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Top 10 Supergroups

VO: Rebecca Brayton
A supergroup is a group of musicians from famous bands or artists who have been famous in their own right that unite to make music together. We have chosen supergroups that have created at least one critically or commercially successful full-length album together and excluded supergroups that have come together for one-time projects, like a show, single, jam session, to make this list. Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 supergroups.

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These musicians are the cream of the crop. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 supergroups.

For this list, we’ve chosen supergroups that consist of musicians from famous bands or who have been famous in their own right, and that have created at least one critically or commercially successful full-length album together. We’ve excluded supergroups that have come together for one-time projects, like a show, single, jam session, etc.

#10 – The Raconteurs

What do you get when you put Jack White of The White Stripes and The Dead Weather, with Brendan Benson and two members of The Greenhornes on a stage? An incredible fusion of alternative, garage and blues rock that only The Raconteurs can deliver. With two Grammy-nominated top ten albums already under their belts, this band is certainly “steady, as she goes.”

#9 – Them Crooked Vultures

Combine the unique vocals and guitar skills of Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, versatile bass playing of Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones and the explosive drumming of ex-Nirvana member and Foo Fighter Dave Grohl and you get the riff-heavy hard rock of Them Crooked Vultures. They only have one album to their name, but this top twenty effort bagged them a Grammy and thousands of fans.

#8 – Velvet Revolver

Pairing Scott Weiland’s varied singing style and showmanship with Slash’s precise guitar skills, Velvet Revolver brought together some of the best musicians from Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N’ Roses and Wasted Youth. After “slithering” their way to the top of the charts with their debut, the band won a Grammy and had another top five album before Weiland “got out the door” and they went on hiatus.

#7 – Bad Company

Comprising musicians from Free, King Crimson and Mott the Hoople, Bad Company was the first band signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label. Soon, they were packing stadiums thanks to their simple rock ‘n’ roll sound and Paul Rodgers’ bluesy singing style. Even after Rodgers left to join The Firm, they stayed popular with ex-Ted Nugent singer Brian Howe, and even today they still rule classic rock radio.

#6 – Audioslave

After Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog, Chris Cornell found his multiple octave range being enhanced by the unmistakable guitar solos of Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. Completed by two other former Rage members, Audioslave’s blend of hard and alternative rock earned them three Grammy nods and three top 10 albums.

#5 – The Highwaymen

Their raw, rock and roll sensibility made each of these men a country superstar in his own right. But as The Highwaymen, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson proved they could make beautiful music as a group too: these leaders of outlaw country produced a number one country debut and a Grammy-nominated sophomore effort. They continued their plight against the slickly produced Nashville sound with their third and final album in 1995.

#4 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer

In ELP, The Nice’s Keith Emerson and King Crimson’s Greg Lake brought together their previous bands’ interests in jazz and classic music with the rock influences of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s Carl Palmer. Though they made their mark on progressive rock with the concept album Tarkus, it was their elaborate stage shows that really cemented their popularity. This band also allowed them to find success with other acts, like Asia.

#3 – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

By meshing complex vocal harmonies and genres like folk, country and acoustic, CSNY brought out the musical best of former members of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies. In fact, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and later Neil Young, earned five top 10 records together. Personal tensions and successful solo careers did little to tarnish their reputation or quell their desire to tour, which they still do on occasion.

#2 – Traveling Wilburys

Few musicians can turn a one-off B-side project into a Grammy-winning triple-platinum effort. But George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and the Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne did just that with the Traveling Wilburys, and even used pseudonyms instead of their real names on the album! And despite Orbison’s death in 1988, the remaining members continued their mainstream success with a top twenty album two years later.

#1 – Cream

The first successful supergroup, Cream united fast, bluesy guitars from The Yardbirds’ Eric Clapton, unforgettable bass from Jack Bruce of the Graham Bond Organisation and Ginger Baker’s flamboyant, jazz-inspired drums. Though all members found success before and after, Cream was crucial to ‘60s music: their psychedelic rock earned them four top forty records and the first platinum-selling double album, while their incomparable skill helped them inspire all supergroups thereafter.

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