A supergroup is a music group whose members are already successful as solo artists or as part of other groups or well known in other professions. Usually used in the context of rock and pop music, the term has been applied to other musical genres such as The Three Tenors in opera.
The term is sometimes applied retrospectively when several members from a group later achieve notable success in their own right. Supergroups are sometimes formed as side projects and thus not intended to be permanent, while other times can become the primary project of the members' careers. Charity supergroups, where prominent musicians perform or record together in support of a particular cause have been common since the 1980s.
It became popular in late 1960s rock music for members of already successful groups to record an album together, after which they normally split up. In 1969, Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner credited Cream with being the first supergroup and they are still widely recognised as the archetype of the short-lived much-hyped rock supergroup. Cream comprised Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker who, after three years and four albums, split up, Clapton and Baker going on to form a new group Blind Faith.
The term may have come from the 1968 album Super Session with Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, and Stephen Stills. The coalition of Crosby, Stills & Nash (later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) is another early example, given the success of their prior bands (The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Hollies respectively).
In 1974, a Time magazine article entitled "Return of a Supergroup" quipped that the supergroup was a "potent but short-lived rock phenomenon" which was an "amalgam formed by the talented malcontents of other bands." The article acknowledged that groups such as Cream and Blind Faith "played enormous arenas and made megabucks, and sometimes megamusic", with the performances "fueled by dueling egos." However, while this "musical infighting built up the excitement...it also made breakups inevitable."
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2008)|
||The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (March 2014)|
This list is of each band's founding line-up, and members who joined within a year of founding.
This list contains only groups which have performed more than a single song or live show together.
Single album/show supergroups
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These were often one-show or one album projects, though some played more than one show, because all or most members were involved in other bands or groups.
|1956||Million Dollar Quartet||Impromptu recording session later released as a 47 track compilation. Without Presley, the group would reunite in 1982 (The Survivors Live) and 1986 (Class of '55).|
|1966||Eric Clapton's Powerhouse||
||The band did not release any albums, in fact, they recorded only three singles featured on the Elektra compilation What's Shakin'.|
|1967||The Super Super Blues Band||Albums: Super Blues, The Super Super Blues Band|
|1968||The Dirty Mac||They performed only once, at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus television event, and are featured on the soundtrack album released in connection with the show being issued on VHS.|
|1969||The Plastic Ono Band||Albums: Live Peace in Toronto 1969, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, Sometime In New York City|
|1970||Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends||Album: Smoke and Fire|
|1979||The Greedies||Originally known as The Greedy Bastards, recorded one Christmas single, "A Merry Jingle."|
|1983||The Glove||Album: Blue Sunshine (1983)|
|1984||Hindu Love Gods||Album: Hindu Love Gods (1990)|
|1990||The Gak||Played two charity concerts in 1990.|
||Albums: Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis), Sacrifist, Metatron, Live in Poland, Transmutation Live, 1984, Mold, Warszawa, Collection, Tennessee 2004, Profanation (Preparation for a Coming Darkness)|
|1993||Automatic Baby||One-time performance of U2's "One" during an MTV concert for President Bill Clinton.|
|1994||Bruce-Baker-Moore||Albums: Around the Next Dream|
|1998||Brandy and Monica||Singles:|
|Stardust||Singles: "Music Sounds Better with You"|
||Albums: Drive, GLOBAL TROTTERS PROJECT volume I - DRIVE.
|2000||The Word||Album: "The Word" (2001)|
|2001||Oysterhead||Album: The Grand Pecking Order (2001)|
|2002||Planet Us||Songs: "Vertigo" and "Peeping Through a Hole". "Vertigo" was originally intended for the first Spider-Man movie, but it was turned down.|
|Frou Frou||Details (album)|
|Tak Matsumoto Group||Albums: TMG I|
||Albums: The All-Star Sessions. Released October 11, 2005 to commemorate Roadrunner's 25 anniversary.|
|2005||Men with Banjos (who Know How to Use Them)||Performed at the 2005 New Yorker Festival and on Late Show with David Letterman. An earlier incarnation of the Martin-Scruggs collaboration, 2001's “Earl Scruggs and Friends,” featured a number of other prominent musicians.|
|2006||Tipton, Entwistle & Powell||Albums: Edge of the World. The album was released in 2006, but was recorded in the mid-1990s.|
|The Good The Bad & The Queen||Albums: The Good, the Bad & the Queen|||
|2007||Liquid Trio Experiment||Albums: Spontaneous Combustion|
|S.K.I.N.||The band gave its debut performance on June 29, 2007 at the Anime Expo in Long Beach, California.
Albums: As of mid-2009, neither an album release date nor a full-time bass player have been announced.
|2008||Fear And The Nervous System||Album: Fear And The Nervous System|
||Albums: Operation Aloha|
|The White Album Concert||Toured Australia with the show The White Album Concert in 2009, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' classic album. This involved the listed performers collectively playing the entire double album live.|
|2010||NKOTBSB||Albums: NKOTBSB (2011)
They recorded two new songs together, a mash-up track, and released a compilation album featuring said tracks. The supergroup also toured North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia in 2011-2012.
These are usually one-shot projects, organized to create a charity record to raise money or awareness for a cause or charity. Notable examples are the various charity supergroups which formed in response to the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia, initiated by Band Aid which recorded "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1984, such as USA for Africa ("We Are the World") and Northern Lights ("Tears Are Not Enough").
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