Shear is a highly regarded singer-songwriter whose own work has never come close to the success other people have had with his songs. His labyrinthine career path has seen him working in both New York and L.A., going from record deal to record deal, both on his own and with various critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful bands like The Reckless Sleepers and Jules and the Polar Bears. Shear hit pay dirt in the 1980s after years of journeyman work when Cindy Lauper hit with his "All Through the Night"; The Bangles did the same with the monster hit "If She Knew What Wants." Shear's best solo work happens when he records in a stripped down setting that really lets the sonic and lyrical details to shine. He continues to write and record prolifically.