dudes. Usual bassist/drummer anonymity, there.
    • The bassist (Tim Commerford) gets a pseudonym on Evil Empire and Battle of Los Angeles. He's perhaps best known for climbing a scaffolding at an MTV awards show in the late 90's.
    • De la Rocha was so associated with the band that when he left, and the rest of the band replaced him with Chris Cornell, they changed the name to Audioslave. It probably also had something to do with the fact they stopped being political in their music videos...
      • Yeah, for all intents and purposes, Audioslave is a completely different band. But in terms of membership, it's Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, and the same couple of other dudes.
  • When most people think of the Jefferson Airplane, they think of Grace Slick, never mind that it was very much a group of six extraordinary songwriters and musicians. Airplane co-founder Marty Balin, needless to say, wasn't too happy when Grace and other band members stole his thunder.
  • Journey could have been called The Steve Perry Project.
    • And more recently, The Guy Who Replaced Steve Perry Project.
    • Actually very accurate, as Steve Perry was introduced to the band through Executive Meddling designed to give a commercial direction to a nondescript jam band. Up to that point, Journey's most recognizable members were a couple of guys who used to be in Santana. See above entry on Santana.
  • Averted in Queen's case, as every member of the band is relatively well-known and wrote at least two of the band's hit songs at one time or another.
    • Brian May and Roger Taylor are reasonably well-known (the former has frequent guest appearances with other bands), but not nearly as much as Freddie Mercury. The bassist John Deacon, on the other hand, retired from music and is mostly forgotten.
  • We dare you to name anybody in Panic At the Disco besides Brendon Urie.
    • As of July 2009, it no longer matters if anyone rememebers that Ross or Jon Walker were from Panic, as they left to form their own band. On the other hand, more fans now seem to realize Spencer Smith exists.
  • Dinosaur Jr. is J. Mascis and that guy he hit over the head with his bass once.
    • And Sebadoh is Lou Barlow from Dinosaur Jr. (the aforementioned guy who was hit in the head with a bass) and some other people.
  • Sonic Youth is an inversion--big time. All four members (Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Renaldo, and Steve Shelley) have been involved with dozens of side projects, in some cases forming their own record labels and clothing lines).
  • Flyleaf has Lacey Mosley and... the Asian guitarist guy, that freaky dude with the long hair, and the other two.
  • Can you list a member of Blur that isn't Damon Albarn?
    • Graham Coxon has some successful solo work, Alex James hangs around a lot of side projects (usually with Keith Allen), and... well, there's four people on the cover of my Best Of, so there must be somebody else...
      • Dave Rowntree, the drummer, who bizarrely became a Labour councillor.
  • The Band is a really unusual example. They started out emphasizing themselves as a unit, going so far as to credit their debut single under the individual members' names, and of course choosing a famously generic group name. This worked out well since they had three different vocalists and the songwriting was split fairly evenly between singer/keyboardist Richard Manuel and non-singer/guitarist Robbie Robertson. Eventually, Robertson became the main songwriter and also, as the most articulate member, became their spokesman in interviews. Since he was regarded as a great songwriter, more and more Robertson became the Face Of The Band even though he only sang lead on a handful of songs. As you can imagine, this became a source of tension that only increased after they broke up.
    • To the extent that you can open Levon Helm's autobiography to just about any random page and find a vicious Take That to Robertson.
    • Watch The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese-directed Rockumentary about The Band's star-studded "farewell" concert in 1976, to see the extent to which Robertson had embraced and cultivated the frontman role toward the end.
    • Methinks that as entertaining as the above dissertation on intra-Band tension is, the truly weird thing about The Band is that the real Face Of The Band (heh heh) is not even properly a member of The Band: it's Bob Dylan. Heck, they wouldn't have been called "The Band" if their stint backing him hadn't led to everyone around him just calling them "the band." They were The Hawks before.
    • And when they were the Hawks, the face of the band was Ronnie Hawkins.
  • Many grunge bands fall to this (with the exception of the already listed Alice In Chains). Stone Temple Pilots = Scott Weiland, Pearl Jam = Eddie Vedder, Soundgarden = Chris Cornell...
    • Well, in Soundgarden's case you also have guitarist Kim Thayil, who wrote all the awesome riffs and has exhibited better judgement when it comes to a solo career. And drummer Matt Cameron, who joined Pearl Jam when Soundgarden disbanded.
    • STP has two brothers, but do casual fans know they're Dean and Rob DeLeo?
    • Pearl Jam besides Eddie Vedder has had: those two guys who were in Mother Love Bone, the ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer and the ex-Soundgarden drummer.
  • Dream Theater is John Petrucci on guitar, Mike Portnoy on drums, a bald guy who makes weird faces playing keyboards, an Asian guy on bass, and some singer that everyone hates. This is pretty common in metal, at least, for the guitarist to be the most well-known member of the band.
    • James La Brie (the singer) is pretty well-known, though. I mean, since everyone hates him, they're bound to know his name, right?
    • And I'm only a casual fan at best, but I was sure that most people recognized John Myung, the bassist, if only for his shredding skills.
  • Machine Head are Robb Flynn the Scary Dude With A Nose Piercing, and The Other Three Scary Tattooed Dudes Most of Whom Weren't Even in the Original Line-Up.
  • The best known formation of the Red Hot Chili Peppers kinda averts this (only Chad Smith might escape). Good luck naming the members before Mother's Milk (or the guy[3] who replaced John Frusciante), though!
    • To be fair, naming all members of the band (past and present) is a daunting challenge; there's been 17 members total. The band is a quartet.
    • Actually, Anthony might escape it, too. That is, once you consider that just about everyone knows who Flea and John Frusciante are...
    • Honestly, Chad Smith is starting to become the face of the band. Everyone is off with their side projects/kids, and Josh is a newbie... the last few press releases from the band have all been from Chad Smith.
  • Primus was Les Claypool and... and...
    • Ler!
  • Singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia was the face of The Grateful Dead no matter how much he insisted that he wasn't. In fact, after Garcia died, the remaining bandmates toured a few times as The Other Ones before changing their name to "The Dead"
    • Interestingly, when the band started, keyboardist Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan was the face of the band. The transfer over to Garcia happened around the time of their second album. Mckernan is only remembered now as the first of four keyboardists to die on the band.
  • Three Dog Night's Chuck Negron, Cory Wells, and Danny Hutton are all relatively well-known. However, a lot of people don't realize there were four other guys in the band along with them.
  • Green Day manages to mostly avert this. Billie Joe Armstrong is definitely the face that springs to mind when they're mentioned, but if you can name him you probably can list Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool too.
  • Buckethead. He's played with a number of bands, including Praxis and Death Cube K, but other than him (and perhaps Brain or Pinchface, the oddly-named drummers he often plays with), very few people can identify the other members of his bands. It's not made any easier by the fact that he often plays with multiple bands at once. The fact that he's a 7-foot tall guitar god with a white mask and KFC bucket on his head helps.
    • Oi! He was a member of Guns N' Roses!
      • And at the time he was in Guns 'n' Roses, it consisted of him, Axl Rose, and...
    • An exception would be Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains due to it being a supergroup in which, as the other members were Les Claypool and Brain of Primus and funk legend Bernie Worrell.
  • More knowledgeable music fans know Electric Light Orchestra as Jeff Lynne and some other guys. Most others know ELO as the guy with the sunglasses and the big curly 'fro... and some other guys.
  • Aversion: Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young is, well...
    • Well... more than a few can only name Crosby, Stills & Nash, due to Neil Young's inconsistent membership (and the same people will respond "Neil Young was in a band?" due to his immensely successful solo career).
    • Not so fast; Greg Reeves and Dallas Taylor (And whoever replaced them after the second album) were the rhythm section. Is there an opposite trope for this situation?
    • Buffalo Springfield, though, is most certainly Neil Young, Steven Stills, and, uh...
      • Actually, Jim Messina, Bruce Palmer, and those guys that formed Poco.
  • Nickelback = Chad Kroeger and who the hell else? And frankly, who the hell cares?
