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ROCK SUPERGROUPS

Written by Michael Oshust

Supergroups have been around in music since the '60s. 

A Supergroup is a band where members are already successful as solo artists or as part of other groups or well known in other musical professions. Here is a partial list of supergroups of the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and 2000s.

Other incredible bands include Bad English, Mike + The Mechanics, Bad Company, Mr. Big, Badlands, Blind Faith, Contraband, Derek and the Dominoes, Heaven and Hell, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Brides of Destruction, Black Country Communion and The Highway Men.

VELVET REVOLVER

Velvet Revolver were active until 2008.

The band consisted of Guns N' Roses members Slash (lead guitar), Duff McKagan (bass, backing vocals), and former member Matt Sorum (drums, backing vocals), alongside Dave Kushner (rhythm guitar), and Scott Weiland formerly of the

 Stone Temple Pilots. 

 The band achieved commercial success with their debut album "Contraband" and their follow-up "Libertad" which produced

hit singles "Fall to Pieces," "Slither," and

"The Last Fight." 

In April 2008, Weiland abruptly left Velvet Revolver and the band was put on

indefinite hiatus.

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CHICKENFOOT

Chickenfoot is a group that consists of vocalist Sammy Hagar (ex–Van Halen and Montrose), bassist Michael Anthony (also ex–Van Halen), guitarist Joe Satriani, and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers).

 

Michael Anthony stated "There are three talons on a chicken's foot and there were three of us. It was just supposed to be a bullshit name that we'd used for a while, and then the rumours spread about the band, everybody used that name so we thought, 'Fuck it, let's call it Chickenfoot'."

Chickenfoot released two studio albums

and a live album.

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ASIA

Asia formed in London in 1981. 

The band consisted of four members

of a different progressive rock band.

Vocalist and bassist 

John Wetton of King Crimson, guitarist Steve Howe of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes of Yes and the Buggles, and drummer 

Carl Palmer of 

Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Signed by Geffen Records, Asia Asia clicked with fans of popular arena acts such as Journey, Boston and Styx.

The debut album released in March 1982, gained considerable commercial success, spending nine weeks at number one.

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CREAM

Cream was a British rock band

formed in London in 1966. 

 

The band consisted of lead vocalist/bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker. 

The band is widely regarded as the world's first successful supergroup.

Cream's hits include 

"Sunshine of Your Love", "White Room", "Crossroads", and "Badge".

The band released four studio albums  Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears,

Wheels of Fire and Goodbye.

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LED ZEPPELIN

Some individuals may wonder why is Led Zeppelin on a Supergroup list ???

 

Well, Led Zeppelin had a member of

the Yardbirds, a session musician

and two members from The Band of Joy which was a UK group which performed from

1965 to 1968. 

Led Zeppelin consisted of vocalist Robert Plant (of the Band of Joy), guitarist Jimmy Page (of the Yardbirds), bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones (session musician) and drummer John Bonham (of the Band of Joy).

Led Zeppelin formed in

London in 1968. The band is said to

be one of the most successful, innovative,

and influential rock groups in history. 

A North American tour, the band's first

since 1977, was scheduled to

commence on 17 October 1980.

 

John Bonham passed away after a day

of rehearsals in September 1980.

The planned North American tour was cancelled and the band issued a statement in December 1980 which read

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"We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."

 

On 10 December 2007, Led Zeppelin

reunited for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London,

with Jason Bonham taking his father's

place on drums. 

Led Zeppelin was inducted into the 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995

THE POWER STATION

The Power Station formed in the '80s with singer Robert Palmer, former Chic drummer Tony Thompson, and Duran Duran members John Taylor (bass) and Andy Taylor (guitar).

The supergroup was formed in New York City in 1984 during a break in Duran Duran's schedule that became a lengthy hiatus. The Power Station was named after The Power Station recording studio where their debut album was conceived and recorded. The group began as something of a whim as they were jamming to the T-Rex song "Get It On".

The band released two albums.

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HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES

The Hollywood Vampires

formed in 2015 by 

Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp,

and Joe Perry to honour

the music of the rock stars who died from excess in the 1970s.

The band released one studio album, 

featuring guest appearances by 

Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, 

Joe Walsh, and 

Christopher Lee among others.

The group currently tours in between other scheduled touring commitments.

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SUPERHEAVEY

SuperHeavy is a supergroup that consisted of Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, 

Dave Stewart, A. R. Rahman, and 

Damian Marley. 

Jagger wanted SuperHeavy to showcase different musical styles, with music ranging from reggae to ballads to Indian music.

The group began recording their self-titled

debut album in early 2009 at a studio in 

Los Angeles where they recorded about 35 hours of music. Their debut single, "Miracle Worker", released on 6 July 2011 received mostly positive reviews.

 

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THE CIRCLE

The Circle is a band that consists of vocalist Sammy Hagar (ex–Van Halen and Montrose), bassist Michael Anthony (also ex–Van Halen), drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson.

The group toured and performed songs from Montrose, Van Halen, Hagar's solo albums and Led Zeppelin. The band released "At Your Service" which is a live album.

The group released an album of original material in May 2019 titled "Space Between."

The album debuted at No. 4 on the US Billboard 200 chart, making it Hagar's highest-charting album to date.

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TEMPLE OF THE DOG

Following the collapse of Mother Love Bone after the death of frontman Andrew Wood, Seattle’s leading lights got together to pay tribute to their former colleague. 

Involved were Chris Cornell and

Matt Cameron of Soundgarden

and Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. 

