Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Here's another intriguing rock and roll term..."supergroup". It's pretty much like Superman... you know, like a regular man but better. And we all know what makes him better ; flying, really strong, x-ray vision, and so on. But what makes a supergroup better than a regular group? It seems that a supergroup is made up of members that have achieved fame and sometimes fortune while previously playing in regular groups. Examples include Cream with Eric Clapton (Yardbirds,Bluesbreakers) , Jack Bruce (Manfred Mann,Graham Bond) and Ginger Baker (Graham Bond) , and Them Crooked Vultures with John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) , Dave Grohl (Nirvana,Foo Fighters) and Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age). These types of groups tend to be short-lived or sporadicly regrouping. The word "supergroup" itself has its roots in the release of the album "Super Session" in 1968 which featured Al Kooper (Blood Sweat And Tears) Mike Bloomfield (Electric Flag) and Steve Stills (Buffalo Springfield) performing as one. In 1969 Rolling Stone then-editor Jann Wenner proclaimed that the aforementoned Cream were the first supergroup.
The definition of supergroup has however has been stretched a bit . It has also been used to describe a band whose member or members gained acclaim after the band came into existence, such as Free or Genesis. other times a supergroup is considered a group who takes one or more famous artists into its ranks while keeping the original group's name, as did Van Halen with Sammy Hagar or The Eagles with Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt. And sometimes bands that simply create an extreme amount of revenue ,such as Led Zeppelin or Fleetwood Mac are christened "supergroups"
I, myself have my own opinion of what makes a supergroup. First of all, at least two members must have achieved acclaim through their past work. Secondly, the group must give itself a new name. (using the names or initials of the members is permitted,but not encouraged). Moreover , no more than two members can be from the same former group (I'm sorry, Velvet Revolver is merely Guns 'N' Roses with Stone Temple Pilots' singer...Black Sabbath did the same thing more often and with better vocalists,and nobody called them a supergroup). Lastly,the members have to have some actual individual fame (sorry, no Captain Beyond, no Tinted Windows).
The videos in this post are of acts that I feel are true supergroups. Included are Cream and Them Crooked Vultures as well as Crosby Stills Nash And Young (Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies, The Byrds), Humble Pie (The Small Faces, Spooky Tooth, The Herd), Lucy Pearl (En Vogue, Shalamar, A Tribe Called Quest), The Traveling Wilburys (George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne), Emerson, Lake and Palmer (The Nice, King Crimson, Atomic Rooster), LSG (Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat,
and Johnny Gill) and Bad Company ( Mott The Hoople, Free and King Crimson).