  • David Byrne is the only Talking Head most people could name.
    • Although the Tom Tom Club, a side project by the Heads' bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz (also married to one another), had a major hit with "Genius of Love".
    • And you might recall that they had a female bass player...
  • The Flaming Lips are Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd and Micheal Ivins. Everyone else that's been in the band are...?
  • Whenever someone mentions any member of My Chemical Romance, it's usually Gerard Way. Or very occasionally Frank Iero. Or sometimes Gerard's brother.
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The Bad Seeds include Warren Ellis, and... um.... some other guys... like... Blixa Bargeld, back before he germinated and is now the only member of Einstürzende Neubauten anybody knows.
    • Nick Cave was also the only member of The Birthday Party anyone knew. And he and Warren Ellis are the only members of Grinderman anyone knows.
    • To their credit, Rowland S. Howard and Mick Harvey (the latter of which was also in the Bad Seeds for a time), are well known in Australia and somewhat well known worldwide. Tracy Pew, the bassist, died too soon to have his name remembered for any after-TBP work.
  • J. Geils is the only member of The J. Geils Band that most can name. This crosses over a bit with I Am Not Shazam, as many people make the mistake of calling the lead singer J. Geils (who was the guitarist; Peter Wolf is the lead singer).
    • Some people may recall Peter Wolf, mainly because he had a brief solo career. And was married to Faye Dunaway for a time.
    • This dynamic also holds true for Paul Revere and the Raiders (Mark Lindsay was the frontman, Revere the keyboardist) and, at least for their first few albums, the Steve Miller Band (Boz Scaggs was the original lead vocalist before guitarist Miller took over that role himself.)
    • Probably also the case for Manfred Mann, where Paul Jones was the singer/frontman. Organist Manfred Mann had an Awesome McCoolname, so the band was named after him.
  • R.E.M. is Michael Stipe and that's it, to most people.
    • Guitar nuts might be able to name Peter Buck.
    • Casual fans usually know the bassist is Mike something.
  • Faith No More was Mike Patton and...and...umm... (Former vocalist Chuck who?)
    • Definitely a good example although plenty of FNM fans could easily name the other members. Especially that since the reunion and the existence of Twitter fans have been following the work of Billy Gould (the bassist) and Roddy Bottum (the keyboardist).
    • Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Mondo Cane are basically all Mike Patton and...and...umm...
  • The Melvins are Buzz "King Buzzo" Osborne, Dale Crover, and uhhh... who else?
    • Ask a Melvins fan to name any of the bassists who have ever been in the band and they'll most likely either name Joe Preston or Lorax. Ask them to name two more and they'll probably have to think about it for a while.
  • Guns N' Roses used to be Axl, Slash and three other guys (although Duff earned some recognition). Nowadays, it's only Axl and some completely random guys – the only one that's passed through the ranks who sticks in the mind was the guitarist that wears a KFC bucket.
    • Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, Adler, Matt, Dizzy and, uh...the Skiver?
    • Matt can squeak by on the amusement value of his previous job being the drummer for Y Kant Tori Read. Though for some reason people forget he replaced Steven Adler.
    • Ironically, Tracii Guns, the other namesake of Guns N' Roses, is not very well known. L.A. Guns even became two bands because of someone else being the face of that band.
  • Hole, which had Courtney Love and that sexy redhead who was with the Pumpkins for one album, and, um...
    • It doesn't help that they had no less than fifteen members in thirteen years.
    • There was Eric what's-his-nuts on guitar.
    • Courtney even decided to reform Hole... with three guys who had never been in the band (which on most of his history was all-female except for the above mentioned Eric, who even criticized her move)!
  • A weird case: the most remembered member of the Sex Pistols is Sid Vicious. The substitute bassist who couldn't play his instrument.
    • Though singer Johnny Rotten is well-known. He's even still alive too.
    • Actually, Public Image Ltd, another good example of this trope: it consists of Johnny Rotten, and... some other people. And at one point, Ginger Baker from Cream.
      • More serious fans will say John Lydon, Keith Levene, Jah Wobble, and whatever drummer that they haven't set on fire while high yet...[4] Which is probably Martin Atkins. However, from 1983 on... Yeah, maybe Lu Edmonds, on a good day. And Ginger Baker.
  • ACDC is Angus Young, his brother Malcolm, and Brian Johnson (the singer with the flat cap), who replaced Bon Scott (the alcoholic)... who are the other two?
    • A lot of people would know Malcom Young, due to the family connections (George, Angus and Malcom's brother, is one of Australia's most popular and well known songwriters), but the bassist and the drummer? No clue.
      • Plus if all you knew about the lineup was from looking at their albums you'd think that guitarist Angus Young was the singer since he is often the only person on the covers.
  • Aerosmith is Steven Tyler, Joe Perry... and some other people.
    • Joe Perry has his fair share of recognition, thanks to his solo work and is interaction with Tyler onstage. Brad, Tom, and Joey, on the other hand...
    • Brad has serious problems since the rise of the other Brad Whitford.
    • It's the Toxic Twins (Steven and Joe) and the Less Interesting Three (guess who)
    • To the point with Aerosmith where the backing band in the video for Walk This Way with Run DMC, the other band members aren't Joey, Brad and Tom. Also, in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Joe Perry and Steve Tyler get about 70% more screen time, even showing Joe Perry playing solos in the songs he has never played the solos for.
  • Monster Magnet is Dave Wyndorf, Ed Mundell and some other guys.
  • Singer David Clayton-Thomas is the only member of Blood, Sweat & Tears that anyone remembers.
    • Which is ironic considering he replaced the band's founder, Al Kooper.
  • Big Brother and The Holding Company is more widely known (and marketed!) as Janis Joplin. She became so prominent that no one remembers the name of the band. Or of the Kozmic Blues Band.
  • Quick - name a member of The Doobie Brothers besides Michael McDonald.
    • Well, there's Tom Johnston, who wrote and sang many of their pre-McDonald hits ("Listen to the Music", "Long Train Running", "China Grove", etc.), and Patrick Simmons, who wrote and sang the band's first #1 hit, "Black Water".
    • They took some criticism, after Executive Meddling turned them into McDonald's de facto backup band, for promoting Simmons as a kind of secondary bandleader, when prior to Johnston's departure firing departure he had been little more than an anonymous sideman.
  • Ditto Chicago and Peter Cetera.
    • Well, there was Terry Kath, the guitarist best remembered for accidentally killing himself during a game of Russian roulette, after which the band became shit.
    • Um, what about Robert Lamm, who wrote many of the band's classic hits?
  • My Bloody Valentine. Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher are the most immediately recognizable (coincidentally, both are guitarists and vocalists). Then, there's the bassist and that drummer with the indecipherable Irish name.
  • Titus Andronicus is Patrick Stickles and Patrick Stickles' beard. Can anyone even name anyone else?
  • Michael Gira was the best known member of the Swans until female singer Jarboe joined; from then on, they got equal media attention.
    • Some of the more devoted fans will throw out Norman Westberg or Algis Kizys, and a number of their percussionists (Rieflin, Mossiman, Mullins, Puleo) are reasonably well-known in other arenas, but ask any but the most diehard fan who Daniel Galliduani is and you will get blank stares.
      • And on the other side of things, you have former auxiliary bassist Thurston Moore...
  • Bad Religion is Greg Graffin and some words.
    • To be fair, Bad Religion only exists when Graffin feels like it.
    • And watch as people call Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson's other band...
    • Brett Gurewitz is actually fairly well known among even casual BR fans. However, he's probably more well known for his disagreements with Graffin and the fact that his return to the band happened to coincide with their return to greatness rather than his guitar playing (some of the best in punk music). He's far more well known as the founder of the famed independent label Epitaph Records.
  • The Mars Volta are Omar, Cedric, and some other guys.
    • To be fair, the albums themselves claim that Omar and Cedric are The Mars Volta. The rest are just 'The Mars Volta Group'. Doesn't help that those two are the only ones in any publicity photos.
      • Also, their names are pretty... unique (especially Cedric's, or do you know any other Bixler-Zavala next door to you?), so they're pretty hard to forget.
  • Name a Kink other than Ray Davies. Okay... now name a Kink who isn't Ray's brother. I thought so.
  • Claudio Sanchez is Coheed and Cambria, not least because he's both the lead singer and lead guitarist. He also has the greatest hair in Christendom.
