What’s a supergroup? Way back in 1968, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young formed one of the first all-star collaborations. Each member of the band: David Crosby (The Birds), Stephen Stills and Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield), and Graham Nash (The Hollies) had #1 hit songs with their current band, but left that fame and security to venture out and form a new “supergroup”. The trio of Crosby, Stills, and Nash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, one with their former bands and once with their new band. Which begs the question, are they the greatest supergroup of all-time and if not, who are the Top 10 All-Time Supergroups of the Classic Rock Era?
Criteria used to rank them: Individual success of the members prior to forming the supergroup, longevity of the new band, how much of an impact did the supergroup leave on the music industry and how recognizable is their band to the average listener.
Honorable Mention: The Power Station, Blind Faith, The Breeders, The Transplants, The Firm, Mad Season, Blue Murder, A Perfect Circle, Velvet Revolver, GTR, Atoms For Peace, Dead By Sunrise, and the original Journey (minus Steve Perry) – no enough material or not enough prior success before forming the new supergroup.
10. Bad English John Waite and Ricky Phillips from The Babys plus Neil Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey. Multiple Top 10 hits and 1 killer debut album.
9. Audioslave Chris Cornell from Soundgarden with three members of Rage Against The Machine including guitar god, Tom Morello recorded three excellent albums in the 2000s.
8. A Perfect Circle Teamed up members of Tool, Marilyn Manson, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Nine Inch Nails for the one of the most influential metal bands of their time.
7. Damn Yankees The lead singers from Styx and Night Ranger team up with the Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent. MTV was all over their music videos for songs like “High Enough”.
6. Temple of the Dog Grunge all-star crew including multiple members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Hearing Vedder and Cornell blend on songs like “Hunger Strike” and “Say Hello To Heaven” is 90s gold.
5. ASIA A virtual smorgasbord of Prog Rock heroes. ASIA combined members from King Crimson, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Uriah Heep. The band’s debut album owned the charts in the mid 1980s.
4. The Plastic Ono Band John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, and Klaus Voorman, how can they not be #1? One live album and Lennon’s debut album is just enough production to top the list.
3. The Traveling Wilburys On name power alone, this group would top the list. Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, AND George Harrison. The debut album is untouchable but lack of material holds them out of the #1 spot.
2. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young Neil Young only joined the group for a couple albums including the essential 70s classic, “Deja Vu”. The threesome went into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
1. Bad Company One of the most underrated rock bands of the Classic Rock Era. Paul Rodgers has been traveling from band to band over his career because he’s just that good that everyone wants him. Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople, Simon Kirke from Free, and Boz Burrell from King Crimson formed a LASTING supergroup that has stood the test of time. The band deserves an induction into the HOF.