Michael's musical career has successfully spanned five decades, both as an artist and a songwriter. His love of Delta blues and rock and soul music endures from his early days as the front man of seminal 1970s glam band Silverhead as well as the hard rockin' powerhouse Detective, a band personally signed by Jimmy Page to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records.
From 1982-84 Michael fronted super group Chequered Past, which featured Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, Tony Sales of Tin Machine, and Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison of Blondie. In 1983 Michael co-wrote the song Obsession with Holly Knight, which became a number one hit in 27 countries for New Wave group Animotion, the track continues to be featured in countless movies, television shows and commercials. In 1985 Des Barres became the lead singer for the Duran Duran spin-off group,The Power Station after Robert Palmer withdrew. Michael performed at Live Aid as the new singer for The Power Station, followed by a six month tour.
Michael has released several full-length solo albums and singles. In 1980 he released I'm Only Human, produced by Mike Chapman, the title song went on to the top ten in England that year and in 1986 he recorded the album Somebody Up There Likes Me with producer Bob Rose. His next solo project Carnaby Street, which was self produced, was released in 2012, and in 2014 he reunited with Producer Bob Rose to record Key To The Universe. The album garnered a LSUG “Coolest Song in The World” nod for the single Can't Get You Off of My Mind, written by Linda Perry.
In 2018 Michael formed a new band Michael Des Barres and The Mistakes, whose entire ethos he summed up as, "We play very loud and we make lots of Mistakes!". The band has had two singles on Wicked Cool Records, 2018's Living in the U.S.A. with a B side featuring a revved up cover of Bob Dylan's classic song Gotta Serve Somebody, and 2019's Crackle & Hiss, with the B side featuring a cover of The Supremes classic Stop! in the Name of Love". Crackle and Hiss was named "Coolest Song In The World" the week after its release.
Michael's latest release on Wicked Cool Records came out on May 15th 2020 with his version of The Sex Pistols iconic classic Anarchy in the U.K. produced and arranged by Steven Van Zandt and was again named Coolest Song In The World on the week of it's release. With the B side Where Did All The Lovers Go?, written by Michael, featuring Genya Ravan.
The single Get It On from the upcoming live EP, Live At The Hi-Hat, will be released on July 10th 2020 by Die Laughing Records and Golden Robot Recordings.
Michael Des Barres And The Mistakes
Crackle & Hiss/Stop In The Name Of Love (Single) (2019)
Living in the U.S.A./Gotta Serve Somebody (Single) (2018)
Anarchy in the UK - (single) (2020)
Where Did All The Lovers Go? (Single) (2020)
The Key to the Universe (2015)
Hot ‘n Sticky Live (2013)
Obsession (Single) (2013)
The Key of Love (Single) (2013)
Carnaby Street Encore Edition (2013)
Carnaby Street (2012)
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1986)
I’m Only Human (1980)
The Power Station
The Best of Power Station (1985)
Chequered Past (1984)
Live from the Atlantic Studios (1978) It Takes One To Know One (1977)
Live at the Rainbow (1975)
16 and Savaged (1973)