    • Their current drummer, founding Dillinger Escape Plan member Chris Pennie, is noteworthy, though he of course has no chance of overshadowing Claudio.
    • Also, though Claudio is definitely the face of the band, Michael Todd (the bassist) also seems rather popular.
  • Muse is Matthew Bellamy and...um...
    • Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme. Even though Matt is the most prominent member, Dom is present in enough interviews that most casual fans could probably name him. I could see Chris being completely unknown outside bass player circles, though.
  • Alternative rock band The The has Matt Johnson as its only constant member, with the rest of the cast changing from album to album. You have to wonder how they give concerts...
    • The touring band likely changes from tour to tour.
  • Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert from New Order actually called their side project "The Other Two". And New Order as a whole effectively started out as "the other three and the drummer's girlfriend" after the demise of Joy Division (ie the demise of lead singer Ian Curtis).
    • This story, posted on the comedy website b3ta's 'Question of the Week', rather neatly sums up this trope in relation to New Order.
  • Neil Finn was not one of the founding members of Split Enz, but he and his brother Tim are the only band members whose names the casual listener can remember - thanks partly to Crowded House, Neil's subsequent band in which Tim also played for a while.
    • There's a curious Finn feedback loop – younger brother Neil first became known by joining elder brother Tim's band Split Enz, then years later Tim became more well-known by joining Neil's internationally-successful band Crowded House. They have also recorded just as a duo.
    • Come to think of it, how many people can name a regular member of Crowded House besides Neil Finn?
      • (That guy who killed himself was in Crowded House, um.....)
  • The Killers are Brandon Flowers and, um... sorry, distracted by cute Emo Kid.
  • Oddly enough, the face of Dropkick Murphys is not the lead singer (currently Al Barr), but the bassist, Ken Casey. The original piper, "Spicy McHaggis," had a bit of a following (and his own jig), but hell if any fan knows his real name, much less the name of the current piper.
  • Soul Coughing, a.k.a. Mike Doughty and his buddies.
  • Asia is a tricky case. All the members were in other bands first, and the first names you remember depend on which of those other bands you're a fan of:
    • If you're a King Crimson fan, the only name you know is John Wetton; if you're a Yes fan, you only recognize Steve Howe; if you liked ELP, the only one you remember is Carl Palmer. Sadly, nobody seems to remember Geoff Downes right off the bat because there aren't that many diehard Buggles fans.
      • Which is weird, because he kept the band alive after everyone else bailed.
  • Music critics seem to insist that "Bright Eyes" is secret code for "The Conor Oberst Experience" despite the fact that Oberst himself has repeatedly stated that there are indeed two other permanent members of the band (those being Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott) and that Oberst's solo career is distinct and very different (lo-fi folk) from Bright Eyes (emo country rock).
    • Oberst's other band, The Mystic Valley Band, however, can be accurately described as "The Conor Oberst Experience".
  • James is Tim Booth, and Larry Gott if he's lucky. Otherwise they're "Which one's James?". (They've had about thirteen different members in their 26 years since formation. The nearest answer to that question is founder member Jim Glennie, although they did use computer imagery to invent a character called James for one album cover, whose face composites bits of all of the seven members they had at the time.)
    • It should probably be noted that when they were pooling names and decided to name themselves after one of the members, they deliberately didn't pick Tim precisely because of concern about this trope.
  • Jenny Lewis is Rilo Kiley. Yes, there was some guy who provided the vocals on half the early songs, but hey, pretty redhead.
    • You mean the guy who played Pinsky?
  • The Raconteurs are Jack White and Brendon Benson, featuring two other guys who don't get to be in pictures or "The drummer and bassist from The Greenhornes"
  • Pulp is lunatic beanpole Jarvis Cocker. Not helped by the band being far older than you think (they'd been going fifteen years before releasing a successful album).
    • There's also keyboardist Candida Doyle, but she's easy to spot anyway considering she's was in the band longer than anyone else save for Jarvis and was the only girl. Only hardcore fans can name someone else in the band.
      • I'd just bought Intro and I was showing the album to one of my friends who said "I didn't realise there was a girl in Pulp". Intro, for the record, features "Sheffield: Sex City", the only song in the Pulp catalog with Candida Doyle on vocals.
  • They Might Be Giants is John, John, and... three more people with different names.
    • For a while they had the "Band of Dans" consisting of Dan on guitar, Dan on drums, and Danny on bass. So it was John, John, Dan, Dan, and Danny until Dan got replaced by Marty on the drums.
    • To be fair, the band was just John and John for four albums, plus a b-sides collection and several songs on an answering machine.
  • Ben Gibbard does this with two bands: he's that guy for both Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service. To be fair, the Postal Service was his side project, but still.
    • Depends who you are. Dntel is fairly well-known in his own circles, and there really isn't anyone else in The Postal Service.
    • Also Death Cab started as a solo project before growing into a full-fledged band. And many casual fans also know Chris Walla, perhaps more by virtue of his interesting name than due to him being the architect of the group's signature stark production and arrangments.
  • Primal Scream is Bobby Gillespie, and some others. Oh, Mani from The Stone Roses joined in recent years too.
  • Barenaked Ladies has more members than Steven Page and Ed Robertson, but even some fans can't name the others. And now that Steven is gone...
    • And now keyboardist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn is taking over vocals frequently. He has sung lead on some songs from their recent catalogue.
    • Tyler Stewart's at least trying not to disappear from the eyes of BNL's fans, though. He's the only one who shows off his own personal Twitter account. The rest of the band just uses a communal Twitter account.
  • Paramore is...uh, that really cute redhead?
    • To most people, Paramore = Hayley Williams and some dudes with instruments. Casual fans know Zac and Josh Farro (the latter more likely than the former; they may know Zac as "Josh's brother"), but good luck getting anyone but die-hard fanatics to name either the former or present bassist.
      • And they're aware of this perception, to the point of selling T-shirts that state Paramore is a band.
      • The video for their new single Ignorance spoofs this, with the video being about Hayley attempting to make the rest of the band notice her as they gleefully ignore her to play their instruments.
        • Ironically for the viewers, Hayley is still the one who stands out specifically because she attempts to make the rest of the band notice her in the music video
      • The Farrows recently left the band, citing Hayley's status as the Face as one of the main reasons for their departure.
  • Similarly, Versaemerge is Sierra Kusterbeck and some dudes with instruments.
    • Though, now that there are only three constant members, Blake Harnage and Devin Ingelido are a little more well known than they once were.
  • The Sisters of Mercy consists of two generally remembered people: Andrew Eldritch and Doktor Avalanche. The amusing part is that Doktor Avalanche is a fictional character (it's a name associated with whatever drum machine is being used at the time). Other people have been in the band, and have been highly influential, but keep getting fired. Patricia Morrison, Wayne Hussey, etc have al disappeared. The ironic bit is that if it weren't for the running gag, most goths wouldn't know who Wayne Hussey is, either.
    • Similarly, The Sisterhood also consists of only Andrew Eldritch and Doktor Avalanche. So there's TWO bands that only consist of the SAME two people, of which one is fictional. (The Sisterhood was formed and an EP recorded JUST to keep Wayne Hussey from using that band name).
    • Actually, most Goths know Wayne Hussey, what with him being the front man for The Mission. Try naming any other members of The Mission, however...
  • Captain Beefheart was the stage name of Don Van Vliet; and the only one of Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band that anyone remembers, unless they're either really hardcore psychadelic/experimental rock fans, or really hardcore Frank Zappa fans (the two traded several musicians back and forth).
  • Name a member of Babyshambles other than Pete Doherty. Of course, it helps that Doherty both dated Kate Moss and has rarely been out of the press due to his numerous drug habits and chaotic personal life, both of which tend to stick in the memory.
    • Name any others in The Libertines besides Peter Docherty and Carl Barat. Or any other members of Barat's own post-split band Dirty Pretty Things.
  • Minor Threat was Ian MacKaye and... some other people... probably.
    • Similarly, Fugazi is MacKaye, Guy Picciotto and other people.
