The best solo albums are more than just mere solo albums. They're mad dashes toward freedom and expression, statements of purpose from voices who have been silenced too long and declarations of independence from creatively stagnant artists who have something to say outside of their stifling groups.

In our look at 10 Declarations of Independence: Rock's Best First Solo Albums, some of the artists waited for years to make their break. Some were still feeling the sting of the door on their ass. And some were still in their moneymaking bands but itching for a new outlet.

So just as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Button Gwinnett and that attention-whore John Hancock lent their signatures to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, so did these 10 artists proclaim their freedom from their very own British Empires. Whether it be John and Paul's insistence that "Wild Honey Pie" was more worthy of a spot on the White Album than "Not Guilty" or Mick Jagger's increasingly shameless pop moves throughout the '80s, their bandmates finally had enough in 10 Declarations of Independence: Rock’s Best First Solo Albums.