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The Vinyl Countdown: Best Classic Rock Supergroups

Updated on May 23, 2014

The Best Classic Rock Supergroups

The term "supergroup" is often used incorrectly - some people mistake it for a musical group that has had huge success by selling millions of albums, playing huge shows, and gaining much media attention. On the contrary, a supergroup is musical group comprised of musicians that have already had success, either solo or with a band. Take a trip through the ages and check out this week's countdown - the best classic rock supergroups.

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19. Ginger Baker's Air Force

Back in 1970, Ginger Baker of Cream and Blind Faith joined up with former members of The Moody Blues, Blind Faith, Traffic, Family, and Graham Bond Organisation. Though the group didn't have any major hits, they released two albums and played over 30 shows before Ginger decided to pack up and move to Africa.

Like a pirate-cowboy-magician-superhero.
Like a pirate-cowboy-magician-superhero. | Source

18. Captain Beyond

The original lineup of this group consisted of members from Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, and Johnny Winter. The band managed to release 5 albums from '72-'77, in the midst of more than a few lineup changes and several breakups.

17. Beck, Bogert, and Appice

Jeff Beck's trio included basist and drummer from the bands Vanilla Fudge and Cactus. The band released a successful album in 1973, which hit #12 in the US. However, they disbanded before finishing their second album in 1974.

16. Blue Murder

This band was founded by John Sykes, the guitarist from both Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy - and the band also contained members from Black Sabbath, The Firm, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The band had three records, the first of which being their self-titled album released back in 1989! The band has had two other albums since then, in 1993 and 1994.

That hair, though.
That hair, though. | Source

15. The Highwaymen

Picture this: four successful solo artists joining together to form a powerhouse music machine. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson did just that, for a 10 year period. This group was fairly successful, releasing three albums and achieving #1 status with their song "Highwayman."

14. Mr. Big

This supergroup included members from Racer X and Poison, and musicians who had previously played for Belinda Carlisle and David Lee Roth. They found much success with their hit "To Be With You," which charted in over 20 countries.

Some like it animated.
Some like it animated. | Source

13. The Power Station

This band was led by Robert Palmer and had members from Duran Duran, as well as Chic! It was formed after a rather lengthy hiatus in Duran Duran's schedule. In 1985, the band played their first single "Some Like it Hot" on Saturday Night Live.

12. The Firm

The Firm's lineup had several stars - Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, as well as Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company. They refused to play any music from their previous groups, opting to write their own. It worked well for them - they released two albums, charting in both the US and UK!

11. Little River Band

This band contained three members from rock band Mississippi, as well as Glen Shorrock from the Twilights and Axiom. They formed back in 1975 and had 13 hits on the U.S. Top 40. They achieved much success in both Australia and America.

Oh, the angst.
Oh, the angst. | Source

10. Temple of the Dog

Comprised of members of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Green River. Their self-titled album wasn't widely recognized until 1992, but hey - that's almost classic. The album was their one and only, and had two charting singles - "Hunger Strike" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven."

9. Traveling Wilburys

This band had a true all-star lineup: George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. They released two albums before Orbison passed - Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 and Traveling Wilburys Volume 3. Yes, you read that right.

8. Derek and the Dominos

Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, and three members from Delaney and Bonnie formed this band. They had several hits from their album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the most popular of which was "Layla."


7. Asia

With members from Yes, King Crimson, Uriah Heap, and Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, this band rocked the 80's supergroup scene. Though they've had many lineup changes, they've been very successful. Asia released 3 albums in the 80's - Asia, Alpha, and Astra - and have released ten more since.

6. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Originally Crosby, Stills, and Nash, this band combined The Byrds, The Hollies, and Buffalo Springfield back in 1968. Their first album, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, was released in 1969. It was a major hit, with two singles in the Top 40!

Yeah, that's Slash.
Yeah, that's Slash. | Source

5. Velvet Revolver

Although the band itself is not classic, it features members who were stars in the classic rock scene. Velvet Revolver formed in 2002, and includes three members from Guns N' Roses - as well as guys from Stone Temple Pilots and Wasted Youth. They have had two albums, Contraband and Libertad, and scored a grammy in 2005 for their song "Slither."

4. Damn Yankees

Ted Nugent adopted the title of "damn yankees" for his band back in '89, which included former members of Styx and Night Ranger. The group found success after their first, self-titled album hit double platinum.

3. Bad Company

An ultimate supergroup combining musicians from Free and King Crimson, this group formed back in 1973. They were another successful amalgamation, and had many popular singles - "Bad Company," "Feel Like Making Love," and "Rock and Roll Fantasy" among others.


2. Cream

Eric Clapton, one of the best guitarists of all time, formed this group with former members of the Graham Bond Organisation and Manfredd Mann. They've had so many hits, like "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room," and "Crossroads." Cream's third album, Wheels of Fire, was the first platinum selling double-album, and the band is featured in both Rolling Stone and VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time lists.

1. Journey

A super group, yes. But a supergroup? Sure enough, Journey was created by musicians from Santana, The Steve Miller Band, and The Tubes. They formed in 1973 - the same year as fellow supergroup Bad Company, and released many albums before reaching their peak. The height of their popularity was from 1981-1983, after their eigth studio album Escape hit nine times platinum.



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    • a beautiful mess profile image

      Alex Rose 3 years ago from Virginia

      Well, actually Uriah Heep wasn't a supergroup! Lots of their members left and later were involved in supergroups - U.K., Asia, The Firm, and Living Loud. But they started in Uriah Heep, which makes it just a normal sort of band!

      And that's awesome about "Superstition," I had no idea! They are very good :) Thanks for reading!

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 3 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Nice hub. Gee Beck Bogert and Appice! I thought I only knew about them. Did yu know the story about how Stevie wonder gave the song "Superstition" to them and that he liked their version s much that he did and he had the big hit. I like to refer to BBA as "Cactus-lite". There's another conglam band! No way Uriah Heep couldn't included? They had some famous guys in different parts of their history. Damn Yankees probably the best Super Group out of America in the 90's. Keep on writing!

    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

      Oh, that's really nice! Might look forward to that. In fact I'm into anti-Valentines tunes lately (just for a change, not because I'm really against love songs hehehe). You've got a cool job btw. :)

    • a beautiful mess profile image

      Alex Rose 3 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you so much! While I prefer Cream, I can't deny the talent and success of Journey. I have my show weekly, so be sure to check out next week's countdown as well - best classic rock anti-love songs!

    • oldiesmusic profile image

      oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

      Great compilation of the super "supergroups". Just the best of the best. I agree with Journey being #1 in the list, as they are phenomenally successful commercial-wise. Velvet Revolver is my sister's favorite btw. Awesome hub. :)