    • Probably because of the sheer force of his personality, Ian MacKaye has kind of been this in any band he's been in, with a possible exception of his current project, The Evens.
  • Mudcrutch consists of Tom Petty and some other guys.
    • That band was actually the band that Tom Petty, Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell formed in 1970 before they became Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers only to reform in 2007. The names of the other non-Heartbreaker members draw a blank, though
      • There was a number of lineups in the 1970s. Many people refer to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as "Tom Petty." The solo albums are different from the Heartbreakers albums.
  • Silversun Pickups are Brian Aubert, Nikki Monniger and two other guys who don't sing.
  • Say Anything is Max Bemis and -- uhh...
    • Coby Linder. The drummer is the only other founding member still in the band and fans should know him too. He even does a spoken-word part in a song about how he's been the band with Max forever. Besides these two, the line-up has changed so many times it's pretty forgivable to not know them.
  • Uh, there were four other guys in Ben Folds Five, right? I mean, it's weird--I've never even seen two of them...
    • Heh, it was definitely a trio, but they thought "Ben Folds Three" sounded stupid.
    • Robert Sledge (the bass player) does get name-dropped in "Not The Same", however.
  • Helmet consists of Page Hamilton and... and... Well, there might be some other guys playing in the background. Actually, Hamilton's ego is so large that he's the only single person to appear in the music video for "Gone".
    • There's also the fact that Hamilton is the only original member left upon releasing 2004's "Size Matters" as a follow up to 1997's "Aftertaste".
  • Attempted aversion with Tin Machine, which was supposedly a group with four equals... one of whom happened to be David Bowie. Pretty much failed entirely, as the group is now only remembered as a David Bowie folly.
  • Alex Chilton is the best-known member of both the Box Tops and Big Star.
  • This is a common side effect of having a lead singer who has the same name as the band. Alice Cooper causes plenty of confusion, and many people don't seem to realise at all that Marilyn Manson contains more than one person.
    • Robin Trower would be another example, although Trower was not the singer in this case.
  • Arcade Fire is Win Butler, his wife Regine something-or-other, and, um, like six other people. Of course, who can name all the members of their favorite orchestra?
  • If you know Spiritualized you probably still don't know anyone beyond J.Spaceman. And that's not even his real name. Jason Pierce.
  • Averted with The White Stripes. Admittedly it's easier to remember everyone's name when there's only two of them and they share a surname.
  • The Pogues were Shane MacGowan and a bunch of other really cool guys for a while. Then he got kicked out for being excessively Shane MacGowan, and the band hasn't been the same since. Shane MacGowan, meanwhile, grows increasingly Shane MacGowan by the day.
    • He formed a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in Shane MacGowan and the Popes, before rejoining the Pogues more on than off. Regardless, he's invariably the Face.
  • Dave King of Flogging Molly. Some people will also occasionally recall that the chick on fiddle and tin whistle is his wife Bridget Regan, but that's about it.
  • Linkin Park is Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, and does anybody else really care?
    • Yes. Most fans also know Joe Han (turntables, keyboard, samples), but the rest are hard to remember...
  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band escaped this trope, but who can name the members of his back-up band for Human Touch and Lucky Town? There's Roy Bittan, and Patti Scalfa (both of whom were E Streeters anyway), and...nope, I got nothing. Of course, those two albums weren't his most successful sellers. It was definitely for the good for all concerned that he reteamed with his band of brothers, or as he calls them, "The heart-stopping, fun-loving, earth-quaking, love-making, air-conditioner-shaking, history-making, legendary, E! STREET! BAND!"
  • Trent Reznor actually is the only member of Nine Inch Nails. Any other members are people he got together to tour with, and they rotate constantly. Good luck getting a casual fan to name anyone who's ever been in the touring band other than Josh Freese and the bassist for Marilyn Manson.
    • Most NIN fans (and a few Guns N' Roses ones) know guitarist Robin Finck is, but it helps when you've been the only constant touring member for close to ten years and have hairstyles as crazy as his tend to be. It's to the point where some fans actually consider him to be the second permanent member. He even contributed in the songwriting on a few albums!
    • Lostprophets fans will know Ilan Rubin.
      • And Doom 3 fans might know Tweaker.
  • The only member of Franz Ferdinand who gets any press is lead singer Alex Kapranos, but he insists that the band (which includes Nick McCarthy, Bob Hardy, and Paul Thomson) does everything collectively. He just happens to have a distinctive and versatile voice. Not to mention that name.
  • Nirvana is an interesting case, say the band's name and everyone instantly thinks "Kurt Cobain." Then maybe Dave "That guy from Foo Fighters" Grohl will come to mind. And then there's that one bassist very few remember, "Chris whatshisname" (Krist Novoselic). Then next to no one remembers the drummers from before Dave Grohl joined. And good luck finding someone who even knows that they once had a second guitarist.
    • You mean Pat Smear from the Germs?
    • Since you mentioned Grohl, not many people know the names of the other three Foo Fighters members. Except for maybe Sunny Day Real Estate fans. And even many SDRE fans only know Jeremy Enigk.
      • Almost understandable since the first album was Dave Grohl and no one else. Interestingly Grohl often used to get a reversal in his own band, being Dave "That guy from Nirvana" Grohl. Markedly more rare now that the Foos are so well-established in their own right.
      • Taylor Hawkins is probably the next most well-known member of Foo Fighters. Dave only needs to say "the drummer" when introducing him to audiences!
  • Blue Oyster Cult probably suffers from this worse than any other band due to the fact that the face people associate with them is of a fictional cowbell player portrayed by Will Ferrell.
    • Then when you get to people who can actually name the real members of the band, don't expect to hear any names besides Eric Bloom and "Buck Dharma."
  • While many people can only name The Offspring's singer (Dexter Holland), the nicknames for the guitarist (Noodles) and bassist (Greg K) are easy to remember. Good luck trying to name the drummer, though!
    • Actually all three known members are permanent members and have nicknames (Dexter's real name is Bryan, Greg K has a longer last name, and Noodles name is Kevin), granted that Atom Willard also had a nickname, but that's not that point.
      • Atom only toured with the band, never played in any albums.
  • Thrice is Dustin Kensrue and maybe Teppei Teranishi
  • During Pere Ubu's long career, frontman David Thomas has been the only consistent member and focus of media coverage, although the band's membership has been relatively stable for the past several years.
  • Name someone from Weezer that isn't Rivers Cuomo?
    • One member who casual fans can name is former bassist Matt Sharp, whose name mostly comes up in discussions about how the band went to hell once he quit after Pinkerton.
  • Depeche Mode are David Gahan, possibly Martin Gore, and this other guy.
    • Alan Wilder, essentially the band's musician (Gahan being the vocalist and Gore the songwriter) left precisely because of this trope. Gore has subsequently taken on much of the musicianship in tandem with a succession of producers, just as he took on the songwriting in the early '80s after original member, and arguably second-Face, Vince Clarke left to form first Yazoo and then Erasure...where he's been deFaced ever since by the greater star-power of their respective singers, Alison Moyet and Andy Bell.
    • DM are an interesting mostly-justified example, in that Andy Fletcher is the Member Who Doesn't Do Anything. Yes, he's given some simple keyboard parts to play live, but in-studio his role is more like the band's manager or accountant than anything resembling a musician. Yet his presence is acknowledged as vital, as after over thirty years he glues the band together as much as anything.
  • The Cranberries are Dolores O'Riordan and some guys.
  • Shirley Manson in Garbage. Butch Vig, while in that band, is not so much remembered as part of its line-up; people just skip to his production work (Nirvana, Sonic Youth, L7, etc.).
  • From the amount of controversy that Noel and Liam Gallagher generate, you'd think that Oasis was strictly a two-person band, a la The White Stripes. By the time Noel fought with Liam and left the band, they were the only ones who recorded all albums.
    • Oasis is also a rare example of a shift in the image, since the elder brother began singing more songs and has become more widely recognized as the main foundation of the band, his younger brother has taken a backseat to him in terms of icon status.
