Supergroups: From Cream and Traveling Wilburys to Audioslave and Chickenfoot - Rolling Stone
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Supergroups: From Cream and Traveling Wilburys to Audioslave and Chickenfoot

BEST OF LIVE: August 14, 2009: Vultures

Photograph: Dustin Rabin Photography

In terms of big-name recognition, no supergroup features more talent than the Traveling Wilburys, a quintet that featured four Rock and Roll Hall of Famers — Bob Dylan, the Beatles' George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty — along with Electric Light Orchestra mastermind Jeff Lynne. The five-piece recorded one album together, Vol. 1, and after the passing of Orbison, reconvened as a quartet for 1990's Vol. 3.

Supergroups: Cream

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Perhaps the greatest supergroup ever — and one of the few that were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — Cream, featuring the Yardbirds' Eric Clapton and the Graham Bond Organisation's Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, released four albums together and produced the hits "Sunshine of Your Love," "Crossroads" and "White Room."

Supergroups: Velvet Revolver

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Velvet Revolver

Velvet Revolver were the result of two of the great tumultuous rock bands of the '90s (Guns n' Roses, Stone Temple Pilots) splintering and then forming one of the great tumultuous rock bands of the '00s. This supergroup released two albums together before Scott Weiland left the band to rejoin STP, leaving Gn'R's Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum to search for a new vocalist.

Supergroups: Audioslave

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Like Velvet Revolver, Audioslave featured the rhythm section of an acclaimed rock band (in this case, Rage Against the Machine) recruiting the vocalist of another marquee act (Chris Cornell of Soundgarden.) Audioslave recorded three albums together before Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tom Commerford reunited with Zack de la Rocha, leaving Cornell to work with producer Timbaland as a solo artist on his solo LP Scream.

Supergroups: Raconteurs

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The Raconteurs

The White Stripes' Jack White traveled from his native Detroit to Nashville to form the Raconteurs with Brendan Benson, a notable solo artist in his own right, and a pair of members from the Greenhornes. Thus far, the Raconteurs have released two albums, with the prolific White balancing this project with both the White Stripes and his new troupe the Dead Weather.

Supergroups: Temple of the Dog

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Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog were a one-album supergroup featuring members of both Soundgarden (Cornell, Matt Cameron) and Pearl Jam (Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament, Mike McCready.) The band's lone self-titled album served as a tribute to their friend and former Mother Love Bone bandmate, singer Andrew Wood, who died of a heroin overdose at the age 24. On a few tracks, Temple of the Dog also recruited a little-known (at the time) singer by the name of Eddie Vedder, who features on the hit "Hunger Strike." Pearl Jam's breakthrough Ten would be released four months later in 1991.

Supergroups: Derek & The Dominos

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Derek & the Dominoes

Yet another Clapton-fueled supergroup, Derek & The Dominoes found the Cream star collaborating with another of the greatest guitarists ever, Duane Allman. The band also featured acclaimed session musicians like drummer Jim Gordon and organist Bobby Whitlock. The band produced one studio album, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, which featured the hits "Layla" and "Bell Bottom Blues."

Supergroups: CSNY

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Crosby, Stills and Nash were great as is, but adding Neil Young pushed the quartet into supergroupdom. Crosby (The Byrds), Nash (The Hollies) and Stills and Young (both of Buffalo Springfield) recorded three studio albums and one live album together as a quartet, including the 1970 classic Déjà vu. Crosby, Stills and Nash were inducted into the Hall of Fame as a trio, while Young made the Rock Hall for his solo work and his tenure with Buffalo Springfield.

Supergroups: Oysterhead

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Perhaps the strangest supergroup in rock history, Oysterhead combined the incredible musical talents of Primus bassist Les Claypool, Phish's Trey Anastasio and the Police drummer Stewart Copeland. The trio recorded one album together, 2001's Grand Pecking Order, before reuniting once again in 2006 at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Supergroups: Blind Faith

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Blind Faith

The last of the Eric Clapton supergroups featured on our list, Blind Faith also included Cream drummer Ginger Baker and Traffic's Steve Winwood. Though the band only released one album together — and that one album only featured six songs — their chart-topping self-titled LP produced the hits "Presence of the Lord" and "Can't Find My Way Home."

Supergroups: Bad Company

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Bad Company

In 1973, Free's Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke joined forces with Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell to form Bad Company, one of the biggest hit-making supergroups of the '70s. From their six albums together with Rodgers as lead singer, the most memorable tracks include "Shooting Star," "Feel Like Makin' Love," "Can't Get Enough" and "Rock & Roll Fantasy." The original lineup reunited this summer without Burrell, who passed away in 2006.

BEST OF LIVE: August 14, 2009: Vultures

Photograph: Dustin Rabin Photography

Them Crooked Vultures

Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones formed supergroup Them Crooked Vultures in 2009 placing Dave Grohl back behind the drum kit and on vocals Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.

Supergroups: Chickenfoot

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What do you do when you get kicked out of your band? If you're former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, you recruit the Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani and form a new rock supergroup called Chickenfoot. The quartet stormed to the upper echelons of the charts with their self-titled debut album and they continueto sell out venues on a nightly basis.

Supergroups: Mad Season

Mad Season

Another Seattle-based supergroup, Mad Season featured Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley linking up with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, the Walkabouts' bassist John Baker Saunders and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin in 1995 for an especially grungetastic album called Above. Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan also contributed two guest spots on the album, which featured the hit "River of Deceit." Sadly, the deaths of Staley and Saunders ensured that Above would be this supergroup's lone album.

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