The tradition of the supergroup is nearly as old as rock and roll itself. The idea is pretty much a no-brainer, if one band sells out arenas why not form a collection of the best elements from a bunch bands. Some supergroups are are a fun novelty while others stand the test of time. We have examples of both below. Take a look of the greatest below and let us know if we missed any in the comments.
10.) Angels & Airwaves
The perfect modern supergroup. A&A exemplify the attitudes of new millennium. Tom Delonge of Blink-182 takes a brake from his angst to front this band backed by guys from 30 Seconds To Mars and Nine Inch Nails. Sure, their influences clearly come from acts from the 90’s, but their sound is still very fresh without being overtly trendy. As of right now, the plan is for them to release a new album in 2014, giving us all something to look forward to.
9.) Traveling Wilburys
Bob Dylan is boud to lend credibility to your band no matter who else is in it. Add Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, and a Beatle for good measure if you want to make sure there’s plenty of super in your group. Star power led the Wilburys to go platinum 3 times in the US and 6 times in Canada for their first album alone. While this band is in no way greater than the sum of its parts, they still have a groovy sound that oozes fun. Most people know them best for their single ” End of the Line,” but other gems include “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” and “Where were You Last Night.”
8.) Them Crooked Vultures
Alas, we must admit that Josh Homme, Dave Ghrol, and John Paul Jones are not as good as they could have been. If you ask us this band was awesome in theory but, in reality they simply ended up sounding exactly like Queens of The Stone Age. Yes the Queens are great, and totally deserved their 2014 Grammy nod. However, they are a very specific product and we don’t need two of them. The music industry would have been much better off if this band had tried a little harder to devolp it’s own sound outside of Homme’s other project. With that being said, “Dead End Friends” and “New Fang” are still some of the best rock songs of the past ten years. The band is truly incredible live, and deserve a lot of respect for sheer musical talent. And, while this band could be better, they’re far from average.
7.) Temple Of The Dog / Audioslave
Chris Cornell is one of the greatest grunge singers this side of Nirvana. Unless of course, you’re more of a Pearl Jam fan. Truthfully, Eddie Vedder and Cornell were a match made in heaven. The only way this grunge staple could have been more 90’s would be if Kurt Cobain himself had been able to join. “Hunger Strike” is a classic and their self titled album went platinum twice in North America. What many people don’t realize is that Vedder’s vocals for this group directly lead to the start of his work with Pearl Jam.
6.) Atoms For Peace
Thom Yorke is the the frontman of the newest entry on this list. Atoms For Peace is Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, studio drummer Joey Warnoker as well as Yorke and others. Their sound lies somewhere between Radiohead, RHCP, and R.E.M. Ambient, super experimental, with a healthy dose of rock and roll are some of the phrases that can best describe AFP. Their 2013 LP Amok shook the music world to it’s core. Most people who have heard it all the way through are still trying to comprehend those 9 perplexing tracks.
5.) Monsters of Folk
Any self respecting indie fan is fully aware of this band. Colin Oberst, Jim James, Mike Mogis, and M. Ward, give the group its street cred. And they definitely live up to the promise of the high profile band members. To new folk loyalists these four dudes are indeed monsters. Their only album will probably stand the test of time, and is likely impress listeners for years to come. Sweet lyrics, complicated guitar sounds, and impressive harmonies abound in Monsters of Folk. While the first track “Dear God” is the best, the rest are still worth a listen or six. If you haven’t gotten a chance to sink your teeth into this one, we suggest you do so as soon as possible.
4.) The Highwaymen
True country fans will have heard of the highwaymen, and the initiated are certain to love them at first listen. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson took time out of their very busy schedules in the eighties and nineties to make three down-home hootenannies in the form of studio albums. “Big River” is definitely the highlight of their boot-scootin jams, but “I Do Believe” and “Highwayman” are some pretty great country songs. Any one who owns a pair of cowboy boots should consider their musical taste incomplete if they haven’t heard of this band.
3.) The Dead Weather
Fans of new rock and roll cannot avoid Jack White. He plays Drums for this particular tour de force. While they aren’t much of a mainstream success, they jam very, very hard. Which is to be expected from any act associated with White. Not only is this among the coolest supergroups, it’s one of the best female fronted bands that isn’t supported by a “machine” if you get our meaning. The raw power is exemplified best in their 2009 single “Treat Me Like Your Mother.”
2.) Broken Bells
This understaded group can best be described as “ahead of their time.” The Shin’s James Mercer and Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse co-front this act that is currently making the festival circuit. The Governor’s Ball, Bonarroo, Firefly, Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza will all be graced with the groovy lyrical techno vibe of these two dudes. They were introduced to the world with their 2009 single “High Road” from their eponymous first album. Since then they’ve had a small handful of hits from their Meyrin Fields EP and the 2014 album After The Disco. While Bells have garnered a lot of respect from Pitchfork and other alternative music outlets, we believe that their current level of recognition is only beginning. Don’t be surprised if these two go down in history as one of the greatest groups of the 2010’s decade.
1.) Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
The idea of these four men joining forces introduced the power of the supergroup to the world at large. While they didn’t originate the idea of supergroups, their inception certainly went a long to popularizing the notion. These guys gave the world hits like “Teach Your Children” and “Helplessly Hoping.” The touching folk sound they became famous for influenced countless bands. Not to mention the fact that their harmonies of the sweet vocals are still staggeringly impressive.