      • On what you consider icon status: Noel undoubtedly was the main driving force during their early years and continued to influence the band during his tenure, but it was Liam who kept making the headlines every day on his crazy escapades.
    • Spiritual Sucessor Beady Eye is the same case: Liam Gallagher and the guys who played with him in Oasis.
  • Morrissey and Johnny Marr from The Smiths. There were two other blokes on stage too.
  • Coldplay. Consists of Chris Martin and a few other guys.
    • Lampshaded by the well-done Mad TV sketch "I'm the most important part of Coldplay" by "The Chris Martin Band"
    • It's even worse, because all of the other guys have cool names. Is Champion even a real surname?
  • 10,000 Maniacs - can anyone name a member besides Natalie Merchant? And who knew that the band didn't dissolve when she went solo?
    • To be fair, there were still 9,999 of them left.
  • Kings of Leon is Caleb Followill and 3 other guys. Two of whom are his brothers and a third is his cousin
  • The Fall. Mark E Smith even famously said that 'If it's me and your Granny on bongos, it's the Fall'. Considering the amount of line-up changes they've gone through, especially in the last 15 years or so, he may well have a point...
    • There's a handful of long-running members that are easily recognized by the band's fanbase. Among these are drummer Karl Burns (1977-1979, 1981-1985, 1993-1998), bassist Steve Hanley (1979-1998), guitarist Craig Scanlon (1979-1995) and Smith's ex-wife guitarist Brix Smith (1983-1989, 1994-1996). Together or apart, these members appeared on most of the band's least wilfully uncommercial most popular albums. However, even hardcore fans can't keep up with - or can't be bothered to remember - the other members. The only current member of the band that most casual fans can name aside from Smith is his current wife, keyboardist Elena Poulou.
      • Fans of the American psychedelic rock band Darker My Love can pick out vocalist/guitarist Tim Presley (DML's own Face of the Band) and bassist Robert Barbato as members of the band during the Reformation Post TLC era of the band.
  • Quite subverted with Rush, where Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart are all major lyrical and musical providers, and the only one who isn't a multi-instrumentalist is Neil Peart, who's status as best drummer ever among even people who aren't fans of Rush makes him quite recognizable. Alex Lifeson plays guitar, Geddy Lee plays bass and sings, and Neil Peart, as mentioned, is considered the greatest drummer ever. They all write songs, pretty much meaning any of them are the face of the band, and could arguably be the face of any band or group they join.
    • However, try finding anyone but hardcore Rush fans who remember the name of their first drummer; who played on their self-titled debut album (John Rutsey).
  • Most ironic (semi-)example ever: After early Jeff Beck Group shows, people would sometimes go up to their lead singer, a then fairly unknown Rod Stewart, and say things like "Hey Jeff, who's your guitarist?".
  • Midnight Oil is Peter Garrett (a.k.a. that tall bald spaz who's in the government now) and...some other guys? Maybe?
  • Cristina Scabbia tends to overshadow the rest of Lacuna Coil, although some people at least know who Andrea Ferro is.
  • Cold Chisel consisted of Jimmy Barnes on lead vocals, and... er... oh yeah, Ian Moss on guitar and vocals, and, um... three other guys...
    • This one's especially unjustified as keyboardist Don Walker was their main songwriter and also the band's main driving force.
  • Fun limitus test: A newbie Hot Hot Heat fan can name only Steve Bays. An older one can also name Luke Paquin and Parker Bossley. If they can name Paul Hawley they're pretty hardcore.
  • Semi Precious Weapons and Justin Tranter; the self-titled EP features a Lampshade Hanging with the other members of the band wearing Justin Tranter masks.
  • Halestorm is Lizzie Lzzy Hale and a few guys with long hair (especially after she was named one of Revolver Magazine's Hottest Chicks Metal).
    • Her brother, Arejay Hale getting featured in Modern Drummer probably helped even the playing field.
  • Chiodos was Craig Owens and four to five other guys. As of now, they are Brandon Bolmer and five other guys.
  • Supertramp: There was that high-pitched guy who sang "Give a Little Bit", oh right, Roger Hodgson...then there's the one who sang hits like "Goodbye Stranger" and "Bloody Well Right"...and the other guys. (Bonus points if you can name any of the members who left prior to Crime of the Century.)
  • Vampire Weekend. Care to name any of the four members besides preppy dreamboat Ezra Koenig?
    • Some fans know Rostam Batmanglij, who is a member of a not-as-popular but still fairly well-known electronic side project called Discovery.
  • Devo is Mark Mothersbaugh and if you're really, really lucky Gerald Casale.
    • Not true. Even casual fans will know The Bobs, aka Bob Casale and Bob Mothersbaugh, or at the very least know that the other two guys are the brothers of the two guys people can name. On the other hand, try finding anyone who remembers any of the other half-dozen people who have been in the band (mostly drummers) at some point.
  • A measure of how hardcore Yes fans are, is how many of the myriad of rotating members they can name; and what other projects they've been involved in. Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe - and generally Jon Anderson - are gimmes; but beyond that...
    • How many casual fans know that bassist Chris Squire is the only completely consistent member, and has played on every single album?
    • Or that Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn – the members of The Buggles – replaced Anderson and Wakeman on one album? Said collaboration setting the stage for the formation of Asia.
  • Name a member of 30 Seconds to Mars that isn't Jared Leto. Bonus points if you can name a bassist.
    • Erm, Shannon Leto and whatshisface. Hang on, it'll come to me in a second...Tommy? Tomo? I haven't got a hope in hell with the surname though...
  • Alt-country rock band 16 Horsepower was overshadowed by frontman David Eugene Edwards--several TV documentaries, ostensibly about the band, would devote all their interview time to Edwards.
  • The Residents avoided this entirely by having no faces whatsoever. Every member was anonymous, and they all wore the same tuxedo and giant eyeball mask uniform. Those into music trivia will know that spokesman Homer Flynn and sound engineer Hardy Fox are believed to be the leaders of the group, but they have consistently refused to admit it for forty years.
    • In an unusal subversion, the late Snakefinger (Phillip Charles Lithman) performed with the group so often that he's occasionally mistaken for a member.
  • The Distillers. You know, Brody Dalle's band. Even more so, Spinnerette.
    • AKA, that band with that chick that was married to that guy from Rancid and left him for that guy from Queens of the Stone Age.
  • Lampshaded by the Mike Park song "Tobi Vail Is My Favourite Member Of Bikini Kill", which affectionately pokes fun of the hero worship a lot of people direct at Kathleen Hanna.
  • Neil Hannon is the only member of The Divine Comedy to have ever appeared on any of the album covers, not helped by his tendency to fire the rest of the band every couple of albums or so. To be fair, he is the only continuous member and the Divine Comedy is him in essence.
  • Similarly, Ian Broudie has long alternated between being the Face of the Lightning Seeds and being the Lightning Seeds, depending on how much he's felt like sharing the studio workload and/or whether he's touring at the time.
  • The Beautiful South are a confused example. For much of their 19-year existence singer/songwriter Paul Heaton was the sole Face, though casual fans would often hear reference to the "Heaton-Rotheray partnership" as the most-successful British songwriting team since Lennon-McCartney. In the middle/latter part of their career Jacqui Abbott also gained prominence as lead or co-lead vocalist on big hits like Don't Marry Her and Perfect 10. Yet listen to their sole Number One single, 1990's A Little Time, which (like Perfect 10) is a male-female duet – but it's not Heaton you hear singing. It's not Dave Rotheray either: he's the guitarist. It's Dave Hemingway, who was theoretically co-lead vocalist when the band started (he and Heaton were both in the Housemartins previously) but who got phased out of this duty later, even though he never left the band. And it's not Abbott singing the female half, either: it's the woman she replaced, Briana Corrigan, who took a fairly significant role in early-mid Beautiful South but left for an unnoticeable solo career. So by the time of the band's highest profile from 1994-8, and later, their two most-notable Faces were neither of the two people who originally sang on their biggest ever hit and not the ones who you'd hear when it came on the radio... yet most people probably didn't ever register. The band has partially reformed in recent times as touring three-piece 'The South', now led by Hemingway after all and also including Abbott's own late-period replacement and the drummer, who was there the whole way along but who no-one at all knows. He's called Dave, too.
  • Dexys Midnight Runners is Kevin Rowland - and...
  • Madness are singer Suggs, a maniac on saxophone, and about seven others, including a maniac in a hat who also sings but stil gets forgotten.
    • There's an unusual variation in Madness as well: keyboard player Mike Barson was no means The Face, but there's a tendency for people to erroneously believe that he was "the one who wrote all their songs", overlooking the contributions of... well, everyone else in the band, really.