Eddie Vedder provided some

lead and backing vocals.

They released one self-titled

album in 1999.

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THEM CROOKED VULTURES

Them Crooked Vultures

formed in Los Angeles in 2009 by John Paul Jones (formerly of Led Zeppelin) on bass and keyboards, Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters and formerly of Nirvana) on drums and backing vocals, and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age, and Eagles of Death Metal) on guitar and vocals.

The band released their self-titled debut album in 2009.

The group won a

Grammy Award for

Best Hard Rock Performance for the single "New Fang."

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THE TRAVELING WILBURYS

George Harrison and ELO frontman Jeff Lynne had such a good time making Harrison’s Cloud Nine album in 1987 that they decided to make their own group titled The Traveling Wilburys.

They called their mates, including

Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the legendary Roy Orbison.

The first single "Handle with Care" was deemed too good for such a limited release, the group agreed to record a full album, titled 

Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. 

They released the follow-up

 Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, in 1990.

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THE FIRM

The Firm is a UK supergroup that formed in 1984 that featured singer Paul Rodgers (of Free and Bad Company), guitarist Jimmy Page (of The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin), drummer Chris Slade

(of Manfred Mann, Uriah Heep and AC/DC)

and bass player Tony Franklin.

During their tour Page and Rodgers

refused to play material by their

former bands and instead opted

for a selection of Firm songs plus

tracks from their solo albums.

Tracks ranged from the epic "Midnight Moonlight" which was originally an

unreleased Led Zeppelin track from 

the Physical Graffiti sessions, to the commercially successful "Radioactive."

Page indicated that the band

was never meant to last more

than two albums.  Chris Slade joined AC/DC in 1989

and Tony Franklin teamed up

with guitarist John Sykes in Blue Murder.

 

 

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ALTER BRIDGE

Formed in 2004, the group includes lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Myles Kennedy, lead guitarist and backing vocalist 

Mark Tremonti (of Creed),

bassist Brian Marshall (of Creed), and drummer Scott Phillips (of Creed). 

Alter Bridge released its debut album 

One Day Remains in August 2004,

much of which was written by

Tremonti the previous year.

In October 2007 the band released their second album Blackbird. 

Alter Bridge's music is often characterized

and described as "heavy, yet melodic."

Alter Bridge continues to make new music and tour in between Myles Kennedy's other commitment with Slash's solo projects.

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DAMN YANKEES

Damn Yankees is a supergroup

formed in 1989 consisting of Tommy Shaw (of Styx), 

Jack Blades (of Night Ranger), 

Ted Nugent (of The Amboy Dukes),  

and Michael Cartellone (of Lynyrd Skynyrd)

They are remembered for the songs "High Enough" and "Where You Goin' Now", both Top 40 hits in the early 1990s.

The band released their self-titled

"Damn Yankees" album and

the follow-up "Don't Tread."

As far as a potential Damn Yankees reunion goes, Cartellone told Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC that he and other members of the band have continued to meet and write over the years. While a new album has yet to materialize, he says that does not mean the Damn Yankees are finished. They never purposefully disbanded and are keeping a reunion an open door to this day. 

TIN MACHINE

The supergroup formed in 1988,

notable for being fronted by David Bowie.

The band consisted of Bowie on lead vocals, sax, and guitar, Reeves Gabrels on guitar, 

Tony Fox Sales on bass,

and Hunt Sales on drums. 

Tin Machine released its

debut album on May 22, 1989, and it's second album Tin Machine II in 1991.

In reference to Tin Machine's dissolution,

Bowie merely said "personal problems within the band became the reason for its demise. It’s not for me to talk about them, but it became physically impossible for us to carry on. And that was pretty sad really."

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AUDIOSLAVE

Formed in 2004, the supergroup included

Soundgarden lead singer/rhythm guitarist 

Chris Cornell,

Rage Against the Machine members 

Tom Morello (lead guitar),

 Tim Commerford (bass/backing vocals),

and Brad Wilk (drums).

In its six years of existence,

Audioslave released three albums,

received three Grammy nominations,

sold more than eight million

records worldwide and became 

the first American rock band to perform an open-air concert in Cuba.

Audioslave disbanded in February 2007 "due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences." 

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ALIAS

Alias is a Canadian rock supergroup,

formed in 1988 in Toronto by vocalist 

Freddy Curci and guitarist Steve DeMarchi 

of the Canadian arena rock band Sheriff,

along with Heart founding members Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen, and Mike Derosier.

The band released its self-titled debut album 

in 1990 which went gold in the US and platinum in Canada, scoring hits with the power ballad

"More Than Words Can Say," and hits

"Waiting for Love" and "Haunted Heart."

In January 2009, Alias announced the

release of their long-awaited second album.

Curci stated "Alias never split. Music changed. We couldn't get our music out there. No one wanted to hear it anymore.

Grunge was in and, you know what,

that's OK, 'cause music needs to do that.

It needs to change all the time.

That's how it stays fresh. Alias is still

Steve and I. Alias will always be

Steve and I. Steve and I will do a record tomorrow if the fans need one."

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BLUE MURDER

Blue Murder was founded by

ex-Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy guitarist 

John Sykes in 1988.

The band consisted of Sykes on guitars and vocals, Tony Franklin on bass and

Carmine Apice on drums.

The band's debut album was

released in 1989

and produced by Bob Rock.

'Nothin' But Trouble' was released in 1993 and is the second and final studio album

that was released by Blue Murder.

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