Super Troopers – ten fantastic supergroups!
I can't listen to Cream or Blind Faith anymore, now that Eric Clapton is an anti-lockdown t**t and I could never stand bloated poodle-rock nonsense like Velvet Revolver and Journey...but here are ten genuinely GREAT supergroups!
1. The Good, The Bad & The Queen
Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz), Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve) and Tony Allen (drummer with Fela Kuti) came together in 2007 to form The Good, The Bad & The Queen. They created a wonderful sound – fairground organs, lolloping beats and subterranean guitars – across two brilliant albums, the first a love-letter to London and the second, a reluctant goodbye to Europe. Probably Damion Albarn’s finest hour.
Two groups come together, Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, to form FFS – ridiculously entertaining and fun. They were so arch, they even called one of their songs Collaborations Don’t Work. Wonderful stuff!
3. This Mortal Coil
Not so much a group as an ever-evolving collaboration project, featuring members of Cocteau Twins, Pixies, Dead Can Dance, Colourbox, Howard Devoto, Shelleyann Orphan and more. This Mortal Coil reinterpreted songs from a wide spectrum of artists – their version of Song To The Siren made teenage JO’B stop in his tracks when he first heard it and sent him off to discover Tim Buckley.
4. The Power Station
So 80s, just writing their name makes my hair go bouffant. When the tensions in Duran Duran became too much (Nick Rhodes’ arty pretensions versus Andy Taylor’s hoary old school rock), the band temporarily split. Rhodes and Simon Le Bon formed the brilliant Arcadia (splendidly pretentious with spoken word pieces by Grace Jones), while Andy and John Taylor hooked up with Robert Palmer and Tony Thompson (drummer with Chic) and producer Bernard Edwards (also of the wonderful Chic) to form The Power Station. It’s pretty rubbish as it goes, but Some Like It Hot and their cover of Get It On were huge!
Check our Karen from Will & Grace dancing to Some Like It Hot – hilarious!
5. Traveling Wilburys
A folk God (Dylan), a Beatle (George Harrison), a Heartbreaker (Tom Petty), an ELO (Jeff Lynne), together with the one singer they are ALL in awe of (Roy Orbison) – Traveling Wilburys sounded like it was huge fun to make and it’s still great fun to listen to now.
Johnny Marr (The Smiths), Bernard Sumner (New Order) and occasional collaborations with Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe from Pet Shop Boys and Karl Bartos (Kraftwerk). Electronic is basically The Smiths you can dance to, and Getting Away With It may be the greatest pop song EVER!
7. The Breeders
With members of Pixies, Throwing Muses, The Perfect Disaster and Slint – The Breeders are US indie royalty making superb indie music, as good, if not better than their day jobs.
8. The Last Shadow Puppets
Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miles Kane (The Rascals) and James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco) – The Last Shadow Puppets' The Age Of The Understatement is better than anything any of them did in their own groups.
9. Tinted Windows
Taylor Hanson (Hanson…yes, THAT Hanson, as in MMMBop), James Iha (The Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne) and Bun E Carlos (Cheap Trick) make cracking power pop rock - Tinted Windows' Kind Of A Girl is truly brilliant!
Fran Healy (Travis), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Eric Pulido (Midlake), Ben Bridwell (Band Of Horses) and Jason Lyttle (Granddaddy) – transatlantic indie brilliance. BNQT's Volume 1 was superb, roll on Volume 2 please!