  • Saint Etienne. Several people can get Sarah Cracknell, but Pete and Bob - the guys who actually founded the band - are seemingly known to hardcore fans only.
  • This happened to the Matthew Good Band, for fairly obvious reasons.
  • Graham Nash is the best known member of the Hollies despite the fact that the band had their biggest hits after he left ("He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress", "The Air That I Breathe"). It probably helped that he got much more prominent billing in the next group he was in (that'd be Crosby, Stills, and Nash [and Young], for those who don't know) while the other Hollies remain relatively anonymous.
  • Sure the band The Rasmus has four members, but people only remember Lauri Ylönen, the lead singer who wears feathers in his hair so he's hard not to notice. Some may remember Aki Hakala, the drummer, but that's it.
  • Travis consists of lead singer Fran Healy and those other guys, who actually don't seem to be bothered about Fran doing all the interesting stuff in music videos. Understandable when "interesting stuff" means "doing many, many pushups" or "running for cover underneath an ACTUAL FIGHTER JET".
  • Electric Six are Dick Valentine and... uh, those other guys, yeah. This is actually a good example of this trope, since Dick Valentine changes the band members with every album, with him as the only constant.
    • It's too bad, they've all got great nicknames.
    • They seem to have settled down now, but Dick is still the only one who is recognised by non-hardcore fans. This is probably because he stars in all their videos and has a very distinctive vocal style.
  • Nina Persson, singer with The Cardigans, always refused to be photographed or interviewed unless the whole band were featured equally. She was clearly aware of this trope.
  • The Tragically Hip, the Canadian band that has achieved great success in its home country, with several platinum-selling albums. Despite their fame, no one, no one can name any of the members besides Gord Downie, even though the band has stayed the same for the last 20-plus years.
    • There's that skinny guitarist with the really long hair. What's his name?
  • Not many people can name a member of Third Eye Blind who isn't Stephan Jenkins.
  • Donald Fagen and Walter Becker went from being the only known members of Steely Dan to being the only members at all by the time their third album came around, backed up by studio musicians.
  • Modest Mouse is generally regarded as Isaac Brock, maybe that guy from The Smiths who was in it for a while, and the rest.
    • Some will remember that Modest Mouse has two drummers, but the names of those drummers?
  • The Shins are James Mercer and...?
    • Speaking of Modest Mouse, this band now actually includes one of MM's two drummers now.
  • The Hives is Howlin' Pelle Almqvist and His Assorted Chums, and, occasionally Pelle, Nik and The Rest, due to Nik turning up in a few interviews.
  • Sublime, who remembers anyone other than Bradley?
  • The Jam were Paul Weller and, er...
    • I once read the tracklist of Setting Sons, saw that "Smithers-Jones" was written by Bruce Foxton, and thought "not another bloody cover". Nope, turns out he was the bassist. Who knew?
    • There's not a lot of mention of the other people in Weller's next band, the Style Council, either. He went solo after that, perhaps bowing to the inevitable.
  • Wilco is Jeff Tweedy, a couple other guys, and....whoever they can get to go on tour with them.
  • Kansas is Kerry Livgren (guitar, keyboards), Steve Walsh (vocals, Hammond, keyboards, vibraphone), that hairy bearded guy with the fiddle, that drummer with a mullet, and that other guy. That is, if you look at the lineup which produced their most popular albums Masque, Leftoverture and Point of Know Return.
    • These days it's hard not to know Rich Williams. 'Cause well, the eyepatch.
  • Veruca Salt is Nina Gordon, Louise Post, and the two men in the band.
  • The face of Breaking Benjamin is of course Benjamin Burnley, the lead singer.
  • Radiohead is Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and three other guys. A few might know that one is Jonny's brother.
    • Though Thom and Jonny are usually main focus, the fans also care about Colin Greenwood and Ed O'Brien. Not so much for drummer Philip Selway though. Even their producer Nigel Godrich and the artist for their album covers (besides Thom) Stanley Donwood get more attention. This works out though as he is never in the extreme cheesecake some fans produce
  • The Strokes is Julian Casablancas and...
    • I think one of them dated Drew Barrymore for a while, right?
    • Albert Hammond jr is also memorable, mostly because his musician dad has the same name. And because Junior is named Albert, in this day and age.
  • Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band has Bob Seger and... um... some guys.
  • Most fans can name the band members, but the only difference between ALL and Descendents is that the singers are Chad Price and Milo Aukerman, respectively. Good luck trying to name everyone who has been in both bands, though; the current number stands at 11.
  • Karen O is Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Wait, who are those guys behind her?
  • Destined to happen to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Unless people start paying attention to Cat Popper too. Sorry Scott, Matt, and Benny.
  • Metric. Emily Haines and...3 guys who are NOT Emily Haines
    • The t-shirts Metric sell at their shows just have a big picture of Emily's face on them. If that's to be believed they are totally okay with the focus being on her.
  • If anyone remembers The Kinks well enough these days, they probably remember Ray Davies. In a situation similar to Oasis's, if anyone remembers anyone else at all, it's usually his brother Dave.
  • The Birthday Massacre is Chibi, possibly Rainbow, and a bunch of other guys.
  • Same with Billy Joel.
  • Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention. Frank was originally brought in (the band then called The Soul Giants) to replace the guitarist. By the time they got a record deal, Zappa wrote all the songs and controlled the group with an iron fist.
    • After he began his solo work, it was Frank Zappa, Ike Willis, uh... they had a pretty cute chick in a bikini playing xylophone for a while? (Ruth Underwood), and... her husband... (Ian Underwood), and the guy with the funny nickname ("Motorhead" Sherwood) and uhh... the band. Oh, and Steve Vai. And Mike Keneally. And Adrian Belew.
      • It can be argued that people may recognize the name Jimmy Carl Black(if not his face) because he frequently introduced himself as "The indian of the group". It became a running gag on MST3K that any time a native American appeared in any of the movies, Joel, Mike or one of the Bots would say, "It's Jimmy Carl Black of the Mothers of Invention!"
    • And Terry Bozzio. Actually, for a solo artist, a lot of members of his band have been rather memorable. Maybe because he was like the musical equivalent of Doc Savage.
  • Most people probably recognize Sandy Denny as Fairport Convention's singer even though she's been dead for thirty years and about three hundred people have been in the group since. The only other member who gets remembered is virtuoso guitarist Richard Thompson, mostly due for his solo work. He's been out of the band since 1971.
  • Fictional example: The song "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie is about how lead guitarist Ziggy becomes this for his band (quoted above). It goes to his head, and the other members become so tired and envious of Ziggy's success and ego that they ultimately kill him.
  • Singer/lyricist/guitarist Bill Nelson was unquestionably the focus of 70s British art/glam rockers Be-Bop Deluxe--especially after he replaced the whole band following the first album.
  • Bowling for Soup manages to do this without needing anyone to know the Face's name: they're "that one punk band with the fat guy on bass." It's even more impressive when you consider that Chris van Malmsteen (for that is his name) is the guitarist.
    • See also: New Found Glory.
      • You mean Hayley Williams' boyfriend's band, right?
  • ....Daughtry. YOU'RE KIDDING.
    • Again, another case of the "Named after the lead" variation, to the point that people tend to forget that it's a band called Daughtry and just say Chris Daughtry.
      • Australian Pink Floyd exploit this idea by introducing themselves at concerts as six Bruces, four Sheilas and Rolf. Only three of them are actually Australian.
  • German band Die Ärzte averts this. People can normally name all three members (well in Germany at least)
    • It certainly helps that there are only three members, and all of them have pretty distinct personalities.
  • This is the reason Heart now usually bills themselves as "Heart, featuring The Wilson Sisters".
    • An example of the uncommon case of the rhythm guitarist (Nancy) being more well-known than the lead singer (Ann).
  • Name a member of Screeching Weasel other than Ben Foster, I dare you.
    • The only other (very short-lived) member most people would be able to name is Mike Dirnt, but only because of his subsequent fame in Green Day.
  • Both Hum and Centaur consist of "Talbot and those other guys." Of course, he has a songwriting style that tends to take over everything it comes in contact with, so it may have more to do with every band he fronts sounding exactly the same.
