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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Supergroups

See what band managed to top Cream, Temple of the Dog, Blind Faith and CSNY

Readers’ Poll, 10, Best, Supergroups, Audioslave, Cream, Temple Of The Dog

We asked our readers to pick their favorite supergroups, and the selections include Cream, Temple of the Dog and Them Crooked Vultures.

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A supergroup is a very fragile thing. Rock bands are always about balancing huge egos, but when those egos are oversized from the get-go it can lead to huge problems. That's why supergroups like Blind Faith often fail to go beyond a single album, and why long-lasting ones like CSNY had drama that never seemed to end. In honor of upcoming tours by Prophets of Rage and Temple of Dog, we asked our readers to select their favorite supergroups. Here are the results. 

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10

Bad Company

Key Members: Paul Rodgers (Free), Simon Kirke (Free), Mick Ralphs (Mott the Hoople) and Boz Burrell (King Crimson)

Signature Songs: "Bad Company," "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Can't Get Enough" and "Good Lovin' Gone Bad"

Current Status: Bassist Boz Burrell died in 2006. They spent the summer on the road with Joe Walsh, though guitarist Mick Ralphs felt like staying home. They recruited Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes to replace him. They've taken many breaks over the years and the lineup has shifted quite a bit, but every few years they come back together. 

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9

Audioslave

Key Members: Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) and Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine)

Signature Songs: "I Am The Highway," "Like a Stone," "Be Yourself" and "Doesn't Remind Me"

Current Status: They broke up in 2006 due to what Chris Cornell called "irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences." The next year, Rage Against the Machine reformed and the world didn't have much need for Audioslave anymore. With Zack de la Rocha again uninterested in Rage, the other guys turned to Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real, and they formed Prophets of Rage this year. 

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8

The Highwaymen

Key Members: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson

Signature Songs: "Highwayman," "Desperados Waiting for a Train" and "Silver Stallion"

Current Status: They haven't recorded anything since 1995's The Road Goes on Forever, and since then both Cash and Jennings have passed away. Kristofferson is in much better shape than he was a few years ago since learning he was suffering from Lyme Disease and not Alzheimer's, but it still seems like the Highwaymen's road has come to an end. 

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7

Mad Season

Key Members: Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Layne Staley (Alice In Chains), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and John Baker Saunders (The Walkabouts)

Signature Songs: "River of Deceit," "I Don't Know Anything," "Long Gone Day"

Current Status: The Seattle supergroup had a very brief existence largely due to Staley's growing drug habit and Pearl Jam's busy touring and recording schedule. Saunders died of a drug overdose in 1999, and Staley followed three years later. In 2015, McCready and Martin got together with Chris Cornell and Duff McKagan to honor the group's music with a gig at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

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6

Blind Faith

Key Members: Eric Clapton (Cream), Ginger Baker (Cream), Steve Winwood (Traffic) and Ric Grech (Family)

Signature Songs: "Can't Find My Way Home," "Presence of the Lord" and "Had to Cry Today"

Current Status: After a single tour in 1969, Eric Clapton grew weary of life in a supergroup and joined Delaney and Bonnie. Grech died in 1990 and there's been no real reunion of the group, though in 2009 Clapton and Winwood toured together and packed the set with Blind Faith classics. 

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5

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Key Members: David Crosby (The Byrds), Graham Nash (The Hollies), Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield) and Neil Young (Buffalo Springfield)

Signature Songs: "Ohio," "Teach Your Children," "Carry On" and "Deja Vu"

Current Status: They survived prison, hard drugs, never-ending personality clashes and a lousy 1980s reunion record, but they they broke up in 2015 because David Crosby couldn't help himself from talking smack about Neil Young's girlfriend, Daryl Hannah, and Graham Nash's new girlfriend, Amy Grantham. They're just three years away from their 50th anniversary, however, and a big money offer for a reunion tour may well make them put their issues to the side. Time will tell. 

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4

Them Crooked Vultures

Key Members: Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)

Signature Songs: "New Fang," "Mind Eraser, No Chaser" and "No One Loves Me and Neither Do I"

Current Status: The group released a self-titled album in 2009 and played shows all over the world through 2010, but have been very quiet since then. Grohl and Homme obviously have a lot on their plates, but they say they hope to get around to another Them Crooked Vultures record at some point. It may never happen, but its much more likely than Led Zeppelin touring again. 

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3

Temple of the Dog

Key Members: Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) and Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam)

Signature Songs: "Hunger Strike," "Say Hello 2 Heaven" and "Reach Down"

Current Status: Their lone album was designed as one-off tribute to Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood, but it's become a grunge classic and the group is finally hitting the road in the fall for their first tour in honor of their 25th anniversary. 

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2

Cream

Key Members: Eric Clapton (Yardbirds), Ginger Baker (Graham Bond Organization) and Jack Bruce (Manfred Mann)

Signature Songs: "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Love" and "I'm So Glad"

Current Status: Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were bandmates before Cream and had major tension prior to Cream even starting. Things got worse once Cream got going and Eric Clapton pulled the plug in 1968. They reformed for a handful of shows in 2005, but old age didn't stop Bruce and Baker from getting back into their old ways. They even had a squabble onstage at Madison Square Garden. Bruce's death in 2014 killed any chance of any more Cream activity. 

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1

Traveling Wilburys

Key Members: Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison

Signature Songs: "Handle With Care," "End of the Line" and "She's My Baby"

Current Status: Roy Orbison died shortly after the group's 1988 debut hit shelves. They carried on for one more album in 1990, but they all felt it just wasn't the same without Orbison and folded the group. The whole thing was so short-lived that they never even played live. Harrison's death in 2001 reduced the living members to just three, and it's hard to imagine them ever playing again as the Traveling Wilburys. That said, Lynne and Petty do occasionally play Wilburys tunes at their own gigs.