Here's some stuff from various musicians before they finally "made it" with another band. It's somewhat encouraging to see that not everyone started out as a genius, and that hard work sometimes really helps!
Let's start with Grace Slick. Jefferson Airplane only really took off (ahem) when she joined them and brought with her a couple of hit singles (you know what they are) that she had initially concocted with a band called the Great Society. So in case you're wondering what the Great Society sounded like, here's a sample:
The great vocals are of course already there (yet she never really influenced anyone except for the girl in Black Mountain, can EasyTV viewers think of anybody else?); as for the song... it's not bad but she did better later.
Moving on... Before Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal became the famous Tears for Fears duo, they were in a band called Graduate (pretty sure it's a reference to the movie, as Roland used to be in a Simon & Garfunkel tribute band; maybe they liked older women?). What did Graduate look and sound like? YouTube once again to the rescue!
Kind of punkish and catchy, but better things would come...
Now here's an exception to the rule: Big in Japan was a late-70s Liverpool band comprised of many members who went on to become famous with their respective bands: Echo and the Bunnymen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, KLF, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Lightning Seeds, Pink Industry. Yet they weren't bad at all! Here's their subversive tribute to Valerie Solanas, the woman who notoriously shot Andy Warhol and authored the SCUM Manifesto, a.k.a the Society for Cutting Up Men (interesting video):
OK, this band is too good to not give them room for another song. Enjoy!