  • Men at Work was Colin Hay and some other guys.
  • To most people, Argentinian cult band Patricio Rey y los Redonditos de Ricota are el Indio Solari, Sky Bellinson and an indefined amount of other guys. If they know that 'Patricio Rey' is fictional, that is.
  • The popular 70s/80s Canadian duo Rough Trade consisted of Carole Pope and, er...But don't feel bad, Kevan Staples, because by now there's an entire generation that doesn't remember Pope either.
  • Name the members of Escape The Fate? Uh, well, Ronnie Radke used to be in the band...
    • Actually, most fans can name all the members. Or at least half of them, especially with all the drama that's surrounded them.
  • To more casual fans, Schoolyard Heroes is Ryann Donnelly, Jonah whatshisname and two other guys.
  • d EUS is Tom Barman, and possibly Stef Kamil Carlens of Zita Swoon, even though he isn't with d EUS anymore. Then there's an unknown amount of other guys.
    • Zita Swoon is Stef Kamil Carlens and other musicians.
  • Now-defunct Canadian rock band Treble Charger is now mostly remembered among fans for the falling-out between lead singer Greig Nori and guitarist Bill Priddle.
  • Although Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Richie Blackmore co-founded Blackmore's Night with his wife Candice, he seems content to leave the spotlight to her. Candice takes the lead in almost all the band's videos. When Blackmore himself appears, he's usually just standing in the background playing guitar.
  • Invoked by the band itself with Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band.
    • Well, considering he's technically functioning as a solo artist with the Goddamn Band as a backing band, his work would be categorized as just "Kevin Devine". The Goddamn Band didn't exist at the beginning either, nor is it actually "necessary" (though they are awesome).
  • Vernian Process has Joshua A. Pfeiffer, although some fans can name the other ones. Specifically Ash, due to the Snazzy But Not Snazzy Enough Name Syndrome the others suffer from.
  • Scissor Shock is pretty much Adam Cooley. Justified, as there have been points in which such was the case.
  • Partially averted by Canadian indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene. As the band has about 20 different members who rotate in and out, they are well known for spawning many different (and often more famous) musical groups. Even the most casual fans of indie rock will recognize Metric, Stars, The Weakerthans, Apostle of Hustle, and Feist as being related in some way to the band. Of course, this doesn't stop some people from referring to them only as "That band Feist was in before she became Feist."
  • Averted by Keller Williams--he actually uses multi-track recording to play EVERY INSTRUMENT IN THE BAND, and uses a loop pedal in live performances. One of his albums, though, had lots of guest musicians, who are mostly even less well-known than Keller himself.
  • Godsmack with their lead song-writer Sully Erna, to the point that the other band members are convinced that it's his band and they're just followers. On that note, Erna is responsible for the band's trademark spirituality in their sound (tribal beats, European-style twanging strings, chanting, etc.), all sprouting from his Wiccan beliefs.
  • Kaizers Orchestra has frontman and ham extraordinare Janove 'The Jackal' Ottesen, "That creepy dude with the gas mask" and some other guys.
    • Helge 'Omen Kaizer' Risa is pretty literally the face of the band though, it was him (in his gas mask) on the cover of the first three albums and the band's logo. And it's usually either him or Janove front and centre in the group shots.
  • LCD Soundsystem is James Murphy and maybe some other people.
    • Well in fairness, most of the time on the albums LCD Soundsystem *was* James Murphy and maybe some other people. And the other people were usually Nancy Whang and Pat Mahoney.
  • And in yet another example of "band named after one guy in the band", the Dave Matthews Band. Everyone knows Dave, but can they name the violinist, the drummer, the bassist, the (now sadly deceased) saxophonist, and, if they're really big fans, the keyboardist who left right before their first major release?
  • Dead Kennedys are, depending who you ask, Jello Biafra and some guys, or Brendan Cruz and some guys.
    • One might mention D.H. Peligro, but just because he's the Token Minority.
  • Pierce the Veil? Oh, yeah, that's Vic Fuentes, his twin brother, um, let's see... Mikey Fuentes? And then there's, ahhhh.... some other guys?
  • Sparks is Russell Mael, his creepy Hitler lookalike brother Ronald, and a bunch of other guys.
  • DDT is Yuri Shevchuk and three other guys named Rustam. He writes and sings all of their songs. He also released a solo album recently, leading people to wonder what exactly is the point.
  • Manchester Orchestra consists of Andy Hull and... uh... well,the orchestra, probably?
  • Royally subverted by the Eagles. They rotate who does the lead vocals. The one who sang the most was the drummer!
  • Alexisonfire is that band that Dallas Green sometimes plays guitar in when he isn't performing as City and Colour.
  • KMFDM is Sascha Konietzko, Lucia, and some other guys.
  • Sneaker Pimps used to be Kelli Ali and those two guys who hung around and didn't do anything. Then it became Chris Corner and those three guys who hung around and didn't do anything.
  • Angelspit is now ZooG, DestroyX, the hot guitarist, and the drummer nobody remembers. And that dude with the weird name who does the videos.
  • Sebadoh: Despite the fact that they've almost always been a Vocal Tag Team band, the only one people generally care about is Lou Barlow.
  • Fozzy is Chris Jericho and... who cares, the others aren't famous pro wrestlers.
  • Seether is led by Shaun Morgan (Amy Lee's ex-boyfriend), but who are the other members?
  • Name a member of Limp Bizkit whose name is not Fred Durst.
    • Wes Borland gets a little attention, owing to being the creative force behind the band (at least before he left), wearing body make-up and/or the most colourful costumes and being involved in several other side projects such as From First to Last. At a push, one could perhaps include DJ Lethal, if only because of his time as turntablist in House of Pain. As for the other members, however... (many would never even know the bassist and drummer are cousins)
  • Puddle of Mudd is a guy who looks like pro wrestler Edge and three other dudes.
  • Powderfinger; Bernard Fanning and Friends.
  • The band maNga, in order to differentiate it from Japanese comics, is sometimes referred to by fans as Fermanga after the lead vocalist Ferman Akgül.
  • The late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy fame is popular enough to have gotten a life-size bronze statue of him erected in Harry Street in Dublin City. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who knows any of the other band members off the top of their head, though.
  • Janes Addiction is Perry Farrell (the guy from Lollapalooza), Dave Navarro (the guy who played for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and married Carmen Electra ) and...
  • While The Ramones might escape this due to the Theme Naming where everyone was "* Ramone", many only remember Joey and Johnny.
  • Van Halen has two faces, the namesake guitarist Eddie Van Halen and whoever's the lead singer (David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar - there was never a third!). Casual fans still might know it's mostly a Band of Relatives (the drummer is Eddie's brother, and the current bassist is Eddie's son). The original bassist, however...
  • Weirdly averted with Cheap Trick, whose singer Robin Zander is easily the most anonymous member of the band. Being surrounded by a pretty-boy bassist and two of music's most entertaining oddballs will do that to you.
  • Led Zeppelin's face is either singer Robert Plant or guitarist/driving force Jimmy Page. Though the other two members avert anonimity for being virtuosos, working on sideprojects (in John Paul Jones' case) and dying tragically (in John Bonham's case).
  • The face of Namgar is Namgar Lharsanova.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion are both represented by guitarist Efrim Menuck (aka That Guy With the Hair), despite his never intending to be the face of either. Godspeed is an interesting case, since Menuck doesn't even sing in it. He probably earned the most attention simply because he's the member who interacts with the press most often, and because of his wild hair.
  • Blink 182 has two faces (as both sing), guitarist Tom DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus. The drummer, Travis Barker, earns most recognition from non-musical stuff (a reality show and nearly dying in a plane accident).
  • Godforbid might as well be That Handsome Devil. This is mostly a byproduct of the elusive nature of the band; most people only know Godforbid because he has the snazzy nickname and all of the press interviews, however few and far between they are. His voice and stage persona are also two of the main distinguishing features of the band, so this is kind of a given. A few people also remember Naoko due to The Smurfette Principle, and some can recall Jeremy Page as "the other stable member" (he plays virtually all the instruments on the albums).
  • Okay, a slight subversion: who knows anybody from the Yardbirds other than Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page?

Examples from other media:

Film

  • Lampshaded in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous. The band Stillwater is given a prototype promotional T-shirt to look at - which shows the charismatic and handsome guitarist in a nice portrait - and the rest of the band in shadow.
    • Which gets even funnier in the next scene, when they start to argue over which one of them is going to emulate which "Face of the Band:" "I'm the light, you're the dark! You know, Keith and Mick! Page and Plant!"
  • Somewhat parodied by Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap, who to say the least is rather meek and quiet in comparison to the other two (founding) members of the band.
    • Well, you know, he tries to be a happy medium between Nigel and David. He's lukewarm water.
    • While David, Nigel, and Derrick are fairly well-known; try naming any of the myriad of (now deceased) drummers, or any other musicians, who have been in the band at any point.
      • Harry Shearer, who (by virtue of Spinal Tap's appearance on The Simpsons) is the only regular Simpsons cast member to also be listed as a guest star.
  • As was Jimmy Nail's character Les in Still Crazy. He fumes in the background while Bill Nighy's character (who replaced the original singer) is interviewed.

 "Why do they always assume the singer is the voice of the band?"

  • This forms a great deal of the plot of Wayne's World 2. Wayne's girlfriend is Cassandra, lead singer and bassist of the band Crucial Taunt. Her manager sees great potential in her... but not so much the rest of the band, nor for having a boyfriend keeping her from traveling to more lucrative venues.
  • And let's not forget Satisfaction/The Girls of Summer...The fictional band consisted of "star" Justine Bateman, a then-unknown Julia Roberts ("the slut") and...um....

Literature

  • Figures heavily in "The Band's Tale" from the Star Wars Expanded Universe anthology Tales From Jabbas Palace, tells the story of the Max Rebo Band, who were seen playing for Jabba in Return of the Jedi. It turns out that the manipulative singer Sy Snootles took control of the group after it's original leader was killed in a shootout, but she put the cheerful, friendly and easily manipulated keyboardist Max Rebo at the front of the group with the intent of making herself The Man Behind the Man. This backfires immensely, as Jabba's agent approaches Rebo, who ends up getting the band trapped in an exclusive contract at Jabba's palace in return for a lifetime supply of free food.

Live-Action TV

  • The Beautiful Corrs. And their brother Jim.
  • One episode of CSI featured a murdered rock star who wrote all of his band's songs and would have kept the lion's share of the group's earnings if they'd broken up. This is a strong motive for his bandmates to kill him, but it turns out that the killer is his ex-girlfriend, who was afraid she'd lose custody of their child to him and didn't want the kid caught up in his drug-fuelled lifestyle.

Pro Wrestling

  • Chris Jericho, also face of the band Fozzy when not wrestling, calls himself the "Face of Smack Down/Raw" depending on which roster he's currently on.

Theatre

  • In-universe example: in Dreamgirls, when the Dreamettes break out from the shadow of Jimmy Early and become the Dreams, Deena is promoted as the most marketable face. This leads to original lead singer Effie trying to steal the spotlight back.

Video Games

  • The third case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney revolves around a murder at a concert featuring the recurring prosecutor's band, the Gavinners. Despite the band having five members (and an early puzzle requires you to listen to all five musical parts to determine a discrepancy), you only ever see or talk to Klavier and Daryan.

Real Life

  • Of course, this happens outside the music industry. Bet you can't name more than two men who walked on the moon.
  • The Pythons that aren't John Cleese, occasionally. Eric Idle even hung a lampshade on it in a 30- or 40-year anniversary special by naming them as "John...Paul...George...and...Spike".
  • In a non-music example, John Romero was this for Id Software at the height of their Doom-based popularity. This was encouraged by the other company members, who preferred to avoid the spotlight anyway.
    • If you read the credits at the time, American McGee wasn't an easily forgotten name. Even before Alice.
    • After Romero left (and fell from grace), programmer John Carmack, who creates all of id's engines, started to get his recognition.
  • Thanks to his constant efforts at self-promotion, many people are under the impression that Stan Lee singlehandedly created all the Marvel superheroes. This is even more the case after the latest wave of Marvel movies--after all, Jack Kirby is dead and Steve Ditko is not exactly up for making cameos in movies.
  • Apparently a lot of people believe that the entire Apple Corporation consists of Steve Jobs putting together laptops and iPods in his garage. When people began hearing that Jobs was in bad health, Apple's stock took a dive.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto is Nintendo to most people, even when the company has enlisted other talented producers like Eiji Aonuma and Masahiro Sakurai.
  • Speaking of game companies, Gabe Newell is seen as this to Valve Software.
    • Those more familiar with Team Fortress 2 than Valve's other games would see Robin Walker as this.
  • Back to music: Frank Klepacki for the Command and Conquer series. Jarrid Mendelson, Steve Jablonsky, James Hannigan and Tim Wynn? Who are those people? Particularly notable in that Frank hasn't actually been a composer for any of the games past Renegade - all he's really done for the series since were remixes of some of his Red Alert 2 songs for its sequel.
  • The very nature of the game industry (and the film industry, too, come to think of it) promotes "faces" rather than "bands." You have a few big-name developers/directors who have either charisma or vision, and they lead hundreds of more or less faceless workers in the creation of their product. How many people are going to remember anyone besides the central creative force behind the whole thing?
    • Some other companies do at least try to give some recognition to those faceless workers - Call of Duty games, for instance, have their randomly-generated Red Shirt allies (at least the American ones) named after various workers at the company. That said, it does still fall into this on occasion (particularly among disgruntled PC fans, Bobby Kotick from the series' publisher does tend to overshadow both the rest of his company and those actually making the games).

Notes

  1. It rotated as a matter of course - as of this writing, The Other Wiki lists about 18 vocalists and 10 instrumentalists.
  2. not to be confused with the one that got signed onto Important Records
  3. guys, if you don't know Janes Addiction
  4. It was Karl Burns, by the way, on one of his hiatuses from The Fall. See below.
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